The horror season is upon us! Halloween Horror Nights 2023 is set to begin Thursday, Sept 7 at Universal Studios Hollywood.
For those who have visited the event in the past, you know what to expect. For those who haven’t, get ready for some unforgettable horrific encounters…
Universal Studios Hollywood’s haunted houses are known for their incredible make-up, costuming, and set design.
Horror Nights 2023 features 8 haunted houses, 3 scarezones, the Terror Tram, and two shows – as well as an insane offering of spooky-themed food & drink. In addition, Death Eaters will be roaming the streets of Hogsmeade. Universal will be keeping most of its popular attractions open during the event as well.
There is so much to do that it can be overwhelming. So we’re to help as best we can, answer some frequently asked questions, and provide some veteran knowledge to your game plan.
We’ll be updating this page throughout the event to make sure it’s as up-to-date as possible.
Halloween Horror Nights 2023 takes place on select nights from September 7, 2023, through October 31, 2023. The event starts at 7pm every night, but closing times may vary depending on crowd levels and other factors.
This year’s lineup features 8 haunted houses and the Terror Tram:
- Stranger Things
Season 4 of Netflix’s original series “Stranger Things” is brought to life in a terrifying all-new haunted house that transports guests to Hawkins, Indiana where they will be immersed in the eerie Upside Down for a heart-pounding experience while traveling through iconic scenes. Guests will confront their deepest fears and come face to face with otherworldly creatures like demobats, and even Vecna himself within his blood-red Mind Lair in a race against the clock to escape and save mankind from his deadly curse.
- The Last of Us
For the first time ever, Naughty Dog and PlayStation’s award-winning post-pandemic video game “The Last of Us” comes to life in an all-new haunted house that propels guests into an obstacle course of carnage and mayhem as they join a brutal journey in a world overtaken by a fungal virus that turns humans into various forms of a new threat known as the Infected. Guests will find themselves navigating iconic locations from the video game in a desperate attempt to escape and survive.
- Universal Monsters: Unmasked
The dank Catacombs of Paris house a much darker secret sixty feet beneath the bustling streets, as the all-new haunted house “Universal Monsters: Unmasked” takes guests down into the infamous burial grounds where every corner and crevice overflows with millions of skeletal remains and even more sinister secrets. Deep within the Catacombs, Universal’s most notorious creatures – The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr. Jekyll and his deranged alternate personality Mr. Hyde, and Dr. Jack Griffin, aka The Invisible Man – lie in wait as they bide their time and seek vengeance against guests after the opening of the Catacombs to public visitation. These desperate and dangerous fiends have become filled with a rage toward guests navigating the twisted tunnels of their underground labyrinth home.
- Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count
Inspired by the hit USA & SYFY series and cult classic films, “Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count” casts this killer doll as the star of his very own haunted house for the first time. A true sadistic killer, Chucky has been mired in the agony of disrespect he feels from his peers at not being taken seriously. Thus begins his quest to turn his haunted house into a living slaughterhouse by killing every person who enters.
- The Exorcist: Believer
Inspired by Universal Pictures’ terrifying new horror film from Blumhouse and Morgan Creek Entertainment (in theaters Friday, October 13), “The Exorcist: Believer” haunted house will unleash an entirely new level of terror to Halloween Horror Nights. In this new chapter, guests will be transported to a bustling street market in Haiti, where an innocent purchase of a strange folk doll with three eyes leads to the opening of a demonic portal, the awakening of sinister spirits and the subsequent disappearance of two 12-year-old girls in the U.S. The girls are found three days later with no memory of what happened to them. After the girls begin to exhibit unsettling behavior, it soon becomes clear that only an exorcism can save them – and everyone who comes in contact with them, including unwitting guests, is suddenly at risk of losing their souls.
- Evil Dead Rise
An ancient curse rises in a new setting: an L.A. apartment building. The Book of the Dead is about to unleash unimaginable horrors on you and your scream squad. Evil has come home.
- Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America
¡Ten cuidado! With La Muerte as your guide, you and your scream squad must try to survive three terrifying legends: the blood-sucking Tlahuelpuchi, owl-faced witch La Lechuza, and bone-ripping El Silbón.
- Holidayz in Hell
From New Year’s Eve to Thanksgiving, your favorite holidays to celebrate with your friends are going to hell. ‘Tis the season to scream in this holiday nightmare. The scarier, the merrier.
- Terror Tram…The Exterminatorz
The Terror Tram puts guests on the world-famous Universal backlot and in the middle of an insect uprising led by the devious Larry Larva whose goal is to exterminate humans from the Earth. Horror fans will also walk along the Jupiter’s Claim set from Nope where they will encounter The Tethered from Us in an epic crossover from two of director Jordan Peele’s blockbusters.
The 3 scarezones are:
- El Terror de las Momias
Villagers unearthed an ancient army of mummies. Now you and your squad are the targets of their cursed wrath. And if you manage to escape, you won’t get away from Muerte and the Goddess of Death. The zone is an extension of the “Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America” haunted house.
A maniacal toymaker is using dark magic to bring evil toys to life, including a porcelain doll, teddy bear, nutcracker and ballerina. Now these devilish dollz are after you and your friends!
As soon as you enter the event, a horde of blood-soaked, chainsaw-wielding ghostz will descend upon you and your scream squad with twisted smiles. These spectral horrors will haunt you.
The two live shows featured this year are:
- The Purge: Dangerous Waters
It’s a race against time when a politician and his entourage escape to an island to avoid The Purge. Sanctuary is fleeting when the island is quickly overrun by Purgers and the hunt is on. Located in the WaterWorld venue and featuring adrenaline-filled action sequences, stunts, spectacular lighting and laser effects, high fall fire burns, and massive explosions, “The Purge: Dangerous Waters” celebrates an evening of anarchy without thought of punishment or fear of retribution.
- Blumhouse: Behind the Screams
Showcases a selection of Blumhouse horror films, including the highly anticipated films Five Nights at Freddy’s and The Exorcist: Believer, and fan-loving hits like M3GAN and TheBlack Phone. This unique experience breaks the fourth wall and invites guests to explore these films as they step through the silver screen for an up-close look at authentic film props, costume displays, and terrifying character encounters.
Additional Horror Nights experiences include:
- The Carl Laemmle Patio will feature Peacock’s Halloween Horror Bar with themed cocktails from The Purge and “Chucky” and photo opportunities with scareactors.
- Universal Plaza will serve up a celebration in honor of Dia de Los Muertos featuring an array of Latin Folklore-themed cocktails, Lil Cocina Taco Stand, and a margarita bar.
- The Death Eaters will be roaming the streets of Hogsmeade.
The following rides will be open:
- Jurassic World: The Ride
- Revenge of the Mummy
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D
- The Simpsons Ride
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Flight of the Hippogriff
Guests can choose from a variety of different ticket options, from single-night to multi-night passes, and even VIP experiences.
A single-night ticket to HHN starts at $74.99 per person, plus tax. To add the Regular Express to your single-night ticket, it’s an additional price starting at $219.99 per person, plus tax. This option allows one-time Express access to each participating house/attraction.
To add the Unlimited Express option, which allows multiple uses throughout the night, the price starts at $259.99 per person, plus tax.
There is also the After 2pm Day/Night Combo ticket, which allows entry into Universal Studios Hollywood, with same-day admission and Early Entry into Halloween Horror Nights beginning at 5:30pm. The ticket also includes same-day access to Super Nintendo World from 7:00pm to 10:00pm and is the only way for guests to experience the land during Halloween Horror Nights hours. Ticket prices for the After 2pm Day/Night Combo ticket start at $149, plus tax. If you’d like to add Express to the ticket, prices start at $339, plus tax.
New this year is the Halloween Horror Nights Early Access Ticket, which allows guests the option of early entry into Halloween Horror Nights, starting at 5:30pm. Prices start at $10. To clarify – this is not an admission ticket. A Halloween Horror Nights admission ticket must be purchased separately for the same date.
Pricing varies by date and is subject to availability. Check Universal Studios Hollywood’s website for exact prices for your planned day of visit. Sellouts are possible, so if you’re planning a single-night visit – BUY your ticket as soon as you can.
For multi-night tickets, there a several options – each with the ability to add Express.
- Frequent Fear Pass – Get up to 30 nights, with some blackout dates. The ticket price is $209.99, plus tax. The blackout dates are October: 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, and 29.
- Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass – Get up to 38 nights, where you can visit ALL event nights. The ticket price is $329.99, plus tax.
The R.I.P. Tour
R.I.P. Tours are available for individual parties of up to nine people only and could include multiple parties in the same tour group.
Ticket valid for one (1) R.I.P. Tour admission to Halloween Horror Nights. Ticket includes a guided walking tour of the event; one-time R.I.P. entry to each haunted house as well as select rides and attractions (based on tour itinerary), reserved VIP seating at a live show (based on tour itinerary) while on the tour with R.I.P. Tour Guide, and Universal Express Unlimited access (with R.I.P. Tour credential) at select haunted houses, rides, and attractions for the night of your tour. Express access is a separate line with a shorter wait time at each participating haunted house/ride/attraction. (Does not apply to food and retail locations or shows).
Exclusive Universal Backlot Halloween experience with a private VIP trolley transportation.
Gourmet dinner in the private VIP dining room (alcoholic beverages excluded).
Complimentary valet parking (one vehicle).
Is it Scary?
That depends on who you ask, as everyone’s definition of scary is different. Afraid of Clowns? Afraid of Dolls? Afraid of Blood? It’s all there. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly – if you will.
The event is a smorgasbord of horror, a little something for everyone – so there will most likely be SOMETHING that will try to eat at your fears.
Our recommendation is to comb through the lineup and see what’s what so you know what to expect.
If you are easily startled, be on your guard. The actors focus on guests who aren’t paying full attention, so if you’re on your cell phone – expect to become a scare target.
To Express or Not to Express?
Express Passes will allow you to skip the long lines at all open attractions ONCE per night. For those who can afford it, we highly recommend purchasing them.
Express is definitely a luxury, but it is worth the peace of mind to enjoy the event at your own pace.
We also recommend to NOT use your Express pass for anything under 20 minutes.
If you opt to go without Express – you must, must, MUST be there before opening; especially on busier nights if you want to accomplish everything. You can do everything without Express, but it will require you to take advantage of Early Entry and a committed schedule.
Be forewarned: If you arrive late on any night, it may take a while to get through the parking, security, and through the turnstiles. This is why it is so important to buy your tickets in advance and arrive early.
Should I Start in the Lower Lot or the Upper Lot?
If you have Express, it’s totally your call. That’s the beauty of the perk.
The Lower Lot has two of the headliners this year, so we anticipate that a bulk of the crowds will head there first. There’s also a good chance that people will flock to the first house they see, which will be Evil Dead Rise or Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America located near the Universal Plaza in the Upper Lot.
If you’re trying to get ahead of the crowds and do not have Express, our advice is to go through the Wizarding World: Hogsmeade and head towards Universal Monsters: Unmasked and Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count first.
Food & Drink Menu
We will be updating with additional information soon!
Q: Are express passes really needed?
A: This is a question that is asked the most, and yes you should purchase them. They will ensure you are able to visit each house and attraction, as well as maybe visit some houses multiple times. Crowds are always heavy, especially as it gets closer to Halloween.
Q: What is the alcohol situation?
A: Multiple stands and designated bars are set up with food and drink throughout the park.
Always remember to drink responsibly.
Q: What’s the best house?
A: This can’t be answered. Different strokes and all. But you must visit each house to voice your own opinion.
Q: Are children allowed?
A: Yes, however, Universal states that the event may be too intense for anyone under the age of 13. We don’t recommend bringing young children, but we understand every child is different and may be able to handle the scares. Ultimately, as a parent, you have to make the call on what you feel is right for your child.
Q: Can I use my Express pass more than once?
A: It depends on your Express Pass. The Regular option allows only one use Express once per attraction. The Unlimited option speaks for itself… it’s unlimited.
Q: Can I dress up for Halloween?
A: Costumes and Masks are not permitted during any event night.
Q: If there was only one thing you could recommend to a first-timer, what would it be?
A: Decide beforehand what’s most important to you and construct your game plan around that. There is no cheat code to beat the wait times so determine what meets your needs and then plan accordingly. If you have Express, you can take a more chill approach. If you’re opting to go without Express, you may need to plan an early arrival and expect a bit of hustle.
Q: Why shouldn’t I use Express if the wait is so low?
A: Express is an expensive benefit, and rightfully so. We think it’s wasteful to use it on a line less than 20-30 minutes. In addition, though the wait time may show 20 minutes, there’s a chance your wait will be less, or the wait time is incorrect. Keep that Ace in your pocket; so if you want to repeat a house later in the night, you can use your Express benefit then.
Q: When is the best time to visit?
A: If you’re #1 goal is to avoid crowds; then the earlier in the event, the better. As we start getting into October – with school breaks, the Columbus Day holiday, and the Halloween spirit growing, it tends to be a lot busier.
Q: Should I get a Frequent Fear Pass?
A: Only if you see yourself making more than one visit during the event’s run.
Q: Can I touch a scareactor?
A: Absolutely not. Depending on the situation, it’s cause for ejection from the event.
Q: Can I take photos or video?
A: Per Universal – recording and flash photography are not permitted in the haunted houses. Outside the haunted houses, you are allowed to take as many photos and videos as you’d like.
Flash photography is also frowned upon in the scarezones, so please be kind to the actors. No one likes a sudden burst of bright light in their face. While not breaking a rule, you will be asked by security and leaders to turn your flash off.
And while photos are allowed, the actors are there to scare, so it is totally up to the actor whether or not to pose for a picture with you.
- Purchase tickets as early as you can to ensure you are guaranteed entrance into the event.
- Wear comfy shoes. Seems silly to include, but you’d be surprised how much of an oversight this usually is to guests.
- We repeat… Never use Express on waits of less than 20 minutes.
- Don’t waste time doing the rides; this is Halloween Horror Nights! If you must do everything, including the rides, Express will be beneficial to this game plan.
- If traveling in large groups, be aware of your party’s needs. If you have people who may want to skip a certain haunt, make sure they know where you will exit.
- If you plan to drink, please drink responsibly. There will be mass amounts of law enforcement making sure no one gets disorderly. Also, don’t try to sneak in alcohol, the police will be looking carefully. Under-age visitors, this means you!
If your question wasn’t answered, we recommend checking our Forums for some more Tips, Tricks, and Info for Halloween Horror Nights 2023.
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