It’s that time of year again…. yes fall, but more specifically it’s time for HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS (“HHN”)! HHN is one of my favorite events of the year and I usually ring in my birthday with a trip. If you are not familiar with HHN, it’s a separately ticketed event at Universal Studios which runs from mid-September until right after Halloween, and it features all things scary after dark. They have Haunted Houses, Scare Zones, special Halloween-themed shows and you still get access to the best rides. I have been going since I was in eighth grade, but I was also the 9-year-old who begged to watch Poltergeist and Silence of The Lambs, so I was already used to the adrenaline-induced scare. Overall, I would highly recommend heeding their caution that it is only for those that are 13 years and up, as it is quite intense. Think guys in masks chasing you with chainsaws (blade out of course) to terrify you when you least expect it.
If you like being scared though, this is definitely the place for you! There tend to be between seven and nine Haunted Houses, and you don’t want to miss any of them. Universal does a great job using sound effects, make-up, props and the shadows to play on your fears. You can expect zombies looming in the rafters above, clowns creeping behind you as you enter the asylum, or Jigsaw wanting to play a game with you.
And if scary TV shows and movies pique your interest, Universal usually has several houses themed after some of the most popular ones throughout the years. Some of my favorites have included American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, The Shining, as well as character specific houses that feature Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees or Leatherface. And this year, for the first time at HHN, there will be a Stranger Things house!
If you’re still reading and think you might want to pay someone to scare you too, tickets usually start around $63 dollars for a single night’s entry which runs about 6 p.m. until 1 or 2 a.m., depending on the night. Prices also fluctuate depending on the night as well. Express Passes are an absolute must as they allow you to skip the regular attraction lines, and essentially move right to the front of the line. I have seen wait times over two hours per house, and if you’re doing the math, that will only get you through about four houses on a busy night. With the express pass though, you have a better than not chance of seeing all of the houses in one night. Another option is to purchase the Frequent Fear Pass which allows you to go multiple nights for one price, if you’re brave enough to return.
Check with your Travel Specialist for some “Stay and Scream” specials which pair tickets with a Universal resort stay. See you at the haunted houses!