Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is the preeminent annual Halloween event across the entire state of Florida. If you are a fan of Halloween or just love to be scared, this is the place for you to be every fall.
Typically held on select dates from late September until early November of every year, this separately ticketed event takes place in Universal Studios Florida theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort. The theme park closes early and the entire park is transformed into one amazing Halloween party which includes some the scariest walk-thru haunted houses, terrifying scare zones and amazing live entertainment.
Originally started in 1991 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, this sinister annual event is now available in all four of Universal’s worldwide theme parks including Universal Studios Hollywood (1997), Universal Studios Singapore (2012) and Universal Studios Japan (2012).
Although the 2020 HHN event was cancelled, Universal did a very nice job in providing an alternative which included a few haunted houses as well as the reopening of the Tribute Store (see our Halloween Horror Nights 2020 section below). Without getting the full 2020 experience, it makes attending HHN during 2021 that much more special.
Halloween Horror Nights usually starts around 6:30 PM and ends at 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM in the morning so you will have hours of terrifying fun.
What does is cost to attend Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida?
General admission tickets for Halloween Horror Nights 30 (2021) range in price from $70.99 to $97.99 per night. Prices vary based on the individual night and Friday / Saturday nights command the highest ticket prices. Additional ticket prices are as follows:
- Rush of Fear Pass: Access to the first 16 nights of Halloween Horror Nights which include September 3, 4, 9-12 and 22-26. The price for the Rush of Fear Pass is $129.99 and could be combined with Universal Express for $399.99.
- Frequent Fear Pass: Visit HHN for up to 26 select nights which include every Sunday to Thursday plus the first weekend. The price for the Frequent Fear Pass is $159.99 and could be combined with Universal Express for $459.99.
- Frequent Fear Plus Pass: Visit HHN for 35 nights every Sunday to Friday plus first and last Saturday event nights. The price for the Frequent Fear Pass is $189.99 and could be combined with Universal Express for $529.99
- Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass: Access to every single night that Universal offers HHN. The price for the Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass is $284.99 and could be combined with Universal Express for $749.99
Additional premium experiences are being offered for HHN 30 (2021) and include:
- Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass: Priced from $89.99 to $169.99, guests will skip the regular lines one time at all haunted houses as well as participating attractions.
- Halloween Horror Nights Behind-the-Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour: Priced from $79.99 to $109.99 for a 3-haunted house tour or $129.99 to $159.99 for a six-house tour, guests will go behind the scenes for a VIP lights on tour of this year’s HHN haunted houses.
- Halloween Horror Nights RIP Tour: Priced from $279.99 to $369.99, guests will enjoy a guided VIP walking tour of the event as well as priority entry to all haunted houses.
- Scream Early: For $30.00 per person, admission starts at 3:00 PM where guests can get a head start on the screams.
HHN for Universal Annual Passholders
If you area a Universal Orlando annual passholder, there are discounts available for purchase. However, Premier annual passholders get one free night of access to HHN during select nights (check out the benefits of being a Premier annual passholder by CLICKING HERE).
2021 Admission Dates for Premier Annual Passholders:
- September 2021: 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29 and 30
- October 2021: 6, 13, 20, 26 and 27
Haunted Houses & Scare Zones at HHN in Universal Studios Florida
Every year Universal sets up Haunted Houses and Scare Zones throughout the park with differing themes based on pop culture at that particular time. Prior themes include “The Walking Dead”, “The Purge”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Alien vs Predator”, “The Shining”, “American Horror Story” and “Stranger Things”.
In 2021 there are a total of ten walk-thru Haunted Houses and five Scare Zones. The Haunted Houses are typically in sound studios or behind-the-scenes area of Universal Studios Florida. The scare zones are usually spread throughout several areas on the park and are typically located as follows:
- Production Central in front of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Shrek 4D.
- The Hollywood area.
- Adjacent to Central Park and the NBC Media Center / Garden of Allah Villas.
- In New York in front of the Revenge of the Mummy.
- In San Francisco in front of the exit of Fast & Furious Supercharged and across from Chez Alcatraz.
Live Entertainment and Shows at HHN in Universal Studios Florida
Live entertainment is a big part of the Halloween Horror Night Experience. Universal hosted a live show themed after the “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” movies. The Bill & Ted show was wildly popular and ran from 1992 to 2017.
Another HHN fan favorite is the Academy of Villains which is a hip-hop dance group that came to prominence from the show “America’s got Talent”. This is a world-class group of performers that put on an intense show which is not to be missed when attending Halloween Horror Nights.
The live shows are some of the best Halloween themed performances we have every seen and are features several times every night. These shows should not be missed during your next visit to HHN.
However, we do wish Universal would bring back the Bill & Ted show!
Rides and Attractions Which Remain Open During HHN
Universal also keep several rides and attractions open during Halloween Horror Nights. For 2019 a number of the most popular rides remained open which included:
- Transformers The Ride – 3D
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Men in Black Alien Attack
- The Simpsons Rid
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Shopping and Dining During HHN
HHN fans will find Halloween Horror Nights merchandise at the following stores throughout the Universal Studios Florida. In addition to these stores, there are kiosks / carts within the park as well as in Universal’s CityWalk.
- Universal Studios Store
- Universal Music Plaza Kiosk
- Sahara Traders
- The Film Vault
- San Francisco Kiosk
- MIB Gear
- Cyber Image
In addition to the stores shown above, Universal opens the TRIBUTE STORE during the Halloween season. This years store (2020) features separate rooms featuring not only the latest merchandise but also throw back merch from prior years HHN events. There is also a fully stocked bakery offering Halloween Horror Nights themed cakes, donuts, pretzels and other tasty delights. Click here to see the entire Tribute Store menu.
One of the highlights of this years Tribute Store is the Beetlejuice theme with plenty of references to the 1988 Tim Burton classic movie.
The Tribute Store is open all day and night during normal park operating hours. It is located in the New York area of Universal Studios Florida next to Macy’s and across from the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Halloween Horror Nights 2021 (HHN 30)
Halloween Horror Nights is back for 2021 and will feature the ghost with the most, Beetlejuice (as planned for 2020) and our friend Jack the Clown.
Jack is back for HHN 30 and will have his own haunted house for this coming year (2021). Jack’s been part of many HHN events including 2000, 2007 and 2015. This year he will come back in three incarnations – clown, ringmaster and rock star.
This premier Halloween event is set to take place on select nights from September 3, 2021 to October 31, 2021 and will feature haunted houses, live entertainment and scare zones.
2021 HHN Haunted Houses
The complete line up of Haunted Houses for 2021 has not been announced. A list of what we know at this time is shown below.
- Beetlejuice: Say his name three times and see what happens in the Lost Souls Room, the model graveyard and in Dante’s Inferno. Guests will also get the chance to be part of the dinner party and wedding from the infamous movie.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Enter this Texas home at your own risk as the Sawyer family is lurking with their chainsaws.
- Case Files Unearthed: Investigate supernatural beings, mysterious creatures and ghastly ghouls.
- Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives: Bride will stop at nothing to bring Frankenstein back to life.
- The Wicked Growth (Realm of the Pumpkin): Beware of the Pumpkin Lord who is looking for unwilling sacrifices.
- The Haunting of Hill House: From the popular Netflix show, guests will enter Hill House which is “more alive than its ghostly inhabitants”.
- HHN Icons Captured: Experience 30 years of HHN characters all together including Jack the Clown, The Caretaker and many, many more.
- Revenge of the Tooth Fairy: Experience the dark side of this children’s tradition where its an “eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”.
- Welcome to Scarey: Horror in the Heartland: Carey, Ohio used to be a nice pace to live but no one lives here for long.
- Puppet Theatre: Enter a San Francisco abandoned theater where a puppeteer and ballet troupe have been trapped since the early 1900’s.
2021 HHN Scare Zones
Throughout the park guests will find a number of Scare Zones. The complete line of scare zones is as follows:
- CRYPT TV
- 30 Years 30 Fears
- Seek and Destroy
- Gorewood Forest
- Lights Camera Hacktion – Eddie’s Revenge
2021 HHN Live Entertainment
Universal continues its tradition of hosting live entertainment for guests of Halloween Horror Nights. Planned shows for 2021 include:
- Marathon of Mayhem Carnage Factory: Showcased in the Universal lagoon, guests will watch the horror of this “fear factory”.
- Halloween Nightmare Fuel: An all new show featuring aerial performers, special effects and pyrotechnics.
Halloween Horror Nights 2020
As previously indicate, due to the COVID-19 pandemic Universal will not be hosting Halloween Horror Nights for 2020. The 2020 event was planned to feature Beetlejuice which used to have a very popular live show at Universal that closed in 2016. Click here to see the Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue show.
Although HHN will not take place in 2020, Universal is still providing a host of fall / Halloween activities which are highlighted by two walk-thru haunted houses which will be open for daytime guests.
2020 Haunted Houses
- Revenge of the Tooth Fairy – If you don’t give up your baby teeth than these frightening tooth fairies will come looking for you.
- Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives – Forget Frankenstein, his Bride is so much scarier.
- Beetlejuice – The Beetlejuice house came later in the season but was a welcome addition to the lineup.
In addition to the Haunted Houses, Universal is providing some additional Halloween fun.
- Trick-or-Treating at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- An expanded Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store
- The Scarecrow Stalk which is an all-new scavenger hunt. Guests will need to find 13 scarecrows and skeletons to receive a candy sampler bag.
Universal will continue to hold its Horror Make-Up Show and you may just run into a special guest (we don’t want to spoil the surprise now do we).
And if your interested, guests are allowed to wear costumes this year. Costume guidelines are in place to make sure you review what is allowable at the Universal Orlando.com web site.
Endless Summer Tips when Attending Halloween Horror Nights
If you are planning on visiting Universal for HHN, there are a number of things you need to know to get the most out of our visit. Following is a short list of our best tips when attending Halloween Horror Nights.
Buy Tickets in Advance
Halloween Horror Nights is one of the most popular special events of any Orlando theme park and
At times Universal will reach capacity during the opening weekend so a number of guests will unfortunately be turned away. If possible, get in the park during the day before HHN opens (however a park ticket or annual pass is required for admission during the day). Guests with a valid HHN ticket are allowed to remain within Universal Studios Florida in two corralled areas.
In 2019 there were two corralled areas. One is in the New York section of Universal Studios adjacent to Finnegan’s Bar & Grill while the other was in front of Fast Food Boulevard in the Springfield (Simpsons) area.
It has been our experience that the HHN park experience is open to guests in the corralled areas between 15 and 30 minutes of the opening of the gates. Therefore, guests already in the park get a jump start to the first Haunted House (or two, depending on crowd levels).
By arriving early and corralling near Fast Food Boulevard, we were able to get through four Haunted Houses in the first 90 minutes during our visit in 2019.
Develop a Plan
It makes sense to figure out which Haunted Houses you want to get to first as wait times can easily exceed 30 to 60 minutes on a typical weekend night. We recommend that HHN guests head to the newest / most popular houses first before the lines get long (which are typically near the front of the park in Production Central & New York), then move on to the other near Hollywood, in the Kids Zone area and finally the ones near Men In Black Alien Attack.
We also recommend that you see the Live Entertainment (Academy of Villains is a can’t miss show) later in the evening as the initial shows are always the most crowded.
It’s not cheap but the Universal Express pass is one of the best ways to experience Halloween Horror Nights. HHN Express Passes typically start from $89.99 and allow for front of the line access for each haunted house. If you are planning on attending on either a Friday or Saturday night during the month of October, Universal Express is highly recommended to ensure you are able to get through all the Haunted Houses.
Don’t forget that R.I.P. (VIP) Tours are offered which provide for immediate access to the Haunted Houses as well as current year shows. 2021 Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour prices range from $279 to $369 depending on the individual night.
If you are staying at a Universal on-site Premier level hotel (Portofino Bay, Hard Rock or Royal Pacific), the free Universal Express benefit is valid for normal operating hours only and does not extend to HHN nights.
Buy Merch During the Final Days
Although you might miss out on some of the more popular items if they are sold out, we have found the best time to be HHN merchandise is during the final days.
From 2017 to 2019 Universal has discounted HHN merch in the Tribute Store by as much as 50%, depending on the items. So if you are looking to pick up a new HHN T-shirt, HHN themed lanyard or any other souvenir, try and wait until the end of the season.
Halloween Horror Nights 2019 (HHN 29)
HHN 29 was held from September 6 to November 2, 2019 and featured the Stranger Things, Ghostbuster and Jordan Peele’s US. Also new for HHN was the Halloween Marathon of Mayhem show in the Universal Studios’ lagoon.
Following is the complete lineup of themed Haunted Houses, Scare Zones that were featured in 2019.
Themed Haunted Houses for 2019
- Stranger Things
- Jordan Peele’s Us
- Universal Monsters
- Killer Klowns From Outer Space
- House of 1000 Corpses
- Depths of Fear
- Graveyard Games
- Nightingales Blood Pit
- Yeti Terror of the Yukon
Scare Zones for 2019
- Zombieland Double Tap
- Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe
- Vanity Bakk
- Vikings Undead
Live Entertainment for 2019
- Halloween Marathon of Mayhem
- Academy of Villains Altered States
Learn More about the Universal Orlando Resort with our Theme Park Guides
Where Should We Stay When Visiting the Universal Orlando Resort?
The Universal Resort has a number of great on-site hotels and each and every one of them have their own benefits, characteristics and price points.
There are multiple “categories” of hotels but the highest quality on-site hotels are the Premier Hotels. Premier hotels are Universal’s premium hotels that have the highest quality amenities & accommodations, the closest locations to the theme parks and largest amount of on-site hotel benefits.
What sets Premier hotels apart is that they provide a free Universal Express pass to every guest staying in the room. Universal Express allows guests to skip the regular lines and ride the most popular rides as many times as they would like. Once you get used to Universal Express, you will never want to visit a theme park without one.
In addition Universal’s Premier hotels and resorts, there are a number of other on-site and off-site hotels options. Click here to learn more about hotels in the Universal Orlando area.