Just like your recurring nightmare, Halloween Horror Nights returns year after year to haunt Universal Studios Florida. To get you ready for the nation's premier scare event, we bring you everything we know about Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights. From the terror-filled haunted houses to the sinister scare zones, learn what you should expect and how to navigate this popular event! Already itching to hop back into the fog next year? Well, do we have a Halloween surprise for you! Universal has already announced that an all-new haunted house inspired by the USA & SYFY hit series, "Chucky", will be coming to HHN32. We can't wait to play with our favorite killer doll!
Overview of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando
Halloween Horror Nights 31 is officially underway at Universal Studios Florida! Evocative of its anniversary, this year's event celebrates all things All Hallows' Eve — from the legend of the very first Halloween to the modern tradition of trick-or-treating and everything eerie in between. The Pumpkin Lord welcomes you to his dastardly domain. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights. But first, a word of warning: Halloween Horror Nights is an intense event not suitable for all ages — and this post may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Dates and Tickets
The event runs select nights from September through November at Universal Studios Florida. In 2022, Halloween Horror Nights kicked off Sept. 2 and will run until Oct. 31. For the first time this year, the event now runs from 6:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. every Wednesday to Sunday (except Sept. 14) and on Halloween night! While all nights are popular, the crowds generally increase as it gets closer to Halloween. Though this year, considering the event returns to "normal" for the first time since 2019, coupled with the general trend of increased travel in 2022, we expect a busier than normal season.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2022 Dates
It's important to note that Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event. You can now get discounted single-night tickets through us frogs! And two ADDITIONAL dates have been added to the lineup to maximize the season's scares — Tuesday, Oct. 11 and Monday, Oct. 24.
SAVE UP TO $69
Discount Halloween Horror Nights tickets are on sale now!
An HHN ticket will not get you into the theme parks during regular hours. No need to worry, though! We also offer discount tickets for Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure or Universal's Volcano Bay if you want to visit during the day. Universal Studios Florida generally closes at 5 p.m. for those not staying for the event (though Universal's Islands of Adventure will maintain its normal closing time if you have a park-to-park ticket and would like to hop). You'll also need regular park admission if you want to take advantage of Halloween Horror Nights early entry (more on this below). And don't froget, you can book your discount hotel through us, too! If you can't get enough screams in one night, there are multi-night tickets now available directly through Universal Orlando. Additionally, Universal directly sells HHN Express Passes, R.I.P. Tours, Behind-the-Screams Tours, Scream Early tickets and a scare actor dining experience — all of which are currently available.
Best Dates to Attend
Unlike many other fall theme park events that generally bring in families for one night, Halloween Horror Nights Orlando scares up a good portion of guests, especially locals, who attend multiple nights throughout the season to experience the fear over and over. The nature of the event and the number of locals have a significant impact on crowds. Saturdays are the busiest nights, with Friday nights not too far behind them. The very best nights to attend as far as crowds go are Wednesdays. It is nearly impossible to see everything in one night without upgrading your experience (which we'll get into later). Still, picking the best night to attend, as well as following our tips below, will help you see and do as much as you can.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Special Experiences
For the past couple of HHN events, Universal Orlando Resort hotel guests have had access to limited themed experiences at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This year, Universal's dastardly monsters are taking over. Guests staying at any of Universal Orlando's eight hotels can pose for photos with The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy at "Universal Monsters: Gallery of Legends," an immersive themed experience honoring these icons of the silver scream. Additionally, the hotel's Swizzle Lounge has gotten a spooky makeover. Just walk right up to the bar and take your pick of one of the creepy specialty cocktails. These experiences will be available to hotel guests from Sept. 2 to Oct. 31, 2022.
Those looking for an enhanced Halloween Horror Nights experience might consider one or two scary good add-ons which take you through the gauntlet of ghastly creatures and a multitude of menacing maniacs. The R.I.P. Tour is a guided experience that grants V.I.P. access to everything Halloween Horror Nights has to offer. The tour includes one-time entry to all of the houses, reserved seating at select shows, Universal Express Unlimited ride access at all participating rides and attractions for the date of your tour, a pre-tour reception in Cafe La Bamba, access to exclusive cash bar locations, complimentary valet parking and a commemorative tour credential, lanyard and pin.
There's also a Private R.I.P Tour option which grants you and up to nine other frogs all the same perks as the regular R.I.P Tour, plus UNLIMITED priority V.I.P. entry to all the houses, a customizable itinerary and a My Universal Photos 3-Day photo package.
The Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour gives guests a unique, lights-on look into the Art & Design team’s process as they transform our deepest fears into haunted houses. Guests can choose from Behind the Screams: 3-House Unmasking the Horror Tour (two and a half hours, morning or afternoon) or a Behind the Screams: 6-House Unmasking the Horror Tour (four to five hours). The tours give you the chance to see houses with the lights on and a chance to photograph every gory detail of select rooms in select houses.
The scare actor dining experience is back this year! The buffet meal includes a photo opportunity with a scare actor and one digital download of one photo taken during the experience. Guests should arrive at Louie's Italian Restaurant 15 minutes early prior to the scheduled seating time printed on the back of their ticket.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Park Plan
The biggest draw of the event each year is the haunted houses. It takes months to construct these movie set-quality houses, and each one has a different theme. We probably don't have to tell you that lines can get very long for this event! If you want to make the most of your evening, you need to decide what is important to you. Do you want to just focus on houses? Would you like to see a few houses and a show? Would you just like to ride attractions since the wait times for them will be low? Since the houses are what most people come for — and see the highest waits! — they are our first priority.
We recommend getting to the park at least 45 minutes ahead of the official opening at 6:30 p.m. to make the most of your time. Typically, Universal opens the gates earlier than the official starting time. (If you're staying at one of the Universal Orlando Resort properties — Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal's Aventura Hotel or Universal's Endless Summer — take advantage of the priority entrance gate until 8 p.m. to get in more quickly.) In our experience, the gates begin to open for guests between 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. On opening night, the gates opened at 5:55 p.m.
On opening night, Universal Monsters: Legends Collide hit its highest wait time of 100 minutes very early on at 6:50 p.m. whereas Bugs: Eaten Alive hit its highest wait time of 100 minutes fairly late at 11:20 p.m. The wait for Hellblock Horror never went over 50 minutes all night. Descendants of Destruction had low wait times at the beginning and end of the night and only sharply spiked to 90 minutes at around 7:10 p.m. Bugs: Eaten Alive, Dead Man's Pier: Winter's Wake, Fiesta de Chupacabras and Spirits of the Coven had their lowest wait times at the beginning of the night, whereas Hellblock Horror, Halloween and The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare all had their lowest wait times at the end of the night (the latter two of which only went under 45 minutes during the last hour of the night). The Weeknd, Halloween and The Horrors of Blumhouse all seemed to be the houses that people with early entry rushed to, but The Horrors of Blumhouse did hit a lull after the crowd exited at around 6:15 p.m.
The very best way to do more at the event is to take advantage of Halloween Horror Nights Early Entry, also known as Stay and Scream. One way to do this is by having regular park admission and a Halloween Horror Nights ticket. If you're spending all day in the parks anyway, taking advantage of this option is a no-brainer! Another way is by purchasing a Scream Early ticket which will allow you to enter Universal Studios from 3 to 5 p.m. We've written a full post on how Halloween Horror Nights Early Entry works. This year, we got the most popular house of the event done before the official opening time!
Because of the number of houses and the popularity of the event, it is nearly impossible to see them all in one night. We recommend choosing four or five must-do houses and getting those in first. Then, see if you have any time left after you’ve checked them off the list. Those who are staying in the park or arriving ahead of the official opening could do five, six or perhaps even more houses. We have been able to get all 10 houses done by utilizing Stay and Scream and being very strategic with our night — getting the bulk of the houses done during both the early entry period and the last two hours of the event, while taking the middle of the night when wait times are highest to get on rides and see shows.
If you want to experience everything, not have to worry about waiting in long lines, be a little more lax with your night and even get the opportunity to go through a few houses a second time, either plan on visiting Halloween Horror Nights multiple nights, opt for a R.I.P. Tour (only sold through Universal) or purchase a Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass (only sold through Universal).
We cannot overstate how invaluable Express is. Using Express, our longest wait time all night was only 17 minutes for Halloween which had a posted wait time of 85 minutes and our shortest wait time was 7 minutes for Spirits of the Coven which had a posted wait time of 25 minutes. The most impressive use of the pass during the night was for The Horrors of Blumhouse which we only waited 9 minutes for while the posted wait time was 100 minutes. By saving our Express passes at the beginning of the night when wait times were still short, we were able to go back through Universal Monsters: Legends Collide with Express at the end of the night and only waited 10 minutes while the posted wait time was 25 minutes. In the last half hour of the night when Team Members eliminated the Express queues, we were also able to walk right into both Descendants of Destruction and Bugs: Eaten Alive!
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Haunted Houses
From ginormous insects to ghostly fishermen and horror's biggest monsters to music's biggest superstar, beware. Danger lurks around every corner.
Spirits of the Coven
You've traveled back in time to the Roaring '20s and have fallen under the spell of an alluring troupe of flappers. Little did you know that these bewitching women are actually a coven of wicked witches. Watch in horror as they unveil their true haggish form and beg for mercy as they cast a dark curse in this spirited speakeasy.
Enter the Salem Meatpacking District where something sinister is brewing. This house starts out super fun with upbeat jazz music playing in a swingin' speakeasy. Suddenly, things take a turn for the wicked as the witches shed their glamorous facades and your only goal is to avoid fermentation.
Bugs: Eaten Alive
"Why, it's just the bee's knees!" You've been invited to tour a 1950s home of the future but what seems like a utopian paradigm quickly turns into a living nightmare when an infestation of insects moves in. Surrounded by slime and covered in creepy crawlers, being bitten is the least of your worries. Prepare for imminent extermination.
Living up to its name, this house is crawling with insects of all shapes and sizes (literally). Described by many as this year's "comedy house," the concept is wildly creative as Bzzzcon Industries' Extermin-Air demonstration goes bad in the worst way possible. Be warned: this house is not for the trypophobic.
Fiesta de Chupacabras
Behold the legend of the chupacabra — a vicious creature from Latin American folklore that appears when the moon rises and feasts on the blood of any animal that dares cross its path. What starts as a colorful celebration turns into a brutal bloodbath as these thirsty monsters set their sights on you and your amigos.
This might just be as gory as it gets. Masked villagers hunt you down to feed you to the hungry monsters of the night. The masks are gorgeously crafted as are the many chupacabra puppets — whose bark might just be as bad as their bite. Soak in the smell of raw meat and roasting flesh. Tener cuidado, brave traveler.
This is no ordinary penitentiary. The inmates here are the worst of the worst — monsters who have no concept of the word mercy. Enter with caution because if these creatures escape their captivity, every hallway becomes a mess hall. And you're on the menu.
A high-security prison escape is bad. It's infinitely worse when the prisoners are bloodthirsty monsters. Long-time Halloween Horror Nights fans will definitely recognize a few of the creatures in here. Be prepared for a dark hallway, disorienting fog and some striking strobe effects near the end.
Dead Man's Pier: Winter's Wake
A quiet and quaint New England fishing village like this is usually ripe with ghost stories. Do you have what it takes to survive one? Fishermen swallowed by the waves have washed ashore and are eager to seek their revenge. Hide from their hooks and navigate their nets. They'll stop at nothing to secure their live human bait.
This house is easily our favorite of the year as it features one of the most stunning set designs we've ever seen at HHN. Your journey takes you from an abandoned seaside village to a ghostly fishing vessel lost to time and the way each scene flows to the next is beautifully innovative. I don't want to spoil a lot but there's a moment with a violinist that is utterly breathtaking. If you want to see the house in all its ghostly glory, check out our walk-through below:
Descendants of Destruction
Deep inside the dark and deserted tunnels of New York's subway system reside hordes of hungry mutants. Against your better judgment, you descend into their feeding ground. Don't count on the trains for a quick escape. They haven't been in operation for quite some time.
Another house with a particularly notable set design — especially the dilapidated subway station facade and the train that feels just as claustrophobic as the ones in New York City. This post-apocalyptic nightmare is truly terrifying and just gets more dark and more devious as you make your way through the tunnels.
The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare
Prepare for "blinding lights," slashers, bandaged maniacs and terrifying toad-like creatures as you enter the nightmarish world of The Weeknd. His album "After Hours" and the visuals from accompanying music videos will be reimagined into this haunted house. You'll first enter the Nightmare Extraction, where you'll see a lifelike figure of The Weeknd strapped into a chair with a headset, with the grotesque images from his mind being pulled out of his head and flashing onto monitors all around — only to face all of those horrors throughout the rest of the house.
Set to some of The Weeknd's most beloved songs, this house is one humongous music video — and you're the star. From a masquerade gone mad to a disorienting mirror maze (yes, that one) and even a terrifying train that comes inches from making you roadkill, the pop star takes you under the knife and doesn't hold back. (Beware: this house is heavy on the strobe lights.)
The Horrors of Blumhouse
Inspired by the new supernatural thriller, "The Black Phone," and horror-comedy, "Freaky," you'll need to outrun TWO serial killers: The Grabber, a demented magician, and The Butcher, who has switched bodies with a teenage girl. Escape The Grabber's "fun" house where ghostly whispers try to help you escape, and watch out for The Butcher, who is on the hunt for her next victim.
This house is basically two separate houses — however, each section takes you almost scene-by-scene through each frightening film. First, enter Blissfield where The Butcher is out for blood and has all kinds of tricks up his red leather sleeves. Then, enter 1978 Denver where you're taken by The Grabber and that unsettling phone on the wall is your only chance of escape. We think this house, specifically "The Black Phone" half, was the scariest of the night.
If there's one thing we know about Michael Myers ... it's that he always comes back. Based on John Carpenter's 1978 slasher classic, frogs will wander through this maze which will take you through The Shape's dilapidated home as you relive iconic moments from the film. Beware, because this knife-wielding maniac will stop at nothing to get his long-awaited revenge. Do you have what it takes to survive an encounter with the "embodiment of pure evil"?
Are you prepared to relive the night he came home ... ? This house starts with Michael's childhood when he brutally murdered his sister and then jumps forward in time where you're caught in a cat-and-mouse game between the killer and the brave Laurie Strode. Hiding in every single corner and ultimately surrounding you on all sides, there's no escape from The Shape.
Universal Monsters: Legends Collide
Universal dived back into the world of its beloved creepy creatures with "Universal Monsters: Legends Collide." Travel back to the 19th century in this all-new and original maze where you'll come face-to-fangs with three horror icons of the silver screen: Dracula, The Wolf Man and The Mummy. The full moon is rising and this triple threat of terror are looking for The Amulet of Ra, a powerful artifact that could not only lift The Wolf Man of his curse ... but also help The Mummy and Dracula to rule mankind. Watch out because all three monsters have been pitted against each other on a bloody collision course of chaos — and you're about to be caught in the crossfire.
If you love Revenge of the Mummy, you'll love this house. The Egyptian tomb where it's set is absolutely gorgeous. Listen closely in the queue as you'll hear how The Wolf Man has located the amulet. Every night, a new monster is the winner of this battle, and on opening night, The Mummy came out on top.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Scare Zones
Second to the houses, but central to the terror, are the street experiences, more commonly referred to as "scare zones." The scare zones are in various open areas of the park with their own sets, sounds and, yes, even scents. Expect to be terrified and harassed by creatures of the night. These scare actors come out of nowhere and have no illusions about respecting your personal space (although they are not allowed to touch you, and you are not allowed to touch them)!
Horrors of Halloween
The fog may not be the only thing you get a whiff of walking into Production Central. Terror has taken root at Halloween Horror Nights as the malevolent Pumpkin Lord makes his welcomed return. Navigate the vines and pay your respects to His Gourdliness. (Say hi to Li'l Boo for us!)
An epic entrance to the event, The Pumpkin Lord welcomes you to his kingdom. While this scare zone is fairly small, one of our favorite details is that if you look closely enough, you'll find elements of all the other scare zones hidden in the vines. It also has a killer soundtrack that definitely sets the rockin' and epic mood for the night.
Scarecrow: Cursed Soil
Something is being reaped in Central Park and it isn't the harvest. Sinister scarecrows have awakened at this abandoned farm and are dying to seek their long-awaited revenge. Can you outrun their sickles and scythes?
This scare might be the best use of the Central Park space that we've ever seen at this event. Almost like a mini house, the abandoned barn you walk through to get from Hollywood to Springfield isn't so abandoned after all. The scarecrow sentinels made of pig heads, rotting pumpkins and even mutated stalks of corn are all looking to hunt you down.
Major Sweets has set up shop in the streets of New York. Unfortunately, a sugar rush isn't the only thing his customers suffer from. His cursed confectionery has turned innocent children into crazed killers. Your parents did warn you that candy's bad for you ... right?
New York always kills it with their scare zones and this one is no different. From the corrupted kids in costume to the scared citizens begging for help, it's impossible not to get snuck up on here. The standouts of this zone are the massive Halloween parade floats — on one of which we saw Major Sweets get to the key to the city ... before brutally murdering the mayor.
Graveyard: Deadly Unrest
The glamorous streets of Hollywood are now home to Nettlewoods Cemetery, a moss-covered resting place where loved ones come to mourn. However, on Halloween night, a dark storm arrives and awakens long-dead spirits. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, friends; it tolls for thee.
Beautifully lit and wonderfully eerie, this scare zone has everything from restless spirits to living statues and even the reaper himself. While this zone is delightfully spooky all night, we recommend hitting it up once the sun sets to get the full effect. Just don't get too close to the crypts ...
Conjure the Dark
On the very first All Hallow's Eve, a wicked sorceress summoned unearthly creatures from a dark dimension. You'll find these menacing monsters lurking on the streets of San Francisco, all of whom have an insatiable appetite for human blood.
Another scare zone with an amazing soundtrack from heavy metal to beautifully ethereal, this zone shines with its gnarly and gruesome creature design. We also loved watching the wicked sorceress cast her evil spell and unleash her loyal minions onto the streets. Do not make these demons angry. They won't hesitate to strike.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Entertainment
Every year, Universal produces two spectacular shows which are perfect places to take a break from the terror. One takes place at the lagoon and is a thrilling combination of projections, water and music and the other takes place on the former Fear Factor Live stage. Here's a look at the eerie entertainment that graces this year's event:
Ghoulish! A Halloween Tale
Gather 'round the lagoon for a ghost story you won't ever froget. This sinister new show brings spirits to life with wicked water, petrifying projections and menacing music.
This show was such a fun break mid-way through our night. The visuals are wonderfully spooky and the music selection is fantastic — especially the ragtime version of Rihanna's "Disturbia" and an eerie version of "Blinding Lights" (which makes sense when the show is formatted as a visual version of a phonograph record). What starts funny and kooky, though, all of a sudden turns dastardly and dark. This is one vinyl we can't wait to replay over and over again.
Halloween Nightmare Fuel Wildfire
A fiery new show ignited Halloween Horror Nights 30, featuring nocturnal creatures, aerialists of the night and frightful fire performers. Set to pulse-pounding rock, metal and electronica music, this epic performance was loud enough to drown out the screams. We're so hoppy it's returned this year with a new nightmare, more red-hot than ever!
While the story is very similar to last year's version of the show with a man trying to escape his worst nightmares (still with the same mind-blowing magic tricks), this year's version sets the stage ablaze from start to finish and is a roarin' good time with songs such as "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" or "Ready or Not."
Rides Open During Halloween Horror Nights Orlando
While most of the focus of the night is on horror, some of the rides are open too. Waits are very low during this time, so it's a great way to experience them if you don't care as much about the houses. (Note that the regular Express Pass does not work during Halloween Horror Nights — if you want to skip the ride lines during the event, you'll need an HHN Express Pass.)
These are the rides that are remaining open during Halloween Horror Nights 31:
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (type code 666 for a playful surprise)
- Men in Black Alien Attack
- Revenge of the Mummy (now in technical rehearsals!)
Note: The rides do close up to two hours before the event officially ends so ride them early if you want to get on them.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Food and Merchandise
Munch on the iconic Pizza Fries (crinkle-cut fries topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and sausage) or its sister snack — the S'mores Fries (sweet potato fries, marshmallow, chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs), both located in Kid Zone, as well as the famous Twisted Tater.
As always, many of the houses and iconic HHN characters even have their own dedicated food kiosk. Look for traditional Mexican favorites with a deadly twist, such as the Tamales de Los MuertosRoasted Sweet Potato & Mushroom Street Tacos, at the Dia de Los Muertos booth. Chow down on returning favorites such as the No "Chance" in Hell PB&JTombstone Red Velvet Cake Pop
What about alcoholic beverages, you ask? Well, there are plenty of liquid courage concoctions to wash down your fear. The Weeknd has stocked his After Hours Bar with drinks such as the Save Your Tears cocktail and a variety of ciders, ales and wines. The Dia de Los Muertos bar also has two smoking hot options with the Burning Skull and Michelada cocktails. Additionally, you'll find other event bars located around the park, featuring the Ghoul Juice and Electric Death specialty cocktails, and at various food booths. The Dirty Valentine at the Chucky booth was perfectly sweet and fruity!
In addition to the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store which is stocked with desserts galore, you can find other sinful sweets at the Today Café such as the Coconut Yuzu Eyeball and the Hallow's Eve Caramel Apple Pop Tart, as well as the San Francisco Pastry Company which is selling other cursed confectionaries such as the Spirit Board Blackberry Cheesecake and the Witches Cauldron Brownie.
Last but certainly not least, the horror extends into Universal CityWalk where you'll find the Black Magic Milkshake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, the Chucky doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut and a few new dastardly drinks at the rethemed Dead Coconut Club (on event nights only) such as The Java Monster and The Haunted Isle.
Here are the Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2022 dining options (in addition to food and beverage carts):
- TODAY Cafe
- Bone Chillin'
- Finnegan's Bar & Grill
- Louie's Italian Restaurant
- Richter's Burger Co.
- Mel's DIE-IN (Mel's Drive-In)
- The Fountain of Fair Fortune
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
- Coke Refresh
- Fast Food Boulevard
- Twisted Tater Tent
- KidZone Pizza Company
Halloween Horror Nights Merchandise
Each year, the event’s merchandise typically features all of the haunted houses and scare zones, so you’ll be sure to find a nice memento (whether it’s a sweatshirt or a souvenir cup) for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2022. Pop into Universal Studios' Tribute Store this year for a Halloween celebration like none other. Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle as you "ride" through a pumpkin patch where sinister scarecrows are lurking, a spooky cemetery where restless spirits have awakened and a witch's cottage where a powerful sorceress is brewing up something terrible ... before entering Haunted Hollow Hills' Halloween Festival where the tricks are just as delightful as the treats. You can usually find T-shirts, sippers, candles and other ghoulish delights here, as well as in Five & Dime and the Universal Studios Store in Universal Studios, the Universal Studios Store in CityWalk and the Islands of Adventure Trading Company and the All Hallows' Eve Boutique in Islands of Adventure.
Other Universal Studios Florida shopping venues open during the event are:
- Supply Vault
- The Film Vault
- Sahara Traders
- San Francisco Candy Factory
- Diagon Alley Shops
- Borgin & Burkes
- MIB Gear
- Simpsons Games
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Tips
1. Buy Your Tickets in Advance
Halloween Horror Nights requires a separate ticket from regular theme park admission. Make sure to purchase in advance (bonus: you can save money too). You don't want to have to wait in any more lines than you have to!
2. Consider an Express Pass
We always get asked if the Express Passes are worth it. Our answer is that it really depends on when you're going and if you want to hit all 10 houses in one night. We'd definitely recommend it on Fridays and Saturdays in October, especially closer to Halloween. Wednesdays and Thursdays are less busy days, and if you take advantage of early entry (see our next tip!), you have a better chance of hitting all 10 houses without an Express Pass.
Universal does sell Express Passes at kiosks throughout the park. So if you change your mind while you're there, you have that last-minute opportunity. You can also buy an Express Pass that's half the original price but it only works after 11 p.m. Just keep in mind that both of these Express Pass options are subject to availability.
3. Arrive Early
We can't stress this enough: Arriving early is the single best way to ensure you make the most of your night. The event typically begins at 6:30 p.m., but Universal often lets guests in up to half an hour early. Universal Resort hotel guests also have a dedicated line from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the left side of the entrance. Even better is staying in the park after it closes for early entry, so you can hit a few houses before it gets super busy later at night.
4. Leave the Kids at Home
Lily always stays at home for Halloween Horror Nights. This event is too intense for young children. It is not recommended for those under age 13. Leave them with a sitter service or at the resort's children's activity center. (However, if the tadpoles do tag along, strollers are not allowed in the houses.)
5. Leave Your Costumes and Masks at Home
Universal won't let you in with them. Plus there are enough costumed creatures inside the park!
6. Dress Light and Stay Hydrated
Is it just us, or is September in Orlando hotter than ever before? Despite taking place mostly after dark, we were still sweating our 'lil frog legs off all weekend at Halloween Horror Nights 30. Wear cool, comfortable clothes.
On top of being deceptively hot and humid, Halloween Horror Nights is a pretty intense event. Bring a water bottle to make staying cool a breeze and save money or purchase the HHN Freestyle cup for a fun souvenir. Aside from that, only bottled water is available for purchase.
7. Only Bring the Necessities
As with any visit to Universal, you will go through metal detectors ... so we always recommend traveling as light as you can, but this holds especially true for Halloween Horror Nights. When walking through crowded haunted houses and being spooked by scare actors in the streets, you won't want to be hauling too much with you. We recommend a small bag that securely closes ... you don't want anything important spilling out when you jump in fright!
8. Have a Plan
This is absolutely key to this event, especially if you want to see most of the houses. Plan in advance what your priorities are. Map out your evening based on where and when you'll be starting.
9. Eat Early
You'll find snacks for sale, as well as alcohol in abundance, throughout the park. Look for carts set up along the streets. Lines for food and drinks can get long at times! Fuel up before you leave or early in the evening, and you can spend more time getting the daylights scared out of you. We noticed food lines started to decrease after midnight.
10. Splurge on Snacks
If you have time to dedicate to fun food and drinks, check out the event-exclusive goodies. Eating (and Instagramming, TBH) these goodies is always enjoyable.
11. Watch Out for the Creatures of the Night!
If you want to avoid the street creatures, although we can't imagine why you'd want to, they largely stick to the streets and leave guests on the sidewalks alone.
12. Respect the Scare Actors
Last but not least, please remember that the scare actors are people too! No matter how monstrous they may seem, the scare actors will not actually touch or hurt you ... so please treat them with the same respect! Keep your hands, food, drinks and any unkind words to yourself for the best experience for everyone involved. This event is all about having FUN! Avoid using flash to photograph any "creatures" in the scare zones, and just ask if you really feel the need. They'll usually be happy to pose for (or with!) you.
Are you planning on attending Halloween Horror Nights Orlando in 2022? What questions do you have for us about the event? Share in the comments below.
Related: Halloween Horror Nights Early Entry