Halloween Horror Nights 25 begins in just two days. Nights of horror and terror abound at Universal Studios Orlando. This is the singular event I look forward to all year, every year and this year’s 25th anniversary will be bigger than ever with 9 houses and 5 scare zones. Every year, friends and family grumble about how expensive Halloween Horror Nights is and how they never finish all the houses and shows because of the insanely long lines. Yes, these lines can reach epic levels with waits of up to 3 hours. The solution as advertised by Universal Studios Orlando are the Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes that with jet set you into a shorter line, although waits can still add up in the express lane. The catch is, these magical express lane passes can end up costing you as much as the admission price for Halloween Horror Nights sometimes more. But I am here to tell you, attending Halloween Horror Nights does not have to cost a small fortune! There is a better way people! Below is how I see everything at Halloween Horror Nights every year twice over for less than the price of a Saturday admission.
3 Tips to See it All at Halloween Horror Nights 25
Rush of Fear Pass
This is the most important piece of advice I can dispense for Halloween Horror Nights. Buy the Rush of Fear Pass! This pass gives you unlimited admission to HHN for the first 10 nights of the event and costs less than the price of one night admission if you are an Annual Passholder. If you’re not a Passholder, it will only be a few dollars more than a Saturday night ticket. Now, I know the average person is not going to go all 10 nights, but if you go over a weekend, you get 3-4 nights back to back to explore HHN at your leisure instead of living inside the ridiculously long queues. Didn’t make it to the Insidious house? There’s always tomorrow!
Go Early in the Season
The downside to the Rush of Fear pass is that is does limit you to attend early in the Halloween Horror Nights season. This year it grants you access from September 18 – October 4. While this isn’t the primetime to go to a Halloween event, it is when the crowds are at a minimum. Even without a Rush of Fear pass, you fair a far greater chance of seeing most if not all the haunted houses and shows versus when you go later in the season.
If you plan on spending the day at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, you can stay in the park and get early admission into Halloween Horror Nights 30 minutes to an hour before the event opens up to the general public. Some years the park offers an after 2pm ticket as well that runs about $20 but last year they didn’t offer this. Screaming early will usually give you time to walk through 2 sometimes 3 of the haunted houses before the event even opens! Although there are holding areas in both Universal and Islands, I recommend staying within Universal’s holding areas. When being escorted from the Islands holding area into Halloween Horror Nights, you go through a screening area just as the general public does, which takes up valuable haunted house time.
Additional savings off from admission are available to Florida Residents and Annual Passholders.
So how do I see it all?
I use all three methods over a weekend! The weekend begins with a general admission entry on Friday night. The goal on Friday night is usually just 2-3 houses. Once we’ve reached that target, we will gauge the wait times for the other houses as to whether we will continue to work our way through the houses or just relax with our souvenir drink and enjoy the scare zones. Friday night gives us an idea of the popularity and wait times for each house so that we can plan for the main event – Saturday night.
On Saturday, we arrive to Universal Studios at 2:00pm. We hang out, ride a couple of rides and essentially pass time until the park closes. At 5:00pm we sit for dinner at one of the restaurants within the holding areas and at 6:30pm we are released into Halloween Horror Nights! On Saturday, the goal is to see all the houses and shows we missed on Friday night. Usually we will finish everything and even see houses for a second time that night. Sunday is a short day and we may go back to do any houses we loved just to experience them one more time but usually our companions will have already left for home Sunday morning.
But that’s it! It’s a simple strategy that has worked for us many years and this year it will only cost me $72.99 plus tax.
Bonus Tips for Halloween Horror Nights
Don’t drive! – If you are planning on drinking at the event, stay at a local hotel and take a cab into the park. You can also stay on-site at a Universal Studios Resorts Hotel or if you’re on a budget, there are several options right across the street from the park. The walk from across the street to the park entrance is about 15 minutes crossing only one major street before you’re in the Universal Studios complex.
Go through the houses sober – Fear is a powerful thing, but when you’re drinking liquid courage you will miss out on the fun of Halloween Horror Nights. We go one night sober or start the night off sober and don’t drink anything until later in the evening to get the full experience.
Catch the first show – The first show is historically the emptiest. So if you want to see Bill & Ted or the show of the year, go to the first showing.
Have more tips for Halloween Horror Nights? Share in the comments below!