Hey, guys! Halloween is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than taking a trip to Halloween Horror Nights? My husband and I have returned from our annual trip to Orlando and Universal Studios. This is the fourth year in a row we have made this trip in October to go to Halloween Horror Nights (HHN).
If you have never heard of it before or have never been, let me tell you a little bit about how it is set up. Halloween Horror Nights is hosted by Universal Studios every year. This year was the 27th anniversary of the annual event. Here are the dates and the times Halloween Horror Nights is open in Orlando, Florida this year:
6:30PM to 1:00AM
Sept. 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, 30, 31, Nov. 3, 4
6:30PM to 2:00AM
Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
Each year, there are around 9 different haunted houses that have themes based on either a recent popular horror movie, television show, or even on an old classic.
For example, the first year we attended the event, there was a Michael Myers themed house from the movie Halloween. The past two years had an American Horror Story themed house that was based upon the most recent season of the show. This year, Halloween Horror Nights contained 9 houses. The following are the houses this year and a description of each:
SAW: THE GAMES OF JIGSAW
The traps are set. All that’s missing is you. The Jigsaw killer has returned to torment you with his twisted take on poetic justice.
- AMERICAN HORROR STORY: VOLUME 2
Experience three horrifying stories in one disturbing house as a deranged cast of characters seek not only your life, but your soul.
HORRORS OF BLUMHOUSE
From the deranged filmmakers behind Insidious, Sinister and The Purge comes the Horrors of Blumhouse. They’ve all come back to haunt you.
ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
The STARZ original series, Ash vs Evil Dead, expertly blurs the line between horror and comedy in this horrifically hilarious addition to Halloween Horror Nights™.
Enter a pestilent swamp that oozes evil, the hellish realm of the Voodoo Queen. If you fail to escape, you’re in for a gut-wrenching sacrifice.
You’re about to be caught in the crossfire of the eternal war of light versus dark and no one will be saved.
SCARECROW: THE REAPING
At a long-abandoned Depression-era farm, vengeance takes root, and the only harvest that will be reaped is you.
The crumbling house on 19 Hemingway Lane harbors a nest of bloodthirsty vampires. If you awaken them, you will face a savage, bestial hunger.
The visually intense psychological thriller is now the most terrifying haunted experience imaginable.
The park also contains several scare zones. Scare zones are marked around the park and are filled with actors who are dressed up and try to scare you as you walk around the park. Some of the scare tactics they use are chainsaws, knives, and other objects. Each scare zone has a theme like the haunted houses.
For the past 3 years, HHN has contained a scare zone based on “The Purge” movies. Here is how the website describes the scare zones:
“The streets of Universal Studios Florida™ theme park come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters, and maniacs. Make your way through 5 nightmarish scare zones where gory and grotesque creatures lurk around every turn. Don’t let your guard down or it just might be the last thing you ever do.”
Here are the scare zones from this year and a brief description of each:
Halloween Horror Nights is held at the Universal Studios park after hours. The park itself closes earlier than it normally would throughout the year. However, Islands of Adventure remains open for guests not partaking in HHN until 8PM. Not only does this event have haunted houses and scare zones, but there are also several shows you can attend during the night. Perhaps the most popular show is “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” which is ending this year after 26 years. This show was always an entertaining parody of pop culture events throughout the year. We will definitely miss the show! There are also several rides that remain open during HHN that you can ride if you need a break from the scary houses! In front of the entrance of each house is an approximate wait time that you have to wait in line.
After 4 years of attending HHN, we have found that the houses that are closer to the front of the park tend to have the longest wait times. Last year we waited to do the American Horror Story house which was located near the front and waited 2.5 hours in line. We vowed to not wait that long this year! The biggest tip I have is to enter the park when it opens and jump into line for the most popular houses at the front. The houses that are at the back of the park have a much shorter wait time. The shortest line we stood in this year was 5 minutes and the longest was 35 minutes. You can purchase an express pass for HHN. However, we have never chosen to do this because the pass is more expensive than the HHN ticket itself. Instead, the past two years we have chosen to go two nights instead of just one in order to go through all of the houses. As for the houses themselves, I think they are great.
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take any pictures or videos inside, but the amount of detail that goes into each house is incredible! They truly bring to life your favorite horror shows and movies. Even if I have never heard of the show or movie the house is based on, it is still incredible to look at all of the details and work that has gone into creating each room. At least I try and look around in between screaming my head off! The actors in the houses are incredible. They have impeccable timing when jumping out around corners and doors. I am terrified every time, but I love it.
The food that is sold around the park is great too! We are obsessed with potatoes on a stick they sell called “twisted taters.” The potatoes are cooked and then seasoned with your favorite flavor like garlic or salt & vinegar. So good! The only thing that was disappointing this year was that there wasn’t a house based on The Walking Dead for the first time since I’ve been attending. Hopefully they will bring it back next year! If you are on the fence about attending Halloween Horror Nights, I cannot recommend it enough. I look forward to this trip all year and don’t ever see myself not attending in the future.
Have you ever attended Halloween Horror Nights? Let me know in the comments below!