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The Halloween Horror Nights 31 Guide – Part 1: Planning

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Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is the country’s premier Halloween event, having won the Best Halloween Event Golden Ticket Award for over a decade. While Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World focuses on family-friendly activities, Universal embraces its horror roots to create an edgy, adult-oriented event.

In this two-part series, we will cover all you need to know about HHN 31. Part 1 focuses on planning, operating hours, ticket options, discounts, and warnings. Part 2 covers touring tips of the haunted houses, scare zones, and shows.

Additional Reading

Halloween Horror Nights is a huge event that transforms Universal Studios Florida into a completely different park. The event is so large we have split our previous yearly Halloween Horror Nights article up into several pieces. We suggest reading these posts in addition to this part 1 and 2 series:


When Should I Visit?

The busiest days of HHN are Fridays and weekends leading up to Halloween. Waits for the most popular houses these days can reach over two hours. The least crowded days are weekdays in September. Universal’s online ticket pricing reflects their expected attendance, the lower the price the fewer guests they are expecting. Local school schedules also affect HHN attendance. HHN Crypt has compiled a calendar of early release and off days for local school districts.

Quiet nights are no longer a thing at Halloween Horror Nights due to the increased fandom around the event. Lower crowd days can still pack waits over an hour for many houses. Use our touring tips in part 2 to get ahead of the crowds.

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Operating Hours & Prices

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 31 runs on select nights from September 2 through October 31. On event days Universal Studios Florida closes at 5:00 p.m. and reopens for HHN at 6:30 p.m.

Which Ticket Should I Buy?

Halloween Horror Nights is a separate charge event in Universal Studios Florida.

Single-day event tickets start at $70.99 plus tax online while a single-day ticket at the gate is $122.99 plus tax. Tickets purchased online can be printed out at home, scanned from a phone, or picked up at Will Call. We suggest purchasing your tickets online to save a considerable amount of money.

Guests attending more than one night can save money with a multi-day pass:

  • Rush of Fear Pass: $129.99 plus tax, valid for admission the first four weeks of the event (September 2-4, 7-11, 15-18, and 21-25). Not valid for any days in October.
  • Frequent Fear Pass: $179.99 plus tax, valid for admission for every event night Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the first weekend of the event (September 2-4).
  • Frequent Fear Plus Pass: $219.99 plus tax, valid for admission every event night Sunday through Friday plus the first and last Saturday of the event (September 3 and October 29).
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass: $329.99 plus tax, valid for admission every night of the event.

Most guests are satisfied with a single-day ticket – they will see a handful of the houses and scare zones before leaving. For guests who want to see all the houses and shows we suggest one of the multi-day passes and splitting your HHN visit over two days. If you only have one day and want to see all the event can offer, then look into Express Pass.

Express Pass

Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass allows guests to bypass stand-by lines for houses and attractions to dramatically reduce wait times. Express Pass starts at $99.99 plus tax per guest and grants access to the Express queue for each haunted house and attraction once that night. In the past waits for the most popular houses have soared above three hours on the busiest days; Express can reduce waits by at least half.

Universal sometimes sells a heavily discounted (usually half that day’s price) Express Pass for the final three hours of the event. These Half Price Express Passes are available first-come, first-served based on availability. This is a fantastic option for guests who arrive late or are on a budget. Check locations that sell Express for availability and pricing.

Multi-day passes featuring Express Pass are also available. The pass includes HHN admission (see descriptions above) plus one use of Express Pass at each haunted house and attraction per night.

  • Rush of Fear Pass with Express: $429.99 plus tax
  • Frequent Fear Pass with Express: $509.99 plus tax
  • Frequent Fear Pass Plus with Express: $599.99 plus tax
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass with Express: $819.99 plus tax

Note: Express Passes offered to guests staying at deluxe Universal Orlando hotels are not valid during HHN. Express Pass is not a valid admission into the event.


Universal’s Scream Early ticket lets guests without day tickets in before the park closes to see new attractions or participate in Stay and Scream. A valid ticket for Halloween Horror Nights is still required. Tickets are $35 per person plus tax.

Scare Actor Dining returns after a COVID hiatus at a new location, Louie’s Italian Restaurant. Dine on an all-you-can-enjoy dinner buffet as iconic slashers, creepy crawlies, and Universal’s own creations pose for photos. Dining costs $54.99 per person plus tax and does not include event admission.

Daytime Behind the Screams tours offer a guided, lights-on look at the haunted houses. Knowledgeable guides take guests through select houses to learn the behind-the-scenes secrets, stories, and incredible effects. This is an excellent choice for guests who wish to experience the event without the scares or nighttime festivities. Tours are offered for three or six houses, with pricing starting at $79.99 plus tax per guest. Tickets can be purchased online, theme park admission and event admission are not included.

Do you crave no waits at all? Guided RIP Tours provides guests immediate access to all the houses and preferred show seating if money is no object. RIP Tours pricing varies by night, ranging from $279.99 to $399.99 plus tax per guest; tours are purchased online. Private RIP Tours are also available; call 866-604-7556 for pricing and more information. Admission to HHN is not included.

Annual Passholder Offers

Universal Orlando offers special events, discounts, and merchandise for Annual Passholders during HHN.

  • One free Horror Nights ticket on select dates for Premier Passholders
  • Exclusive Passholder entrance into Universal Studios Florida prior to the start of the event for Stay and Scream
  • Exclusive merchandise & pins at the UOAP Lounge
  • Discounted single-day event tickets in September
  • 5-10% discount on RIP tours

Guidelines, Accessibility, and Warnings

  • Halloween Horror Nights is intense, loud, and startling. Parental discretion is advised.
  • Costumes of any kind are not allowed, but themed t-shirts and face painting are allowed.
  • Food, beverages, photography, videography, or any light-emitting devices are not allowed in houses.
  • Physical contact of any kind with scare actors is strictly prohibited.
  • HHN houses are fully accessible by wheelchair; electric wheelchairs and ECVs are not permitted through the houses, and guests must transfer to a wheelchair.
  • Strobe lights and fog are heavily used in scare zones and houses. Some houses use fake smells.

If any of these warnings give you pause then reconsider going for your own health and safety.

Have we scared you away yet? No? Well, good — in part 2, we will cover the best tips for touring Halloween Horror Nights.

What are you looking forward to the most at Halloween Horror Nights 30? Leave your comments and questions below!

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

2 thoughts on “The Halloween Horror Nights 31 Guide – Part 1: Planning

  • Thanks for this article. It is our first time attending this year and on opening night. Our teenager is horror obsessed. They’re also very good at horror makeup. You state that face paint is allowed. Would anyone help me out with what makeup is ok to not be confused with a scare actor?

    • I’d avoid full face paint (like a skeleton for example) along with blood and scars. But there’s a lot of really good makeup I’ve seen done at HHN. I’d say let them do what they want but bring make up removal wipes just in case. 😉


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