24 BEST Halloween Horror Nights Tips (2021 Survival Guide)

2021 Halloween Horror Nights Tips and Survival Guide!

You poor unfortunate soul. Do you dare to venture out to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights?

If so, you are in for more than ghostly encounters. This year’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) will take place on select nights from September 3rd through October 31st of 2021 at Universal Studios Florida.

That’s almost two whole months!

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Halloween in Orlando with lady holding Pumpkin.

What is Halloween Horror Nights?

Before we get into the Halloween Horror Nights tips, let’s understand what it is first.

HHN is an annual Halloween event held at Universal Studios Orlando on selects nights in fall after park closing.

Its rich history and quality production has transformed it into the World’s Premier Halloween Event! This is due to the over-the-top scares, sets, and details put into this experience each year by the Universal Orlando Creative team.

What began as a 3-day event in 1991, will return stronger than ever to celebrate 30 years of fear!

The final details on the specific houses, entertainment, and scarezones are still pending for HHN 2021. I will update this post as each announcement is made from Universal Orlando.

Halloween Horror Nights Dates 2021

HHN will take places on select nights from Friday, September 3rd until Sunday, October 31st 2020.

Halloween Horror Nights Solo NikkyJ 2007 with Scareactor
Halloween Horror Nights Solo NikkyJ 2007

As you can see, HHN is not every night. So, be aware of the dates when choosing the day you’d like to go.

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What time is Halloween Horror Nights?

The Halloween Horror Nights hours start at 6:30 p.m. with closing times varying each night.

Halloween Horror Nights 2021 Houses

This year there will be 10 haunted houses, five scarezones and two live shows based on some of the biggest names in horror and pop culture.

Beetlejuice at Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 2021
Photo Credit: Universal Orlando


Beetlejuice was the first house that was announced this year. A good call since Beetlejuice was the first “ghost host” of Halloween Horror Nights when it was called Fright Nights (1991).

Beetlejuice in Doorway at Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights
Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

In this house based on Warner Bros. Pictures and Tim Burton’s Academy Award-winning horror-fantasy film, you’ll go through Beetlejuice’s every move through the incredible fantastic recreated scenes right from the movie brought to you in a way that only Universal Creative can achieve.

What to Expect in the Beetlejuice House at HHN

On your visit to this house you’ll see some of the most infamous scenes listed below:

  • Haunted attic within the Maitland home
  • The model graveyard
  • Dante’s Inferno Room

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Halloween Horror Nights Scarezones 2019

According to Universal, guests will venture to the chaotic home of the Firefly family, a sadistic clan of psychotic killers, where the psychosis deepens and the depraved thrive.

It is a chilling journey into the netherworld of terror that weaves its way through a cavernous network of dark tunnels within the bowels of the house.

The final details on the specific houses, entertainment, and scarezones are still pending for HHN 2021. I will update this post as each announcement is made from Universal Orlando.

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals the Scare Zones Coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2019
Universal Orlando Resort Reveals the Scare Zones Coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2019

There will be 5 Halloween Horror Nights Scarezones filled with vicious zombies and other terrifying creatures who will be roaming the streets of Universal Studios Florida just to torture you.

2019 Scarezones
  • Zombieland Double Tap
  • Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe
  • Anarch-Cade
  • Vanity Ball
  • Vikings Undead

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Brand New Show Halloween Marathon of Mayhem

You’ll be happy to hear about the brand-new water show coming to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.

An All New Show Halloween_Marathon_of_Mayhem_is_Coming_to_Halloween Horror Nights 2019

The lagoon show, Halloween Marathon of Mayhem, is the perfect way to cap off your night at this ghastly event. It will feature legendary moments inspired by some of the Halloween classic images.

According to Universal, giant water screens highlighting iconic horror scenes, accented with more than 100 fountains, awesome special effects, pounding electro music, lasers and more!

Bonus Universal Orlando Halloween Experience

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you’ll be excited to hear about the brand-new Dark Arts feature being placed over Hogwarts Castle in Islands of Adventure!

I can not wait to see this!

ark Arts at Hogwarts Castle is Coming to Universal Orlando Resort
The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle Light Projection Show at Universal Studios Hollywood

You will be able to enjoy the new Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle on select nights from September 14 through November 15, 2019.

While you’re in Hogsmeade you’ll witness a spine-chilling atmosphere complete with ominous green light and fog throughout the village.

And if you’re a fan of the Potter series, then you know this is a sign that Death Eaters have arrived!

According to Universal, the Death Eaters will eerily roam throughout Hogsmeade, lurking amongst guests – practicing the Dark Arts with complete disregard of wizarding laws. Then, “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will illuminate a darker side of the wizarding world as sinister creatures and villains – such as Dementors, Aragog, Mountain Trolls, Thestrals and more – cloak the castle through a mesmerizing display of light, music and special effects.

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

24 Halloween Horror Night Tips for 2021

If you’re brave enough to handle the number one horror event in the world, then I’ve gathered the best tips to help you survive Halloween Horror Nights 2021.

1. Get to Halloween Horror Nights Early

I cannot express this enough. This is my top Halloween Horror Nights tips!

Unless you’re spending your cell phone money on an Express Pass, I would suggest you get to Universal Studios at least an hour early before the start of the event.

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to get early entry into the park and knock out two to three houses within one hour.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal officially begins every night at 6:30 p.m.

You are allowed to remain in one of the Stay & Scream spots:

  • Springfield area
  • New York in Finnegan’s Bar area
  • Hollywood near Hello Kitty store area
Halloween Horror Nights Survival Guide
Halloween Horror Nights 2008

2. Go with a Group of Friends

Halloween Horror Night is for scaredy cats…

…not saying that you’re one, but don’t be afraid to go to this event.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips
Photo: Universal Orlando

Going to HHN with a group of friends makes it so much fun as the night goes on. However, going with your significant other is fun too, since you’ll have someone to protect you.

3. Know the Child Policy

One of the main questions I get is:

Are Kids allowed at Halloween Horror Nights?

According to Universal, this event may be too intense for young children. Adult discretion is strongly advised. There are no child ticket prices available for this event.

Islands of Adventure touring plan itinerary

4. Know What to Wear to Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

Should you choose Style, Comfort, or Both?

I choose comfort over style, but I’m trying to get better at combining the two.

What I do recommend is wearing comfortable sneakers for all of the standing, walking, and running you will be doing.

Trust me, you will thank me later.

Be sure to have your Halloween Horror Nights Shirt

Halloween Horror Nights T Shirt with upside kids riding in Stranger Things

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

5. Have a Game Plan and HHN Itinerary 

Route your path around the park in advance by retrieving the Halloween Horror Nights 30 map.

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

This is one of my best Halloween Horror Nights tips! You’ll want to review the park map and make a list of what houses you want to do and in which order.

Hipster Power Tip: Start with the haunted mazes towards the back of the park and make your way towards the front on your trip.

Can you ride the rides at Halloween Horror Nights?

Yes you can, but I recommend saving the opportunity for riding the permanent attractions for another visit.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips & Survival Guide with Walking Dead Zombie peaking from barnyard.
Halloween Horror Nights 2013

You can also do them towards the end of the night once you have done the HHN mazes.

6. Know the Best Days to Go to Halloween Horror Nights

Attend Halloween Horror Nights on off peak nights.

Visit Universal HHN Sunday through Thursday to take advantage of the cheaper days (especially for Florida residents or annual passholders) and the smaller crowd.

Avoid weekends and holidays.

These are the worst days to go because you will not be able to enjoy all the houses. You will also have to fight through extremely crowded streets.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips with the Purge Characters
The Purge
Photo: Universal

Hipster Power Tip: The best time to attend Halloween Horror Nights is during the first few opening weeks or last days of the event (excluding Halloween).

7. Purchase Halloween Horror Nights Tickets in Advance

It’s best to buy your tickets ahead of time. This prevents waiting in a line once you arrive at Halloween Horror Nights.

The line to buy tickets can exceed the usual queue you may notice during regular theme park hours.

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

Halloween Horror Nights Tickets

You can now save money and grab your HHN ticket online.

Halloween Horror Nights Single-Night Price

Choose a night now and save up to $53 on select nights, but online only. Pricing and savings also vary by date.

Starting at $69.99 (final prices for 2021 pending).

8. Buy a Frequent Fear Pass

If you want to visit HHN on multiple occasions, then be sure to review the multi-pass breakdown.

The Halloween Horror Nights Rush of Fear Pass is the BEST value for your money.

You’ll be able to go on multiple days allowing you to see and do all that the event has to offer.

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

Plus, if you get the HHN Rush of Fear Pass, you won’t need to get an Express Pass. Mainly due to the fact that you’ll be able to take your time going through the haunted houses throughout your multiple visits.

9. Get HHN Ticket From a Trustworthy Website

Buy your Universal Halloween Horror Nights ticket directly from Universal’s website or from a reputable source such as Undercover Tourist or The Park Prodigy.

They usually have special rates for Orlando theme park visitors.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips 2014!
Halloween Horror Nights 2014!

Always check to see to see if Undercover Tourist is offering Halloween Horror Nights discount tickets for the year.

You can also book your Universal Orlando discount hotel through Undercover Tourist.

10. Get a Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass

Another question I’m always asked:

Is the Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass worth it?


Please buy an Express Pass.

Halloween Horror Nights is extremely popular, if not the most popular Halloween event in Central Florida.

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

This popularity sometimes leads to wait times for haunted mazes exceeding three hours. In order for you to enjoy your evening at HHN, you may want to splurge on an express pass.

This will help you conquer each haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights.

Please note the Express Pass has a history of selling out on peak nights. Always check Universal’s website and buy your ticket before your visit.

If you can splurge on an Express Pass, then get it! It will make your night much more enjoyable and it will also make your night feel less rushed.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips  Construction
2016 Halloween Horror Nights Construction

Remember: Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes start at $89.99 per person.

If you want to avoid spending extra money on the Express Pass, then it’s best to get to Halloween Horror Nights early.

I know I’m repeating this tip, but this is one of the MOST IMPORTANT Halloween Horror Nights Tips.

The wait times are shorter (less than 30 minutes) at the beginning of the event and also towards the end of the event.

11. Press the Special Buttons in the Haunted Mazes

Whenever you’re in a haunted house please note the red button (or any interactive button). When you see one press it for a special surprise.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips Survival Guide with zombie scaring guests.
Halloween Horror Nights 2014 Photo Cred. Universal

12. Remember Halloween Horror Nights is Extremely Scary

You may be wondering if Halloween Horror Nights is scary?

HHN is recommended for ages 13 years or older for good reasons. The houses and scarezones are intense with lifelike bloody scenarios.

Jump scares are throughout the event, but sometime the eerie, foreboding feeling is even scarier.

Is Halloween Horror Nights safe?


Just remember if the house is too intense for you, then you can leave by notifying a park team member.

The Universal team member is usually located in a specific corner of a haunted attraction and may be dressed in all black regular clothes.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips young lady running from scareactor.
Photo: Universal Orlando

Can they touch you at Halloween Horror Nights?

Team Members at Universal Orlando are not allowed to touch theme park guests, so you’re good to go!

Have you ever thought about doing Halloween Horror Nights solo? Ready my solo trip report here!

13. Don’t Get Drunk Off the Spirits

Alcoholic beverages are served at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. It’s a nice treat to have in the face of the haunted scares, but remember to pace yourself and try not to get drunk.

Remember: Local law enforcement patrols the event.

You can save money by pre-gaming in CityWalk during happy hour. This is one of my favorite Halloween Horror Nights tips.

Hipster Power Tip: Think about getting the HHN party started early at one of the Universal Orlando hotels. You can park there, get a drink at the bar and get your parking voucher validated. Saving you money on your parking fee.

You can learn more about Universal Orlando’s parking validation rules here!

CityWalk Universal Orlando Margaritaville Delicious golden cocktail with lime.
CityWalk Universal Orlando Margaritaville

14. Buy a Unique Halloween Horror Nights experience

Try out the Unmasking the Horror Tour where you’ll have a daytime, lights-on, chilling look into how Universal Orlando’s Art & Design team transforms the biggest names in horror into haunted houses.

Also try the Halloween Horror Nights RIP Tour. This is your own VIP tour around HHN in a one-on-one guided tour with a Universal Orlando Team Member.

15. Purchase a Unique HHN Activity

Enjoy a special activity such as getting a henna tattoo, doing a scareactor dining experience, or getting your face painted.

Universal Studios Orlando Monster Cafe with Frankenstein Statue

16. Stay Hydrated

HHN requires A LOT of walking and sweating! Something Floridians are used to, but not a common thing for out-of-towners.

Plan to drink a few ounces of water every hour while at Halloween Horror Nights.

17. Watch Halloween Horror Nights Vlogs

View vlogs such as the Tim Tracker or the Geek Glass Daily Vlog to help get you excited for HHN.

Personal vlogs will show you some of the things to expect and will let you know the intensity of the event. The vlogs also show different ways people enjoy HHN.

This is one of the top Halloween Horror Nights tips!

18. Don’t Forget Your Wallet

Remember to bring your wallet, your tickets, and your I.D.

Things to do at Universal Orlando

19. Have a Halloween Horror Nights Budget

This is not a cheap event to attend unless you have a hook up of someway or you are a Platinum Passholder.

You have to take into account parking fees, food, drinks, and any other special experiences that you may want to do on top of the ticket price.

You may be thinking…

How much should I save for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando?

If you budget for:

  • Ticket: ~ $80
  • Parking at Universal Orlando ~ $26 (free after 6 p.m.)
  • Food ~ $45
  • Merchandise ~ $50

Your total for a trip to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios would be ~ $201

Halloween Horror Nights 24 old shack.
Halloween Horror Nights 24

20. Monitor the Weather

The weather in Florida from September to early November can range from extremely hot and humid to rainy and sometimes (very rare) cool October days.

Always check the weather to know what to expect. The weather will make or break your trip, especially if it’s scorching or if there’s a rainstorm.

21. Know the Costume Policy

A top question I’m asked is:

Can you wear costumes to Halloween Horror Nights?

Costumes are not allowed at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando. This rule is mostly for the safety of both team members and guests.

Halloween Horror Nights Tips Survival Guide with scary clown mask and green face witch mask.
Halloween Horror Nights Merchandise

22. Dine Before Halloween Horror Nights

Grab a bite at CityWalk, at an offsite restaurant, or possibly inside Universal Studios. If you eat in Universal Studios prior to event, you will be placed in a holding area.

The holding areas vary, so always check prior to your visit.

For Passholders there are days, usually the first two weekends, where you can get into the park early.

If you take advantage of the Passholder nights, you will be able to experience between 2 to 3 houses knocking them out quickly. This treat can eliminate the need to buy an express pass.

23. Be Mindful of Universal Orlando Resort Security

Halloween Horror Nights 2009
Halloween Horror Nights 2009

Security at Universal Orlando is very tight and it is stricter during Halloween Horror Nights, but don’t let that discourage your evening at HHN.

Have a blast, be safe, and don’t try anything stupid.

24. Have Fun!

You’re really going to have a great time, so try not to stress too much and enjoy the delightfully, ghoulish frights of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights!

Ready to start planning your next Universal Orlando vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

Final Thoughts

I hope this Halloween Horror Nights Tips and Survival Guide helped you prepare for this year’s event.

If you’re questioning whether to go to HHN this year, remember that it is one of my favorite fall events to do in Orlando.

So, you must try it at least once!

Halloween Horror Nights Tips Survival Guide
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Halloween Horror Nights is one of the best things to do in Orlando for the fall.

Be sure to leave your own stories and let me know some of your favorite Halloween Horror Nights tips in the comments section below.

Also, let us know what your favorite Halloween Horror Nights tips, mazes and scarezones are of all time.

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Check Out My Halloween Horror Nights Book Recommendation

Halloween Horror Nights History book on Amazon

For more information on the houses, shows, pricing, policies, and times please visit the official Halloween Horror Nights website.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!


(Original date August 2012/Updated May 31, 2021)

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