Tips for Halloween Horror Nights from a Universal Team Member's Perspective
For the past 10 years, Halloween Horror Nights has been named the best Halloween event and has received the Golden Ticket Award. Each year is filled with creative haunted houses and nothing is alike year after year. This year, there are 10 unique houses that are awaiting your presence. From Demogorgons to Michael Myers, this year will leave you wanting to come back multiple times for more frights.
Dates and Times of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando:
September 14-16, 19-23, 26, 28-30,
October 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-28, 31,
Event nights start at 6:30 p.m. and can run up to 1 or 2 a.m. depending on what day you want to attend. Check the official Universal Halloween Horror Nights website to verify Dates and Times when you want to go.
#1 Tip - Start From the Back
Always head to the back of the park to do the original haunted houses first and then work your way around through the scare zones and haunted houses to get to the more known and crowded houses.
I have learned from experience that heading to the back of the park first and working your way around gets you the most out of your experience and lessens your wait times a bit. Less wait times means you get to experience more houses in one night.
Tip #2 - Know When to Go
One of the most important tips for Halloween Horror Nights is to pick the days you go carefully. Some can only enjoy this event once, but if you can I recommend coming more than one night if you want to see all the houses, scare zones, and everything else it has to offer. Avoid “peak nights”, which are the busiest nights. The days that are the least busy are usually Wednesdays and Sundays and the busiest are usually the weekends when the hours are typically longer.
Tip #3 - Get to Halloween Horror Nights Early
As tedious as it sounds, try to arrive as early as possible, even if it’s just thirty minutes. The recommended time to get there is an hour before the gates open to get the most out of your visit. And if you want to do certain haunted houses/scare zones, make a list of the top ones you wish to experience and try to do those first.
Haunted Houses and Scare Zones
There are 10 creative houses this year which include Stranger Things from Netflix, Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces, Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After, Poltergeist, The Horrors of Blum House, Slaughter Sinema, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero, Seeds of Extinction, Trick ‘r Treat, and Halloween 4, the most that the event has ever had! And 5 scare zones which are: The Harvest, Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Twisted Tradition, and Revenge of Chucky. These zones surround the houses in the park.
The houses are all different, but they all have the theme of the 80's/old traditions. My favorite house this Halloween Horror Nights, is Poltergeist because of all of its amazing details. After going to Halloween Horror Nights for many years, I thought Poltergeist was one of the best they've ever had from set design to scare factor.
I also enjoyed the Stranger Things with its details of accurately replicating what happens in the show on Netflix. If you like the show, you will like the house. Be aware of the two most blood and gore houses, The Horrors of Blum House and Slaughter Sinema. While there are a lot of houses to be aware of and be afraid of, the one in particular that frightened me the most is Dead Exposure: Patient Zero, because you are in pitch blackness and you can't see anything! Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After, is based on classic fairly tales and it has a lot of details and jump scares, but I liked this one more for the details that it brings from the stories of old and new, including The Wicked Witch of the West. With Seeds of Extinction, Universal does something different and executes it beautifully. When you step into this house you will be surrounded by a lifelike garden, but beware of the torture that lies within. With the strong effects of wind and water, it enhances the scares even more. Walking through the maze of Trick 'r Treat, I felt immersed in a world that is daring to break all the rules of Halloween. With little details including the lighting and pop up scares, I thought this house was easily one of the best in details and felt like a maze filled with old traditions. Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces is the place where all carnival pieces have come to rot and decay. Come and see for yourself as you walk into the graveyard and see the blood of those who came before you - if you dare. The carnies that live within won't stop until they have had their revenge. And lastly, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers brings the return of the iconic killer with the knife, featureless mask, and the jumpsuit. In this new and improved haunted house, no one is safe of the destruction that Michael will do next. You will be right in the middle of his path as he is trying to get to his niece, and not even his psychiatrist can help you.
With 10 scary and creative haunted houses and scare zones, there is plenty to do. But I recommend you also make time for the awesome Academy of Villains: Cyberpunk show. While it did replace Bill and Ted, this show is a interactive show that gets the audience involved and this team of dancers have some good moves as well. From props to dance moves, this interactive show is different and refreshing to watch. Every year since Academy of Villains has been a part of Halloween Horror Nights, it has continued to be a popular part.