The heart-thumping highlight of the Halloween season is surviving the terrifying Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. The annual event that runs on select nights in the fall takes thousands of guests through movie set-quality haunted houses or mazes, scare zones and sometimes a Terror Tram (but not in 2019 — instead, there were two extra mazes near the Studio Tour area). Most Halloween Horror Nights event dates sell out and Universal Studios Hollywood isn't that large, so it does get crowded. Luckily, you've got us as your fearless froggy guides so that you can experience everything (and save some green) on this must-do event! We've been hopping to this event for many years and usually catch the first weekend of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood so that we can bring you everything you need to know. In 2019, we hopped over to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood for Fan Preview Night!
If you want to attend Hollywood Horror Nights 2020, be sure to buy your tickets early! In 2019, tickets for the event went on sale in June. And yes, we frogs sold discount tickets to the event (ribbit)! Event tickets, especially Universal Express tickets, disappear in a scary-fast way. With exciting mazes and scare zones, you definitely don't want to miss out!
We do not yet have 2020 dates, but we are sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for news as if we were watching a horror film! In the meantime, here's a look back at 2019 Hollywood Horror Nights.
When to Visit Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights started Sept. 13, 2019, and ran on select nights through early November. Generally, the earlier you go in the season, the lower the ticket price (the same goes for any dates after Halloween). Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights are the least expensive, and Saturdays tend to be the most expensive, followed by Fridays. Most of the days do sell out, but the least crowded nights tend to be Sundays and Thursdays.
Universal Studios has passes for multiple nights of terror. In 2019, you could choose from a September pass with up to 11 nights of terror, a Frequent Fear pass with up to 25 nights or even the Ultimate Fear Pass with up to 32 nights! Additionally, there was a Fan Preview Night on Sept. 12, 2019. There was an option to purchase Fan Preview admission plus a Frequent Fear Pass (up to 26 nights) as well!
New in 2019 were Throwback Thursdays! Need some motivation to visit on a "school night?" Guests could kick back old school to favorite hits of the 80s with live bands or DJ dance parties. This was the only night you could dress up in your best retro and horror-themed outfit.
Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2019 Dates:
September 12 (Fan Preview), 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
October 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30*, 31
November 1, 2, 3
In 2018 and 2019, later dates were added as the season was underway. So if you somehow miss out on tickets for 2020, keep checking back, because Universal could add more dates to the lineup!
For Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood tickets or HHN Universal Express passes, you'll need to purchase through us or from Universal Studios Hollywood. Tickets went on sale July 30, 2019, but some tickets were made available for presale in late June. The HHN Universal Express tickets can sell out scary-fast. Buy well in advance. Tickets purchased online allow for Early Entry at 5:15 p.m. (except for Fan Preview Night), with some Lower Lot mazes opening early at 5:30 p.m. These times shifted earlier as the season progressed, so if you thought you read that Early Entry started later way back in September, you are not possessed; the time toadally changed. Keep hopping back for updates throughout the fall season because we continually make updates based on Universal's changes. We definitely recommend entering during Early Entry to experience the shortest waits of the night. The actual event usually starts at 7:00 p.m.
Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights Ticket Prices
Halloween Horror Nights is a separate ticket from regular park admission. In 2019, general admission prices ranged from $67 to $102 (in 2019, purchasing from your favorite frogs could save you up to $39 off gate prices!). Universal Studios Hollywood also sells a Halloween Horror Nights Universal Express Pass (formerly called Front of Line Pass). Tickets for this pass ranged from $159 to $249 last year. The HHN Universal Express Pass is good for one-time Express access for each maze and ride. It includes priority seating for the Jabbawockeez live show.
New in 2019, when you went to purchase the Universal Express ticket, an option to upgrade to Universal Express Unlimited for an additional fee popped up! There was a Universal Express Unlimited ticket option on the main menu. That means you can have Unlimited Express access to each ride, maze and seated show.
Universal usually offers an After 2 p.m. Day/Night Combo ticket, which allows you to enter the park at 2 p.m. In 2019, these tickets ranged from $99 to $147 for general admission and $189 to $289 for Universal Express Pass After 2 p.m. This pass allows you to visit daytime attractions that will be closed during Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood. Since The Wizarding World, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Kung Fu Panda, Studio Tour and shows are typically closed for Halloween Horror Nights, the combo ticket might be of interest to you if you have not yet experienced these attractions. Yes, you do get one-time Universal Express access to all attractions during the day and once again at night for attractions that will be open then too. This ticket does not appear to have an Unlimited Universal Express option. There is usually a check-in point near the Box Office so you can get a wristband to stay in the park after it closes to the public.
2019 Tickets and Passes
Here's what was available for 2019 (Note: These are Universal prices. We are offering some of these ticket options at a hoppin' discount!):
- Fan Preview Night General Admission: $69
- Fan Preview Night Universal Express: $179
- General Admission: $67 to $102
- Universal Express: $150 to $249 (one-time access to each maze, ride and show)
- Universal Express Unlimited: $189 to $299 (unlimited access to each maze, ride and show)
- R.I.P. Tour: $279 to $409
- After 2 p.m. Day/Night: $99 to $147
- Universal Express After 2 p.m.: $189 to $289
- September Pass (up to 11 nights): $109
- Killer Deal Nights Pass (added later)
- Frequent Fear Pass (up to 26 nights): $179
- Fan Preview + Frequent Fear Pass (up to 26 nights): $199
- Ultimate Fear Pass (up to 33 nights): $299
Are you a Universal Studios Pass Member? Annual Pass Members can take advantage of Pass Member pricing for themselves and friends for some tickets. In 2019, there was an offer for Pass Members to buy a night, get a second night free! Platinum Annual Pass holders received a complimentary Hollywood Horror Nights ticket. To redeem, just take the ticket to any turnstile on specific dates (no reservation or ticket required). The 2019 dates were:
- September 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
- October 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 20, 24, 25, 27, 30, 31
- November 1, 2, 3
Note: If you are using the same pass as last year and redeemed a complimentary ticket in 2019, then then you are not eligible for this offer.
The Fan Preview Night was a new addition for 2019. It unleashed the horror earlier than the first day of the season.The Fan Preview Night included access to all 10 new mazes, scare zones and attractions, special themed photo-ops with scare actors, performances by Figure, Commemorative Fan Preview Night credential and a Jabbawockeez meet and greet. Specialty themed food, beverage and merchandise was available for purchase.
Universal Express and R.I.P. on Fan Preview Night also included a panel presentation with John Murdy and Chris Williams, the creators of Halloween Horror Nights, plus special guests Greg Nicotero, Eli Roth and Slash. (Slash has the perfect name for Halloween Horror Nights!) Universal Express tickets allowed one-time express access to each maze and attraction (plus priority seating for Jabbawockeez). Gates opened at 6:30 p.m. (which differed from Early Entry for all other nights) and the event began at 7:00 p.m. The event ended at 1:00 a.m. There was a red carpet premiere with special guests in Universal CityWalk. Crowds were smaller than usual!
The Frequent Fear Passes returned for 2019. You could come any night for the first night (with exceptions noted below), and then could visit multiple times on select dates. Here's a look at the Frequent Fear Passes for 2019:
The September Pass (excludes Sept. 12) allowed guests to visit up to 11 nights in September, including:
September 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
The Killer Deal Nights Pass appeared late in September and allowed guests to come up to 12 nights for just $99. The first visit was for a date selected upon purchase, and return visits were for:
- September 26, 29
- October 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 30
- November 3
The Frequent Fear Pass allowed guests to visit ANY event night the first time (except Sept. 12) and select nights for any return visits up to 26 visits. Return visits included:
- September 13,14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
- October 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 30, 31
- November 1, 2, 3
The Frequent Fear + Fan Preview included the above dates, plus Sept. 12.
The Ultimate Fear Pass was $299 (that's $50 less than 2018), and for that price, you could come 33 times, ANY night for your first visit and revisiting any event night.
For a killer experience, spring for the R.I.P. Tour. The 2019 R.I.P. Tour offered the following:
- Universal Express UNLIMITED access to all mazes and available rides
- Complimentary valet parking (one vehicle)
- Exclusive interactive themed photo ops
- Special tour of Universal Backlot
- Reserved VIP seating for Jabbawockeez
- Private VIP trolley transportation to Backlot mazes
- Themed buffet dinner at exclusive VIP Dining Room & Lounge
- Exclusive lounge area on Lower Lot for drinks and desserts during your tour
Each tour is usually made up of groups mixed together for up to 12 guests per tour.
Managing the Crowds & Touring Tips at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood
One of the most terrifying parts of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood is not getting to experience all of the mazes because of lines. Most Universal Halloween Horror Nights sell out. Save your terror for the mazes and cut the lines like Norman Bates' knife with a Halloween Horror Nights Front of the Line ticket. Be sure to buy in advance because Universal only offers a very limited number of Universal Express passes for each night, and they sell out as quickly as the Stranger Things kids flee from a pack of hungry Demogorgons.
In 2018, there were eight mazes and five scare zones. In 2019, there were 10 mazes and five scare zones! Be sure to pick up a map when you enter the turnstiles. The map will guide you to food, scare zones, mazes and shows.
In 2019, you could get a jumpstart on the fear … oops, we mean fun! The event usually begins at 7:00 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m., but you can usually arrive early at 5:15 p.m. for early admission to get your heart thumping even sooner with access to some of the most popular mazes. If you arrive early, you may be given a wristband so that you can stay in the park as it closes and other guests are ushered out.
Expect Early Entry mazes to be in the Backlot. Arriving early can save your night because you can visit several mazes before the event officially begins and then move onto the other mazes as other guests make their way down the escalators. There are a few pros and cons to early arrival.
- If you do not like scare zones or the dark, you can start your night much more gently.
- Experience short to no lines for at least an hour.
- You can get through more mazes and maybe even do a favorite maze twice.
- You can make it an earlier night.
- The scare zones are not open until 7 p.m.
- There is a less eerie/dramatic effect walking into the park.
- Two of the scare zones are on the walk from the Lower Lot to the Backlot, which means backtracking after 7 p.m. or waiting in the Backlot for the event to officially begin.
- You might miss the Opening Scaremony in the Upper Lot (they close that area for the people coming in by 6:30 p.m. and no amount of begging or pleading will get you in).
Having Universal Express means no stress. You can easily do it all in any order you want, even if you do not arrive early — although arriving early can mean doing some mazes twice. Just do not scan the Universal Express Pass the first time you go through, and then use the pass later when there is a line you want to skip. With Early Entry and Universal Express, you can hit all of the Early Entry mazes before 7:00 p.m. If you have R.I.P, then you have unlimited Universal Express access.
Universal no longer distributes lanyards for Universal Express. Instead, you have to pull the paper ticket (about the size of a credit card) out each time to have it scanned. Bring a lanyard with a clear plastic pouch to make your life toadally easier, or wear clothing with a secure pocket. Universal also sells lanyards. We bought lanyards this year and it was well worth it.
If you can’t get Universal Express and you miss Early Entry, save the year-round rides for after you have done your favorite mazes and scare zones (you can ride the rides any other day of the year). Skip the show unless you are a huge Jabbawockeez fan or are you tired at the end of the night and want to recharge.
The heart of Halloween Horror Nights is in the Lower Lot and Backlot, which has a not-so-short walk (with scare zones along the way) to the mazes in the Metropolitan Sets. There is alternate transportation for people who need it (behind the Jurassic Park area). A longer line does not always represent the quality of the maze or a must-see. A popular show can get a long line, but it doesn't mean it's the best maze. Sometimes we find that the mazes we are least excited about are among our favorites, and the ones we most look forward to are not at the top of our list. In 2019, we were pleasantly surprised by Killer Klownz from Outer Space and House of 1,000 Corpses (which had the shortest line of the night at only five minutes when we visited). But all mazes are usually pretty good. Try as many as you can and do not stress if you miss one.
Download the Universal Studios Hollywood app so that you can check wait times and showtimes. Select Halloween Horror Nights from the pull down menu to access the wait times. There are also displays throughout the park for status updates.
Complete everything you want to do while you are down in the Lower Lot and Backlot and then move back up after that. The special menu items are in those areas, so you might want to grab a bite while you are down there, as well. You don’t want to spend valuable time going up and down the four long escalators to and from the Lower Lot more than once in each direction.
Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Mazes and Entertainment
In 2019, there were 10 Halloween Horror Nights mazes, plus killer entertainment. Besides moving on to the next chapter of Stranger Things and The Walking Dead (which, while dead during the regular season, has been revived for HHN 2020), there were mostly all-new mazes in 2019. Here's a look at the 2019 mazes. Maybe some of them will return like a recurring nightmare that won't go away!
This was the most anticipated maze in 2018, and as fans of the Netflix show, it was on our must-do list. We were knocked “upside down” by the first maze reveal of 2019, which announced that the next two seasons of "Stranger Things" would be featured in 2019! The 2019 maze continued the story from 2018, following the story of Will Byers in season two. The maze also had a nod to season three.
This line can get scary long, so if you are not a "Stranger Things" fan, skip this maze for one with a shorter line. Sadly, we liked the 2018 maze more than the 2019 version, though there were some cool effects in the latest maze.
Holidaze in Hell
Were you the kind of kid who cried when placed on the lap of Santa or the Easter Bunny? Do you dread Valentine’s Day because you lack a significant other or find leprechauns from St. Patrick’s Day a little unnerving? Just wait until you face creepy Cupid, sinister leprechauns, a bloodthirsty Easter bunny, terrifying mutant turkeys and more in the holidays from Hell. This new maze mutated from a 2018 scare zone and exited into the Christmas in Hell scare zone.
You counted off to midnight and started out with New Year's, moving though the holidays. You may have recognized some creatures, such as creepy Cupid and evil leprechauns, each with their own section of maze.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
These two legendary monsters from the 1943 Universal Studios horror film of the same name teamed up to unleash a reign of terror like none we've seen before. The legendary duo broke out of the 2018 Universal Monsters maze to wreak havoc on this all-new maze in 2019. Guitarist Slash created the original score for 2018's Universal's Monsters maze, and he returned with cutting-edge music for "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man."
The Walking Dead
The Upper Lot maze is being laid to rest as of March 4, 2020. However, it's being resurrected for Horror Nights 2020.
The Curse of Pandora's Box
This maze was inspired by a story from Greek mythology. As you entered "Pandora's Cabinet of Curiosities," an old store that seems as if it belongs in a dark and dangerous back alley of Victorian London, you made your way through occultist artifacts, forbidden relics and a collection of evil encased in glass cabinets. Does curiosity get the best of you when you pass the giant, ornate box inlaid with human bones, adorned with the silhouette of a woman clasping her body with skeletal arms? The ornate box swung open and awakened a demonic voice whispering for you to "come inside." Be aware. Once Pandora's Box is open and the evil unleashed, it can never be closed again. We liked some of the glow effects and skeletons of this maze.
Who you gonna call when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man comes to terrorize your town? Ghostbusters! This metropolitan sets maze, based on the 1984 movie, offered a little comic relief (of course, balanced with a little more horror) into your night. Follow in the footsteps of the Ghostbusters and prepare to encounter paranormal creatures such as Slimer, Gozer the Gozerian and the cutest ghoul ever, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! We escaped this maze without getting covered in ectoplasm, although we did get a little wet.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Here's a surprising pie in the face. The Killer Klowns invaded Hollywood Horror Nights as a brand-new maze in 2019! There's a reason people are afraid of clowns, and perhaps the late-1980s cult classic about evil aliens who resemble circus clowns doesn't help. The science-fiction/horror/comedy film that inspired the maze has a clan of clown-like aliens who invade earth to capture, kill and consume people. These diabolical Klowns lured you into their maze under the big top with the sweet scents of fairground food, but watch out! You're the treat! Try not to end up ensnared in one of their cotton candy cocoons. This colorful maze was a fun diversion from other mazes. Watch out for those trickster Klowns and their squirting water.
There are things in the corners of this world that will drive you insane. Flip through the pages of a comic book to bring five frightening fables to life. These stories took horror fans back to the 1982 film and introduced a new generation of fans to the "Shudder" anthology series premiering fall 2019. The five fables included:
- Father’s Day: Years ago, the cruel patriarch of a wealthy family was murdered by his daughter on Father’s Day. Now, his maggot-infested corpse has risen from the grave to take revenge on his inheritors … and finally slice his Father’s Day cake.
- The Crate: An unsuspecting janitor encounters a crate under the stairs of a college. The crate contains a ravenous beast who's just woken up from hibernating for over a hundred years.
- They’re Creeping Up on You: An eccentric billionaire lives in a sealed “germ proof” penthouse apartment, but he still has a bug problem. When his power goes out in a blackout, his problem is about to get a whole lot worse.
- Gray Matter: This fable will have you rethinking your beverage choices after an alcoholic ingests a strange mutagen after drinking cheap beer. An alien fungus takes over his apartment and body … creating an insatiable hunger that can’t be satiated by his favorite drink.
- Bad Wolf Down: This fable sends you back to WWII. Surviving members of an American army platoon in the North of France hole up in a jail as the German army approaches under the full moon. The Germans are in for a howling surprise when they discover the men are ravenously hungry ... and they're all werewolves.
This maze definitely had some creepy parts!
Jordan Peele's "Us"
This maze followed Jordan Peele's psychological thriller, "Us." In the beautiful beachside town of Santa Cruz, Calif., there is a boardwalk with an amusement park. A young girl, Adelaide Wilson, has a traumatic experience in a hall of mirrors when she encounters a little girl exactly like her. This is no reflection, but a "Tethered" being who is tied to her existence. The traumatic experience affects the rest of her life. Now, as an adult, she revisits the town on vacation with her husband and kids, but she can't shake the creepy feeling that something terrible is about to happen. She can't begin to imagine the horrors that are about to be unleashed when the Tethered come forth from their underground labyrinths in a planned uprising to murder and take over their counterparts' lives. You may never look at scissors the same way again. For this maze, you'll enter the Vision Quest fun house of mirrors and so much more. Expect to startle yourself when you encounter your own doppelgänger.
House of 1,000 Corpses
You are about to enter a world of darkness, where life and death are meaningless. This is the world of Rob Zombie's Horror Masterpiece, "House of 1,000 Corpses." If you dared to enter Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen, you may have found the roadside attraction to be a bit too realistic when you encountered some real serial killers and the sadistic, psycho-killer Firefly family (known for torturing and mutilating a group of traveling teenagers in the 2003 movie). Perhaps you thought this maze was gone after the 2010 Hollywood Horror Nights, but like a recurring nightmare, it came back in 2019. We loved this maze and were surprised by its short line later in the night.
Exclusively on Thursday nights, you could dance with somebody to toadally awesome hits from the 80s in between running from monsters. The party was hosted by a live band or DJ. With inspiring mazes from the 80s, such as Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns, Stranger Things and Creepshow, it was bound to be a "Thriller" night (and no one's gonna save you from the beast about to strike). You could dress in theme on Thursdays with your best 80s- and horror-themed outfits. This experience was new for 2019. Stay tuned to see if it re-emerges or even mutates for 2020.
The Jabbawockeez returned for this high-energy live stage show set to music in 2019. The Jabbawockeez deliver gravity-defying choreography as well as special effects and humor. We think this is one you can skip, or save it until the end after you have gotten in your must-see mazes. Do not see the first show (unless you have Universal Express) because you need to use that valuable time to hit the mazes.
Scare Zones at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood
We frogs jump (even higher than usual) in terror at Halloween Horror Nights — usually when we least expect it in a scare zone. Universal had five scare zones in 2019, each one more terrifying than the next. Be prepared for the unexpected ghoul to emerge from the darkness.
Here's a look at 2019's scare zones:
The first scare zone of the night started out near the entrance in the Upper Lot. Creepy crypts and statues were just the beginning of the terrors that awaited you. Restless ghouls and escaped skeletons terrorized you, as well as the wraith and the Angel of Death. This scare zone blended into the next one. We particularly loved some of the stilt-walker scare actors.
Spirits and Demons of the East
Fallen Angelz eased you quite nicely into the Spirits and Demons of the East. Rumor has it that stolen sacred antiquities from the Far East have arrived, and they didn't come alone. Angry spirits accompany them and are roaming New York Street, looking for vengeance. They do not care that you didn't steal the relics. They are coming after you. Oh, and just to make it fun, these powerful demons may be disguised as anything — even innocent school children! These first two scare zones tended to bleed into each other's territory.
Christmas in Hell
As you exited the Upper Lot Holidayz in Hell maze and thought you could breathe a sigh of relief, you may have noticed that Christmas trees were blocking your exit. What the ... ? Oh no! The terror continued straight into the Christmas in Hell scare zone. It's not all sugarplum fairies and happy elves here. Beware the giant nutcracker looking for a skull to crack or Jack Frost (please say he won't be nipping that night) and the Winter Witch. Watch out for the cranky New Year's Baby. This cast of characters was not the stuff of bedtime stories (unless you are looking for nightmares).
If chemical warfare is your worst nightmare, then this zone was for you. This terrifying walk from Lower Lot to the Metro sets (and back) returned in 2019, but with a twist. The warped and demonic members of a custom car club are hellbent on keeping you from getting through. Can you brave the Toxxxic Tunnel? Twice? Do you really have a choice?
Note that if you needed alternate transport from the Lower Lot to the Backlot, you could escape this scare zone and the weapon-wielding mutants.
All Hallow's Evil
As you approached the mazes in the Metropolitan sets, you were forced to face the souls of the dead. You see, Halloween is not the only holiday this time of the year. There are many cultural festivals such as the Celtic Hop-tu-Naa, which also falls on October 31. All Saints' Day, All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos all share the season with the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain. Samhain celebrates the transition from the end of the harvest season into the darker months ... darker being the key word here.
The souls of the dead are thought to return home this night, welcomed with costumes and bonfires. Are the costumes there for protection from these beings? You can be the judge of that. Oops! One problem. Halloween Horror Nights guests cannot wear costumes. Well, good luck with that. If you made it through the scare zone, you were rewarded with several terrifying mazes.
Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Opening Scaremony
If you are in the Upper Lot just before 7 p.m., be sure to catch the Opening “Scaremony,” when Universal releases the monsters and you find yourself immersed in your first terrifying scare zone of the night. You must be in place before 6:30 p.m. or you won't get in. The downside to accessing Early Entry may mean missing the Opening Scaremony, but the benefits of getting the mazes done and being ahead of the masses outweigh the downside in our humble opinions. It's really hard to see anything unless you are up close, but once Universal unleashes the monsters, they'll crawl through the crowds to find you.
Terror Tram at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood
In years past, the tram that takes guests on a daytime Studio Tour of the Backlot turned into a Terror Tram at night, transporting guests to scenes of unspeakable horror as they wandered the Backlot past the Bates Motel, Psycho House and airplane crash site from "War of the Worlds." There was no Terror Tram in 2019 and we do not know if it will return in 2020. Instead, there were two more mazes in 2019.
Check back next summer to see if the Terror Tram returns from the dead for Universal Horror Nights 2020. Perhaps it's been slashed like so many who have wandered those haunted paths before. The regular Studio Tour is not operating during Hollywood Horror Nights hours.
Rides Open During Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2020
Some of the regular rides dare to operate during Halloween Horror Nights. If you need to escape from the mazes, get your thrills on Transformers 3-D, Revenge of the Mummy, Jurassic World or The Simpsons Ride. As mentioned above, the normal Studio Tour will not be running. Regular shows, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem are closed. Even if you use the 5:15 Early Entry and the Wizarding World is still open, they will not let you in. The wristband that lets you stay in the park will keep you out of the Wizarding World, and team members will send you down to the Lower Lot. Guests with an After 2 p.m. Day/Night combo ticket can access the Wizarding World while the park is still open.
Treats to Die for at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2020
There are some devilish delights in store for you. In 2019, your frog squad could share a giant doughnut, including a cotton candy doughnut inspired by the Killer Klowns. If you were dangerously dehydrated, you might have needed the souvenir sipper with free refills all night. If you are filled with a zombie-like hunger while in the Backlot, there are always snacks to die for a Killer Snacks and Tricks & Treats. In 2019, there were candy apples, Slimer cupcakes, pretzels, popcorn with green "slime" (it's just green salt) and more. The cart at the Tram loading area sold candy apples and mini doughnuts.
For a meal in 2019, you could grab food from Halloween Horror Bites. Choices included loaded mac 'n' cheese, Nashville hot bites with tater tots, Slimer's dirty water dog with green cheese sauce, Zuul's egg sandwich, cherry cola corn dog or the monster chili cheese dog. It was monstrous, which explains the $24.99 price! You needed to share it with the whole family!
Two themed pop-up shops opened in the Lower Lot — the Starcourt Mall and Scoops Ahoy. Both were from the third season of "Stranger Things." You could choose the Upside Down Burger, Benny's Burger, a Demo-Dog, the 23-inch Monster Chili Cheese Dog and Demogorgon’s Totcho — tater tots, spicy queso, chili, FLAMIN’ Hot Cheetos, sour cream and scallions. At Scoops Ahoy, the theme-tastic choices included Eleven's Waffle Sundae and the Mind Flayer's Shake.
There are usually several restaurants open around the Lower and Upper Lots. The alcoholic drinks purchased in the Backlot must stay in the Backlot. You can purchase beer at Duff’s Brewery Beer Garden or find food at:
- Hollywood and Dine
- Plaza Grill
- Starbucks Upper Lot
- Mel's Diner
- Krusty Burger
- Cletus Chicken Shack
- Luigi's Pizza
- Moe's Tavern
- Lard Lad's Donut
- Panda Express
- Jurassic Cafe
- 2019 Studio Scoop (pop-up Scoops Ahoy)
- 2019 Pop-up Starcourt Mall Food Court (Lower Lot)
- 2019 Pop-up Halloween Horror Bites (Backlot)
- 2019 Pop-up Dia de los Muertos Bar (Metro set)
- Many snack locations throughout the park
Some Universal CityWalk restaurants offer discounts before you enter HHN (remember, no re-entry for Horror Nights).
Follow the Rules or Beware
Keep in mind that no masks or costumes allowed (although we did see leniency with some Harry Potter robes)! No horseplay or items that resemble weapons are allowed. We saw a lot of Scoops Ahoy sailor hats and maze-related T-shirts.
in 2019, guests could wear themed outfits for Throwback Thursdays only. Here are the rules for themed attire:
- No masks, facial coverings, fully painted faces, veils, long trains, live animals (with the exception of service animals), full body costumes or outfits are permitted.
- No weapons of any kind are permitted. Any item that resembles a weapon or is manufactured in the shape of a weapon will not be permitted.
- Guests must be fully clothed at all times (e.g., shirts, pants/shorts, and shoes must be worn at all times).
- Themed outfits must not contain any offensive material (e.g., language, gore, intimate content).
- Themed outfits cannot exceed 25 inches wide by 80 inches high to meet Universal Studio Hollywood’s metal detection regulations. Outfits are subject to secondary x-ray screenings.
- Universal Studios Hollywood will have sole discretion to decide whether an item is permissible. Guests with any item deemed inappropriate may be refused entry into the event unless the outfit is modified to meet the guidelines.
- If a guest is spotted in a themed outfit that is not deemed permissible, he or she will be asked to either remove the outfit and change into something more appropriate or exit the park.
- Guests in themed outfits may not give the impression that they are Universal Studios Hollywood Team Members.
- To ensure guests’ safety, some themed outfits may not be permitted on certain attractions.
- As guests enter or exit the park, they may walk through CityWalk in their themed outfit with no masks or facial coverings, but not enter or linger in that area in their outfit.
- Universal Studios Hollywood’s staff reserve the right to request that a guest remove any type of facial covering for identification purposes.
You may not record, take flash photos, or bring laser pens, food and drink into the mazes. You cannot bring food or drink (not even water, but you can bring an empty water bottle) or gum into the park. In 2019, you could buy alcohol in Springfield USA and at other locations. Do not touch or harm the actors or jump the lines unless you want to be sent out of the park in a body bag without your ticket. There is no re-entry for any reason, so bring everything with you. Dress in layers. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll find that there is a lot of walking — our devices measured 13,000 steps! You may bring an umbrella if the forecast calls for rain. There are no refunds.
If someone in your party uses a wheelchair, most standard wheelchairs and Electronic Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) can go through the mazes. Ask an attendant if you need assistance. Any guests who use Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) should know that you will go to a designated location to pick up the AAP. The night we visited, the location was by the Kung Fu Panda theatre. Some guests we spoke with waited an hour and a half just to get the pass because the line was so long! Arrive early and take care of it as soon as you can. Then you may receive return times for the mazes.
Be sure to stay hydrated — all of that screaming can dry you out like a mummy! Speaking of mummies, leave your little mummies home for this terrifying event, which is recommended for very brave 13 year olds and up. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Of course, we did come across the cutest Ghostbuster who was brave enough to visit the maze for his most-favorite movie. You know your kids, so use your best judgment. If horror movies are their jam, then they may be able to handle it. The teenage years are a good time to visit for most kids.
Follow these rules and tips, and you will survive the Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Most of all, have fun!
Be sure to hop back throughout the 2020 season for updates and more photos!
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