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Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide: The Universal Orlando Event

Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide

I’m answering all of your questions in this Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide – find out if the event is right for your kids!

One of Universal Orlando’s most popular events is their annual Halloween Horror Nights. It’s an exclusive hard ticket event that happens multiple nights each week leading up to Halloween. Every year has a different theme and the park takes on a more frightening facade.

Universal Studios has over 28 years of experience in giving guests frights, screams and thrills. They’ve truly perfected the tactics that go into a good scare for Halloween. Tourists flock to the event each year because of the level of professional costuming, haunted houses and actors they offer.

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Related: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Review at Universal Orlando

Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide: Everything You Need To Know

While the event isn’t advertised towards kids or families, you’re probably reading this article because your child, tween or teen is interested in attending. Since the theme changes yearly, some guests say that certain years are more frightening than others. Here’s everything you need to know before purchasing tickets to attend as a family or sending your kid by themselves.

It’s An After-Dark Special Event

Halloween Horror Nights is a separate ticket from Universal Orlando theme park tickets. You can purchase the tickets online ahead of time. If you’re planning to be in the park already, because you have a separate Universal Studios ticket, they will corral you into the “Stay and Scream” area as the park transitions for the event. 

Some event nights cost more than others, especially as you get closer to halloween. They range from $60-$115. Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide Pro Tip: Check Groupon for discounted tickets. Sunday nights and Thursday nights are the least expensive and Saturdays tend to be the most expensive, followed by Fridays. They do offer Florida Resident discounts.

Always buy your passes online instead of at the front gate of Universal Studios Orlando. Not only will this save you time, it’ll also save you a great deal of money. Universal charges a flat rate of $114.99 at the ticket booth, no matter what day of the week it is. This means you can save anywhere from $27 (for Saturday admission) to $52 (almost every other day) if you visit the website beforehand.

It begins at 5pm sharp. So if you want to ease your kid into the evening, go earlier. They’ll be able to walk around while there is still daylight. Lines are also shortest right at 5pm. It feels entirely different once it gets dark outside.

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The Haunted Houses Are Scariest 

If you have a kid that is skittish and wants to avoid the biggest fears, I would avoid the Haunted Houses. They are by far the scariest aspect of the event. They are themed after horror movies, cult favorites and pop culture. 

The lines for the haunted houses can be quite long. If your kid wants to walk through a haunted house, you might want to consider purchasing a Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass. It gives you access to shorter lines for all haunted houses, rides and attractions. The cost starts at $79. It does sell out on peak nights – so purchase yours early.

One of the best tips I’ve heard for squeamish guests that want to do the haunted houses: go in as a group and don’t be first. Let someone else who is more brave stand in front of you. They can cue you in as to what is about to come next.

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All About The Scare Zones

Scare Zones are located throughout the park streets, as you’re walking to the attractions. You can located them on a park map to know exactly where they’ll be located. Each scare zone has a theme and actors walking around to frighten guests. 

THEY CANNOT TOUCH YOU – this is important to let your kid know before you attend. There are ways to maneuver around the park without walking through the scare zones. Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide Pro Tip: walk on the sidewalks to avoid the majority of actors. They stay on the street.

I have to admit, the more scared you look, the more they’ll approach you. Go into the scare zone with confidence.

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Universal Studios Orlando’s Age Warning

Located directly on the website, Universal Orlando does not recommend Halloween Horror Nights for children under the age of 13. However, from attending the event, that does not stop parents from talking younger children.

All Regular Attractions Are Open

Since all of the park’s attractions are open during the event, it means that areas not part of Halloween Horror Nights are pretty empty. Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has lower crowds than usual. Take advantage of visiting the area for photo opportunities – and it’s a great spot if you need a break from the fear factor.

Diagon Alley, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando,

Special Food And Drink Options

Specifically for Halloween Horror Nights, they offer special food and drink options. These limited edition treats are sell-out items that guests love. Donuts on a Stick and Pizza Fries are a few cult favorites. They also offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests must show ID to purchase alcoholic drinks.

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Enjoy The Event As A Group

Take a group of kids along with another parent. It helps the teens to feel more confident if they are together. Plus, they’ll have someone to be with if you get split up to see different attractions. I like the idea of having multiple parents in case one portion of group wants a break from the scary stuff. Halloween Horror Nights Parent’s Guide Pro Tip: you can also purchase group rate tickets.


Entertainment is set up throughout the park. They have shows and live bands playing throughout the event. These are great options that are low on the scare level!


Stay In The Know

Follow Halloween Horror Nights across social media for the most up-to-date information. You might want to consider showing your kid a YouTube clip of the event before purchasing tickets – especially if they’re on the fence about attending. 

Go Back For More Scares

If you really love the event, they offer multiple night tickets. Basically, the more nights you attend, the cheaper the tickets become. If you’re local to the Orlando area, this is a great option. Here are the options:

  • The Rush of Fear Pass: covers 10 nights 
  • Frequent Fear Pass: covers 23-50 nights
  • Ultimate Fear Pass: covers 37 nights 

Check out their website for detailed information about each pass. Details and pass options are likely to change for each event year.

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Hotel Bundle Packages

If you want to make Halloween Horror Nights part of your vacation, check out the hotel bundles that they offer each year. Guests are able to purchase both their Halloween Horror Nights admission and their hotel stays simultaneously. In the past, the bundle has included:

  • Four-night hotel accommodations
  • A three-park, four-day, park-to-park ticket
  • One-night admission to Horror Nights
  • Early Park Admission to one theme park
  • Access to select live entertainment venues at CityWalk

Follow Halloween Horror Nights on Social Media:

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