Universal Studios Florida Entrance to Orlando Resort Halloween Horror Nights

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For over 30 years, Universal Studios Orlando has been the home of some of the best horror events you’ll find at any theme park. In fact, Universal Studios has received Best Halloween Event honors by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards 12 times!

What started as a weekend of Fright Nights at Universal Studios Florida back in 1991 has grown to the impressive Halloween Horror Nights event that it is today. If you love horror, gore, and being terrified, then this is the right Halloween event for you. (Speaking of being terrified, the event is not recommended for children under the age of 13. And those in the 13 and over crowd may still find it quite intense.)

In this Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 2023 guide, we’ll share the details of this thrilling event. You’ll find out about the best days to visit, the haunted houses, scare zones, live entertainment, tips for making the most out of your experience, and more. Plus, you can learn how to get discounted tickets to save you money on this special Halloween themed event!

Halloween Horror Nights Hours & Dates

Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event at Universal Studios Florida. The event is only held in the evenings on select dates. It always starts at 6:30 PM. The closing times vary, but generally it ends at 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM.

Here are the 2023 Halloween Horror Nights Dates:

September 2023

  • Friday, September 1 – Sunday, September 3
  • Wednesday, September 6 – Sunday, September 10
  • Wednesday, September 13 – Sunday, September 17
  • Wednesday, September 20 – Sunday, September 24
  • Wednesday, September 27 – Saturday, September 30

October 2023

  • Sunday, October 1
  • Wednesday, October 4 – Sunday, October 8
  • Wednesday, October 11 – Sunday, October 15
  • Wednesday, October 18 – Sunday, October 22
  • Wednesday, October 25 – Sunday, October 29
  • Tuesday October 21

November 2023

  • Wednesday, November 1- Saturday, November 4

What is the best day to go to Halloween Horror Nights?

Clearly, there are a lot of options for when to go to Halloween Horror Nights. You’re probably wondering what would be the best day to visit.

If you want to avoid crowds, the best day to go to Halloween Horror Nights is a Wednesday. Thursdays and Sundays are the next best options. And it’s best to avoid opening weekend or the last two or three weeks, as those are more crowded periods in general.

The most crowded day of the week is Saturday, though Friday is very crowded as well. Again, opening weekend and then the last few weeks before Halloween are going to have the Saturdays and Fridays with the heaviest crowds.

Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Houses

The most popular part of Halloween Horror Nights is the selection of chilling haunted houses. There are 10 haunted houses in all. Some are based on well known horror movies and characters, while others are original concepts.

Stranger Things 4

I really enjoyed season four of Stranger Things and the horror element to it.  This of course made it so perfect for a haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights!  You’ll get to channel your inner Eleven and see if you can resist Vecna’s curse.

The Last of Us

I don’t know if you could have spent anytime on the internet at all this past year without seeing references to The Last of Us.  This critically-acclaimed HBO smash hit was based on the mega-popular video game – and its theming makes it perfect for a haunted house.  So it is really exciting that HHN has a haunted house dedicated to it.  Now will be your chance to see if you can survive Clickers, Hunters, and more in an experience that is even more real than virtual reality.

The Exorcist: Believer

If you’re like me, The Exorcist terrifies you (but maybe this has something to do with the fact I went to Catholic school, I don’t know).  At any rate, they have a scary Exorcist-themed haunted house this year featuring the scariest scenes from the new Blumhouse film.  The story behind this haunted house is that two missing girls have been found.  They don’t remember a thing of what happened to them, but it’s great that they’ve returned – if only, of course, the ultimate evil hadn’t returned with them.

Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count

Here’s another horror movie baddie that made my nightmares as a kid: Chucky.  At the Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count haunted house, you’ll have to avoid becoming the latest victim of everyone’s favorite serial killer doll.

Universal Monsters: Unmasked

The premise of this haunted house is that you’ve descended into the Paris catacombs.  Here, you will come face to face with some of Universal Studios’ most notorious monsters:  the Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Invisible Man (well, as face to face as you can with someone who is invisible, right?).

YETI: Campground Kills

The theme behind this haunted house is that you’ve wandered into a 1950s campground that has unfortunately been overrun by gigantic, terrifying yetis.  And this isn’t the kind of Yeti you might find in a Disney Channel Movie.  No, this is the kind of Yeti who would rip art anyone who got in their way.  So you’ll have to find a way to escape the ranger tower to save yourself.

Bloodmoon: Dark Offerings

This haunted house takes you to a Colonial-era village, where moon-worshippers are witnessing a blood moon at their annual fall festival.  Unfortunately, they have taken that as a sign to hunt down any non-followers.  And yeah, that will include you and your friends and or/family.  So watch out.

The Darkest Deal

Blues musician Pinestraw Spruce was so desperate to make it in the music industry that he met with The Collector and traded his soul for fame and glory. Now you will learn the terrifying price of fame.

Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate

Two powerful warlocks were unfortunately turned into dragons after they tried to take Merlyn’s spell book.  Now you find yourself smack in the middle of their battle.

Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins

You may want to visit Dr. Oddfellow’s house of twisted oddities but beware: he needs your souls to feed his immortal power.

Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Scare Zones

While walking through the park, you can enter into 5 different Scare Zones. It’s a creative (and sometimes terrifying!) way to keep the scary fun going outside of the Haunted Houses. Basically, “scareactors” will jump out and try to spook guests. They are not allowed to touch you (and, similarly, you are not allowed to touch them) – but that certainly doesn’t mean they can’t scare you! The no touch rule also does not prohibit them from getting in your personal space.

Halloween Horror Nights Shows 2023

The two live shows held during Halloween Horror Nights are also very popular. If your top priority is getting a good seat, keep in mind that the first and last performances tend to be the least crowded.

HHN Extra Experiences & Add Ons

With the 10 haunted houses, 5 scare zones, and 2 shows, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained during Halloween Horror Nights. But there are still more options to take your enjoyment to the next level.

R.I.P. Tour

This special nighttime guided walking tour gives you Priority VIP access to the haunted houses (once per house) and participating park attractions. You’ll also get reserved seating at select event shows during your tour. And you’ll receive a special R.I.P. Tour credential, lanyard, and pin. Plus, you can enjoy a pre-tour reception in Cafe La Bamba, and access to exclusive cash bar locations.

This tour is a separate fee from regular event admission. Event admission is required.

Private R.I.P. Tour

If you like the idea of the R.I.P. Tour but want to be able to get priority access to each haunted house more than once, consider taking this Private R.I.P. Tour. In addition to everything you get with the R.I.P. Tour, you will receive unlimited VIP entry to houses with your tour guide. And while the R.I.P. Tour will include multiple parties in the same tour, the Private R.I.P. Tour is just for you and your group (up to 10 people). You’ll also get the My Universal Photos 3-Day photo package, with the first day being the day you take the tour.

Behind The Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour

This tour is different in that it’s actually a daytime tour. You aren’t required to have theme park admission or event admission (and it’s not included in the tour, either). On this tour, you get a lights-on look at some of the haunted houses. You can either take a 3 house tour or a 6 house tour. The informational walking tour also includes the opportunity to photograph select rooms in select houses.

While the lights will be on, there is still an, as Universal describes it, “intensely graphic nature” of the haunted houses. Therefore, the tour is not recommended to children under the age of 13 years old.

Cabana Bay Halloween Horror Nights

In recent years, Universal hotel guests have been able to enjoy a special Pop Up Experience at Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Here’s a video of the 2019 Pop Up, themed to the TV series Stranger Things:

Universal Halloween Horror Nights Merchandise

Special 2023 Halloween Horror Nights merchandise will be available throughout the park.

The Tribute Store, in the New York part of Universal Studios Florida, will feature Halloween themed merch in the fall. And make sure to stop by All Hallows Eve Boutique at Universal’s Island of Adventure theme park. It’s another great location to find Halloween and HHN themed merchandise. You can find the store near Doc Sugrue’s Desert Kebab House.

All Hallows Eve Boutique Halloween themed gift shop in Universal's Islands of Adventure

Halloween Horror Nights Shirts

Want a great Halloween Horror Nights shirt to wear to HHN? Check out this list of the 50 best Halloween Horror Nights t-shirts so you can buy one beforehand!

Halloween Horror Nights Food 2023

During the event, you can find food – and plenty of alcoholic drinks – at select dining locations. Specialty food and drinks are themed to the 2023 haunted houses.

Rides Open During Halloween Horror Nights

What’s a theme park without rides, right? At Halloween Horror Nights, not only can you enjoy spooky experiences, but you also can ride some of your favorite attractions.

Typically, the following rides remain open during the event:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Men in Black Alien Attack
  • Revenge of the Mummy

If going on rides is important to you, don’t wait until the end of the night to do it. Some of the rides will close up to two hours before the end of the event.

Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Discount

You may still be wondering, can I get a discount for Halloween Horror Nights?

If so, don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten about that!

If you’d like to save money with discount tickets to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando in 2023, then click here. You can get 43% off a single-night ticket for HHN!

Please note: if you’ll also be in Southern California during the fall, click here to learn more about how to save money on tickets for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Additional HHN Tips

What to Wear

Although it’s a Halloween themed event, guests are not allowed to wear costumes or costume masks. (You can still get into the spirit with one of these fun HHN themed shirts!)

Make sure to check the weather on the day of the event. Fall weather in Orlando can be extremely hot, but nighttime temperatures can sometimes be chilly.

When to Arrive

As mentioned earlier, the event officially starts at 6:30 PM. However, gates often open early – up to 30 minutes early. To be among the first ones through the gates, you’ll want to be outside the gates somewhere between 5:00 and 5:45 PM, depending on how crowded you think the park will be that night.

Note: If you’re staying onsite at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel, then look for the dedicated entrance for hotel guests. It should be on the left side. You can save money on a Universal Resort hotel stay by clicking here. To find out more about the hotels at Universal Orlando, check out the following hotel reviews and videos:

You can avoid worrying about these lines, however, if you’re already in the park. This is possible if you have both park admission AND event admission, and you’re already in the park by 5:00 PM. That’s because 5:00 PM is when the park’s regular day ends. To be safe and to avoid crowds of exiting guests, aim for being in the park at least by 4:30 PM. During the time between when the park closes for the day and the event begins, you’ll remain in a holding area in the park; you can find out more about that here.

And if you do want to take advantage of this early entry, you can get discounted park tickets here.

Other Orlando Halloween Events

If you love scary nighttime events and will already be in Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights, then Howl O’Scream may be a great addition to your travel itinerary. Howl O Scream is an evening Halloween event held at SeaWorld Orlando theme park. Like Halloween Horror Night, Howl O Scream is aimed at older children and adults, and you can enjoy things like haunted houses and scare zones.

If you’d like a more kid-friendly Halloween event for your fall Orlando vacation, we recommend SeaWorld Spooktacular. Unlike HHN and Howl O Scream, admission to SeaWorld Spooktacular is actually included in park admission. So not only is it a fun, family friendly event, but it’s a great value, too!

And while it is for an additional price, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World is also a fun option if you’re looking for a Halloween event appropriate for children.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about the Universal Orlando Resort in general, we highly recommend this travel book. It was very helpful in writing this guide.