Halloween Horror Nights 2014

Halloween Horror Nights 2014.

Welcome to the nation’s premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights 2014 at Universal Studios Florida! On these pages you will find all the information and insider secrets you need to survive the terror, including details about the haunted houses, scare zones, shows, and attractions – as well as our very best expert advice on how to save time and money as you face your worst fears.

Orlando Informer is proud to provide our fans with the world’s largest unofficial guide to Halloween Horror Nights (last year’s guide was viewed over 275,000 times). Just like the entire OI Universal Center, our information is COMPREHENSIVE, OBSESSIVELY UPDATED & COMPLETELY FREE. We hope you will use all the wisdom we’ve gained over the years to make sure your family’s HHN trip is one night you will never want to forget!

Below we present our complete overview of Halloween Horror Nights 2014. Once you’ve read through it, use the navigation links at the bottom of the page to learn more.

 

Last update

August 20, 2014

As we finally get caught up on incorporating all the new Diagon Alley details into the OI Universal Center, we now have time to focus on Universal’s biggest annual event: Halloween Horror Nights. Over the next few days, this guide will get fully updated and expand to include:

  • Admission guide: Tickets, Express & Tours
  • How to get HHN early admission
  • HHN 2014 touring plan
  • Our very best HHN tips, tricks & secrets
  • And more!

Thanks for your patience as we build our guide.


Don’t want to wait for the latest HHN news to get posted here? You don’t have to! We have an entire community of Universal and HHN fans discussing the event right now in the OI Forums.

Want to skip all the details and just figure out what a trip to this year’s HHN will cost? We’ll find the best deals and price it out for you – for free (seriously). Learn more


Halloween Horror Nights 2014 – overview & explanation

Think you have what it takes to survive the biggest names in horror, from Alien vs. Predator and The Purge to AMC’s The Walking Dead?

On select nights in September and October, your worst nightmares will take shape as Universal Studios Florida is transformed into the award-winning Halloween Horror Nights. See if you can keep your sanity as you experience terrifying haunted houses, electrifying street experiences, outrageous live shows, and other unspeakable thrills. There’s no better way to embrace the true spirit of Halloween than with the winner of Amusement Today’s “Best Halloween Event” Golden Ticket award.

 

Halloween Horror Nights 2014 will run from September 19 through November 1 on these select nights:

September 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 & 28
October 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 & 31
November 1

Halloween Horror Nights 2014 schedule.

Busiest dates

Here is our projection for the busiest dates, also called peak nights:

Oct 4, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30 & 31.

Unexpected crowds: Sunday, October 12, is an unexpectedly busy night because Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving are celebrated on Monday, making it a popular travel weekend; and, although not yet announced, the follow Sunday, October 19, is also expected to be very busy, as it will likely be the date for Universal (K)nights, when UCF students can get admission to Universal Studios Florida and HHN after 2:00pm for only $40.

Finally, while not a “peak night,” opening night on September 19 is expected to be busy (as opening night always is).

These are marked on our Universal Orlando crowd calendar too!

Event times

The event is always scheduled to start at 6:30pm for general admission. See the calendar image above for closing times: white indicates a midnight closing, yellow indicates a 1:00am closing, and red indicates a 2:00am closing.

*Please note that HHN closing times have been known to change once we get into October (opening time is always 6:30pm).

 

Will Diagon Alley be open during HHN 2014 event nights?

We now have an official statement regarding this, and, unfortunately, the answer is no. Please keep in mind, this means Diagon Alley (and the Hogwarts Express) will not be open during the actual HHN events at night; the new area will be open as usual during regular daytime park hours through September, October, and beyond.

You can also see these on our Universal Orlando crowd calendar (that link will open in a new window for your convenience).

 

Do I really need to buy my tickets now?

If you’re interested in purchasing season passes with HHN Express Pass access or standalone HHN Express Passes, yes, we recommend that you purchase those as soon as you are certain you want them. We don’t feel that there’s a chance those options will sell out before we get into September, but if you know for certain you want one, you might as well purchase them to be safe.

On the other hand, if you’re just interested in getting general admission, there’s no rush at all. You can purchase them now if you’d like, but if you’re uncertain at all about what you might want or when you may visit, you can wait. Over the last few years, single-night general admission tickets only “sold out” the night of the actual event – never weeks or months in advance.

So are you saying HHN is not included with regular daytime admission?

Correct. Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event, sometimes referred to as a hard ticket event. This means, one way or another, you have to pay for separate admission to Halloween Horror Nights – it’s not included with regular daytime admission to Universal’s theme parks like some of the resort’s other popular annual events, such as Mardi Gras and their holiday festivities.

Stay tuned – we’ll soon have an entire guide to HHN admission, Express Passes, and tours published here!

 

What is the HHN 2014 theme?

In 2013, the theme for Halloween Horror Nights was officially “What Evil has taken root?” This manifested itself in the branch-like artwork seen in many of 2013′s promotions, and it explains the entrance to the park during last year’s event:

Halloween Horror Nights 2013 begins.

Halloween Horror Nights 2013 begins.

For 2014, Universal’s has yet to announce its theme.

Nevertheless, it’s important to know that Universal hasn’t had an HHN “icon” since 2011′s Lady Luck. Indeed, we feel pretty certain that the days (or nights) when an entire HHN year is represented by an single icon are over. This is a disappointment to many longtime fans. Yet, the event has become more and more popular every year, so the lack of a unifying icon certainly isn’t hurting HHN from attracting audiences.

 

HHN 2014 haunted houses

Although there are shows, street scenes, and plenty of terrifying activities as part of Halloween Horror Nights, the haunted houses are the primary attractions for the event.

HHN haunted houses are best described as “movie set quality” recreations of fantastic and fearsome locations. Sometimes referred as mazes, each haunted house is indoors, often set up in the unused queue area of a daytime attraction or one of the Universal soundstages. These haunted houses rely on every effect you can imagine to scare the pants off you, including hideous creatures, blood-curdling sound effects, loud music, tight passages, strobe lights, air bursts, 3D, mirror effects, and, of course, very elaborate – and in many cases very gruesome – props and set decoration.

Throughout most of the events history, most haunted house themes have been original creations. However, in more recent years, Universal has started basing houses on third-party licenses (often referred to by fans as IPs, or intellectual properties), such as AMC’s The Walking Dead. It looks like the trend continues as we check out this year’s offerings…

Halloween Horror Nights 2014 - Universal Orlando Resort.

AMC’s The Walking Dead returns to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights in a house based on the series’ most recent season! This is the event’s biggest, most elaborate haunted house ever featuring more scareactors than ever before.

Get caught right in the middle of Alien vs. Predator, a savage battle between these two horrific extraterrestrial species and try to avoid becoming collateral damage.

Your demise could come from bloodthirsty vampires or the attacking Turks as you attempt to survive Dracula Untold, the terrifying journey that turned the one-time hero into Dracula.

Inside the From Dusk Till Dawn haunted house, chaos reigns as you discover a remote biker bar concealing an ancient race of bloodthirsty creatures. Based on the hit EL REY NETWORK series, this labyrinth of death will leave you drained.

Although as yet unannounced, major leaks have revealed that Halloween will return to Universal Studios – we’ll post more details when they’re available!

ORIGINAL: Within the decaying walls of this house awaits something evil. The unfortunate souls that enter Dollhouse of the Damned here become the damned that never escape.

ORIGINAL: Witness the torturous process at Giggles & Gore, Inc that turns kidnapped people into evil clowns – just try not be transformed into one yourself.

ORIGINAL: Wander into the settlement of Roanoke – Cannibal Colony and experience the terror of a community in cannibalistic turmoil, devouring any fresh meat that comes near them.

 

HHN 2014 scare zones

Stopping you mid-breath as you walk between attractions, scare zones are essentially outdoor haunted houses set up in open areas around the Universal Studios Florida (for example, in the street area between Shrek 4-D and Despicable Me). The decorations and effects are usually not quite as elaborate as the haunted houses, but there are still many effects employed to get screams out of guests – and the “oversized” aspects of some scare zones, allowed by their position outdoors, often make them as thrilling as the average haunted house. This is particularly true for the ghastly part of you that likes to watch other people scream their heads off!

To date, these scare zones have been announced for 2014:

The most twisted and gruesome character creations featured on Syfy’s hit competition series “Face Off” will be live and “In the Flesh” at Halloween Horror Nights.

As the park gates open, so too does the annual Purge begin at Universal Studios Florida with the debut of a terrifying new scare zone, “The Purge: Anarchy” – inspired by Universal Pictures’ new thriller.

ORIGINAL: Even more horrors fill the streets of Universal Studios as guests are hypnotized by deceptive patrons of a seemingly glamorous ball in MASKerade: Unstitched and surrounded by voodoo practitioners that fill the snake and spider-infested Bayou of Blood.

 

HHN 201 live stage shows

This year, Universal is once again bringing back the perennial fan-favorite and ever-popular Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure:

Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted “Theordore” Logan return with an all-new, especially excellent Halloween adventure. Party on as those two most excellent dudes skewer the biggest names in entertainment and pop culture.

This show is similar in style to the classic Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue show – lampooning pop culture and so on and so forth – except it’s written for more of an adult audience, it’s performed on the larger Fear Factor stage next to MEN IN BLACK, and photography is strictly prohibited.

In addition to the two time travelers’ show, HHN guests can experience Universal’s tribute to Rocky Horror Picture Show, which marks a two-year comeback after an absence of several years. As a live stage show, Rocky Horror is a perfect fit for Halloween Horror Nights, so it’s no surprise that this revival has delighted fans.

Rocky Horror Picture Show will be held on the smaller Beetlejuice stage, and, like Bill & Ted’s, is a must-see if you have the time. Just keep in mind this show is very adult-oriented.

 

BONUS: Regular daytime attractions

During Halloween Horror Nights there are quite a few of the regular attractions running – and since they take a backseat to the HHN thrills and chills, they are often walk-ons. Here’s the official list for 2014:

  • TRANSFORMERS The Ride – 3D
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • Kang & Kodos Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

Please note, if you purchase a HHN Express Pass, it works on the rides in addition to the haunted houses. Also, as we mentioned at the top, be aware that Diagon Alley will not be open during Halloween Horror Nights (but will be open during regular daytime operations throughout September and October).

If you’d like to learn more about the attractions and read hundreds of real guest reviews, visit the OI Universal Center table of contents by clicking here.

 

Halloween Horror Nights park map

We don’t have the map yet for 2014, but if you’re interested in seeing what one looks like, we’ve included the map for 2013. It shows the locations of each haunted house and the two stage shows. You can click the image to view it full-screen:

Halloween Horror Nights 2013 event map.

Halloween Horror Nights 2013 event map.

If viewing the map full-screen still doesn’t make it large enough to read it clearly, you have two other options. You can view/download our full resolution HHN 2013 map by right clicking here and selecting ‘Save Link As’, or you can view our HHN 2013 interactive map. (There’s actually more information on our interactive map because the “official” map displayed above doesn’t indicate where the Walking Dead scare zones are located.)

As soon as Universal releases a map for 2014, we’ll upload it here!

 

HHN 2014 Passholder Nights

Like the 2014 map, we’re still waiting for Universal to confirm Passholder Nights details for this year. However, it’s remained the same for many years in a row, so we pretty sure 2014 will look just like 2013, which we explain here:

Spend the day at the parks and then stay for the special Annual Passholder Nights at Universal Studios. Join your fellow HHN fans at Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Passholders and one guest can enjoy:

  • Early access through an exclusive entrance located at the front of Universal Studios Florida.
  • Exclusive Passholder early access to three designated haunted houses.
  • Early access only for the first showing of Bill & Ted’s Halloween Adventure.
  • Opportunity to purchase an exclusive souvenir. (In 2013, it was a dog tag – $6.95).
  • Reminder: Paid HHN admission still required.

2013 HHN Passholder Nights were the first two event weekends of the event. Again, we expect it to be the same this year.

 

What Halloween Horror Nights is not

This event is not Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party set at Universal Orlando. There is no trick-or-treating, and there are no characters dressed up in cutsie outfits.

The single purpose of Halloween Horror Nights is to scare you. As such, Universal strongly advises that children under the age of 13 do not attend. I tell people that HHN is like a horror movie brought to life. If you like horror movies, you will love HHN. If you don’t like horror movies, you’ll probably hate HHN. It’s that simple.

Just for clarification, the “children under the age of 13″ statement is a guideline, not a policy, so you can bring your kids to HHN and Universal will not ask for proof of age. However, be aware that, if anyone in your party does not like the event and needs to leave early, Universal has the right not to refund used tickets or change the valid date. Since at least one adult will need to leave with an unhappy child, this could prove to be an expensive gamble. But again, no proof of age is needed just for admission.

 

Universal Orlando Halloween events for kids

The section above usually leads parents directly to this question: So what can I do with my kids during Halloween at Universal?

For better or for worse, Universal really puts all of their energy into Halloween Horror Nights. The “for worse” part means the resort likely won’t be organizing anything for kids this year – at least not in the size and scope of HHN.

If you have young kids who want to celebrate the holiday, plan on taking them to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or SeaWorld’s Spooktacular. Personally, I recommend SeaWorld because their Halloween event is included with regular admission, and it’s a great event too.

 

Will my kids get scared visiting Universal Studios during the day?

This is the other popular question asked by parents with young kids. Because many of the decorations for Halloween Horror Nights are elaborate and large, it’s not possible for Universal to remove everything HHN-related during the regular daytime hours. This means, when touring Universal Studios Florida in September and October, you’ll occasionally come across stuff that looks like this:

Props for Halloween Horror Nights.

Props for Halloween Horror Nights.

Props for Halloween Horror Nights.

Props for Halloween Horror Nights.

The good news is that Universal doesn’t do a single thing during the day like they do during Halloween Horror Nights – not one scareactor, not one siren effect blaring, no sudden air bursts, nothing. So, aside from the oversized props spaced out in a few spots around the park, there is absolutely nothing to fear visiting Universal Studios Florida during the day. Honestly, most of the HHN props look more silly than scary in the bright sunlight.

Think the props will be distracting? Remind your friends that you’re visiting a working movie production studio, so everyone should expect to see miscellaneous props set out around the park!

 

Does anything happen at Islands of Adventure?

Unfortunately, no. Aside from very minor decorating, there is nothing Halloween-related at Islands of Adventure. In fact, when you’re inside IOA in the fall, you’ll be hard pressed to even know it’s Halloween season. Like we explained earlier, Universal really does put every ounce of its seasonal effort into Halloween Horror Nights.

 

I wanna learn more about Halloween Horror Nights!

Remember, this page is just the introduction to our guide. Over the next few days, we’ll be adding:

  • Admission guide: Tickets, Express & Tours
  • How to get HHN early admission
  • HHN 2014 touring plan
  • Our very best HHN tips, tricks & secrets
  • And more!

So our advice is to bookmark this page!

If you just want to get more of a “feel” for the event, check out our HHN 2013 video playlist on YouTube – you can experience the atmosphere of the event and see exactly what the scare zones looked like last year.

if your HHN cravings still aren’t satisfied, you can view our HHN-related blog posts published on our site.

Last but not least…


Don’t want to wait for the latest HHN news to get posted here? You don’t have to! We have an entire community of Universal and HHN fans discussing the event right now in the OI Forums.

Want to skip all the details and just figure out what a trip to this year’s HHN will cost? We’ll find the best deals and price it out for you – for free (seriously). Learn more


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