Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) 21 is under way at Universal Studios and is a “not-to-be-missed” event for those of you who love to be scared out of your wits. Here’s an overview of what “Lady Luck” has in store along with some helpful tips we picked up from our experience at this year’s event.
Ticketing & Arrival
Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event, which means you cannot use a general admission ticket to attend.
- HHN frequently sells out, so to save time and money make sure to purchase tickets in advance.
- With tickets in hand, arrive at the entrance of Universal Studios early (before 5 p.m.) on the night you’re attending. Halloween Horror Nights officially begins at 6:30 p.m., but the gates usually open at least half an hour beforehand. This way you’ll be one of the first people through the gates and you can get started touring the haunted houses!
There are eight haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights 21, and in my opinion, they are more detailed and more terrifying than ever.
- The lines are very long and wait times can exceed two hours. In order to see all of the haunted houses, use an HHN Express Pass (purchased directly from Universal) or plan to attend Halloween Horror Nights more than once. Also, Fridays and Saturdays are far more crowded than other nights.
- If strobe lighting and special effects bother you like they do Mommy Frog, you may want to skip the following haunted houses: The In-Between, The Thing and Saws n’ Steam.
- Our favorites were Winter’s Night: The Haunting of Hawthorne Cemetery, Nevermore and Nightingales: Blood Prey.
There are six scare zones spread throughout the park, and as the name implies, they are simply themed areas that will most likely scare the living daylights out of anyone with a normal sense of fear.
- There aren’t queue lines for the scare zones as they are located along existing walkways.
- Some of the scare zones don’t have signs so you may not even know you’re about to enter one. Don’t worry…the “scare-actors” will take care of that!
- Our favorite HHN 21 scare zones were Acid Assault (located next to The Thing haunted house), Your Luck Has Run Out (located near the Beetlejuice stage) and 7 (located closest to the park entrance).
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure is scheduled three times each night and is located in the Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue amphitheater. Death Drums is a 7-8 minute drum and dance performance that is part parade and part show. If you have to choose between seeing a show and seeing another haunted house, we recommend the latter.
What Not to Wear
- Costumes and/or masks…As you walk through the scare zones, you’ll see why. You don’t want to be confused with the “scare-actors.”
- Flip flops or open-toed shoes…People may bump into the front or back of you as you go through the haunted houses, and stubbing your toes should be the least of your concern.
- Dark clothing…The dimmed lighting and smoke effects throughout the park can make it difficult to see. Bright colors will help you keep track of everyone in your group.
A Note to Parents
We did not bring Tad or Lily with us to Halloween Horror Nights 21. There is a reason “child tickets” are not sold for this event. It is LOTS of fun for older teens and adults, but it is extremely intense and not suitable for children.
Check out more pictures from Halloween Horror Nights 21 on Facebook.