Halloween Horror Nights

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by nervous1sttimer, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. nervous1sttimer

    nervous1sttimer DIS Veteran

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    My husband turns 40 in July and I would like to surprise him with a Halloween trip for his birthday. Halloween is his absolute favourite holiday and it would be fun to do scary stuff that we can't with the kids. We were just in WDW for the marathon weekend, so I booked a bounceback for the Contemporary from September 21-25th (Friday-Tuesday). Those dates mean the only MNSSHP we can do will be the Sunday night, which means we will be looking at the Friday or Saturday night for Halloween Horror Nights.

    Can someone tell me:
    - When dates will officially be announced and go on sale?
    - How much is the HHN Express Pass and is it a must for a Friday or Saturday at the end of September?
    - Is it doable to get there and back while staying onsite at WDW or am I better off booking a UO hotel room for Thursday and/or Friday before we move to the Contemporary?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. tony67

    tony67 DIS Veteran

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    No dates yet - but I would assume it starts September 14th - but I have heard rumors of "late September" - it was pretty busy the weekend of the 15th last year so i cant see them cutting it shorter.

    I dont think you need express pass - but I guess it depends on how willing you are to wait in line (45 minutes would not be unusual) - you can always buy it on the night if you think you need it

    I would stay on property - for one you can probably get in earlier and if you stay late you just go to your room instead of getting into a car and heading out.
    Another option is if you go to the parks during the day you can also stay in the park in a holding area - this usually gets you earlier access to some of the houses since you are already in the park.

    I usually get the rush of fear pass which gets you the first few weekends of HHN - it's not much more than a single day ticker if you are in the area for a few weekends.
     
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  4. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    Much too early for any info to be released......look to nearer May/June for details......

    Ticket prices vary.........as for EP for us it’s a must have.

    We buy the Rush of Fear with EP every year it covers the first 3 weeks of the event, world out a good deal over 10 nights........

    The queues can be horrendous for the main houses........90 minutes or more isn’t unusual........I honestly wouldn’t do HHN without EP........even so called quiet nights can be incredibly busy, quiet nights seem to be a thing of the past. We’ve been surprised how busy the first 3 weekends were overall last couple of years.

    I’d stay in one of the hotels at Universal.......makes it so much easier........
     
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  5. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

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    HHN...Woo Hoo! Bring it on baby!
     
  6. imprint

    imprint Mouseketeer

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    To go through every house, spend some time in the scare zones, see (presumably) two shows, and still be able to have leisurely restroom breaks and stops for food/drinks, then I highly recommend the express passes. We get the Rush of Fear with Express Pass and never regret it.
     
  7. nervous1sttimer

    nervous1sttimer DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for all the input! Would it be better to do both the Friday and Saturday night without EP or just pick one with EP? We are flying in for the weekend, so I don’t think the Rush I’d Fear multipass would be much use for us.
     
  8. tink1957

    tink1957 Proud Redhead

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    You might do well to do a RIP tour which would not be much more than the cost of a one night ticket with express.
     
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  9. schumigirl

    schumigirl It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts

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    I`d go for the one night with EP.......that way you would see every one of the houses......with 2 nights without if it`s really busy you may not see them all.......

    Consider what Tink said above......the RIP tour is something else to consider........
     
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  10. kristenabelle

    kristenabelle Mouseketeer

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    I think one night with EP or a RIP tour should work if you time everything out right. I went on the weekend before Halloween (super busy, even though it rained), and was able to do everything I wanted by staying in the park, getting my first 3 houses done in 20 minutes, and using EP for the rest.
     
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  11. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

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    I wouldn't do HHN w/o the EP. This past year I only went 6 times because I got sick the last week of October and I was planning on going most of that week.
     
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  12. imprint

    imprint Mouseketeer

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    We are spoiled and absolutely hate standing in long lines, so we only go to HHN with express passes (no matter how many nights we are going). It really makes the experience much more enjoyable for us. So, I recommend getting the express passes or RIP tour. Once you decide what you want to do, before you buy tickets, do compare the Rush of Fear ticket cost. It might be less than the cost of a single night ticket.
     
  13. chs27

    chs27 Mouseketeer

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    So many go without EP. Those lines are crazy long. When you walk past two hundred people, it makes however much you paid worth It!
     
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  14. cschaaf

    cschaaf Mouseketeer

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    We've only been twice, so we are far from experts. We've done it without EP and made out fine.

    Our first trip, we did a Behind the Mask tour and we loved that. We got a 1 night ticket and saw all the houses except one - we were worn out and it didn't really appeal to us. We could have easily done it, we just decided not to. We left the park probably 2 hours before close.

    The second trip, we decided to use the money spent on Behind the Mask and do 2 nights. We were able to do all but one or two houses on the first night (again, we could have done them, but left early), and did about the same on the second night. So we did all the houses at least one time, and the ones we liked twice.

    We did the Stay and Scream (day park admission, then move to a 'holding area' in the park to get an early jump on the crowds) each visit. If you don't have day passes, it would be more difficult.

    We'd love to get the HHN EP, but they are scary (pun intended) expensive. We also know that, much like the daily EPs, if we try it once, we'll never want to go without again. ;)

    This is our first year with APs and we are hoping to get to HHN again this year - and hoping we can join a group for a private RIP.
     
  15. glocon

    glocon DIS Veteran

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    We’ve been twice. The first time we ended up buying the ep while there, didn’t have time to do any shows then.
    The second time we did the RIP tour and did all houses, 2 rides and only 1 show.
    But totally worth it!!!
     
  16. Penguinempress

    Penguinempress Mouseketeer

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    I've only done HHN once (2017) and it was on a night that was supposed to be fairly quiet (a Thursday in September). Based on reviews here, I bought Express Passes and I was so glad I did! We managed to do all the houses plus 4 rides (no shows) and check out all the scarezones. Even with EP, I feel like we could have used more time so if I was going again, I'd definitely get EP, regardless of the cost. I'm a Halloween lover too so I'm sure your husband will have an awesome time - HHN was so much fun!
     
  17. terrilt

    terrilt Earning My Ears

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    I am just now considering a trip there to surprise my husband for his Oct. Bday. We have been to IOA/US, but know nothing about Halloween there. What are these houses? Do both parks have Halloween stuff? How many days should we plan? Thanks.
     
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  18. kristenabelle

    kristenabelle Mouseketeer

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    Halloween Horror Nights is a separate ticketed event at Universal Studios (not IOA, in its current form, anyway). The park closes to day guests at 5 PM on most Wednesdays - Sundays in September & October, and reopens for the event. The event itself has 8 - 9 (please correct me if I'm wrong, folks) haunted houses based on popular or legendary IP's and original concepts, in addition to a couple of shows and a handful of scarezones scattered throughout the park.

    While there will be an official thread for this year's event closer to the Fall (once more details start coming out), I HIGHLY recommend looking at last year's thread, especially mini-reports or reviews of how folks used their time. I also recommend looking into tours as a special birthday treat, depending on how much of a horror fan you are (or not). For example, my parents hate haunted houses and horror, but love the behind the scenes tour because my Dad likes to see how things are built and decorated.
     
  19. Robo56

    Robo56 Look into my eyes

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    You must be referring to the RIP tour. In this tour you have a guide and see all the houses one time and ride a couple of the rides. The advantage of the RIP Tour as some have mentioned above is that there is no waiting in line. Your guide takes you to the front of the line to the Houses and the rides. You get to have Halloween refreshments in the nice air conditioned Cafe LaBamba before the tour starts and you may return for refreshments during the evening after your tour. You receive the HHN Lanyard and you will have a couple of stops at air conditioned lounges placed in the park where you can buy cocktails. For those who have a limited amount of time and do not want to wait in long lines it's well worth it.

    Are you referring to The Unmasking the Horror Tour. These are tours that occur during the day. You can take a morning (3 houses) or afternoon (3 houses) tour or you can take the morning and afternoon tour and cover all 6 offered. Taking the morning and afternoon tour is a savings. For a true Horror fan these tours are fantastic to see the Haunted Houses in the daylight with the lights on to appreciate the artistry that went into creating these houses.

    I would highly recommend going if he is a horror movie fan he will love it. When it comes closer to early summer and Universal starts releasing information Keishashadow puts up the official Sticky on here for HHN 2018 she will have everything explained on the site with all ticket options etc..to help you make a great choice. If you have any other questions feel free to ask, someone will jump in and help you.

    I have to admit that some of the areas for the Stay and Scream have very limited seating options and if you are going to be on your feet for the evening trying to make all the houses it could be difficult. For me the Stay and Scream is for the youngsters and I will admit I heard some of them complaining that their feet and legs were sore.

    I would never do HHN without EP or one of the Tours.

    There were 9 Houses last year

    1. American Horror Stories (was based on 3 seasons Asylum, Coven and Roanoke)

    2. Dead Waters

    3. ScareCrow The Reaping

    4. The Shining

    5. BlumHouse

    6. Ash VS Evil Dead

    7. The Fallen

    8. Hive

    9. Saw

    As you can see 5 were based on movies and 4 were created by Universal.

    There were also 5 scare zones

    1. Alters of Horror

    2. Purge

    3. Invasion

    4. Trick 'r Treat

    5. Festival of the Deadliest.

    Two shows

    Bill and Ted's Exellent Halloween Adventure (was last year for that in 2017)

    The Academy Of Villians: Afterlife

    There is also HHN merchandise.

    Hope this helps. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what happens this year.

    As noted above read last years official sticky. Packed with lots of information.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  20. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

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    The best S & S area is Springfield...there is food/drinks for purchase, plenty of seating (indoors and out) and a/c is cranked. I stopped going to the Finnegan's holding area regularly a few years ago. Admittedly I went once or twice this past year due to overcrowding in Springfield but the seating problem is still there.
     
  21. cschaaf

    cschaaf Mouseketeer

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    Sorry, it was the Unmasking the Horror Tour I was referencing. It was our first trip and we didn't know what to expect from the houses. Neither one of us thought we wanted to be scared - we only went to Uni during the event because my wire teaches and was on break. We figured we'd give HHN a shot, but wanted the 'sneak preview' through the Unmasking tour. We toured 3 houses (plus got a few glimpses of a 4th) and it helped us decide which houses we wanted to see at night.

    We've done the Hello Kitty (formerly Lucy's) area twice and the Finnegan's area once. At HK, we just sat on some planters in the area. At Finnegans, we sat on the street curb. Not ideal, but we'll likely do it again next time.
     

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