For 28 years now every Halloween the Universal Orlando Resort has celebrated the season with Halloween Horror Nights. It started with one haunted house on three nights and has now become 10 haunted houses, five scare zones and more on 36 scary, fun filled nights. Not only is this year offering more nights of scares then ever but it is also featuring what is possibly one of their best haunted houses ever. The Stranger Things haunted house.
2018 is my third year being lucky enough to attend Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando. There is nothing like standing outside of the gates of Universal Studios waiting for them to open for HHN and for the craziness to begin. I have gotten to experience RIP Tours, I have seen how all of the amazing make up and “movie magic” comes together and have gotten to take a Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror tour.
I would now definitely call myself a HHN veteran. Because of that I want to share my very best tips for Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal Orlando Resort with you!
Best Tips for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando
1. Take an RIP Tour
Without a doubt this is the number one best tip if you are planning on going to Halloween Horror Nights. If you only listen to one tip that I give you, let it be this. The RIP tour is Universal’s version of a scary VIP tour and it is the absolute best. The RIP tour is more expensive then regular tickets and you are placed in a group of 12 as a public RIP tour. If you want however you can also book your own private RIP tour.
To book your RIP tickets now and to learn more click HERE.
The best part of the RIP tour is that you get to skip ALL of the lines for the Haunted Houses so it is possible to see all 10 in one night. You will also get to the see all scare zones, see the Academy of Villains show and more. This is ideal if you don’t have much time and are visiting from out of town. Without RIP access you probably will only get a chance to visit 3-4 houses a night because of the time spent waiting in lines.
The RIP tour is also great because of your knowledgeable guide. They not only know how to quickly get to each haunted house but they also can answer almost any question about HHN. They also give you overviews about what each house house is about before you enter so you can really appreciate them. The tour also provides you with a pre-tour reception, access to exclusive cash bars and an unlimited express pass for any of the rides operating at night as well.
2. If you don’t have an RIP ticket do this
If you can’t afford the RIP tour or it isn’t for you then these tips will help you make the most out of your night. For the day you want to attend Halloween Horror Nights get an all day park pass as well so you can be in the park already for when HHN starts. Staff will corral you into holding areas as the park switches from normal daytime to HHN magic. Then as soon as the gates open at 6:30pm for HHN you can head to the haunted houses and get in line before everyone else because you are already inside the park.
Be sure to also download the Universal Orlando Resort app HERE as it will give you estimates on wait times for all haunted houses. Going by the app you can hopefully better plan your route for the night.
3. Maximize your time
On various nights the park closes at either 1am or 2am. Universal has an unwritten rule that if you are in line for a house at the time when the park officially closes for the night that they will still let you see the haunted house that you are in line for at that moment. So plan your night accordingly and get in line before its too late!
4. Stay Hydrated
My first two years going to Halloween Horror Nights the weather cooled off a bit at night and it was quite pleasant. This year however it was mega hot and humid at night and it was quite the sweaty experience. Whether it’s hot out or not it will be a long night so make sure you stay hydrated. Grab a bottle of water, bring your own reusable one to fill up or even get the the unlimited Coca Cola freestyle beverage deal that gives you unlimited refills on coke products. For the adults in the group there are also a lot of speciality drinks and beer kiosks for HHN collector cups full of fancy Halloween punches and more.
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes
You will be walking and standing a LOT. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes to keep your feet comfy. You will also be walking in the dark where you can’t exactly see where you are going. So be sure to wear closed toe shoes incase you bump into things or people step on your feet.
6. Don’t forget to Scream!
This one is easy for me, because when scary people jump out at me I just automatically shriek! But often I see people who are pretending that they are too cool to be scared and what fun is that? Relax, have fun, let yourself get spooked and scream at the top of your lungs at every chance you get. Trust me it will make your night a lot more fun.
7. See a Show and take a rest
Every year for Halloween Horror Nights the Fear Factor stage is taken over by an entertaining show just for HHN. This year is a performance by the Academy of Villains and described by them, the show is “a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics and theatrics, Academy of Villains is back for an all-new performance of pounding synths and neon lights.” It is a great show to see and it is also really nice to have a seat for 25mins after running around the park all night.
8. Check out the Tribute Merch store
This year located in the New York area of the park between the Jimmy Fallon ride and the Mummy is the is the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store. A gift shop packed with all things HHN from shirts to sweaters to pins, mugs, hats and more. There is also a large selection of Stranger Things specific merch because of their haunted house this year. You can get Stranger Things hats, Eggo shirts, mugs, backpacks, socks and more. Half of the store has also been transformed into the Upside Down. Even if you aren’t interested in buying the merch, check it out just to see the Upside Down.
If you follow my best tips for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando I think you will have an amazing time! I highly recommend you go this year, especially to see the Stranger Things Haunted House. Words cannot describe how well done and awesome it is. Without a doubt it is my favorite house out of all three years that I have gone to HHN. For a sneak peek of it for yourself and more tips for HHN watch my video!