Below you’ll find 5 tips for surviving Halloween Horror Nights 28 plus my reviews of some of the haunted houses. This year Tim and I brought Jason with us and this made it 10x more fun. However we were able to work off of a lot of experience to make the most of our evening. A special thanks to the people at Universal Orlando Resort for the free tickets so we could visit the park on opening weekend.
Halloween Horror Nights Survival Tip 1
Arrive at Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 28 early. The lines to get through security can take quite a few minutes but it’s once you get to the gates of Universal Studios you’ll wait. It took us an entire hour to stand in line to pass through the turnstiles. This was the opening weekend so probably won’t happen again but I recommend you arrive at least an hour before opening and make a night of it. Eat dinner at one of the spectacular City Walk restaurants. Have you visited Toothsome yet or if you aren’t especially into sweets but you love sports you could grab a huge pretzel at NBC Sports. Another thing to mention is if by chance you’ll need to pick up tickets you will need even more time. The customer service line can take upwards of an hour depending on how many reps they have working.
HHN 28 Tip 2
If you are visiting on Friday or Saturday night purchase a Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass. Honestly purchase one for any night. Halloween Horror Nights is hopping and lines can get long. There is so much to see and do with 10 houses this year and you want to do it all. The way to do this is cutting the line and I don’t mean illegally. That’ll get you in big trouble and no one wants to deal with that. An Express Pass sends you down a different line, a shorter line. Now don’t get me wrong, there is still a wait but it is much less. It’s worth the money and you’ll be glad you bought it when you’ve hit more than half the houses, all the scare zones and seen the Academy of Villains show. Not to mention it will get you on the rides as well.
Cover your Eyes. That sounds strange, right? But these haunted houses have so much “decor” hanging from the ceiling and it all gets in your eyes. Consider how many people have walked through each house and touched the hanging fabric I just think about the germs. You all know me and you know my germophobia. I’m certain I’ll catch 50 diseases from flu soaked gauze melting into my mascara. I wear my reading glasses to protect myself from germ-ridden fabric, can’t lie won’t do it. You laugh but I’ve shared this tip with so many friends and they all thank me later!
Survival Tip 4
Stay Hydrated. You can always get free cups of water where they serve fountain drinks. Halloween Horror Nights serves up some delicious alcoholic beverages that you’ll want to budget for. I don’t just mean monetarily, it’s hot in Orlando basically the entire time HHN is taking place and you don’t want to make yourself sick. Drink plenty of water so you can try some of these drinks with the good stuff.
Halloween Horror Nights Survival Tip 5
Be strategic. If you can get inside the park close to the time it opens I’d recommend immediately hitting the house you want to see most. Some people say head to the back of the park first and that’s a good strategy, but at the end of the night, you’ll be disappointed if you miss something you wanted to see. So if Poltergeist is your favorite movie, go straight to that house first. With our Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass we still missed out on one house and it broke my heart. We thought we’d miss another but luckily we got into the line right as they were closing down. So I say go straight to your priority and then do those around it and work your way around from there. Especially if you don’t have an Express Pass.
Finally here are my reviews of some of the houses and the one you can probably skip if necessary. As always there is no bad haunted house. Universal Orlando works far too hard for anything to do poorly.
Scary Tales Deadly Ever After – Tim and Jason agreed this haunted house was the best. I realize Universal wants us to favor the branded houses but almost every year I end up head over heels for an original house. This time Scary Tales, full of horror straight out of Mother Goose and Grimm. This twisted fairy tale house allows you to look around and enjoy the scenery so keep an eye out for your favorite characters. Also be sure to take a moment to enjoy the opening show, there’s more to it than the usual entryway.
Trick r Treat – If you’ve seen this movie you’ll love this house. I could have used more Anna Paquin but that’s just me. The house pretty much follows the movie and Sam the sack haunt pops up throughout. Everyone got a thrill out of it and agreed Trick r Treat was one of the best houses of the night. If you haven’t seen the movie (which you should it is excellent) you might be confused. That said, you can look at it like an original house and just get spooked out by the offered haunts.
The Horrors of Blumhouse – Okay everyone knows Jason Blum is one of the only men I’d leave my husband for. Obviously I thought this house was brilliant. Unfortunately, Jason had never seen Happy Death Day or The First Purge so this Universal Studios Haunted House was lost on him. The baby face killer chased us from room to room replaying the movie for half the house and then we were placed inside The First Purge for the last half of the house. Lots of scary masked terrors involved which is always a blast!
Stranger Things – While I realize this is Universal’s bread and butter this year it wasn’t exactly my favorite house. It was fantastic, it just wasn’t my favorite. If you’ve seen the show you’ll recognize the players immediately. The Hawkin’s town kids pop out to give you a fright and of course, the Demogorgon is around every turn. I especially enjoyed the scareactors trying to look like 12-year-old children. Keep an eye out for the Winona Ryder look alike, she does such a good job, huge kudos to her. And the finale is something to see for sure!
Seeds of Extinction – This house would be the skip it house for us this year. It was so dark we couldn’t get anything out of it. It was themed around plants taking over the world but I swear through the entire house I never really got a glimpse of the creature inside because it was just black. There was some neat floor work, where you had to walk in a sideways attic, that I thought added a nice touch but I was so busy feeling around in front of me fearing I’d fall over it wasn’t worth the wait. If you can’t hit a house, skip Seeds of Extinction. Our entire family agreed.
This has been 5 tips for surviving Halloween Horror Nights 28 at Univeral Orlando Resort. I’ve been doing this since I was about 15 years old so I know or a thing or two cuz I’ve seen a thing or two! Let’s not forget to check out all the Scare Zones on your way from haunted house to haunted house. This year Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Revenge of Chucky have streets to themselves. The Harvest is an original Scare Zone reminiscent of Pumpkinhead you won’t want to avoid. Great photo opportunities with absolute talent filled fabrication makeups.
Purchase your tickets and Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass on the Halloween Horror Nights website now!