Every year Halloween Horror Nights seems to get bigger and bigger, and so do the crowds.
Below you will find some of our tips for making the most out of your Halloween Horror Nights experience. Some do's and don'ts and most importantly, what should be your "plan of attack" for the night.
You can also check out the HHN site for more information on tickets, hours, etc.
Note: In years past have made changes to our Survival Guide after opening weekend, and that will likely be the case this year.
September: 13-15, 19-22, 26-29
October: 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31
If you want a bit more info about this years event, check out John's panel from Midsummer Scream
Early Entry Mazes
The line-up for Early Entry Mazes is kind of ridiculous, ridiculously awesome.
The times for early entry are as follows:
In addition to Fan Preview Night they are also doing 80's nights this year on Thursdays. Thursdays usually are pretty good days to go so we're not sure if this will change things. We'll definitely be checking out at least one of them.
We used our strategy below on Sunday Night September 15th, a few notes:
There are two scenarios for this maze, one for Early Entry, one if you missed it.
Early Entry: As mentioned above, early entry will begin at 6:00pm. Stranger Things is one of the mazes available (we have heard that this can actually open at 6:15). If this is the case you should absolutely head here first.
No Early Entry: If you do not get there in time for early entry but are there at opening check the wait time for Stranger Things. If it's 45 minutes or more, head to the Metro Set Mazes first. The line will be there all night. Better to wait in some shorter lines and come back and wait for Stranger Things later.
Front of the Line tip: If lines are short when you get to the lower lot (or if you are there for Early Entry) DO NOT use your Front of the Line Pass for Stranger Things. Go through once with the GP and use your FOTL pass later in the evening when it's busier.
Once you have walked through Stranger Things we suggest skipping Killer Klowns for now and heading to the Metro Set.
Frankenstein vs Wolf Man: We suggest to begin here, as the flow of the Metro Sets takes you in a natural progression.
Ghostbusters: Frankenstein vs Wolf Man exists at the entrance to Ghostbusters. The time posted may be longer than what it actually is. If there are 3 full switch-backs full it's about a 30-40 minute wait.
Creepshow: Finish here before doing the mini scare zone and heading back to the Lower Lot. This line moves pretty quick.
Front of the Line tip: If you don't want to make the walk back to the Metro sets later in the night, go through them once with the GP and then use your FOTL privilege right after to get two trips through each maze.
Once you have finished the Metro Set mazes and made your walk back to the Lower Lot, we suggest doing Killer Klowns prior to heading back to the upper lot.
Note: If the line seems really long and some of the upper lot mazes are shorter, skip this (for now) and head upstairs. The longest this line was during our visit was in the 8:00-9:00 hour.
Front of the Line tip: If the line for Killer Klowns is not long go through once with the General Public and then use your FOTL pass later in the evening. Getting back down to the lower lot mazes is easy to do later in the night. If the line is long use your FOTL for Killer Klowns and Stranger Things (if you didn't use it earlier).
Jurassic World: This is usually the part of the survival guide where we tell you to skip Jurassic Park (now World). But we're not heartless. We realize many of you will not have ridden Jurassic World yet. So this once, we're going to give you a pass. But seriously, do single rider, and only if you haven't ridden it yet. Because it's truly awesome.
But even with that, we'd suggest coming back down to do it later in the evening, after you've finished all of the mazes.
You are probably going to need to rest by now, feel free to stop by one of the eateries and get a snack, a meal, etc. Sit around the upper lot scare zone and watch the talent do their thing.
If you've followed the strategy at this point you'll have four mazes (and Walking Dead) left and plenty of time to do them.
Us and Pandora's Box: Since there is no Terror Tram this year they are utilizing the Studio Tour queue area for these two mazes. The line will likely move slower than the Terror Tram simply due to capacity. But there's always nice video clips and more here so enjoy that while you wait.
Holidayz in Hell: This maze is right in the middle of the upper lot so will probably be rather popular. That said, in years past this maze has had a shorter line in the 10pm-12am timeframe simply due to the fact that everybody is on the lower lot or backlot during this time.
House of 1000 Corpses: The last new maze is located near Waterworld. Many people will go here first when getting to the event, because it's the first thing they'll see. Don't make that mistake. Head over here last.
Walking Dead: If there is no line or you don't visit the park much then go for it.
Front of the Line tip: Same as Lower Lot and Backlot. If the lines are on the short side go through once with the GP and once using your Front of the Line. You always see different things on each walk-through.
Like the last few years, there is only one show at HHN this year. Once we get showtimes we'll update this with recommended times to go.
Once you have completed all the mazes you can hang around the scare zones and watch the talent, check the wait board to see if there are any short maze or ride lines or if you have a Front of the Line Pass use up any trips you haven't already.
Do some shopping, grab a t-shirt, hang out in the scare zones and drive home safely.
Pro Tip: If you are at the event until it closes you may get to experience the amazing "Chainsaw Chase-Out". It's a great HHN tradition.
Alright, that'll do it for this years Survival Guide. We will be attending 2 nights over the first weekend (once with Front of the Line and once without) so we'll be updating this for sure early next week.
The announcement yesterday wasn't really much of a surprise to anybody. Much of the information had leaked already and even when pressed, no details about specific lands or attractions was revealed.
Of course, that doesn't mean that a lot can't be seen from the image below (click for larger versions of each picture).
So from looking at this, the general consensus is the park will contain the following lands:
There is also a dual racing coaster that is unclear where it would go as well as some other smaller attractions. So let's move around the park.
This is widely believed to be the entry to the park, not a whole lot of details to be seen here, but definitely looks like it will be fantastic.
Looks like some pretty good sized stores, restaurants and maybe some kind of attraction here.
How To Train Your Dragon
Moving to the right, this is believed to be for How To Train Your Dragon. Can see at least one coaster here (the dual launched coaster doesn't seem to be a part of that land).
Would imagine some other family friendly rides in this area as well. Looks like maybe some water play area's and some kind of "training " facility on the bottom left.
About that that dual racing coaster. This looks a LOT like West Coast Racers. Like a LOT a lot. Rumors are that WCR was originally being designed for something with Universal that was a few years out, so read into that what you will. We have no idea if that is accurate or not.
While no theme is readily apparent for this it looks like it will be amazing.
Below are some pics from our West Coast Racers tour a couple of weeks ago for reference.
Wizarding World/Fantastic Beasts
Next over is the Wizarding World. I have to admit, this is the land that has me scratching my head the most. Yes, the Potter Universe is amazing, all of the theme park additions have been amazing. But the Fantastic Beasts films have been failures both financially and creatively (especially the last one).
While, granted, you don't have to have a good IP to have a good attraction **cough** Transformers **cough** it kind of helps. It's also kind of interesting how the fireworks cover a lot of this area of the artwork. Will have to see how this plays out.
Around the corner is what is widely believed to be a Universal Monsters area. Now there have been rumors of a Universal Monsters Dark Ride coming to Universal Hollywood for YEARS. The location where Secret Life of Pets is going was rumored to be the location. This has been a huge dream of John Murdy's for years, and it seems that maybe now his dream is becoming reality, bigger than he thought.
If this is a Universal Monsters area I'd imagine that John, Chris Williams and Michael Aiello are at the very least consulting, but I'd imagine much more. If you are going to Midsummer Scream this weekend, don't ask them about it. They aren't gonna answer.
Of course, as soon as the announcement was made thoughts of Halloween Horror Nights coming to this park were eventually shared by lots of people, including us. I think the idea has merit. Just because there are no "soundstages" shown in this art doesn't mean they don't exist. I think it's definitely in the realm of possibility of having two HHN events in the next decade. But we'll see.
Just a warp pipe away is Nintendo Land. No surprise here AT ALL.
No need to get into this too much, but Mario Kart, Donkey Kong ... going to be epic.
Heart of the Park
There's a large area in the middle with lots of water (a theme in this park). Looks like some restaurants, a gorgeous looking theater or attraction building, fountain shows and different levels of walkways underneath waterfalls.
There's also some kind of amphitheater (near Universal Monsters) and other show area's which is good for those who enjoy that type of thing. Perhaps major concerts coming to Universals new park?
And last and certainly not least, the hotel. All those bloggers gotta have somewhere to stay right?
This looks fantastic.
Overall we didn't really get a whole lot in the way of "surprises" with yesterdays announcement. Lots to examine over the next few years for sure.
As to why they didn't announce it all at once? Why make one announcement vs dragging them out a bit and having 5 or 6 separate announcements.
Or could it also be that not everything in the park is 100% set in stone. Again, referring to the Wizarding World section here.
Going to be very interested to see if that happens or if they go in a different direction. Would imagine any ride systems they have created for that area would remain, but perhaps with another IP. Will definitely be an interesting few years.
What are your thoughts on Epic Universe? Be sure to share them below.
“Universal’s Epic Universe” Will Bring Experiences Beyond Your Wildest Imagination to Life
ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug 1, 2019) – Universal Orlando Resort is building a new, fourth, theme park to be called Universal’s Epic Universe. The vision: create an entirely new level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment.
Universal’s Epic Universe will take guests on a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands – and where that journey is as much a part of their adventure as the ultimate destination.
“Our new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. “It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida.”
The new theme park will also feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. It will be located within a larger 750-acre site that nearly doubles Universal’s total available acreage in Central Florida. Universal’s Epic Universe is just a few miles from the existing resort in Southwest Orange County. Specifically, it will be south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.
“Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. “It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created. It is an investment in our business, our industry, our team members and our community.”
The new park was announced Thursday in an event attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Tom Williams and Brian Roberts.
“We look forward to the new level of entertainment and innovation Universal’s Epic Universe will bring to one of our state’s most important industries,” said Governor DeSantis. “We look forward to Universal’s continued contribution to our state’s economic growth and development. And we are especially grateful for Universal’s partnership in improving Shingle Creek, which plays a critical role in serving the Everglades.”
The investment Universal is making in our community and the benefit all of us will see is substantial,” said Mayor Demings. “This will benefit nearly every segment of our economy – from tourism to high-tech.”
Mayor Demings also spotlighted Universal’s role in the Kirkman Road extension. This is a 50/50 public-private partnership in which Universal is investing $160 million to extend Kirkman into the area where the new park will be located.
“The Kirkman extension will improve transportation through a busy and growing portion of our county and open up the entire area for additional development – including an important expansion of our Convention Center,” he said.
During the announcement, Governor DeSantis, Mayor Demings and Tom Williams released information about Universal’s economic contribution to the state and local economy.
Universal Orlando currently employees 25,000 people and will hire an additional 14,000 team members as part of Epic Universe, including professional, technical, culinary and other specialized positions. The company currently contributes more than $302 million in annual state and local taxes – a number that will nearly double when the new theme park opens.
The majority of the businesses Universal relies on are either regional firms or national firms with a large regional presence. An economic impact study for Universal conducted by UCF Economic Professor Sean Snaith found that Universal Orlando’s combined direct and indirect economic benefit to the Florida economy since Universal Studios opened in 1990 is $73 billion. He also found that construction of the new park alone will contribute a total of $11.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefit into the Florida economy.
More details about Universal’s Epic Universe will be revealed over time. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.
About Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a unique vacation destination that is part of the NBCUniversal Comcast family. For more than 25 years, Universal Orlando has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures.
Universal Orlando’s three theme parks, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative theme park experiences – including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Universal Orlando’s hotels are destinations unto themselves and include Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers immersive dining and entertainment for every member of the family. Follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagramand YouTube.