This is not a drill. Your nightmares have arrived! Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights are in bringing the boo in full force. The weekend of September 15-17 witnessed the wickedly wonderful world of Halloween come to un-life.
Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is 30 plus nights of terror featuring numerous eerily elaborate haunted mazes and several super spooky scare zones. There’s a lot of fear to find. To help you make the most of your monstrous occasion, buried below are a few creepy cool survival suggestions for facing your nightmares at HHN.
Halloween Horror Nights is spread out across the entire Universal Studios theme park. The extremely popular event draws thousands during each night of operation. With these eager crowds come long lines and a lot of walking. In Orlando the temperatures can still be in the upper 80’s and quite humid well into October.
The event’s creative directors offered these suggestions for managing your visit:
1. Dress Comfortably
Know what the weather’s going to be like and dress appropriately. Loose, light clothing works best in most cases, or on the rare occasion of a cooler evening bring a light jacket or sweater. Also be prepared for rain, too. Florida’s fickle forecast is best reviewed a few times before arriving at the event.
2. Wear closed-toed shoes
The haunted mazes are dimly lit to extremely dark and there are a lot of other guests on the streets, too. Stubbed or stepped upon toes are no fun, especially with all the walking and standing involved for the evening. Insoles are magical for delivering delighted doggies (feet) at the end of the night.
3. Don’t Skip Bathroom Breaks
Even the calmest guest can, and has been, startled at Halloween Horror Nights. Don’t let a biological mishap ruin your night because you breezed past that bathroom to get to the next house sooner. It’s also no fun to have to do “the dance” waiting in a long queue for a haunt.
4. Multiple Visits
On peak nights, wait times can be well over an hour for the most popular houses. With nine haunts spread out across the entire park, two spooktacular shows and very crowded streets, experiencing everything in one night is almost impossible. If you can either plan for a guided RIP tour, grab an express pass or consider facing your fears over several nights.
In addition to the above suggestions from the show’s directors, ITM has the following tips for tackling the terrors at Halloween Horror Nights:
5. Stay Hydrated
Especially in the Florida humidity, dehydration is on fear that can become reality. Make sure to keep the fluids flowing. One suggestion is to buy one of the Coca-Cola Freestyle cups at the start of the night. Several freestyle dispensers are located around the park. These all-night refillable covered cups can contain a variety of beverages including any variety of Coca-Cola sodas, lemonade, power aid and even ICEE treats. Stations outside of restaurants also dispense water; all have plenty of ice.
6. Plan Ahead
Grab a park map or visit the Halloween Horror Nights website to learn where the haunts hide. Figure out which ones are priorities and plan your path ahead of time. Don’t forget to accommodate bathroom breaks, beverages and fueling up on food. Arrive early to get the most of your visit. Plan to sit in a bit of heavy traffic, too, especially around the parking garage entrance.
7. Pour Judgment
This year’s Halloween Horror Nights event handles booze and sprits a bit differently. The various event bars (those not normally in operation at the park) do NOT serve any mixed drinks aside from the three specialty beverages for the event (Liquid Courage, Liquid Fear, and the mix of the two: Midnight Madness). The previously announced Jell-O shot heart and their sales team, the HHN shot girls, have vanished from the event. If you want a professionally prepared adult beverage other than the three drinks above, you’ll have to go to one the regular bars in the park (and expect to wait in queue).
8. Eerie Extras
While the main event with its fiendishly fun haunted houses and spooktacular scare zones is the monster meat and paranormal potatoes of Halloween Horror Nights, there are a few more fears to be found. Scareactor Dining Experiences are a great way to get grub and set the terror tone for the nightmares ahead. RIP tours also offer snacks and a cash bar (and ensure quick access to all the haunts). If you can manage to crawl out of your coffin earlier in the day, professional guides will take into the haunts with lights on. This Unmasking the Horror tour is a ghoulishly great way to get a glimpse at all of the devilish details that go into these world class creep shows.
Facing your fears at Halloween Horror Nights does not have to be total terror. With a bit of planning and common sense the nightmares can be rather enjoyable. Be sure to also check out our review of all the scare zones, shows and haunted houses from this year’s event.
Halloween Horror nights runs select nights through November 4th. Full details on event dates, tours, extras and tickets can be found on their website. Single and multiple night (a better bargain with more boo for your buck) tickets as well as discount options can be unearthed there as well.
Have you survived Halloween Horror Nights 27? What tricks and tips helped you enjoy a better boo experience? Please share your suggestions in the comments below.