Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Survival Guide

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Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

Source: Universal Studios Orlando Resort

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is the premier destination for Halloween entertainment. Typically running on select nights from September through the beginning of November, Halloween Horror Nights offer haunted houses, live entertainment, and Scare Zones that transform Universal Studios Florida!

If you have ever wanted to visit Halloween Horror Nights but you have never been, we have put together this survival guide to HHN to better help you plan.

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halloween horror nights
Credit: Universal

What types of entertainment are available during Halloween Horror Nights?

At Universal Orlando Resort there is plenty to do when you visit Halloween Horror Nights. While Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event, I think you will find that there is something for everyone to enjoy when visiting HHN, even if you are not a big fan of haunts.

Halloween Horror Nights is typically held at Universal Studios Florida, although it has been held at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in the past. Haunted houses are scattered throughout the theme park, and you can walk through themed sections of the park called Scare Zones. A Scare Zone brings the feel of a haunted house to the streets of Universal Studios Florida, so if you are not into confined spaces or you are still working your way up to a haunted house, visiting a Scare Zones is a great start.

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universal scarezone halloween horror nights
Credit: Universal

There are also live shows offered during Halloween Horror Nights. Each year these shows change, but they offer fantastic entertainment, often including comedy and dancing. Again, the live shows often change year to year so there is always something new to keep you coming back to HHN every Halloween season.

Universal has also offered a water show at the lagoon in past HHN years and it is AWESOME. Entertainment offerings for Halloween Horror Nights always seem to get bigger and better each year.

What are Halloween Horror Nights “Scare Zones?”

As we mentioned a Scare Zone is a themed area that is outdoors. Each Scare Zone carries a special theme and can be themed to a movie or other intellectual property. Scare Zone themes have also been completely original ideas from the minds of Universal creative! Each year themes for the Scare Zone areas change, so there is always a reason to come back year after year.
Halloween horror nights
Credit: Universal

How much will it cost to get the full Halloween Horror Nights experience?

With all of the entertainment offered at Halloween Horror Nights, you might be wondering if you can do it all in one night? You certainly can, but it may cost you! Lines at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, particularly for the popular haunted houses, can be very long. In previous years when Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things was brought to life as a haunted house, wait times reached upwards of three hours.

If you want to ensure you can do everything and only have one night to visit Halloween Horror Nights you can purchase Universal Express Pass. This is a great option to skip the line at Halloween Horror Nights!

10th Haunted House
Credit: Universal

I also recommend an RIP Tour which will also get you to the front of the line with a personal guide that adds a lot of detail to your visit. You can have a private RIP Tour or an RIP Tour with other Guests.

Halloween Horror Nights Ticket Options

Halloween Horror Nights offer many different ticket options. A one-night ticket, a multi-night ticket which Universal called a Frequent Fear Pass, or you can opt for an RIP Tour (but you will have to purchase a ticket to the event separately).

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Single-night tickets for event nights at Halloween Horror Nights start at $70 and go up depending on the event night with weekends being more expensive. Universal offers many great discounts for Halloween Horror Night tickets including discounts for FL residents. If you plan on going multiple nights look into a Frequent Fear Pass as it can be a great cost-saving option.

Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal

Stay and Scream

Universal also offers a Stay and Scream which is an early entry admission where you can choose one of a few roped-off areas inside of Universal Studios Florida that you can wait for the event to begin. The advantage to Stay and Scream is that once the event begins you will be able to enter the haunted houses faster than other Guests. So pick a Stay and Scream that is close to the haunted houses you don’t want to miss!

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Which famous horror icons might you meet during Halloween Horror Nights?

The Halloween Horror Nights event brings together some of your favorite horror icons and combines them with original icons created by Universal specifically for the event. Universal’s original icons include Jack the Clown, The Director, The Usher, The Caretaker, The Storyteller, and many, many more!

Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal

Each year Universal changes up the intellectual properties that they represent at the event. While one year you may have seen Ghostbusters, Stranger Things, and Nightmare on Elm Street, a year later you may see The Purge, The Walking Dead, and Beetlejuice.

Typically the summer before Halloween Horror Nights Universal will announce houses and scare zones one by one to help build anticipation for the event. So if you plan on going be sure you follow the official Universal Halloween Horror Nights account on Twitter for the latest updates.

What rides are open during Halloween Horror Nights?

Universal Studios Florida does typically keeps some attractions open during Halloween Horror Nights, although which attractions can change year to year. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has always remained open during the event and is a “scare-free” area. Lines for attractions during HHN are not typically long, making the event a great time to enjoy some of Universal Studios Florida’s best attractions!

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Credit: Universal Orland Resort

Should you dress up for Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights?

Costumes and masks are not allowed at the event. Universal takes the rules really seriously during Halloween Horror Nights so that everyone can have a fun time at the event. Be sure and read the rules before you visit HHN to ensure you have a great time!

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What are some basic survival tips for visiting Halloween Horror Nights?

RUN! No, no, just kidding! Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. It is hot in Orlando even during the Halloween season so keep that in mind and check the weather before you head out for HHN. Dressing appropriately will be key to being comfortable and making sure your feet are not killing you at the end of the night.

halloween horror nightys
Credit: Universal

Again, it is hot in Orlando so you will want to remind yourself to drink plenty of water while you are at the event. There is plenty of time in line to enjoy a refreshing drink to keep you cool, but no drinks inside the houses!

How many haunted houses can you explore during Halloween Horror Nights?

The number of haunted houses offered during Halloween Horror Nights can change year to year but you can anticipate between 9-10 given the amount that has been offered in previous years.

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It will be hard to see every haunted house in one night unless you go during a weeknight or purchase Universal Express Pass. Halloween Horror Nights is extremely popular and lines can be long for haunted houses. However, I would say that even on a one-night ticket, between live shows, scare zones, and food, you do not necessarily need to see every haunted house to have a great time!

Graveyard Games
Credit: Universal

How old should children be before meeting the scary icons of Halloween Horror Nights?

This is a great question! I think this truly depends on your kiddo. Universal recommends the event for kids 13 and up, and that is a great rule of thumb. If you have a child who is a horror fan and is younger than 13, as long as they are supervised and you think they could enjoy the event, that is fine too. Just know that some of the humor and themes for the event will be inherently more adult in nature, and if that is not something you are cool with your kids seeing, leave the kids at home.

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10th Haunted House
Credit: Universal

What are your scary dining options during Halloween Horror Nights?

Universal has offered Scareactor Dining as a fun way to start your night at HHN. There is no word yet on if this will be coming back for the upcoming Halloween Horror Nights 30 — we will have to wait and see!

If Scareactor dining is not coming back you can eat at Monsters Cafe inside of Universal Studios Florida. Monsters Cafe features the classic Universal Monsters such as Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and more.

For Halloween Horror Nights 30, Universal has announced that the Swizzle Lounge over at Cabana Bay will transform into an Icons Lounge, and feature HHN original icons.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal

What special attractions are available during Halloween Horror Nights?

During previous Halloween Horror Night events, special attractions have been offered. One including a virtual reality experience. For the upcoming Halloween Horror Nights 30, Universal is offering a special attraction experienced themed to Jack the Clown — who is this year’s event icon. Over at Universal’s Cabana Bay, you will find the “Jack’d Up” experience so be sure to check this out and it is new and unique to Halloween Horror Nights 30.

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Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal

Universal Orlando Resort is not the only Universal theme park that hosts Halloween Horror Nights. In fact, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Singapore all hold their own unique Halloween Horror Nights events.

Universal Studios Hollywood hosts a very large event and typically shares some of the IP’s for the haunted houses with Universal Orlando Resort. When Strangers Things, the hit Netflix show, came to Halloween Horror Nights it was offered as a haunted house on both east and west coasts!

Are you ready to experience Halloween Horror Nights in person? Let us know in the comments!

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