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 most popular unofficial guide to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event (already viewed over 200,000 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 top or bottom of the page to learn so, so much more.
October 22, 2014
This week Halloween Horror Nights runs Wednesday through Sunday. This will be another one of the busiest weekends of season, so please read through our HHN early admission page, and if this is your first time visiting, please use our HHN 2014 touring plan! Also, now is the time to consider purchasing HHN Express Passes – more information about that on our HHN tips, tricks & secrets page. (Links for all of those are also listed at the top and bottom of this page.)
Halloween Horror Nights 2014 – overview & explanation
Think you have what it takes to survive the biggest names in horror, from Alien vs. Predator to AMC’s The Walking Dead?
On select nights in September 19 through November 1, 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
Here is our projection for the busiest dates, often referred to as peak nights:
Oct 4, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30 & 31.
These dates are also marked on our FREE 12-month Universal crowd calendar!
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.
So how busy will HHN 2014 be on ______ night?
Since this is the most common question we receive, we want to answer it right away. To find out exactly how busy Halloween Horror Nights will be on a specific night, you needn’t look any further than Universal’s own pricing for HHN Express Passes. If you don’t know what HHN Express Passes are, don’t worry – we offer a complete explanation in our HHN admission guide. For now, let’s just find an answer to the crowd question…
Okay, here’s a look at this year’s HHN Express Pass pricing schedule:
You see that there are six pricing levels, allowing us to put crowds on an easy 6-point scale. On September 25, HHN Express Passes are at their lowest sale price, so we can assume crowds that evening will be at a 1 out of 6. On October 18, HHN Express Passes will be at their highest price, meaning that we can assume crowds will be at a 6 out of 6.
So there you go – just find your date and you have your answer as to how busy HHN will be on the date or dates you’re visiting!
Will Diagon Alley be open during HHN 2014 event nights?
Diagon Alley will not be open as part of the HHN event. Please keep in mind, this means Diagon Alley (and the Hogwarts Express) will not be open to guests who are only attending HHN events at night; the new area will be open as usual during regular daytime park hours through September, October, and beyond.
UPDATE: Universal is testing a new time extension for Diagon Alley, keeping the area open until possibly as late as 8:00pm for qualifying daytime guests. To learn more, visit this topic in the OI Forums.
What is the HHN 2014 theme?
For 2014, there isn’t an overarching theme. Universal is using the expression “You’ve been warned” in its material, but that hasn’t manifested itself into a well-defined theme or icon separating this year from years past.
Going forward, it may be better for us to ask, “What is this year’s HHN catchphrase?”, since it seems like the event is moving away from having a unifying theme or icon (other than general “horror”). For example, last year there wasn’t a solidifying theme either, but there was a catchphrase: “What evil has taken root?” Looking further back, Universal hasn’t had an HHN icon since 2011’s Lady Luck.
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, mirror effects, and, of course, very elaborate – and in many cases very gruesome – props and set decoration.
Throughout much of the event’s history, haunted house themes have been original creations. However, in more recent years, Universal has started basing more and more 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…
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.
With his iconic mask to hide his identity, Michael Myers sets out for new blood in Halloween. Every scene tells the tale of a different kill, and if you’re not careful, you could be next.
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.
In general, guests are sent through houses in a steady flow (sort of like a conga line, versus being “pulsed” through in small groups), and, once inside, each houses is typically a three- to four-minute experience.
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!
The official scare zones of Halloween Horror Nights 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 (Hollywood Blvd, near Terminator).
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 (New York backlot).
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 (Production Central, near Despicable Me) and surrounded by voodoo practitioners that fill the snake and spider-infested Bayou of Blood (Central Park, starting near Mel’s Diner).
HHN 2014 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. The first show time is typically at 7:30pm with additional shows scheduled about ever hour and a half. Exact show times can be found in the in-park event guidemap.
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 Beetlejuice stage, and, like Bill & Ted’s, it’s a must-see if you have the time and you know what you’re in for with RHPS. Just keep in mind this show is very adult-oriented. The first show time is typically at 7:00pm with additional shows scheduled about ever hour and a half. Exact show times can be found in the in-park event guidemap.
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
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).
Halloween Horror Nights park map
The HHN 2014 map shows the locations of each haunted house, street experience, and the two stage shows. You can click the image to view it full-screen. (Keep in mind that Universal provides free event guidemaps at the front of Universal Studios Florida for all guests, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own. We simply provide this example to help you plan and get a sense of the event’s layout.)
If viewing the map full-screen still doesn’t make it large enough to read clearly, you have two other options: you can view/download our full-resolution HHN 2014 map by right clicking here and selecting ‘Save Link As’, or you can view our HHN 2014 interactive map.
HHN 2014 Passholder Nights
Spend the day at the parks and then stay for the special Annual Passholder Nights at Universal Studios. On Sept 19, 20, 26 & 27 (the first two weekends of HHN), join your fellow Passholders at Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone from 5:15pm to 6:30pm. Passholders and one guest can enjoy:
- Early access through an exclusive entrance located at the front of Universal Studios Florida
- Exclusive early access to three designated haunted houses (Roanoke – Cannibal Colony, Dollhouse of the Damned, and Halloween)
- Early access only for the first showing of Bill & Ted’s Halloween Adventure (must arrive 30 minutes before show time)
- Reminder – paid HHN admission is still required!
RSVP is required for Annual Passholder Nights, which you can do by clicking here.
In addition, Annual Passholders also have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive HHN 2014 pin for $7.95 plus tax (available in the Universal Studios Store near the park entrance while supplies last).
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. If you’d like to learn more about family-friendly Halloween activities in Orlando, check out this blog post.
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:
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. Other than perhaps some 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!
That’s good, because we have so much more to share. Follow the links at the bottom of this page to view our expert advice regarding admission, Express Passes, first-time visitor planing, and more.
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. (We’re working on videos for this year.)
If your HHN cravings still aren’t satisfied, you can view the HHN-related blog posts published on our site.
Last but not least…
We have an entire community of Universal and HHN fans discussing the event right now! When you’re done here, join us for vacation planning and more in the OI Forums.
Want to skip all the details and just price out a trip to this year’s event? We’ll find the best deals for you – for free (seriously). Learn more
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