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!
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO. Which means if you click on certain links, I may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.
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!
Halloween Horror Nights Dates 2021
HHN will take places on select nights from Friday, September 3rd until Sunday, October 31st 2020.
As you can see, HHN is not every night. So, be aware of the dates when choosing the day you’d like to go.
ORDER NOW to secure your theme park ticket reservation in the parks! GET MY TICKETS.
What time is Halloween Horror Nights?
The Halloween Horror Nights hours start at 6:30 p.m. with closing times varying each night.
What’s New for Halloween Horror Nights 2021
Guess Who’s Back at HHN…Jack the Clown!
Your favorite demented clown, Jack, is back to help celebrate Halloween Horror Nights 30! It’s suspected that Jack will be popping up all over the haunted event in what Universal has dubbed as “Jack Attacks.” This can mean so much and I am here for it all!
According to Universal, his ominous and unrelenting presence will infiltrate every aspect of the event – from the streets, to the haunted houses to the places guests would least expect – leaving nowhere to turn and nowhere to hide.
Drinks with Jack the Clown at Cabana Bay
Universal Orlando is also adding a Halloween experience to the Cabana Beach Resort inspired by Jack. The “Jack’d Up” experience will have you getting up-close and personal to the deranged world and mind of Jack on the second floor of the resort.
You’ll also be able to experience past Horror Nights Icons in the Swizzle Lounge lobby bar that will feature specialty beverages and snacks inspired by HHN’s most infamous icons, and props of the past.
Hipster Power Tip: The Jack’d Up experience will be limited to Universal Orlando Resort hotel guests. So, if you’re staying at another Universal hotel, you’ll be able to visit Cabana Bay to see this brand new Halloween adventure entails.
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 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).
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
ORDER NOW to secure your Universal Studios theme park ticket! GET MY TICKETS.
2. The Haunting of Hill House
If you’re a fan of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, then you’ll be happy to journey into the same steps of the Crain family in this eerie maze.
Universal will feature some of the most iconic scenes that this Netflix series is known for such the:
- Red Room
- Heart of Hill House
- Hall of Statues
You will also come face-to-face with The Tall Man, The Ghost in the Basement, and The Bent-Neck Lady.
3. Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives
This HHN haunted house will pick up where the classic 1935 film, The Bride of Frankenstein, left off. “Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives” will place you right in the middle of the madness as the Bride becomes insanely obsessed with bringing Frankenstein’s Monster to life.
Will she succeed? You will see, but try not to get in her way or you’ll become a lost victim in her fortress.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This horror franchise is no stranger to Halloween Horror Nights. For this year’s event, you will relive the most familiar scenes from this 1974 film such as:
- The dilapidated gas station
- Infamous old farmhouse and more!
Just know that this house will be as intense as the classic slasher film. The movie held nothing back so you can expect the same from Universal. So, be ready to run for your life as Leatherface appears around every corner to pull you deep into his catacomb.
Halloween Horror Nights Scarezones
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.
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.
- Zombieland Double Tap
- Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe
- Vanity Ball
- Vikings Undead
Read how to find your perfect vacation home rental in Orlando by Clicking HERE!
25 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Tickets (Single Night Price)
You can now save money and grab your HHN ticket online. HHN tickets start at $70.99 when purchased in advanced, but you can save up to $52 on select nights by purchasing yours in online. This will save you a lot of money.
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.
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.
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?
Absolutely! Please buy an Express Pass. Halloween Horror Nights is extremely popular, if not the most popular Halloween event in Central Florida.
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.
Remember: Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes start at $69.99 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.
Do I need to buy an Express Pass for Halloween Horror Nights?
You 100% DO NOT NEED an Express Pass to enter and enjoy your time at HHN. However, if you HATE lines with a burning passion, or want to get on every single haunted house in one night, then an HHN Express Pass is definitely going to maximize your time.
If you choose not to get an Express Pass, then I recommend that you pick a day that is going to have a lower crowd level.
You can do this by looking at the HHN Express Pass Pricing Calendar and see which day has a lower cost. This will indicate that Universal Orlando predicts a smaller crowd that day.
Hipster Power Tip: 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.
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.
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!
14. Buy a Unique Halloween Horror Nights experience
This is a fun way to enjoy this Florida theme park haunt.
Halloween Horror Nights Behind-the-Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour
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.
You’ll also get the opportunity to take photos while in some of the house during your tour.
You need to know that your theme park admission ticket is not included or required to participate in a tour. So, once the tour is done, you will not be able to stay in the park unless you have a Universal Studios ticket or Annual Pass already purchased.
Below are the options that you have for the Unmasking the Horror Tour:
- 3 House Tour starts at $79.99 (can last up to 2.5 hours)
- 6 House Tough starts at $129.99 (can last up to 5 hours)
Unmasking the Horror Tour Dates:
- Sept. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30
- Oct. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Hipster Power Tip: If you’re not going alone, make sure you and your group book your tickets together so that you can get the same tour, time, and group on your visit.
Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour
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 with priority V.I.P. entry to haunted houses (once per house).
Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour Dates:
- Sept. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30
- Oct. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
How much is an HHN VIP Tour at Universal?
The Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour starts at $199.99. Prices change based on the predicted busyness of the event. Doing an HHN VIP tour is definitely on my theme park bucket list.
If you do plan on doing it for your visit, you can expect to enjoy:
- Priority V.I.P. entry to haunted houses and participating rides and attractions while on tour with R.I.P. Tour Guide (once per house, subject to itinerary and event operating hours)
- V.I.P. entrance gate to Universal Studios Florida for the event
- Commemorative R.I.P. Tour credential & lanyard
- Complimentary Valet Parking (Guests will receive complimentary Valet Parking for one (1) vehicle based on availability and advance purchase)
- Pre-tour reception in Cafe La Bamba
- Access to exclusive cash bar locations during the tour (must be 21+ with valid photo ID to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages)
- Reserved seating at select show(s)
- Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions (event hours permitting, excludes houses)
Private HHN R.I.P. Tours
Enjoy HHN like a star by doing your own private Halloween Horror Nights tour. This tour includes all the R.I.P. Tour benefits, PLUS:
- Priority UNLIMITED VIP entry to haunted houses and participating rides and attractions while on tour with R.I.P. Tour Guide (subject to itinerary and event operating hours)
- Exclusive private tour of the event for your group—up to 10 people
- Customizable itinerary
- My Universal Photos 3-Day photo package
- Call (866) 346-9350 for details and to book. Separate event admission is required; pricing varies by date, subject to availability.
What to Know Before Booking an R.I.P. Tour and a Private Tour
- Separate Halloween Horror Nights event admission is required for all R.I.P. Tour experiences AND must be valid for the same calendar day as the R.I.P. Tour ticket.
- R.I.P. Tours are available for individual parties of up to six (6) persons only and will include multiple parties in the same tour group.
- Parties or groups of seven (7) or more will need to book a Private R.I.P. Tour which will include only members of their individual group. Reservations are required and forty-eight (48) hour cancellation notice is required for a full refund.
- Event admission is not included in the listed price.
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.
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
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. I know this sounds like a simple tip, but it’s something that happens to many people visiting HHN.
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 Premier 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 ~ $71 (this is the lowest price, but I recommended budgeting closer to $90)
- 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 ~ $200
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.
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
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. Book A Vacation Package To Save Money
My top tip for you is to make your visit to HHN a full out vacation. Lucky for you, Universal offers vacation packages starting at $149/night that can save you some money and includes:
- 4-Night Hotel Accommodations
- 3-Park 4-Day Park-to-Park Ticket to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure AND Universal’s Volcano
- 1-Night Admission to Halloween Horror Nights
- $50 Bundle & Save Discount
- Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay up to one hour before the parks open
- Access to select live entertainment venues at Universal CityWalk
Exclusive Passholder Halloween Horror Nights Hotel & Ticket Package
Universal Orlando Passholders can also take advantage of an HHN vacation package starting at $105/night and includes:
- 1-Night Hotel Accommodations
- 1-Night Admission to Halloween Horror Nights
- Commemorative Passholder Halloween Horror Nights 2021 Pin – one per person
Please note that the starting prices at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels are based on Sunday through Thursday travel with dates from Sept. 3–30, 2021.
25. 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!
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 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:
- Which is better, Halloween Horror Nights or Howl-O-Scream?
- First Timer Solo Tips for Universal Orlando Resort
- Halloween Horror Nights History – 1991
- My Halloween Horror Nights Solo Trip Report
- Halloween Horror Nights History – 1992
- Universal Studios One-Day Itinerary
- Islands of Adventure One-Day Itinerary
- History of Halloween Horror Nights
Check Out My Halloween Horror Nights Book Recommendation
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 July 17, 2021)