Halloween Horror Nights is Universal Orlando Resort’s yearly scare-fest event, featuring frightening mazes, scare zones, and live shows. The event is very popular, and has only gotten more so in recent years. This means that Halloween Horror Nights can be very crowded, with lines of an hour or more for each maze. After three years visiting this event, I have my biggest Halloween Horror Nights tip for you.
In order to avoid spending most of your evening waiting in line, this is my top Halloween Horror Nights tip – invest in the event’s Express Pass. The Express Pass is a separate pass usually sold as a separate item from admission. Express Pass holders can enter the separate Express Pass line once per maze for a shorter wait than the stand-by line. It is extremely useful to have at Halloween Horror Nights, and after giving the event a try without Express Pass a couple of years ago, we won’t visit without it.
Express Passes can be an expensive purchase (prices start at $79.99 plus tax and go up to $139.99 plus tax). I think that Universal Orlando’s regular daytime Express Pass may or may not be necessary depending on when you’re going or what you want to do in the parks. For Halloween Horror Nights, I always recommend Express Pass. It is absolutely worth it, and for the busier nights later in October and most Saturdays, it is extremely difficult to see all the mazes in one night without Express Pass.
If you’re considering purchasing an Express Pass for Halloween Horror Nights, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, individual Express Passes are date-specific, and can only be used on the date you select. If you want to visit Halloween Horror nights for more than one night, there are a couple of multi-night pass options that include Express Pass, and if they are typically more cost-effective than buying individual Express Pass for multiple nights.
Next, know that Express Pass does not mean immediate access to the mazes. Your wait will be shorter, but depending on how crowded the event night is, you will likely still need to wait to enter. Also, be sure that you are purchasing the Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass. Only passes specifically for the event will be accepted. They will not take regular daytime Express Passes, including the Unlimited Express provided to some on-site hotel guests as part of their stay. Lastly, the event Express Pass doesn’t just work on the mazes – it also works on select attractions open during the event.
It is much easier to tour Halloween Horror Nights with Express Pass, but if you are still visiting without it, here are a couple of tips. If you can, visit on a Wednesday or Thursday in the first two to three weeks of the event. These times can still be crowded, and you should still be prepared for long lines, but not as much as later events (especially Saturdays) will be. Also, arrive well before the event starts. The official start is 6:30, but guests are often let in before that time. Make a plan ahead of time on which houses to visit, and do as many as you can early in the event – ignore the scare zones for the moment because you can come back to those later. The waits for some houses will dwindle near the end of the event, so try some at the end of the night.
Elizabeth Perry is a travel planner with Modern Travel Professionals, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, and part of The Affordable Mouse team. She's a planner, a vacation enthusiast, and quite the nerd. Even better, she's dedicated to helping you plan a fun, fantastic vacation so you can visit the worlds of your favorite stories and create great memories. You’ll be able to find the resources you need to plan a spectacular vacation, get personalized service for all your trip needs, and have a guide that knows all the inside secrets. Contact her firstname.lastname@example.org.