Close Banner

Both Disney© Resort Theme Parks

more savings

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood

by Leap on August 25, 2023 Los Angeles

universal studios halloween horror nights for first timers - PinterestAre you ready for the ultimate Halloween experience? Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights has become one of the most popular fright-filled fall events in Los Angeles. Halloween Horror Nights is a ticketed, after-hours event featuring the park’s regular attractions, scare zones, live entertainment and haunted houses based on Universal's original content. Flora and I love to visit this scary celebration each year, and there's always so much to see! If you're a first-timer this year — and maybe a nervous one at that — do not fear! The frogs are here! We've got all the tips and tricks to make your visit unfrogettable. You can purchase discount tickets to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights through Undercover Tourist. Get ready for a night of thrills and chills!

In 2023, Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood takes place on select nights from Sept. 7 to Oct. 31, and promises its guests a terrifying, but thrilling, journey through the worlds of Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Netflix, AMC's The Walking Dead and more. And they sure do deliver on that promise! Following our handy first-timer's guide to HHN will ensure you have a monstrously good time! Let's hop in.

A First Timer’s Ultimate Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood

universal studios halloween horror nights for first timers - scare actor and guest

Dress Comfortably

Because of this event's grand scale and popularity, there are often heavy crowds — and therefore, long lines — throughout the HHN season at Universal Studios Hollywood. As much as you may want to dress in your Halloween best, stick to comfortable clothes and shoes that fit the spooky theme. If you're hopping from attraction to attraction and waiting in long lines, your flippers are bound to get a little tired. It can also get very cold on October nights — we recommend wearing pants and a long sleeve or sweater (or both). This is especially important if you're planning to experience Jurassic World — The Ride, as you WILL get wet (and you may get soaked).

Buy Early Event Access Tickets

Super Mario fans will benefit significantly from this brand-new ticket add-on! If you want to experience the brand-new Super Nintendo World, and still enjoy all of the spine-chilling fun the night has to offer, this is the option for you. Early Event Access is a new add-on to any Halloween Horror Night ticket. These limited-capacity add-on tickets will sell out quickly. Guests who purchase Early Event Access can experience select houses (about two or three) an hour and a half earlier than everyone else.

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - early access ticket entry

If you purchased your discount Halloween Horror Nights ticket through Undercover Tourist, you can still buy your pre-dated Early Event Access tickets through Universal Studios Hollywood’s website. This add-on option is a spooktacular way to save some green and still appreciate the event attractions to the fullest. Early Event Access houses/gates open at 5:30 p.m. Keep in mind that guests with this special add-on do not have daytime access to the rest of the park.

universal studios halloween horror nights for first timers - entrance

Arrive Early

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - hhn entrance

One of the best ways to maximize your time at HHN is to start early. By arriving when the event first opens, you'll have more time to explore all of the attractions, haunted houses and scare zones without having to navigate very large crowds or extremely long lines right away. Remember that you will still have to park your car, walk from the lot to the entrance and pass through the security checkpoint before even reaching the turnstile on the day of your visit, so getting there early will allow you to make the most of your time at the park. If you're inside the park by the time the event starts, you can enjoy the ghastly spectacle that is the Opening Scaremony — led by Halloween Harry, of course!

Never Go Alone!

While this tip may seem like a no-brainer, following it really makes all the difference during this horror experience. Even if you're totally comfortable with the thought of getting scared at every corner, you will still want to be able to enjoy the impressive set pieces and details in every attraction. Bringing a companion along with you will distribute the scares and allow you to get through the night in one piece! It’s also much easier to hold your place in a long line if attending with a group — especially in those situations where you need a restroom ASAP.

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - last of us house entrance


Prioritize Must-See Attractions and Houses

Leaping lily pads! Halloween Horror Nights are always brimming with new haunted attractions. And each year the lineup only gets longer and scarier! In addition to the park’s regular rides (some of which are open throughout the night), there are typically eight houses, five scare zones and spine-chilling entertainment to get around to. If you're using a general admission ticket or visiting on a weekend, the reality is that you might not get to see absolutely everything this eerie night has in store. We usually make a list (or park plan) of the attractions we are sure we don't want to miss in advance and we recommend you do the same. If specific haunted attractions or rides catch your eye, hit those first.

Keep in mind that Secret Life Of Pets, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Kung Fu Panda, the Studio Tour and Water World are typically closed for Halloween Horror Nights. Plan around these probable closures. This year, the Water World area is the site of the new stunt and water spectacular specifically for HHN, The Purge: Dangerous Waters.

Consider the Rules

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - bride of frankenstein photo op

There are many reasons to consider the rules of the event. Familiarizing yourself with what you can (or cannot) bring or do will guarantee you don't experience any setbacks during your adrenaline-packed night. Check out the guidelines and regulations for HHN at Universal Studios Hollywood before your visit. It’ll help you determine what you can wear, what you can bring to the park and what to expect during this event.

Being aware of the rules in advance can also help ease any nerves (especially for those who startle easily or get anxious in uncertain situations). Don’t froget — the scare actors should not be touched, and they are not allowed to touch you either! Knowing that ahead of time can bring a first-timer some much-needed relief.

Frogtunately, guests can pose with certain scare actors at designated locations in the park this year! These spots include Universal Plaza, Laemmle Courtyard (by Waterworld), the Psycho house during Terror Tram and the Hollywood sign photo op at the end of the tram.

universal studios halloween horror nights for first timers - themed drinks

Indulge in Spooky Snacks

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - hellfire pop

Haunted houses and scare zones aren’t the only treats of this event. Each year, there is a unique lineup of HHN menus for most restaurants in the park, including special cocktails and food offerings. Many tempting eats and beverages available in previous years are themed around specific haunted houses. Some of these tempting treats have included Jojo's Ice Cream, including the Killer Kone, Ruijing Popkorn Shake, and Acid Pie Shake — all from the "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" film. An assortment of Mexican dishes and frozen margaritas, including the Muerte Margarita aka the Death Margarita, were available at the Plaza de los Muertos area last year. There are sure to be wickedly yummy treats available for taste buds of all kinds at HHN this year too, so don’t froget to have a taste!

Step into the 80s with new experiences based on "Stranger Things 4." Visit Scoops Ahoy for some delicious ice cream, or Surfer Boy Pizza for a slice of fresh 'za. There are many more food options to choose from this year! Indulge in many offerings, including specialty beverages, at Dia De Los Muertos Plaza!

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - scoops ahoy eleven sundae and upside down shake

Hop on the Terror Tram

The popular Studio Tour transforms into a haunted attraction at night. The Terror Tram provides you with the opportunity to enjoy some decent scares, experience film sets up close and enjoy a short ride on the tram (to rest the flippers, of course. For this attraction, part of the studio backlot is transformed into a horror maze filled with costumes, set pieces and scare actors. You might even get a spooky tour guide narrating along the way — that is until you're forced to get off and walk!

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - tethered on terror tram

This year, guests can hop aboard Terror Tram... The Exterminatorz. Evade evil insects as you weave through the studio backlot! As you enter the second part of the Terror Tram experience, you'll walk through Jupiter's Claim from Jordan Peele's "Nope," and even encounter the tethered from his other film, "Us."


Catch Spine-Shivering Entertainment

Prepare yourself for some spooky live entertainment! There is typically a myriad of entertainment options during Halloween Horror Nights, offering edgy (but not scary) Halloween-themed shows and experiences. In the past, the Jabbawockeez, a globally renowned dance troupe, presented an impressive display of dance moves, special effects and hip-hop a few times per night. In the Wizarding World, you’ll spot the Death Eaters! This group of Voldemort’s most loyal followers roams Hogsmeade village during HHN.

A First-Timer's Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - megans dancing for blumhouse behind the screams

In, 2023, catch two brand-new entertainment experiences! In the Waterworld show area, guests can experience the stunt spectacular, The Purge: Dangerous Waters. You can also enjoy a cinematic horror walkthrough experience in Blumhouse: Behind the Screams.

Play it Cool!

The rule of thumb for any horror-focused event is to conceal your fear, but it especially applies to this one. If you startle easily or simply want to enjoy seeing others terrified, try to act as nonchalantly as possible at the event. Scare actors tend to target guests who look the most nervous, so putting on a brave face might just get them to back off a bit and allow you to enjoy your night.

Thinking of visiting these haunts? What are your tips for a first-timer at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: How to Maximize Time at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood

Related: Your Screamin' Guide to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2023

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
Leave a comment
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!