12 Secrets to Surviving Halloween Horror Nights

Jennifer MeyerDestination GuidesLeave a Comment

I know that it is the middle of the week, guys. And yes, I know that it can be a drag!

But today, we are talking about an exciting topic that will hopefully help you shake those mid-week blues!

Halloween Horror Nights

October is finally here!!! You know what that means!

Halloween is just around the corner!

More importantly, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is back! (*Does a happy dance*)

I absolutely adore Halloween Horror Nights! I have been more often than I care to admit…

But, I am happy to be going back again this year!

What We’re Talking About Today:

This post is all about how to get the most out of your Halloween Horror Nights experience!

Think of this post as your survival guide!

I have 12 awesome tips to help you plan your trip and manage you time so that you can get the most out of your trip!

Okay, so tips are great and fine, but maybe you don’t know much about Halloween Horror Nights yet. No worries!

It is a night-time event at Universal Studios for certain nights from the end of September to the beginning of November.

The event includes 9 haunted houses and a number of scare zones that are located throughout the park.

Some of the rides are also open, so you can enjoy those as well if you need a break from all of the fright!

How to Decide if this Event is for You

This is definitely an intense event.

If you don’t like watching scary movies or going to your local haunted houses, you might want to skip this event.

However, if you love a good scary movie, Universal Studios does a phenomenal job bringing your favorite horror movies to life! Check out this year’s (2017) haunted houses!

The theme park employs people to dress up according to the house and scare zones they are assigned to. Their main objective is to scare you. And–oh my goodness–they are really good at their jobs!

There are few safe zones in the park, but most of it is a purely terrifying!

So, if you go, you have to go wanting to be scared!

Also, as this is an intense event, if you have any medical conditions that might be exacerbated by an event like this, you might not want to go. They have many warnings at the entrance to all houses. Read more information about accommodations here.

So, You’ve Decided to Be Brave…


I’m so glad that you’re ready to be scared out of your mind!

Please check out Universal Studio’s website to learn more about ticket pricing and event dates!

Keep reading for my top 12 tips for planning and managing your time!

Tips on Trip Planning

1. Pick a date!

Try to pick a date that works well for you but also isn’t the busiest.

Saturday is the most expensive day to go. It is also the busiest.

Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the cheapest days to go. They are also less busy.

Fridays are busy, but if you manage your time well you can still get through most, if not all, of the haunted houses.

We always have gone on a Thursday or a Friday night. It simply depends on our schedules for the year.

I would recommend visiting the park on a night that it is open until 2 am. This gives you an extra hour to explore the scare zones and visit the houses.

Also, I will say that I have heard that the event is much less busy during the first couple weeks it opens. I don’t know this for a fact since I tend to go in the middle of October, but I have heard this from friends.

2. Get a group of people to go with you!

Getting scared is always better with friends!

I find that having a big group of like-minded people is awesome!

Sometimes, however, your group will want to split, and that’s fine!

Unfortunately, you all might go with the intent of seeing all the haunted houses, but eventually, some from your group may want to wait in line for a ride. If this happens, just let them go (as long as they have a buddy). Just make sure you tell them that you and your buddy are going to see some houses!

3. Carpool!

If you get a group of people together, definitely do your best to carpool! You will have to pay for parking, so the fewer cars you need to park, the better!

4. Share a hotel room!

If you’re trying to save as much money as possible, book a hotel room that everyone can share! Even if you have to bring an air mattress to make it work! You can split the cost of the hotel between everyone and save tons of money!

5. Pick someone who is willing to be a designated driver for each car!

Drinking at the event is fun , but you need to make sure that everyone can get to the hotel room safely!

If you’re having trouble deciding who should be the designated driver(DD), remember that each drink is going to be about $10, so if anyone in your group isn’t willing to pay that much for each drink, they could easily be a DD!

6. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the theme park!

If it’s going to take you 3 hours to drive there, make sure you give yourself more time than that for traffic!

We (my friends and I) live about 2.5 hours away, and we like to leave about 5 hours before the event starts because of the horrible Orlando traffic. This also gives us time to eat before the event starts.

Tips on Time Management

These are my top tips for making the most out of your time at Halloween Horror Nights!

1. Make sure you arrive to the park Early!

You are going to wait in line to get in, so make sure you arrive no later than when the gates open!

Ideally, you should arrive at least an hour before the event begins!

This allows you to grab a bite to eat at City Walk or just check it out before getting in line to enter the park.

Keep in mind, you only have 6.5 to 7.5 hours (depending on the park hours for the date you chose) to see all 9 haunted houses, which can seem like a daunting task when you see some of the wait times.

Don’t panic, just keep reading!

2. Eat before entering the park!

We usually eat at City Walk before we get in line to enter the park.

This means that once we enter the park we are all business!

Eventually we make stops for drinks and snacks, but leaving the 1st hour of the event open for haunted houses really helps.

We usually can get through two in the first hour!

3. Once you enter the park, go to the first haunted house with a short line!

You will notice that the very first haunted house you see might have a long line since people will enter and funnel right into the first line. Sometimes, however, this isn’t the case.

Check you Universal Studios App for wait times and line locations!

Don’t spend 10 minutes looking, just find one close and short and jump in line!

4. Keep Jumping in the next shortest line you can find!

Keep jumping into the shortest lines you can find!

Don’t waste your time wandering around though.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: use your Universal Studios App to check wait times at houses!

Sometimes, the more popular houses will just have long wait times, but if you’re not there on a Saturday, you generally don’t have to wait longer than an hour for anything!

Last year, we managed our time well, and I believe the longest we waited was 45 minutes!

Granted, this doesn’t happen every year we go, but it’s certainly our goal!

5. Do the most popular house last!

This is the best piece of advice I can give you!

I cannot tell you how much time this has saved us each year!

There is always an incredibly popular house. This house’s line doesn’t usually go below 1.5 hours and can surge to well over a 2 hours!

Save this one for last!

As long as you jump in line 15 minutes before the park closes, they have to let you go through the line! Just make sure not to cut it too close, give yourself a few extra minutes to walk (or run) there!

6. Drinks are served in line!

If you like bottled beer and jello shots, you can skip the concession line and just get your alcohol while you wait for the houses!

If you do want a mixed drink or draft beer, you will have to wait in line at a concession stand.

Just make sure that your group is ordering drinks at the same time.

One year, we kept stopping for one person to get a drink only to have someone else want to stop for a drink shortly after. What a waste of time!

We use these strategies every year, and we usually get to see 8-9 houses, all of the scare zones, and at least one ride!

I hope these tips help you guys get the most out of your trip to Halloween Horror Nights!

Are you planning on going to Halloween Horror Nights this year (2017)?! If so, let me know which house you are most excited about seeing in comments below!

Until next time,



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