Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort can be crowded and costly. From sip saving souvenir cups to guided tours, we’ve assembled a list of tips to help make the most of this macabre mayhem.
In addition to time and money saving suggestions, we’ve also unearthed a few fearsome favorites for enhancing the enchantment. An immersive, museum-like spooky souvenir shop and eerie extra add-on opportunities offer even more exciting entertainment.
While the monsters and mazes might fuel nightmares, nothing is more terrifying than disappearing dollars. Going to Halloween Horror nights isn’t cheap, but neither is the experience. Hopefully, this handful of helpful hints can keep a few coins from escaping.
1. Ticket tricks – the base price for fear starts at $114 (at the gate) or more, depending on the night attending. Pre-purchasing online can save some cash. Purchasing multi-night admission offers even more of a discount. Florida residents and passholders also receive discounts. As this eerie event can be super crowded, especially with a record 10 haunted houses this year, visiting more than once is recommended and cuts costs for each night.
2. Vacation packages at Universal Orlando Resort hotels can save on lodging expenses and include regular park-to-park admission (early entry for hotel guests). Packages also include a ticket to Halloween Horror Nights.
3. Sinister Souvenir Cups – Staying hydrated, especially in the humidity festival that Florida calls fall, is important. Universal Studios Florida features several Coca-Cola freestyle dispensers around the park which work with refillable collectible cups (starting at $15.99/$29.99). Two versions of these materialized specifically for Halloween Horror Nights: single night cups or an entire event option which is active during all evenings of the fright fest. Both beverage buckets can be reactivated (for slightly less than the cost of the cup) for future visits.
Time Saving Tips
Halloween Horror Nights draws thousands of fear fans from around the world. Popular intellectual property houses add to the allure and wait times for these macabre mazes easily surpass an hour or more on peak nights. These tips for saving time might mean managing more monstrous mazes during a visit.
4. Visit During the Week – experiencing Halloween Horror Nights on less busy nights (Wednesdays and Thursdays) can mean less wait time for haunted houses.
5. Stay and Scream – guests enjoying Universal Studios Florida during the day have the option to stay and scream (with early access to some haunts) without leaving the park at closing (daytime hours). Valid HHN admission grants access to a holding area to await the evening’s excitement. Note – this area, usually near Finnegan’s, can be crowded and hot, so plan ahead.
6. Express Pass Purchasing one of these special tickets (in addition to regular admission), grants entry to a shorter queue line for each haunt. Express Pass for HHN starts at $79.99.
7. RIP tours – For the ultimate experience ensuring most if not all houses and shows are seen, booking a guided tour for the night is recommended, especially for those with only one night to enjoy Halloween Horror Nights. Private (only purchasing party) and group tours (mix and mingle with other guests) should be reserved in advance.
Horror Nights is a fright fan’s nightmare come true. While haunted houses and scare zones are a boo-tiful backbone, there’s much more to do.
8. Diagon Alley – Wizarding World wonders of this immersive experience are open to muggles during HHN. Exclusive beverages and munchies, spellbinding shopping and the Escape from Gringotts thrill ride provide a magical escape from the event’s crowds.
9. Additional Attractions – Along with Diagon Alley, enjoy 5 more Universal Studios Florida attractions. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Transformers: The Ride 3D, Revenge of the Mummy, Fast & Furious – Supercharged, and MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack are operational during Halloween Horror Nights.
10. Spooky Souvenir Shops – Two locations for monstrous merchandise are well worth a visit. A pair of intellectual property (IP) houses receive museum-like attention in Halloween Horror Night’s Tribute Shop, while one-of-kind creepy dolls, park artifacts, and exclusive art can be found at “Williams of Hollywood.”
11. Macabre Munchies – Surviving the night’s frights requires sustenance. Event-specific, IP-inspired treats, special potions (adult beverages) and fan favorite foods can be found at special kiosks and within the Studios’ restaurants.
12. Dine with Scaractors – Universal Studios’ Classic Monster Café is the perfect setting for this boo-buffet and scaractor photo op ($49.99ea), which includes a non-alcoholic beverage and downloadable digital image.
13. Lights on Tours – Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour is the ultimate way to dive into deliciously dark details found in HHN haunts. Three or six house tours take place during the day and start at $79.99 (theme park admission not included/nor required).
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights haunt Central Florida from mid-September through early November. This after-hours event at Universal Studios Florida theme park requires a separate admission. Ticket and tour dates, as well as prices and reservation information, can be found on the event website.
Source and images: Halloween Horror Nights, ITM Archives