I am happy to report that I survived my first Halloween Horror Nights and I actually had some fun! Oh, don't get me wrong... I was terrified numerous times throughout the event but I also laughed a lot.
Halloween Horror Nights, aka HHN, is a separately ticketed event on select nights from early September through Halloween night each year. Dates are subject to availability so if you are dying to go (see what I did there?!), then make sure you purchase your tickets early. It's a separately ticketed event which means your regular theme park admission ticket does not include admission to this event.
Unlike some other Halloween parties in the Orlando area, this event comes with a warning. The event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13. Also, no costumes or costume masks are allowed. We saw some children who were clearly younger than 13 in attendance so depending on how into scary things your kids are, they might be fine at this event or it may scar them for life. To be honest, it's an event that could traumatize an adult so think very carefully before you purchase your tickets for yourself or your children under 13.
So what exactly is there to do at Halloween Horror Nights? The main draw to this event are the haunted houses. Each year there are different themes for the 10 haunted houses located throughout the park. This year some of the houses included The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare, Halloween, Universal Monsters: Legends Collide and Dead Man's Pier: Winter's Wake. As I mentioned before, I'm a bit of a scaredy-cat so I only ventured into two of the haunted houses.
|The Pumpkin Lord in the |
Horror of Halloween scare zone
The event also has two live stage shows. Unfortunately, one of the stage shows wasn't running the night we attended but we did get to see the Halloween Nightmare Fuel Wildfire show. I really enjoyed the show and there were several moments where my friends and I asked "how did they do that?!" It was a show worth seeing but it also came with a disclaimer. The show contains some adult content so if that's not your thing, better to skip the show.
If the haunted houses, scare zones and shows aren't enough, you can also experience rides and attractions throughout the night. Not all attractions are open but we were able to ride the Revenge of the Mummy, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and walk around The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley. This is a great spot to go if you need a break from the terror as there weren't any scareactors in Diagon Alley. We took a quick break there and watched the dragon breathe some fire before heading back out into the night.
|Diagon Alley offers a nice break from the horror|
Here are some important things to know before you go. Universal Studios Florida will close at 5pm on HHN to regular admission guests and will only be open to HHN ticket holders after that time. The event starts at 6:30pm and closes at 2am on all event nights.
For guests with event admission the same night as your daytime theme park admission, you can participate in Stay & Scream. Stay & Scream allows you to avoid exiting and re-entering the theme park before the event which gives you a head start to all the fun. As the park starts to switch to Halloween Horror Nights, you can head to one of the Stay & Scream areas in the park until the event starts. While you wait, you can purchase food and beverage items and you can also start to line up for the various Haunted Houses. We ended up doing the Stay & Scream and I thought it was really beneficial.
If you really want to see and do everything available at HHN, I highly recommend arriving early to beat the rush and participating in the Stay & Scream if you can. If you can't do the Stay & Scream but are staying at a Universal Orlando Hotel, you get special access to a dedicated entry gate each event night up until 8pm. And if you really, really, really need to see and do everything, consider purchasing an R.I.P Tour. Similar to the daytime V.I.P Tour, the R.I.P Tour provides a guided V.I.P walking tour of the event and gives guests priority entry to haunted houses.
So, would I attend Halloween Horror Nights again? I'll give it a big maybe. I didn't love the food or the scare zones but I thought the haunted houses and the show were worth it. It's an experience that I'm glad I did but I'm not dying to attend again any time soon.
Are you a fan of Halloween Horror Nights? If you haven't been before, is it on your Must-Do list? Let us know in the comments.