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Tips for Visiting Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

The nights are getting colder, and that means we are heading towards fall and the delights of Halloween. The Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights are a highlight of the season for many people. Head out to this Halloween spectacular and enjoy all the gore of Halloween with friends and family. It should be noted this is not a child-friendly event. If you have young children, you are better off going to one of the other theme park events such as Disney's Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween.


01 Dates for The Horror Nights 2018


This event runs on select nights from September through to early November, so you have plenty of time to plan a visit for one or a few nights to this Halloween spectacular. The 2018 dates are:

  • September 14-16, 20-23, and 28-30
  • October 3-7, 10-14, 24-28, and 31
  • November 1-3

The event generally runs from 6:30 in the evening to 1 in the morning.


02 Best Times to Visit

A general view of the atmosphere during Halloween Horror Nights opening at Universal Studios Resort on September 06, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

This is always a very popular event, but the crowds do increase as it gets closer to Halloween. Unlike the majority of theme park events, Halloween Horror Nights are very popular with locals who will attend the event for multiple nights to experience everything. This means that Friday and Saturday night events tend to draw the biggest crowds. Try to attend on a Wednesday night for the lowest crowds and try to go a few weeks before Halloween.


03 Overview of Halloween Horror Nights

A general view of the atmosphere during Halloween Horror Nights opening at Universal Studios Resort on September 06, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

The haunted houses are the biggest draw for this event. Construction of these houses starts months before Horror Nights open, and they take vast amounts of effort to produce. The lines for these houses can be very long, so you need to decide in advance which houses you want to see and have a plan in place. The best way to see as many houses as possible is to spend the day at Universal and go to one of the special holding areas in the park just before the event starts.


04 2018 Horror Houses

Handout / Getty Images Handout / Getty Images

In 2018 there will be a record number of horror houses available in the park. Choose which of the ten you want to see and make them a priority. The confirmed houses for this year are:

  • Stranger Things: The first season of this cult show will be brought to life in a horror-filled maze.
  • The Carnival Graveyard: A carnival filled with rust and blood.
  • Trick or Treat: Discover the monsters of your nightmares with Sam
  • Slaughter Sinema: Based on horror B Movies
  • Dead Exposure: A house filled with Zombies
  • Halloween 4: Myers has returned and will kill anything in his path
  • Poltergeist: Enter the world of this 1980's Horror movie


05 Ticket Details


This is a separately ticketed event, and you will only gain access to Horror Nights if you have purchased an event ticket. A day pass to Universal will not get you access to Horror Nights, and you should note that the park closes early on event days. There is a range of tickets for the event from VIP tickets with additional experiences to the basic entrance ticket.


06 Scare Zones

Handout / Getty Images Handout / Getty Images

The Scare Zones are the street experiences of Horror Nights, and they are separate from the houses. This year's scare zones are:

  • Vamps 85 NYE Party: Vampires dressed in 1980's clothing
  • The Harvest: A barn full of foul creatures
  • Twisted Tradition: An ancient evil invades Central Park
  • Revenge of Chucky: The doll from the horror movies is back with an army of toys.
  • Killer Klowns: Horrifying alien clowns with human flesh cotton candy


07 Special Experiences


This year many additional experiences will add to your Horror Nights fun.

  • Dinner with the Scareators: Dinner surrounded by creatures from your nightmares and a variety of photo opportunities. Tickets include dinner and a printed photo.
  • RIP Behind the scenes: A tour that takes guests behind the scenes and shows you how they create Horror Nights. This gives guests a unique look a the art and design behind the event.


08 Halloween Rides

Handout / Getty Images Handout / Getty Images

Each year the park decorates and re-themes a few of the rides to match in with Halloween Horror Nights. This year the rides that will have a horror theme are:

  • Transformers 3D
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • Men in Black


09 Tips for a Great Experience


  • Get to the Park Early: The event officially begins at 6:30 but Universal often lets guests in up to half an hour early.
  • Leave the kids at home: This event is far too intense for young children. Instead, go to the Disney or Legoland events.
  • Leave your costumes at home: Universal will not let you enter the event in costume.


10 Where to eat


Get to the park early and head to one of Universal's restaurants for an early dinner before the event. Finnegan's bar is a popular option as it is close to a number of the scare houses. The atmosphere in the bar is particularly great on Horror Nights as people wait for the scaring to begin.


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