We have made it an annual tradition to experience all the horror of Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights with our teens. Let me tell you, there is always plenty of screaming and laughing coming from this family.
Halloween Horror Nights are one of Southern California’s premier Halloween events! In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to have the best time at this monstrous event.
First things first. We are big Halloween fans so last year we checked out both Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal Halloween Horror Nights in one weekend-whirlwind of fun and screams. While we love both, Universal is by far superior with some of the most intricate and dynamic mazes. In addition, they have amazing scare zones.
Halloween Horror Nights Houses & Mazes
The mazes that Universal creates are not only frightening but they are so incredibly well done, you will feel like you are part of the movie or tv show.
This year Halloween Horror Nights opens on September 7th, but below we will go over the maze themes. You can also check out our detailed review of each Horror Night House and Maze from last year to give you a better idea of the general layout.
2023 Horror Night House & Maze Themes
- Evil Dead Rise
- Stranger Things 4
- The Exorcist: Believer
- The Last of Us
- Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count
- Universal Monsters: Unmasked
- Terror Tram… The Exterminatorz
Universal Horror Hotel
This is one of the mazes that typically has the shortest line, but it’s a fantastic maze. Located in the former walking dead maze, this one is a much-improved maze. As you travel through the hotel you will be haunted by the 1920s serial killer. There were so many jump scares we found ourselves racing through the maze.
Scare Meter – 8 out of 10
Horrors of Blumhouse
We started off our night of fear at this maze as it was located right by the entrance. Prepare to hear the haunting sounds of the black phone as you explore this maze. There are plenty of jump scares in this maze however not as many as the rest of the mazes we explored.
Location: WaterWorld by the entrance of the park
Scare Meter – 6 out of 10
La Llorona: The Weeping Woman
This is probably the 2nd scariest maze of the night and the line was not too bad compared with some of the other mazes. La Llorona will is known to haunt your nightmares but also when you are awake because I have never seen my family move so fast as we jumped from one scare to the next
Scare Meter: 10 out of 10
This maze is intense and one of the best mazes in the park. I don’t know if it is just the classic Halloween music that gets me, but this maze had us jumping out of our skin. There are so many misdirections that you don’t know where Michael Myers will appear from. This was overall our favorite maze and one you must visit.
Expect long lines for this maze as it is definitely one of the most popular.
Location: Upper Lot past Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Scare Meter – 10 out of 10
Scarecrow the Reaping
I personally thought this maze was going to be my least favorite but it turned out to be one of my faves. The maze takes you through the year in the most frightening of ways. You start off through an abandoned farm and immediately you find yourself racing for cover as creatures emerge from everywhere.
Location: Upper Lot past Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Scare Meter – 9 out of 10
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
We were really excited to do the Killer Klowns maze as well clowns are pretty frightening in general. You will navigate your way through an abandoned amusement park and well as you guess numerous clowns that jump out from everywhere.
Location: Lower Lot, next to Transformers the Ride
Scare Meter – 8 out of 10
Halloween Horror Nights – Scare Zones
There are several Scare Zones that are great to walk through as you navigate the park. Scare Zones re themed areas within the park where guests can walk through and encounter “scareactors” (actors in horror-themed costumes) and various spine-chilling set pieces. Often times you will find yourself being chased by creatures with chainsaws, demented monsters and so much more.
Last year, the scare zone at the beginning of the park was by far the best with pyrotechnics, evil characters on stilts and so much more.
The Terror Tram has some amazing sets that you can walk through. We got off the tram and walked through the set of Jordan Peele’s latest film, NOPE. While it does not provide as many jump scares as some of the mazes.
We also got to walk through the War of the Worlds set with the giant 747 that appears crashed on set. It is definitely worth checking out.
It was just announced that this year’s Terror Tram is going to be The Exterminatorz, in which “Tour Guide Larry Larva and his bug-headed exterminators are out to get rid of human pests once and for all.”
Halloween Horror Nights Open Rides
Every year there are several rides that are open in addition to the mazes. These rides do get to be pretty busy as well. If you plan to ride a lot of them I highly recommend the Express Unlimited Pass.
Here’s what was open last year:
- Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride
- Transformers: The Ride – 3D,
- The Simpsons Ride
- Jurassic World: The Ride
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was open this year for Halloween Horror Nights. so it s was great to ride the rides in that land.
Pro Tips for Universal Halloween Horror Nights
Buy your Tickets Early – Tickets sell out for most nights and express passes sell out the fastest.
All About Tickets
How to Score Discount Tickets!
We scored our tickets through ARES Travel. They had the best pricing available. You can save up to $58 per ticket. The tickets get emailed to you in minutes and you simply print them and take the tickets right to the entrance. Here is my full breakdown of how to get discount tickets!
Express Passes Are Worth It
If you must go on a busy night, I highly recommend getting one of the Express passes. We got the unlimited pass to also have access to the rides, however, the regular express pass might be plenty as you get access to each maze one time. You can get through all the mazes in just a few hours with an Express Pass.
The difference in lines is incredible. We waited at most 10 minutes while the normal line was 180 minutes!
Book the RIP Tour ($279-$409 per person)
We almost booked this tour as I hear it is amazing. The RIP Tour includes:
- Special VIP entrance to Halloween Horror Nights
- Complimentary valet parking for one vehicle (also saves you a very long walk)
- Exclusive themed photo opportunities
- Buffet dinner at VIP dining room and lounge
- Exclusive tour of the world-famous Studio backlot
- Unlimited Express access to all haunted houses and select rides
- Exclusive lounge area in the Lower Lot for drinks and desserts during your tour
- Private VIP trolley transportation to backlot haunted houses (which is a long walk)
- RIP lanyard
Visit on Sunday or Thursday To Avoid the Crowds
Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights gets extremely busy. To get through the most amount of mazes go on Sundays or Thursdays. Saturday nights are the busiest.
Do Early Entry & Head to the Back of the Park First:
Take advantage of the early entry and head to the backlot. There you can get through 3 scare mazes.
On the weekends, food lines are long. I would recommend eating beforehand. The lines do die down later in the night, but for the most part, expect a good wait.
A lot of my followers on Instagram asked me about safety at the event. We never felt uncomfortable at the parks. You enter through metal detectors, there is security and Police throughout the park to make sure everything is under control. I did not see one incident throughout the evening. Universal did an exceptional job.
Overall, Universal Halloween Horror Nights is a pretty amazing experience, especially if you enjoy being scared throughout the evening.
Pin for later – Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights!
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