Universal Studios Halloween Celebrations 2017

Halloween Horror Nights [© 2014 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved]
Halloween Horror Nights [© 2014 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved]

Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Orlando is consistently voted “Best Halloween Event” by Amusement Today in their Golden Ticket award. This event is not recommended for children under the age of 13 and costumes and masks are not allowed.

In 2017 Halloween Horror Nights just runs at Universal Studios (not Islands of Adventure) for a record 34 nights between September 15 and November 4. Actual dates are September 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30, October 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31, November 3 and 4, three days more than in 2016. In 2016 it ran for 33 nights and 30 nights in 2015.

The attraction opens each night at 6:30 p.m. Closing times vary between 12 midnight and 2 a.m.

It is a separately ticketed event and is not included with regular admission.

Universal gradually release information about their Halloween Horror Nights over a period of several months, usually starting in June. Therefore some of the information on this page still relates to the 2016 event

For 2017, the 26th Halloween Horror Nights, Universal have yet to announce who the master of ceremonies will be. In 2016 it was Chance, Jack the Clown’s female assistants.

Special themed ultra-realistic “houses” and scare zones “streets” are set up to frighten the guests along with live entertainment. Universal recruit thousands of extra staff who dress up as mutants, monsters and zombies to roam the darkened streets.

The houses are indoor sets often recreating scenes from horror movies whereas the scare zones and street experiences are outside spaces connecting different areas of the park (and hence easier to escape from if you find the experience too intense).

Halloween Horror Nights is in marked contrast to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Legoland and is not for the faint hearted. If you are an ardent fan of horror movies you will probably “enjoy” it, if that is the right word?

Some children may find some of the attractions too intense. Note that there are no children’s ticket prices and no costumes are allowed. If you arrive in a costume or mask you will be turned away at the gate.

Halloween Horror Nights Rides

Some of Universal Studios other attractions remain open during Halloween Horror Nights including:

  • Transformers: The Ride–3D
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Men in Black Alien Attack
  • The Simpsons Ride

Though not listed, Diagon Alley and the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride were also open in 2016.

The normal daytime Express Passes and those given to Universal Resort Hotel guests are not valid during Halloween Horror Nights. You need a separate Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass to give you front of line access to the houses and scare zones.

Halloween Horror Nights Shows

Halloween Horror Nights traditionally run two shows like “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” which parodies scenes from TV, the movies and pop music and in 2016 there was a new show called “Academy of Villains: House of Fear”.

For 2017 Academy of Villains will return with a new production called “Academy of Villains: Afterlife” but Universal has announced that after 26 years, 2017 will be the last year for Bill & Ted as they present “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure 2017: The Farewell Tour”.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure brings together Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan from the original film from 1989 for one last time.

Halloween Horror Nights Houses and Scare Zones

Each year Universal introduces new haunted house mazes and street scare zones and 2017 will again have nine houses, five scare zones and two live shows.

The nine houses expected for 2017 include:

  • American Horror Story — returns for a second year and features Season 2: Asylum, Season 3: Coven and Season 6: Roanoke
  • The Shining — featuring Room 237 at the Overlook Hotel
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead — based on the TV series 1 and 2
  • SAW: The Games of Jigsaw — be part of a “trap” featured in the new film
  • The Horrors of Blumhouse — combining houses from Sinister, Insidious and The Purge
  • Dead Waters — inspired by the 2014 scare zone Bayou of Blood, it includes a voodoo queen, a sunken riverboat and skeletal remains
  • The Fallen — infested with flying, jumping and crawling creatures
  • The Hive — 1980 horror movie style with vampires
  • Scarecrow: The Reaping — an abandoned farmhouse in Nebraska

Two of the scare zones are based on movies “The Purge” and “Trick ‘r Treat” and the other three are original ideas from the in-house Universal Entertainment team.

There are five Scare Zones/Street areas:

  • The Purge — returns to the streets of New York with a victim auction
  • Trick ‘r Treat — come face-to-face with several characters from the film including Sam
  • Altars of Horror — characters from some of the houses have their own scare zone
  • Invasion! — set in times gone by, alien scientists roam the streets of San Francisco
  • Festival of the Deadliest — a ghastly collection of madmen and monsters

The Repository

A new introduction for 2016 was the Repository, a first-of-its-kind immersive psychological experience. It has yet to be confirmed it will be returning for 2017.

The Repository building is a centuries old warehouse housing mysterious artifacts that are being tested using advanced supernatural and paranormal devices using live actors and virtual reality.

It was a separately ticketed event and reservations were required. Prices were $49.99 plus tax.

Halloween Horror Nights 2017 Scareactor Dining Experience

Also new from 2016 is the Halloween Horror Nights Scareactor Dining Experience at the Classic Monsters Café. You can enjoy an all-you-care-to-eat themed dinner buffet between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. plus photo opportunities with Halloween scareactors.

Price is $49.99 per person plus tax on select nights and reservations are required.

Halloween Horror Nights 2017 Ticket Prices

This is a separately ticketed event. Weekend tickets tend to sell out first so it pays to purchase your tickets in advance rather than just turn up at the gate particularly if you are planning on going on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night.

For a single night admission, the cost is from $59.99 plus tax and there are no child ticket prices as it is not recommended to children under the age of 13.

If you are visiting the park during the daytime then you can buy an “Add-On” upgrade ticket which gives you Halloween Horror Nights admission on top of your regular daytime admission. Prices vary depending upon the day of the week with Saturday night being the most expensive. Note that you do not have to use your Halloween Horror Nights ticket on the same day as your daytime admission.

If you are planning on making more than one visit then you can buy a variety of Frequent Fear Passes which gives you access on multiple dates, up to all 34 nights in all.

The “Rush of Fear” is the cheapest option and gives you up to 10 nights during the first 3 weeks. The ultimate ticket is the “Ultimate Frequent Fear Plus" which gives you every single night.

Halloween Horror Night Express passes are also available. An Express Pass allows you to bypass the line once on each haunted house and ride/attraction. You can also get a combined Frequent Fear Pass and Express Pass.

Florida residents can often get a discount on a single night admission with participating Coca-Cola product promotions such as Coca-Cola®, Coca-Cola Zero™ or Sprite® product and Annual Passholders can also get discounts depending upon the day of the week.

Halloween Horror Nights Single Admission Ticket Coca-Cola Promotion Adult
Standard single evening admission to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios with UPC code from any can of Coca-Cola products.
from $59.99
plus tax
Halloween Horror Nights Single Admission Flex Ticket (Sunday to Friday) Adult
Standard single evening admission to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (excluding Saturday).
$77.99
plus tax
Halloween Horror Nights Single Admission Flex Ticket (Sunday to Saturday) Adult
Standard single evening admission to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (any night).
$85.99
plus tax
Rush of Fear Access Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights multiple times during first three weeks.
Valid on select nights only between September 15 and October 2.
$91.99
plus tax
Rush of Fear Access Pass including Express Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights multiple times during first three weeks and bypass the regular lines at the haunted houses and participating rides and attractions.
Valid on select nights only between September 15 and October 2.
$299.99
plus tax
Frequent Fear Access Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday plus first Friday and Saturday and last Friday.
Valid on select nights only.
$102.99
plus tax
Frequent Fear Access Pass including Express Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday plus first Friday and Saturday and last Friday and bypass the regular lines at the haunted houses and participating rides and attractions.
Valid on select nights only.
$339.99
plus tax
Frequent Fear Plus Access Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday plus the first and last Saturday.
Valid on select nights only.
$118.99
plus tax
Frequent Fear Plus Access Pass including Express Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday plus the first and last Saturday and bypass the regular lines at the haunted houses and participating rides and attractions.
Valid on select nights only.
$399.99
plus tax
Ultimate Frequent Fear Plus Access Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights on any night.
Valid on all 34 nights only.
$199.99
plus tax
Ultimate Frequent Fear Plus Access Pass including Express Pass (advanced purchase) Adult
Visit Halloween Horror Nights any night and bypass the regular lines at the haunted houses and participating rides and attractions.
Valid on all 34 nights only.
$599.99
plus tax
Annual Passholder Halloween Horror Nights Single Admission Ticket Adult
Standard single evening admission to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios for annual passholders.
Prices vary by date.
from $53.99 to $59.99
plus tax

Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tours

Universal normally offer VIP tours but for Halloween Horror Nights they had separate R.I.P tours, both private and non-private. R.I.P tours typically take around four hours.

The Private Tours are for groups of up to 10 people and include complimentary standard valet parking, access to the R.I.P Lounge with cash bar upon check-in, priority R.I.P Tour Haunted House Entrances, VIP Priority Access to all available regular park attractions, reserved seating at Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show plus complimentary coffee and bottled water in the R.I.P Lounge at the end of the tour. Prices start at $1,599 per group but do not include regular HHN admission tickets.

The Non-private Tours include the same options as the private tours but valet parking is subject to availability. Prices start at $159.99 per person and again do not include regular HHN admission tickets.

There is also a “behind the scenes” tour.

The Unmasking the Horror Tours take place during the day (morning or afternoon, before the HHN event starts) and give you an overview of the whole event plus a “lights-on” look at either three or six of the haunted houses. Prices for three houses are from $79.99 plus tax in addition to the regular park admission. The six house tour costs from $129.99 plus tax.

Duration is at least two hours or four to five hours respectively.

Premier and Preferred Annual Passholders can get savings on admission tickets (up to $52) and Frequent Fear passes (up to $32).

Universal also offers a special “Gory Getaway” packages at both their own on-site resort hotels and partner hotels.

Halloween Horror Nights Past Years

In 2016, Universal again had nine houses:

  • Texas Chain Saw Massacre: Blood Brothers — based on the original film featuring Leatherface
  • The Exorcist — based on the film of the same name
  • The Walking Dead — back for the fifth consecutive year featuring scenes from all six series including Woodbury, the Terminus, the Prison and Alexandria
  • Halloween: Hell Comes To Haddonfield — Michael Myers is alive
  • Krampus — St. Nicolas’s evil counterpart and his Dark Minions
  • American Horror Story — enter the Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel if you dare
  • Lunatics Playground 3D - You Won’t Stand A Chance — a 3D playground featuring Jack’s sidekick Chance
  • Ghost Town - The Curse of Lightning Gulch — a treacherous wild west nightmare with thunder and lightning
  • Tomb of the Ancients — an ancient evil is unearthed

In 2015, Universal had nine houses:

  • Insidious – based on the three Insidious films including the latest Insidious: Chapter 3
  • Freddy vs. Jason – meet Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and Jason Voorhees from “Friday the 13th”
  • AMC’s The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead – featuring scenes from Season 5, the burnt ashes of Terminus, the flooded food pantry basement and the darkened churchyard
  • An American Werewolf in London – the 1981 horror classic returns (last appeared in 2013)
  • The Purge
  • Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem – relive the last 25 years of Jack the Clown
  • RUN: Blood, Sweat and Fears – a brutal assassin TV show
  • Asylum in Wonderland 3D – a new Scary Tales episode
  • Body Collectors: Recollections – inside the Shadybrook Asylum

In 2014, Universal had eight houses:

  • Halloween – John Carpenter’s classic 1978 film comes to life
  • The Walking Dead: End of the Line – based on Season 4 of the TV series and returning for a third year. The house includes the cell block, Big Spot supermarket and the Terminus
  • AVP: Alien vs. Predator – witness the savage battle between two alien species
  • From Dusk Till Dawn – based upon the first series of the TV spin-off of the original film. Takes place in the biker bar
  • Dracula Untold - Reign of Blood – the story of Vlad the Impaler
  • Dollhouse of the Damned – try to survive the malicious dolls
  • Giggles & Gore Inc. – tour an abandoned factory populated by evil clowns
  • Roanoke - Cannibal Colony – visit an ancient Virginia colony with a terrible past

In 2013, Universal created eight houses:

  • Cabin in the Woods, based on the recent horror film of the same name
  • Evil Dead, again based on the recent horror film
  • Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance 3D
  • An American Werewolf in London, based on the 1981 classic with scenes including the Slaughtered Lamb pub, Piccadilly Circus and werewolves
  • Havoc2: Derailed on a speeding train
  • Urban Legends: La Llorona featuring a woman who drowned her children
  • The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven based on Season 3 of the TV series and returns for a second year. Includes the town of Woodbury, the prison and walkers/zombies.
  • Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City put you inside the video game and features Lickers, Hunters and Nemesis

A first for 2013 was the idea of theming all the scare zones on just one concept, The Walking Dead: The Undead Streets.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure returned along with the “Rocky Horror Picture Show - A Tribute” after a gap of several years.

For 2012, Universal built seven houses:

  • AMC’s The Walking Dead - Dead Inside, based on the TV series of the same name
  • Welcome to Silent Hill, based on the video game
  • Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare, a maze featuring Steven who appears in many of Alice Coopers songs
  • Penn & Teller Newkd Vegas, a maze set in a nuked toxic Las Vegas
  • Universal’s House of Horrors, black and white original horror
  • Gothic, stone gargoyles come to life at The Catedral de Caementum Animus
  • Dead End, the curse at the old Hartford Mansion in Carey, Ohio

The two shows in 2012 were Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and The 20 Penny Circus.

Halloween Horror Nights History

Halloween Horror Nights started in 1991 as Fright Nights before being renamed to Halloween Horror Nights the following year. Today the event is celebrated at Universal Orlando, Hollywood in California, Singapore and Japan.

In 2010, Universal Studios celebrated the 20th year of bringing the deepest and darkest nightmares to life with XX: Twenty Years of Fear and for 2011 Halloween Horror Nights 21 you got to meet Lady Luck.

For 2012, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 22 introduced new houses including AMC’s critically acclaimed TV series “The Walking Dead” and the video game franchise “Silent Hill”, all over 24 nights.

In 2013, The Walking Dead returned for a second time over 27 nights. The tag line was “What EVIL Has Taken ROOT?”.

In an unprecedented move, The Walking Dead also appeared in 2014 and then again in 2015 and 2016.

See Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights (external site) for further details.

Other pages of interest