Halloween Horror Nights Sells Out as Wait Times Soar Over 3 Hours

in Universal Orlando

A person looking at their phone during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort

Credit: Inside The Magic

Over the summer, Inside the Magic reported on surprisingly empty crowds at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. In fact, Disney World reportedly saw their lowest Fourth of July attendance in over a decade this year. It left many theme park fans, us included, wondering: where were all the people?

We’ve also seen (and covered) complaints that could explain why attendance was so low this year, with guests pointing out higher ticket prices and feeling priced out of the parks along with issues about rude cast members and other guests and an overall drop in quality of a theme park vacation. Apparently, though, it seems as if the crowds were just waiting for the holiday season to come back in full force.

Mickey and Minnie in front of Cinderella Castle at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Disney

As the Halloween season is well underway at both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, both parks have officially sold out of their major seasonal events. Earlier last week Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party had officially sold out every night except for the final night of the party. Fans were shocked earlier this year when it was announced that tickets for the event would be going anywhere from $100 to $200, but clearly, the price tag wasn’t enough to keep crowds down.

Now, it seems that the trend has continued over at Disney’s competitor park. It’s just been announced that the Frequent Fear Passes for Halloween Horror Nights 32 (HHN32) have officially sold out. A Frequent Fear Pass is similar to a season pass for Halloween Horror Nights. The event itself is an after-hours, separately ticketed event that runs from 6 p.m. to midnight, 1 a.m., or 2 a.m. depending on the night.

Credit: Universal Orlando

Guests can purchase individual night tickets, the Rush of Fear Pass, which allowed guests to visit on select nights throughout September, and the Frequent Fear Pass, which allows guests to visit several nights between September and October. This pass is now completely sold out, although individual tickets are still available on select nights throughout the month of October.

Halloween Horror Nights has been one of Universal’s most popular events for decades, drawing in thousands of guests each night and creating its own community throughout social media. However, it seems the park bit off a little bit more than it can chew this year with the size and scale of the event. Each year the minds behind Halloween Horror Nights seem to outdo themselves, but this year seems to take the cake.

HHN32 features houses themed after Chucky, The Last of Us, and Stranger Things, as well as adding a Universal Monsters house for the fifth year in a row. Unfortunately, this year’s event has seen a slew of complaints from guests in relation to crowding issues, wait times for houses, and overall guest attitude. It’s led to calls for Universal to expand the event over into Islands of Adventure, to implement an 18 and up policy, or to raise prices in order to try to help keep crowds lower.

Guests run away from a monster at Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal Studios

Unfortunately, with the overwhelming success of this year’s event as far as ticket sales go, it’s likely very possible that prices will be raised next year due to demand and to try to help keep crowds lower. It’s unclear exactly what happened to crowds over the summer (was it general ticket prices? The heat? Something else?), but the parks seem to be having the opposite problem going into their already-busiest times of the year.

If you weren’t able to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Halloween Horror Nights this year, you can do what this writer plans to do: start saving for next year’s events now and be ready to buy your tickets as soon as they’re available. There’s no telling what next year will look like after the combined successes/issues of this year.

What do you think about Halloween Horror Nights nearing a complete sell out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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