A person in an elaborate, eerie costume stands in front of a brick building with signs reading "Shipyard 32" and "New Harmony Crystal." Another individual lingers near the entrance, both shrouded in an air of mystery.

Beginner’s Guide to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida

Annie Wilson

Halloween Horror Nights 33 dates have been announced, and tickets are on sale now. If you’re planning to brave Halloween Horror Nights in 2024, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide with the top tips you need to know.

Beginner’s Guide to Halloween Horror Nights

The entrance to Universal Studios Florida with Halloween Horror Nights banners and red lighting

What Kind of Tickets Do You Need?

Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event, which means your daytime park tickets will not get you in! You will need to buy a ticket specifically for Halloween Horror Nights. There are single-night tickets as well as multi-night tickets. However, at the time of publishing, multi-night tickets for Halloween Horror Nights 33 have not gone on sale yet.

Your Halloween Horror Nights ticket gets you into the event at the opening time, usually around 6-6:30 p.m., following the Opening Scaremonies. Tickets do sell out on busy nights, so you will want to purchase them early. Prices can also increase due to higher demand, so don’t wait too long to buy your tickets.

hhn-30-stay-and-scream-11-6284097

Guests who have daytime park tickets or valid Annual Passes and a Halloween Horror Nights ticket can take advantage of something called “Stay and Scream.” Stay and Scream allows you to wait inside Universal Studios Florida before the event starts at 6 p.m. Instead of standing in line outside of the gates, you can wait inside the park and beat the crowds.

You must enter Universal Studios Florida before 5 p.m. and scan a valid Halloween Horror Nights ticket to enter the Stay and Scream holding areas. There are several holding areas inside the park where you can wait before the event starts. If you don’t have a day ticket for the park, a separate “Scream Early” ticket can be added to your HHN ticket that allows you to enter the park between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. This means you can either enjoy the park before the event starts or get in line early for one of the houses. Read more about how Stay and Scream works.

Can You Use Express Passes?

Private RIP Tour Badge with Jack the Clown from Halloween Horror Nights 30

The lines can be long, but there are Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes available for purchase. The Express Passes from the parks and the hotels do not work for this event, and you’ll need to buy specific passes for HHN. These can sell out, so buying in advance is usually a good idea. If they’re not sold out, these passes can also be purchased when you’re at the park. Some nights, an after-11 p.m. Express Pass is available in person.

There are also two types of guided VIP tours, appropriately called “RIP Tours,” if you’re looking to upgrade your experience. A regular RIP tour is a group tour with other guests, where the guide will get you through every haunted house without waiting in line. You’ll also get backstories on the houses and some other VIP perks.

A private RIP tour is a guided tour for your party alone, and you can do as many houses, rides, and shows as you’d like. The tour is catered to you, rather than structured. Read more about the private RIP tour experience.

Can You Avoid Getting Scared?

A tall performer in a detailed, bat-like costume, including large wings and headpiece, stands on stilts amidst a crowd on a street, with smoke effects and buildings in the background.

Nowhere is truly safe from the scares! There are some areas where you can get a break from the horror, but there’s no way to get around the entire park without going through the scare zones.

Scare zones are not as intense as the haunted houses, and are good for guests just testing the waters or who might not be fully prepared for the house scares. If you come to this event, expect that the Scareactors will be trying to scare you, but they won’t touch you. Do not touch or harass the Scareactors.

What Kind of Food and Beverages Are Available?

The Last of Us FEDRA Food Ration Can in front of a quarantine sign

Halloween Horror Nights offers a variety of exclusive food and drinks available only at night during the event. If you’re a foodie, you’re in the right place. Specialty cocktails and mocktails can be found at the bars around the park, and there are plenty of terrifying snacks to satisfy your late-night cravings. Whether you want to try peanut butter and jelly on your burger, or you’d prefer to stick with vegan options, there’s a nice variety for everyone to enjoy.

Keep in mind that at the time of publishing, this year’s menus have not been announced.

Can You Do Everything in One Night?

80 might wait time for Stranger Things 4 haunted house

There is a chance you will not get through every house in one night due to high wait times, but it is possible. If you’re going into the event without Express Passes and braving the lines, Stay and Scream gives you a huge advantage to line up for houses early. You can read our strategy guide from 2023 to see how we did all 10 houses in one night without Express. It can be done, but it’s not easy!

The Universal Orlando app is very useful for mapping out your evening and will update with wait times for the haunted houses. It’s a good idea to decide what houses are most important for you to prioritize so you don’t miss out. If you must see and do it all in one night, an RIP Tour is the way to go.

What Else Can You Expect?

Death Eaters in Diagon Alley

In addition to scare zones, there are roaming hordes. Death Eaters are typically found in Diagon Alley during Halloween Horror Nights. Last year, a dancing M3GAN flash mob would randomly appear around the park. Scare actors with chainsaws may also make their way through the streets.

In addition to the entertainment that randomly appears, there is also a stage show offered each year. Hopefully, a new Halloween Horror Nights lagoon show will debut this year, as well. Last year, David S. Pumpkins made an appearance at the Peacock Bar in San Francisco. There are plenty of things to see during HHN if the houses (or long lines) aren’t your thing.

The characters and entertainment for 2024 have not been confirmed at this time.

Does the Event Get Cancelled in the Rain?

Guests in ponchos with umbrellas lined up at the gate on opening night of Halloween Horror Nights

Rainy nights are almost a tradition for the start of HHN, especially opening night. Umbrellas, ponchos, rain boots, deodorant, and extra socks are just a few of the things you may want to prepare for a rainy night. The scare zones may be empty during bad weather, but houses will still be open. Occasionally, a queue or house may be delayed if there’s flooding, but they will typically reopen quickly. Scareactors will return to scare zones when the rain and lightning have passed. Just be prepared to make the best of a rainy night, because Halloween Horror Nights happens rain or shine!

A person in an elaborate, eerie costume stands in front of a brick building with signs reading "Shipyard 32" and "New Harmony Crystal." Another individual lingers near the entrance, both shrouded in an air of mystery.

Are you ready to survive Halloween Horror Nights 33 at Universal Orlando Resort? Be sure to read our full guide to Halloween Horror Nights to take a deeper dive into everything you need to know for the event.

Halloween Horror Nights 33 runs from August 30 through November 3, 2024 at Universal Studios Florida.

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