We Did All 10 Houses at Halloween Horror Nights 32 on a Friday Night Without Express — Here’s How

Annie Wilson

We Did All 10 Houses at Halloween Horror Nights 32 on a Friday Night Without Express — Here’s How

As we get later into the Halloween season, the HHN crowds are beginning to grow at Universal Studios Florida. There’s no denying that the best way to do Halloween Horror Nights is with a RIP Tour or Express Pass. If your budget doesn’t allow for that, or those options are sold out, we highly suggest taking advantage of Stay and Scream to make the most of your night.

We went to the park on a busy Friday night and decided to see if we could make it through all 10 houses in one night without using Express Passes. Here’s what we did and how we strategized, but this is by no means the only way to achieve the goal of hitting all the houses in a single night. Let’s start our night with Stay and Scream in the New York section.

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Stay and Scream is the ultimate way to beat the crowds. Guests with Halloween Horror Nights tickets only must wait outside of the gates until the event officially starts around 6 p.m. Guests with daytime admission to the park, a valid UOAP, or a separate Stay and Scream ticket may enter one of three holding areas inside the park before the park closes at 5 p.m. If you are inside Universal Studios Florida before 5 p.m., head to your Stay and Scream of choice and scan your Halloween Horror Nights ticket to enter. You’ll be free to roam, get snacks or drinks, or get in line for the houses.

We entered the New York Stay and Scream area at 4:30 p.m. to join the “Stranger Things 4” house line. Each Stay and Scream area allows guests to line up for certain houses early. New York offers “The Exorcist: Believer,” Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate, and “Stranger Things.” The Springfield/Central Park Stay and Scream allows access to Universal Monsters: Unmasked and “The Last of Us.” The San Francisco Stay and Scream is for Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count.

The houses with the longest wait times throughout the night are typically “Stranger Things,” “The Last of Us,” Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count, and Universal Monsters: Unmasked. Knowing this, we started with “Stranger Things 4”. We joined the line, which filtered us into the queue shortly after 5 p.m. The “Stranger Things 4” house opened for guests at 5: 15 p.m., and we entered at 5:20 p.m. First house: done.

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We stopped to get drinks and refill our Coca-Cola Freestyle cups before we went to Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate. We walked up to a short wait and entered the house at 5:37 p.m.

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After we walked out of Dueling Dragons, we saw the sign turned on at the entrance for Yeti: Campground Kills, which opens at 6 p.m. We were some of the first people to enter the queue and were walking into the house at exactly 6:00 p.m.

As we exited Yeti: Campground Kills, we saw the crowds coming quickly towards us from the park entrance. The gates had officially opened, so we had to make quick decisions. Our first instinct was to run to the houses at the back of the park, since those were all just starting to open and only had 5 minute waits. This is a great time to start checking the Universal Orlando app. You may want to run to the back of the park for lower wait times, but we decided to hit “Exorcist: Believer” and walked into the house at 6:13 p.m. Another one off the list.

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This was when the wait times started jumping up. We made our way to the back of the park quickly and got in line for Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins. Wait times were starting to increase, and this house had a 20 minute wait now. There was a long walk to the house, but we would rather be walking than standing. This was the first actual wait we encountered for the night, even if it wasn’t long. We entered Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins at 6:43 p.m. Halfway through the list!

When you exit from Dr. Oddfellow, you will be right next to the entrance for “The Last of Us.” We checked the wait time, which was posted at 45 minutes. Considering “The Last of Us” is one of the highest wait times every night, we decided that anything under an hour was worth the wait. Unfortunately, this turned out to be more than estimated, but not too much. We waited an hour in line, so just a little longer than we anticipated. Pack your umbrellas, ponchos, and deodorant, because this outdoor queue is exposed to all the elements. At 7:55 p.m., we entered “The Last of Us” house.

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At this point, we exited near E.T. Adventure and made our way through the fog into the Jungle of Doom: Expedition Horror scare zone. We went in search of the M3GANs and barely caught them before they went back inside. We felt like we were making great progress, so we took a break at Louie’s and rewarded ourselves with some Pizza Fries!

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After resting, eating, and grabbing drinks for the next line, we hit the park again around 9 p.m. for our next house. All the wait times were high, but we decided we’d hit Universal Monsters: Unmasked next. It’s one of the best houses, so it’s worth the wait. The wait time was posted at 65 minutes, but to our surprise, the queue moved quickly, and we were at the entrance in just under 25 minutes. This was a total win and made up for the extra time we unexpectedly spent in “The Last of Us” queue. We entered Universal Monsters: Unmasked at 9:45 p.m. to one of the best house walks we’ve ever had. This was the favorite house of the night for everyone in our group.

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We went for another snack break, and our group ordered two baskets of sour apple pie funnel fries. At this point, we sat outside of Minion Cafe and took advantage of another chance to rest.

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The Universal Orlando app is great on nights like this, so you can keep an eye on house wait times. At this point, many of the houses we already did had 75-100 minute waits. Stranger Things had a 2 hour wait, so we were very thankful we chose to do that house first. Chucky was still on our list, but it had an 80 minute wait, so we went to the back to see the Death Eaters in Diagon Alley and for the Darkest Deal.

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The Darkest Deal ended up being a 40 minute wait by the time we got through the line, and we entered the house at 11:40 p.m. We checked the Universal Orlando app for wait times and decided to do Bloodmoon Dark Offerings next. There was a long walk to the next house, but by the time we got there, the wait time had dropped. It was 12:40 p.m. when we entered Bloodmoon Dark Offerings. Only one house left!

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With plenty of time to spare, we dragged our nearly lifeless bodies through a few scare zones on our way to the entrance for Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count. The wait time was posted pretty high but turned out to be much shorter. Most of the queue we waited in was indoors, and we entered our final house at 1:30 a.m. Victory!

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This is simply how our group made it through all the houses on a busy night without Express. You do not need to follow our path, but we would definitely encourage you to strategize. The longest time we spent in line was an hour for “That Last of Us,” but for every other house, we waited under 40 minutes in line. Stay and Scream is the best way to beat the crowds. You have an advantage if you hit the houses early. Some houses open early during Stay and Scream, and you should try to hit the most popular houses very early or very late to avoid the longest lines. Take breaks during peak times and stay hydrated. Use the Universal Orlando app to keep an eye on wait times and learn the locations of the houses to save time. Prioritize what you want to see, and make sure to have fun!

Have you been through all 10 haunted houses in a single night before? What are your best tips? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out our honest review of the event below!

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