Ah, September is among us – which means that it’s time to think about fall! For us, fall equates to Halloween and Halloween Horror Nights. We’ve been going for a while now – our first trip together was for the 25th one! – and we have learned so much! So check out our ultimate guide to Halloween Horror Nights.
Halloween Horror Nights is a haunted house event that Universal Orlando (and Hollywood too!) does each fall. This event runs from September to November and occurs on various weekday and weekend nights. It isn’t supposed to be for children under 13; however, we’ve seen lots of children there (and they’re having fun!).
At the event, there are haunted houses, scare zones, shows, rides, and food and drink. There are options for single night and multiple night passes. You can spend between 70 and 600 dollars to go – not including drinks and snacks, of course!
Each fall, Adam and I purchase one of the passes for frequent visitors. In the past, we went for the duration of the event (I used to be able to handle those late weekday nights and super early mornings) but, after our experience last year (I insisted on going weekend nights only), we are opting to purchase the Rush of Fear pass.
That being said, let’s talk about some of the tips we have to share!
Purchase the Express Pass
For those planning to head to HHN, we must insist that the Express Pass is an absolute must. With the Rush of Fear with Express pass, we are going to be able to get into each house each night.
If you do not splurge on the Express pass, you will be in line for hours. You will get into two, maybe three, houses on your night out; and, in our opinion, that’s a waste of your time. So please consider splurging on the Express pass. It really is worth the extra cash.
Go to the Right
After entering the gates, most people head straight (near where Rip Ride Rockit is); however, the real trick is to turn right and head toward the houses near the kid’s area.
Going this way, we’ve found that most exits take us right to the entrance of the next house, which means that there isn’t aimless wandering. And, since more people begin at the front of the park, we end up getting two to three houses out of the way within the first hour.
Create some Space
While the workers in the house have followed us through the house on occasion (thanks Dane!), we insist on creating some space between our group and the group in front of us. It makes for a far better experience, as we get some fresh scares.
Fun Fact: I find that being third in line is a good spot to be (if you want all the people to pop our at you, that is!).
Nonetheless, slowing your pace a bit ensures that, at some point, you’re walking into the rooms alone. It’s a nice way to take everything in because, even though we’re there to be scared, the sets are amazing. Seriously, check out all of the detail!
Skip those Pre-Made Drinks
Those sugar-filled drinks that come with the light-up cups? Not our fave. And a few years ago, a lot of the places stopped serving liquor. But don’t worry – we’ve got some spots for you!
Our favorite is the stand near Jaws. The line isn’t too long usually and you can sit near the water for a few moments, enjoying the view while you rest.
You can also grab a mixed drink at Finnigan’s; however, they started creating a line that mimics the non-express-pass line at a haunted house. No thanks. We think heading over to Jaws is where it’s at.
Ride the Rides
We’re sure we don’t have to focus too much on this but, seriously, ride the rides while there, especially if you purchased the Express pass – because it works for the rides too!
It’s a way to break up the houses and riding some of the rides at night (or seeing sections of the park at night – Diagon Alley, we’re talking about you!) is an entirely different experience.
Check out the Show and Scare Zones
We usually end up going to the show at least once. It’s pretty cool (even though we both miss Bill and Ted) but can be quite hot, depending on where you end up sitting. We recommend grabbing a drink before going in so that you’re prepped.
We also recommend that you enjoy the Scare Zones. Some have little shows within them that are interesting to watch; plus, watching all the people running from the fake chainsaws is pretty entertaining in and of itself. Honestly, we will never understand what’s so scary about it!
Nonetheless, just because you’re there for the haunted houses doesn’t mean the other things aren’t worth it.
Nom on a Snack
To be honest, Adam and I haven’t tried any of the special, event-inspired snacks. This kind of started last year and, since it was the first year of HHN’s attempt at attracting all of the foodies with their desserts and whatnot, we were hesitant to get something.
We don’t usually eat the food in the parks at Universal; we tend to leave and head to Citywalk instead. This year, though, we do want to try one thing. We are HHN experts after all; we might as well know if the food is good.
And don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated about the food situation for sure! We can’t wait to share our experience with you via Instagram – and maybe we can share some photo spots…if we get enough photos!
So will you be one of those that are heading to HHN or your local haunted house event? Do you like scary Halloween experiences?
PS: All but the last photo are from Unsplash! Go check out their free stock photos!