If you’re a Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) superfan, your 2020 calendar may look something like this:
- January–July: Speculate about HHN.
- July–August: Cry.
- August–December: Count down to 2021.
Trust me, I get it. I spend most of my year thinking about, planning for, and counting down to Halloween Horror Nights. It’s by far my favorite seasonal event at Universal Orlando Resort, and I haven’t missed a year since I first attended in 2011. (Shoutout to Lady Luck!) If you’re out of the horror loop, HHN is the world’s premier Halloween event featuring terrifying haunted houses, sinister scare zones, and exhilarating live entertainment. Basically, it’s every horror fanatic’s dream event.
Since the next HHN is over a year away, a decent chunk of my time will be spent trying to fill the horrific void left in my heart during the now-extra-long off-season. But luckily, I’ve mastered the art of finding spooky joy around Universal Orlando Resort! Below, I’ve compiled all of my favorite ways to scratch that terrifying itch for you so we can stop crying and start screaming.
WARNING: these tactics are not for the faint of heart.
Universal Studios Florida
- Get as close to the full HHN experience as possible by braving Frankenstein’s Lab and All Hallow’s Carnival in this year’s Tribute Store, a glorious homage to the HHNs of yesteryear.
- Between the themed rooms, spooky sound effects, and exclusive merchandise and food and drink offerings, HHN superfans will feel perfectly at home here.
- Pro Tip: Keep an eye peeled for Easter eggs and throwbacks to years past!
- Explore the cursed film set and archeological dig site that comprise the queue of Revenge of the Mummy.
- If the eerie shadows and haunting music aren’t enough to make you sweat, you can always forfeit your soul to Imhotep!
- Pro Tip: If you’re brave enough, try sticking your hand into one of the glowing slots in the walls.
- Head over to Louie’s this fall for everyone’s favorite HHN cuisine — pizza fries.
- Laugh — and scream — your head (or arm) off at Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show.
- Come for the dark humor, stay for the in-depth look at how make-up and special effects combine to create your favorite big-screen monsters.
- Get your heart pounding with a ride on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
- Racing through the nearby buildings may bring back memories of the paranormal activities they used to house…
- Pro Tip: There are plenty of on-theme songs to choose, including one you might remember from the HHN29 show Academy of Villains: Altered States.
Islands of Adventure
- Take a treacherous journey into the Skull Island: Reign of Kong queue.
- Prehistoric monsters and a cannibalistic witch offer all the HHN vibes you could dream of.
- After you survive the queue, keep the adrenaline pumping by coming face-to-face with King Kong himself on the ride.
- Pay a visit to Blue at her Raptor Encounter.
- Dagger-like teeth + extreme stealth = jump-scare heaven.
- Pro Tip: Velociraptors are deadly intelligent — but you may be able to snap a picture with Blue if you’re quick enough.
- Chat it up with the feisty Mystic Fountain in Sinbad’s Bazaar.
- An ordinary object possessed by a mischievous spirit? That’s the plot of at least a dozen horror movies.
- Embrace the occult at Star Souls – Psychic Readings.
- Nothing makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up quite like an eerily accurate psychic reading.
- Pro Tip: Leave your skepticism at the door for the best chance of uncovering your fate.
- Brave the terrifying plunges of Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides at Universal’s Volcano Bay.
- If you close your eyes, the feeling of the trap door dropping out from under you is almost comparable to an HHN jump-scare.
- Let the churning rapids and chopping waves of TeAwa The Fearless River give you an adrenaline rush.
- For bonus terror, simply envision a horrific sea monster chasing you as you’re swept along.
- Take a break from the fear and enjoy a S’mores Sundae from The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
- It’s not quite the same as s’mores fries…but it’s still delicious!
- Dive into the horrific void that is the internet.
- If you’re craving lore, rumors, or speculation, there are enough online HHN forums to keep a ghost busy for all eternity.
- Pro Tip: Follow the official HHN Twitter and, if you’re brave enough, send a tweet to the demon who runs the account.
The good news: by the time you work up the courage to take on all of the tactics listed above, it may already be time for the next HHN AND you just had a horrifyingly good time at Universal Orlando Resort. You’re welcome.