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We love this time of year! It is the Halloween Season. There are so many incredible Halloween events in Orlando. One of the most popular events is Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort. Tim and I have been going to Halloween Horror Nights for years. I am a big scaredy cat, but I still love it.
HHN is a huge special event at Universal Studios. They actually close the entire park down, just for this separate paid event. This event is super popular and gets busy. To help you have a better night at Halloween Horror Nights, we wanted to share 13 tips!
13 Tips for Halloween Horror Nights
Buy Tickets Online
Our first tip is one I mention a lot in our Universal Orlando videos. Be sure you purchase your tickets before you leave home. Not only can this special event sell out, but the prices are much higher at the gates. Order your tickets before you leave home to save money and avoid waiting in long lines. You want to spend your night at HHN screaming not waiting in ticket lines.
Some Nights are Better Than Others
When planning your visit to HHN, consider the dates. Some nights are less crowded than others. Less crowded means shorter lines, means more screams for you!
Booking HHN in October is going to be a lot busier than September, especially near Halloween. Look at booking your ticket on a weekday vs a weekend. Sunday-Thursday will be less crowded than Friday and Saturday.
Plan on Paying for Parking
One of the biggest surprises to a lot of Annual Passholders and locals is the steep parking cost. Universal Orlando normally waives the parking fee after 6 PM. However, during Halloween Horror Nights you still have to pay for parking until up to 10 PM. So, have your wallet ready when you pull into the parking lot.
Check the Weather
We are getting into the cooler weather in Orlando. However, it is still the peak rainy season. While you are packing for your Universal Orlando vacation, check the weather. You want to make sure you have that light jacket or rain poncho (if you need it). In addition, be sure you pack comfortable shoes. You will do a lot of walking during Halloween Horror Nights. Be sure you have comfortable shoes.
Eat Before Heading into Halloween Horror Nights
The next tip is eat before going into Halloween Horror Nights. This event runs from 6:30-1:00 or 2:00 (based on the date). You do not want to spend your time waiting for a table or eating dinner at a restaurant. Maximize your time by eating dinner before you arrive. You will still find some spooky treats and drinks to enjoy during HHN. So, be sure you still check out some of the exclusive HHN goodies.
Close Down the Park
Halloween Horror Nights runs from 6:30 PM-1:00 or 2:00 AM. A lot of people tend to head out around 10-11 PM. If you can stay until the park closes, you can avoid some of the crowds. Tap a nap earlier in the day and close down the park.
My favorite tip for Halloween Horror Nights is the RIP Tour. This is a private tour and it is an extra cost. The Universal Orlando Tour Guides will takes you throughout Halloween Horror Nights from house to house. They also take you through the Scare Zones. They share all of the insider knowledge about the house and you even jump to the front of the line. We love this tour! It is completely worth the price for any Halloween fans. We have taken the RIP Tour many times over the years. It is the best way to experience all of Halloween Horror Nights and learn behind the scenes tidbits.
HHN Express Pass
Our next tip for Halloween Horror Nights is purchase the HHN Express Pass. If the RIP Tour not for you, but still want to see all of the haunted houses; you may want to buy a HHN Express Pass. This is like Universal Express, but for haunted houses. You get front of the line access on the haunted houses and rides throughout Universal Studios. If you want to see all of the houses, this is a must get pass.
Our next tip is don’t skip the Scare Zones! One of my favorite parts of Halloween Horror Nights is the Scare Zones. These Scare Zones are themed and scattered throughout Universal Studios. Be sure you hit all of the Scare Zones. There is no wait and these are just as much fun as the houses!
Get There Early
Just like a regular day at the Universal Parks, you will want to arrive to Halloween Horror Nights early. The special event starts at 6:30 PM.
If you only have a ticket for HHN, plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior. You will have to wait until the event starts at 6:30, but you will get a headstart on others.
My favorite way to experience HHN is arriving during the day. We have Annual Passes, so we can arrive to Universal Studios around 3:00 and play at the park for the afternoon. We then pop over to a Stay & Scream location to get our band and start exploring HHN. This is one of our favorite ways to beat the crowds at the entrance and already be inside when the event starts.
If you are staying at one of the Universal Orlando hotels, you can take advantage of the priority entrance gate. This is a special entrance just for resort guests. This is also a huge timesaver.
Pick Your Favorites
Halloween Horror Nights is such a popular event. You will not be able to see it all in one night. Pick your favorite houses, scare zones, and rides (before you leave home). In addition to arriving early and staying late, you may be able to get through a lot of your favorites in one night. Just be prepared, because you will not be able to get through all of the houses (unless you do the RIP Tour or Express Pass).
Leave the Kids at Home
There are plenty of Halloween activities in Orlando for families. Halloween Horror Nights is super scary. I even walk through a lot of the houses with my head down with the person in front of me leading the way. I am a big scaredy cat. Universal Orlando says this event is for children ages 13 and up. However, Kelly is almost 18 and I am still hesitant for him to go to Halloween Horror Nights for the first time. Don’t bring the kids to this special event. Find another one better for the whole family.
My final Halloween Horror Nights tip is for all of those scaredy cats out there that got talked into going to HHN. Yep, that is me! Try to stay calm. The more you try to hide behind someone else, run, or scream – the more fun it is for the actors. They will follow you, just to try to scare you. If you stay calm and just ignore them, they will leave you alone. This comes from years of learning the hard way!
We hope these tips help you save money and have more scares at Halloween Horror Nights. Have you been to Halloween Horror Nights?