The most exciting event of Halloween is here! Universal Studios Hollywood has transformed into a terrifying scene straight out of a horror movie…yup…Halloween Horror Nights is back. This is LA’s most popular haunt during the fall and everyone is adding tickets to their cart right now. The scary park transformation just opened days ago and tickets are selling out quickly. The event gets packed every time and its because Universal Studios Hollywood elevates the experience every year with new mazes, monsters and munchies to sink your teeth in. Planning a visit can get overwhelming because there is so much to hit up, but we’ve got the inside scoop on what to see, what to do and where to eat to get the most out of this Halloween haunt. Keep scrolling and find out everything there is to know about 2023’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.
1. Get The Express Pass (Trust us)
It’s true…Universal Studios really does go all out on their Haunted Houses, but the lines get really long. It will be difficult to visit them all in one night with the general admission ticket. Here’s what we suggest. Get the Express Pass, it is TOTALLY worth it! The pass will cost between $219 and $259 depending if you want to do a one time ride or unlimited. You’ll get front-of-the-line access to houses and attractions, which means you can conquer each one on your list in a very timely manner. It’s really a win win because you can use the time saved to grab a drink or snack or even rest your feet since you’ll be doing a lot of walking (so bring comfy shoes).
2. Don’t Miss The Shows
It can be tempting to rule out HHN’s shows in favor of their scary cool Haunted Houses but you don’t want to miss these shows. Our favorite was Blumhouse: Behind the Screams. It brings you up close and personal with props from your favorite Blumhouse horror movies like The Black Phone, M3gan, and their upcoming film, Five Nights at Freddy’s. Once inside the theater, you’ll get to go behind the scenes of the movies and get a fright or two from some of the scariest characters. There is also a show called The Purge: Dangerous Waters. It’s a terrifyingly fun water show based on the hit horror franchise.
3. Ride The Rides
Rides are a great mental palette cleanser between the Haunted Houses and Scare Zones and the lines are much shorter. We were able to walk right onto The Mummy, which normally has a very long wait. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of short wait times and get on that ride you missed out on during a previous crowded park visit. Don’t forget, Universal Express also works on rides!
4. Binge The Films Before You Go
The thing that sets Hollywood Horror Nights apart from any other haunted attraction, is that it brings you inside your favorite shows and movies. Alot of the 2023 Haunted Houses are based on titles like The Last of Us, The Exorcist, Stranger Things, Evil Dead Rise, and Chucky. Even if you’re unfamiliar with these titles, you’ll still be able to enjoy the haunts. But they’re way more fun if you watch them before going to the park. So research and do a bingefest before heading to the park. Knowing a bit about them will allow you to pick up on hidden Easter Eggs within the houses. We also loved Monstrous: The Monsters of Latin America haunt that explored spooky Latin American mythology. Doing research on the legends of Tlahuelpuchi, La Lechuza, and El Sibon made us truly appreciate the thought and scare behind this house.
5 . Seasonal Food and Drinks
During Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios releases limited edition menu items at special eateries. This year people are loving all of the Stranger Things food stands straight from the show. You can enjoy Surfer Boy Pizza, Eleven’s Waffle Sundae from Scoops Ahoy, and a cocktail from the Upside Down at The Stellar Bar. Other fun eateries include Peacock’s Halloween Horror Bar, Chucky’s True Classic BBQ, and the Dia De Los Muertos Bar. Nothing will get you in the spirit than feasting on these one of a kind treats.
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We know getting scared can leave you jumpy but remember to have fun! Plus, as scary as the “Scare-actors” can be they can’t touch or hurt you so treat them with the same respect since they’re only doing their jobs. One of the best tips we can leave you about them…. keep eye contact with them and don’t run from them because they’re less likely to scare you! Lastly, Halloween Horror Nights isn’t recommended for kids under 13 and outside masks and costumes aren’t allowed. So leave the kids and the younger siblings at home and enjoy a fun Halloween night out.
FYI: there are so many other incredible Halloween events going on around Los Angeles (if ya can’t get a ticket here), sp check out these spooky Halloween Bars with terrifyingly tasty cocktails.