Interested in attending Halloween Horror Nights for your first time? Have you been before but still feeling like a “scaredy cat?” Do you react to talk of spooky stuff like Shaggy and Scooby Doo? I possess no magic cure for this but have a few suggestions. These will be things you can do before attending Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando to help acclimate yourself to the Halloween Horror Nights atmosphere.
I feel the need to write a few specifics about Halloween Horror Nights before making aa small number of suggestions to prepare people timid about this event. Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is an afterhours event that showcases the incredible skill of Universal Orlando Creative for all to come and see. Perhaps you are a parent of a minor who has never attended a real HHN. Now, standard advice regarding HHN attendance is people aged 13 and under should not go. Parents should use discretion for their children under 18. As always, every child is different. Yet, these guidelines should not be dismissed casually because HHN will enjoy scaring you in every way possible. Many full-grown adults find the event a bit too much.
So, what can you do to prepare? yourself for the scares?
- In the comfort of your own home (or hotel room) with all the lights on, watch the TV/movie media that Universal Orlando built a few houses based upon. This year that would be Freaky Friday/The Black Phone, Halloween, and Classic Monsters. I know before my first HHN trip, the viewing of Haunting of Hill House before moving through that house in 2021 really helped me be more confident while walking through it. Yes, I was a bit of a “scaredy cat” also.
- Once inside Universal Studios Florida during daytime hours, visit the Hollywood area for the 5 and Dime storewhich is also the exit gift shop for the Burne Stuntacular. This shop contains a year-round Classic Universal Monsters merchandise. There will also be large statues of several classic monsters. This shop also currently has HHN preview merchandise such as shirts and ornaments.
- One HHN “attraction” that will be fully open during the daytime hours during HHN season (and a bit before) is the HHN tribute store. This store is usually four rooms themed to the level of a major attraction. This gives the feel of some of the HHN houses without the scares. Traditionally in addition to well themed merchandise, there is a section with HHN themed food that may brighten your daytime HHN experience.
- Also, during daytime hours at Universal Studios Florida, you can check out the scare zone areas. Scare zones are well themed areas to interact with “scare actors” and sometimes enjoy excellent photo opportunities. During the HHN evening, these areas are filled with horror elements. Yet, during daytime hours, these areas provide a safe way to check out the event during the day.
- If you have daytime admission to Islands of Adventure, there are a few safer possibilities to prepare for HHN. You can experience Skull Island: Reign of Kong for a small amount of Universal type horror. After this you can walk to Jurassic Park area to enjoy the Raptor Encounter. This is a character meet and greet where you meet a “raptor.” I will not spoil the attraction. Yet, I have many videos and pictures of people being totally scared during this attraction. Please do not try to bark at the raptor.
If you can enjoy a night at Islands of Adventure before another night experiencing HHN, you should arrive early for the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle show. In 2019, this nighttime light show in Hogsmeade was introduced around HHN season. This event begins with “DeathEaters” roaming Hogsmeade interacting with guests. Death Eaters, Dementors, and Voldemort are featured in this light show. Children may not enjoy seeing giant spiders. The enormous face of the “Dark Lord” might bring some fright. Still, this is the Wizarding World theme park version of Halloween.
- If you are still not sure about HHN, Universal Orlando offers daytime paid “Behind the Scenes: Unmasking the Horror Tour.” These are tours of either 3 or 6 HHN houses in which timid “scaredy cats” can be introduced to the HHN events. The six-house tours generally sell out quickly. Yet, the three-house tours might work for you.
- Though this has not been confirmed yet for 2022, we expect a return of a “Pop-Up” walk through attraction during HHN at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. You get to see some sets based on elements of the HHN event. I walked through last year’s version if you would like to read more about it.
Halloween Horror Nights offers an incredible experience. Still, people less comfortable with horror might need some extra preparation. I hope this helps as you plan for your Halloween Horror Nights evening.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer’s point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.