Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 2023: Houses, Rumors

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It’s the time of year again … that’s right, it’s June.

And Halloween Horror Nights fans everywhere know what that means. It means it’s an appropriate time to start wildly speculating about Universal Studio’s fall Halloween Horror Nights event – based on little to no actual information.

However, wild internet rumors and gossip in the months leading up to one of the country’s leading Halloween theme park events has become somewhat of a tradition in itself.

And so, we wanted to hop on the bandwagon.

In this article, we are going to be discussing what we know so far about the 2023 event (with now TWO confirmed haunted houses including one BIG IP), share some speculation maps, and even add a few of our own wild hopes and dreams to the mix.


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A table of contents can be found below if you want to skip ahead a bit:

Now, let’s get a few frequently asked questions out of the way for the first-timers.

The Meetz Locker at HHN
The Meetz Locker was a big hit at last year’s Halloween Horror Night at Universal Orlando Resort (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Halloween Horror Nights: Frequently asked questions

What is Halloween Horror Nights?

Halloween Horror Nights – or HHN for short – is a separately-ticketed seasonal Halloween theme park event. It takes place on select nights in September and October every year at both Universal Studios Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

The event was named Best Halloween Event by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards 13 times (in 2006, 2008-2018 and again in 2021) – which is quite the accolade.

It’s geared toward adults featuring gruesome haunted houses, a plethora of scare zones (with scare actors) and lots of live entertainment.

There’s also plenty of fun Halloween-themed food and booze available for purchase via food trucks and other pop-up stops.

Read Also: Halloween Horror Nights Food: 9 Weirdest Snacks To Try

Do rides stay open during Halloween Horror Nights?

Yes – most rides remain open during the HHN event including Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers and Escape from Gringotts, just to name a few.

In fact, riding the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit in the dark after a couple of drinks has become one of my favorite things to do at the event.

In Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure maintains normal operating hours.

Is Harry Potter World part of Horror Nights?

Diagon Alley in Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter usually remains open and untouched by Horror Nights theming during the event.

In fact, if I were to offer an event pro-tip, I find that Diagon Alley is usually a great place to take a potty break while at HHN as it’s usually the least crowded section of the park.

Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood, however, is a different story. Last year, in 2022, Death Eaters (practitioners of the Dark Arts) made an appearance in Hogsmeade just outside of Hogwarts Castle.

It is not currently known whether or not Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights plans to adopt California’s Potter strategy in the future.

Can kids go to Halloween Horror Nights?

Yes, kids can attend Halloween Horror Nights. There is no age limit associated with the event. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is kid-friendly.

Universal warns that Halloween Horror Nights may be too intense for children. And they do not recommend the event for children under the age of 13.

And I agree with this warning as I know it would have probably scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid.

Regardless, every year at the event I tend to see a few kids in the early hours making their way through the scare zones and munching on the horror-themed-snackage. But by 10 pm, they’ve mostly cleared out.

Does Halloween Horror Nights usually sell out?

Capacity at Halloween Horror Nights is limited and the event only takes place on select nights. So yes, popular nights – like the weekends for instance – tend to sell out a few weeks in advance.

We always advise buying tickets ahead of time and planning ahead as much as possible.

Can you wear a costume at Halloween Horror Nights?

Guests are not allowed to dress in costume or wear costume masks, long veils or long trains to the event.

They are also not allowed to bring live animals or potentially harmful-looking props (like swords, bats, etc). Wands purchased in-park are, of course, permitted. Home-crafted wands must be rounded on the ends.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t dress for the occasion.

It is not at all unusual to see people in goth or Halloween-inspired outfits as long as they are not dressed as a character or dressed in a way that someone might mistake them for a Universal employee.

Think Walt Disney World level-bounding levels of dress. Dress in a fun and festive manner. But leave the costumes and masks at home.

Horror Night Nightmares's 2023 speculation map for Orlando (shared with permission from Horror Night Nightmares)
Horror Night Nightmares’ 2023 speculation map for Orlando (shared with permission from Horror Night Nightmares)

Universal Orlando HHN: What we know so far

Confirmed Information: HHN Orlando

Here’s the information Universal Studios has confirmed thus far about their Halloween Horror Nights Orlando event, at the time of this writing:

  • The event will take place on select nights from Sept. 1-Oct. 31(details below)
  • There will be 10 haunted houses
  • A “Chucky“-themed house (confirmed)
  • A “The Last of Us” themed house (confirmed)
  • There will be 5 scare zones
  • Tickets are currently on sale
  • See You In The Fog merchandise is currently on sale

The Halloween Horror Nights event in Orlando will take place every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from Sept. 1-Oct. 31. Events will not be held on Monday or Tuesday nights with the sole exception of Halloween night, which falls on Tuesday, Oct. 31 this year.

Ticket options, at the time of this writing, are as follows:

  • Single-night tickets start at $79.99 per person
  • Express Passes start at $109.99 per person
  • Daytime Behind-the-Screams lights-on tour tickets start at $119.99 per person
  • Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour is $299.99 per person

A separate admission ticket is required for all upgrades including the HHN Express Pass, the Behind-the-Screams Tour and the R.I.P. Tour.

Rumors and Speculations: HHN Orlando

We here at HeyOrlando are big fans of Horror Night Nightmares. They produce speculation maps of the event each year.

This year, their speculation map features the following haunted houses:

  • Chucky (confirmed)
  • The Exorcist Believer
  • Demon Slayer
  • Monsters Paris
  • The Last of Us (confirmed)
  • A top-secret IP (possibly Stranger Things?)
  • 4 Universal Studios originals (possibly Dueling Dragons?)

There have also been rumors of a Horrors of Blumhouse attraction (featuring M3gan and Insidious) and a Universal Monsters house (featuring Phantom of the Opera, Dracula and/or Frankenstein).

The Stranger Things house is admittedly wishful thinking on our part as we remain a bit sour from Universal teasing us on their Twitter page last year.

Horror Night Nightmares' 2023 speculation map for Hollywood (shared with permission from Horror Night Nightmares)
Horror Night Nightmares’ 2023 speculation map for Hollywood (shared with permission from Horror Night Nightmares)

Universal Hollywood HHN: What we know so far

Confirmed information: HHN Hollywood

Here’s the information Universal Studios has confirmed thus far about their Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood event, at the time of this writing:

  • The event will take place on select nights in the fall
  • Chucky” themed house (confirmed)
  • A “The Last of Us” themed house (confirmed)

Rumors and speculations: HHN Hollywood

This year, the Horror Night Nightmares Hollywood speculation map features the following haunted houses:

  • Chucky (confirmed)
  • The Exorcist Believer
  • Demon Slayer
  • Monsters Paris
  • The Last of Us (confirmed)
  • A top-secret IP (possibly Stranger Things?)
  • Terror Tram Celebrities
  • Holidayz in Hell (returning original)
  • 1 more Universal Studios original (possibly Dueling Dragons)

Again, if there’s a second big IP (intellectual property) house other than The Last of Us, we think Stranger Things might be popping up at both Orlando and Hollywood locations.

a stay and scream sign
Stay and Scream areas will be well marked throughout the park (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

My personal HHN pro-tips

I’d be amiss if I didn’t end this article with at least a few pro tips for getting the most out of the Halloween Horror Night event.

But do keep in mind, I’ve only been to the Halloween Horror Nights event in Orlando. I may attend HHN Hollywood for the first time this year but that’s still TBD. So for now, most of my tips are about the Florida location.

1. Plan for long lines at the Halloween Horror Night Houses

On an average night, you can expect at least a 45-minute to hour-long wait at the majority of haunted houses. On the busiest nights – we’ve seen the most popular houses with a wait time of up to two, sometimes three hours.

If you want to see every haunted house on a single night, you will need an Express Pass. And no, regular park Express Passes (including Season Pass after 4 pm Express Pass perks) don’t work here. You need to have a special HHN Express Pass for HHN houses and rides.

2. Plan your bathroom trips

Ladies – I’ve always said the scariest thing about Halloween Horror Nights is the bathroom situation.

You can expect the park to be extremely crowded on event nights. You can also expect bladders to fill up quickly due to the abundance of adult beverages. When these two factors combine, it means extra long lines in the bathrooms.

I strongly suggest planning ahead, and, in a pinch, utilizing restrooms towards the back of the park (away from the main houses) or the restrooms inside Diagon Alley.

3. Utilize the Stay and Scream areas

Finally, if you have a regular day pass or a regular season pass, we highly recommend going in early and utilizing one of the Stay and Scream areas.

The Stay and Scream areas are located throughout the park and feature a roped-off section where guests can wait during the event changeover instead of exiting and reentering.

Each area usually features a restaurant or snack cart, a small seating area and a bathroom.

Last year, we hung out in Springfield near the Taco Truck.

But the biggest perk of the Stay and Scream area is gaining early entry to the event.

Typically, guests in Stay and Scream are allowed entry about 15-30 minutes early. And while that might not sound like a lot – it’s exactly enough time to make a beeline for your favorite haunted house and be one of the first in line.

It’s almost like having a one-time use Express Pass on your first house of the night.

Have you heard any rumors not mentioned on this list about the upcoming Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal?

Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments section below.

See you in the fog.

Photo of author


Morgan Overholt

Morgan is the founder Morgan Media LLC, a graphic design agency and the co-founder of TheSmokies.com LLC – a media company that specializes in regional travel sites including HeyOrlando.com.

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