It was finally time for Southern California to get in on the Halloween fun, and what better way than to start off with Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood. We attended 2 nights over the first weekend as we traditionally do, Thursday night as an invited guest of the park and Sunday using our Frequent Fear Passes. Despite some hotter than usual weather (it's typically somewhat warm but this year was ridiculously hot), we had a great 2 visits to the park.
We'll say right of the bat, this is one of the strongest ever Halloween Horror Nights events in Hollywood. Maybe THE strongest year (although I do have a soft spot for 2019 which had 3 of my top 10 all time houses (Creepshow, Ghostbusters, Holidayz in Hell).
Before we start with our review and update, be sure to check out our Halloween Horror Nights Survival Guide , which did get some updates after our visit on Sunday September 11.
Let's head right in. We've got a lot of pictures and video to share.
Overall we really enjoyed The Weeknd the 2 times we went through this weekend. It's not necessarily scary, but a twisted club through The Weeknd's imagination. We also have to give him props, not too many a-list celebrities would be ok getting beheaded a couple of hundred times every hour!
These are always among our favorite houses of the event, and this years does NOT disappoint at all. While I think Bride of Frankenstein Lives is still our favorite version of this, this one comes VERY close. We'd love one long super house one year that goes through every single version of the Universal Monsters houses!
The house is in an all new location for 2022 and is very similar to the 2019 house. Seems like there may have been more black walls this time around, but a super fun house as always. Take note, the line for this house, just as with 2019, moves VERY slow. Not quite sure why. So make sure you get into this house early.
The Terror Tram for 2022 is the best it's ever been. Even before we get into the Nope/Us area at Jupiter's Claim, they've added some really fun spots featuring semi-icon Hollywood Harry.
Speaking of Hollywood Harry, his legend is growing and I really do wish they would make him the official face of the event, including merchandise, etc.
One thing I will mention, the queue for Halloween goes into the basement of the Curious George structure. While in a few weeks or a month from now, this would be fine, on Sunday night, with the high humidity, it was absolutely dreadful and had to easily be over 100 degrees in here. I would have expected park operations to see this and use the mostly unused queue from Scarecrow so people could wait outside.
On both Thursday and Sunday, this house was just amazing from start to finish. The scenery, the talent, the story, it's absolute perfection and is very welcome out here in California.
This was amazing both nights, and was actually our favorite house on Sunday. We absolutely love visiting multiple nights and returning with our Frequent Fear passes as it's great to see little changes in the houses as the event rolls on.
The house is a ton of fun, but one thing I will mention is that this house has been given the gift of size given it's location. While that may sound like a good thing, it means it takes longer for the scareactors to "reset" their positions to scare the next group. So timing is pretty important in this one.
Unfortunately this one suffered from a lot of black walls, something we are seeing less and less at HHN Hollywood. On the plus side, the talent in here is really awesome and as was said above, I'd anticipate small adjustments being made and we expect this will improve in time.
In addition to all of the houses, HHN Hollywood features some awesome scare zones, and a new spot near Animal Actors Live.
Keep in mind, if you're at the event they do offer an after 11pm Express pass, that is generally less than half of the regular express, but get them early! They can (and do) sell out. We also recommend the Frequent Fear Pass, it's a great way to attend multiple times or just drop in for a few hours, enjoy some food, some scares and more.
Overall this is one of the best years of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, and you will not be disappointed in this years lineup.
Did you attend opening weekend? Share your thoughts below!
Every year Halloween Horror Nights seems to get bigger and bigger, and so do the crowds. 2021 was one of the busiest years for Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood and given the line-up of attractions for 2022, we expect pretty much the same thing this year.
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.
September: 8-11, 15-18, 22-25, 29-30
October: 1-2, 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, 27-31
If you want a bit more info about this years event, check out John Murdy and Slash's panel from Midsummer Scream 2022!
Early Entry Attractions
The Weeknd, Killer Klowns and Universal Monsters Legends Collide
We've been able to confirm that the 3 lower lot houses will be available for early entry this year! Early Entry begins at 6:00pm every night.
Recommended House Order
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get to the park for Early Entry! This gives you your best chance to experience all of the attractions without Front of the Line.
This rundown of recommended houses is if you are using early entry. That's how much we recommend it. If you aren't doing Early Entry, we will have a recommended house order list below.
We've made some major changes to our house order thanks to a thread from @tai-nugget on Twitter who has been to the event a few nights.
We kind of thought this may have been the way to go after Sunday night, but this has pretty much confirmed it. Check out our updated strategy below.
Front of the Line tip: If lines are short when you get to the a particular attraction (or if you are there for Early Entry) DO NOT use your Front of the Line Pass early in the evening. Go through once in the stand-by line and then use your Front of the Line later in the evening. This way you get two trips through each House. With no backlot this year, getting back to a favorite house will be rather easy.
First Maze: Killer Klowns
That's right, Killer Klowns should be your first maze. This has consistently been THE LONGEST wait of the entire event, we're not quite sure why. Instead of getting in The Weeknd Early Entry queue, head for Killer Klowns first.
Express Tip: Don't worry about using your Front of the Line during early entry. The Express line for The Weeknd was super long right as early entry started. Use it later when you come back downstairs.
Next, we're going to forget the Lower Lot for now, as The Weeknd likely has about a 90 minute wait, and Universal Monsters has averaged about a 30 minute wait. Instead we're going to head to the upper lot for the opening of Wizarding World, Halloween and Scarecrow at 6:45. Head to the side entrance to Wizarding World between the Studio Tour and Three Broomsticks.
Halloween and Scarecrow: The Reaping
Head straight through Hogsmeade and directly to Halloween and Scarecrow The Reaping.
Halloween has been getting very long waits so you should head here first, followed by Scarecrow The Reaping.
Express Tip: If you happen to get here and the lines or short (30 minutes or less), go through the Stand-By line and then use your Front of the Line so you get to experience each house twice.
Universal Horror Hotel and La Llarona
After getting through the Curious George houses, head back through Hogsmeade and visit Universal Horror Hotel and La Llarona.
Express Tip: Just like before, if the stand-by lines are relatively short (30 minutes or less) go through the stand-by line and then you can experience both of these houses one last time on your way out.
Death Eaters in Wizarding World and Terror Tram
This is usually the part of the yearly guide where we tell you to take a break, grab a snack, etc. And this year the Death Eaters will be out in Wizarding World, so this is probably a great place to take that break.
Express Tip: If the line for the Terror Tram is relatively short, 30 minutes or less, you CAN go through the stand-by line and use your Front of the Line later. But remember, this experience generally takes 30-45 minutes from beginning to end and closes early, so you may not have time to do it twice. Plus, there's a LOT of walking on this one. =)
If you didn't take a break before now, it's a good time to do it. You can grab a snack in Springfield, at Dia De Los Muertos or Hogsmeade. In addition, single rider for Forbidden Journey has been open, so it's an easy trek from the Terror Tram over there.
Universal Monsters and The Weeknd
It's now time to head back to the Lower Lot and visit Universal Monsters and The Weeknd.
If you didn't grab a snack/take a break upstairs, you can do so at Jurassic Café, the Killer Klowns BBQ or Ice Cream shop. The Weeknd bar is also down here, but has been getting crazy long waits.
Keep in mind, house lines go down as the night goes on, so feel free to take a spin on one or two lower lot attractions (be sure to check if the single rider is open!)
Express Tip: If the lines are relatively short, 30 minutes or less, feel free to use Stand By and then experience them again with your Express pass. Remember, you still have an Express pass for Killer Klowns too!
It's getting late in the evening, you're tired, but you only have one house left to go. But that's ok, it's on your way out.
Express Tip: Just like before, if the stand-by line is relatively short (30 minutes or less) go through the stand-by line and then use your Front of the Line to experience each house twice.
Upper Lot: Back this year is the Dia De Los Muertos area in Universal Plaza. We absolutely loved this area last year, and it's a great place to get a snack, a drink and check out the awesome displays.
Lower Lot: Killer Klowns BBQ and Weekend Bar
Click here for all of the yummy food details.
Not Using Early Entry
We get it, it's LA Traffic, maybe you had to work and can't get to the park for Early Entry. It happens. Here is our recommended house order if you are getting to the event at 7:00.
If you do not get to HHN in time for early entry but are there at opening check the wait time for the Lower Lot Houses. If they are 45 minutes or more, head to the Curious George Houses first. The lines will be there all night. Better to wait in some shorter lines and come back and wait for The Weeknd, Killer Klowns and Universal Monsters later.
No Early Entry House Order:
Remember, you can always get the After 11pm Express passes to make sure you can see everything without early entry.
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 houses you can hang around the scare zones and watch the talent, check the wait board to see if there are any short house or ride lines or if you have a Front of the Line Pass use up any trips you haven't already.
If you are brave enough, not tired enough, or want to experience a true Horror Nights Hollywood original, stay until the very end of the night and experience Chainsaw Chaseout. This is absolutely one of our favorite things every year, and we always make at least one late night trip to HHN to experience it (the benefits of having Frequent Fear).
Even if you're not staying for Chainsaw Chaseout, make sure you do some shopping, grab a t-shirt and hang out in the scare zones before heading out.
Drive home safely!
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 after opening weekend!
'Happy late August everybody and welcome to a new update from Universal Studios Hollywood. I made an impromptu visit to the park yesterday on my way back from San Diego as my son, who's moving to Canada, requested a butterbeer since it will be awhile before he gets back to Southern California.
But of course, that meant I got to take a look at some Halloween Horror Nights prep and of course Super Nintendo World.
Let's get right to it!
Let's head into the park!
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