Book yourself in for the most spook-tacular Halloween celebrations imaginable, with a visit to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights! On select nights between September and November, enjoy the world’s premier Halloween event at Universal Studios Florida – part of Universal Orlando Resort.
Make your way through terrifying haunted houses. Face nightmarish creatures on streets twisted into sinister scare zones. Lose yourself in outrageous live shows. Then escape to some of Universal Studios’ most exhilarating attractions
In 2018, The world’s premier Halloween event returns for its 28th year – and it’s sure to be its biggest year yet. Keep reading to find out why…
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
By day, the Universal Studios appear as normal as Dr Jekyll; it’s business as usual and the rides, tours and experiences are running as though there’s nothing to worry about. However, by night, its Mr Hyde comes out and the theme-park’s streets come alive with the undead, monsters, mutants and masked maniacs, waiting to claim you as one of their own.
With almost 30 years’ experience in creating the ultimate scare-fest, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are not for the faint of heart. It’s no surprise, then, that the event has been awarded Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for the Best Halloween Event every year since 2008.
What to expect
It’s worth knowing that Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights attracts thousands of visitors each autumn. Because of the numbers involved and the sheer choice of things to see and do, many visitors book tickets for multiple nights, just to ensure they get to soak up every last drop of adrenaline. The Frequent Fear Plus Pass is a great way of maximizing your screams across multiple event nights.
Aim for Wednesday or other weeknights for the best chance of a light crowd. Fridays and Saturdays tend to attract the greatest numbers, and this can make it harder to fit everything in.
The haunted houses
The main attraction for the Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are the haunted houses. These are built over a period of months and are comparable to movie-sets in their authenticity and attention to detail. Each house is given a distinctly terrifying theme of its own – some after popular horror franchises, others after cult TV hits, and some are even Universal’s own twisted creations.
Previous houses have been themed around the likes of Saw, The Evil Dead and American Horror Story. Visitors can explore the houses but be prepared to be haunted by denizens of the underworld, including vampires, zombies, witches and the occasional chainsaw-wielding madman.
In 2018 there will be 10 houses – more than ever before! There’ll be an underlying 1980’s theme running through the event – which figures given Netflix hit Stranger Things is one of the most hotly anticipated houses. Thrill seekers will be able to visit the eerie Upside Down and escape from the Demogorgon, while trying to avoid the unexpected twists and turns that lurk around every corner!
Shows with a shiver
If that all sounds a bit too scary, you might consider taking in some of the sights from the comfort of your own seat. In 2018, the world-famous Academy of Villains return to the event with a brand new show – Cyberpunk – combining a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics and theatre with 80’s flare.
The Scare Zones
Scare Zones are as close as you’ll get to experiencing being in a horror film, without actually being in one. There are usually five, each one themed to give a different experience. They involve wandering through an extensive set peopled by dozens of actors, all in full prosthetic make-up to make them look like zombies, vampires, aliens, and anything else that the twisted minds of the organisers can conjure up!
New haunted houses, rides, shows and Scare Zones are announced through the year, and it’s worth choosing a few must-sees before you go. While you might be tempted to wait until you get back to your hotel or apartment to have dinner, there are plenty of snack-carts lining the streets, as well as places to buy a drink or two. For those who’d rather recharge their batteries in style, many of the park’s restaurants remain open throughout the night, giving you the chance to take a break and enjoy a meal.
A ticket to hide
There are various ticket levels available, from the standard entry ticket, to RIP Tour tickets, Frequent Fear passes, and Behind the Screams Tours. It’s also worth knowing that, while the focus will be on the frightful festivities and spine-tingling celebrations, many of the rides remain open for the duration of the Horror Nights, so it’s worth checking, as the queues are likely to be minimal and you’ve got a much better chance of getting on than you would normally.
Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights have been a staple of Florida’s Halloween celebrations for almost three decades. Do you have the nerve to see what it is that keeps people coming back for more?