Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:11 PM
I have a few questions about HHN, and where better to ask around than CoasterBuzz? I'm planning on going next October and am going to book way in advance so I can stay at the Hard Rock (it's a requirement for me), but I know very little about how their HHN works so if anyone can throw me a bone on these questions that would rock.

- Does anyone recall if they had HHN tickets included in vacation packages last year? I know they usually have park passes included, but that tickets are extra for HHN.

- How much were the additional HHN tickets for the evenings? How much were the HHN express passes?

- Is it only on weekends?

- And lastly, due to crowds, does anyone have a feeling for if there are less people there earlier in the month? Cedar Point is my home park and I know their Halloweekends crowds start small and get bigger each weekend as the month goes on.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 3:54 PM
They sold out four out of five Saturdays, so that's something to think about.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 4:06 PM
Even during the week, it's been my experience that HHN is an absolute zoo. Of course, I failed to go this year (now in BOTH USF and IoA), opting for Howl-O-Scream instead....

For me, it was an easy choice, HoS being one of those RARE opportunities to get night rides...and the Gwaz was *flying*....:)

IF you must do HHN, go *during the week*, and arrive EARLY. The walk-thrus and such can get ENORMOUS lines, so once they get bad, do the shows....

Joe C. should have something to add that is more current, and relevant, but if they had FAILED to go to both parks, I'd never have even *considered* going back...I don't like THAT many sweaty bodies pushed up against me, unless....;)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 5:41 PM
Ok, tickets for HHN, there are 2 ways to do it. If you are going only to HHN it was around $54.00 and if you do an upgrade, meaning you'll be at 1 of the Universal parks during the day and are staying for HHN at night it was about $30.00. Sorry I don't have exact prices, I rounded when I purchased my tickets and do not remember the actual price.

The past 2 years they have had a Frequent Fear Pass for non peak nights, like a season pass for the event.

The earlier you go the better, however, as mentioned above is it always usally crowded. If you go on a week night it won't be bad, you won't need an express pass. Got through all of the houses, watched the parade twice, did all the scare zones and had some time to spare when I went on a Thursday this year. Now Friday was a different story. It was way more crowded than Friday, house lines exceeded 2 hour waits. If you go on a weekend I'd say express pass is a must, and I think for weekend nights they were about $30.00. Be careful though, as express passes can also sell out. It's still very fun going on weekends, just a lot more crowded.

I wouldn't miss out on this event. I have been there 3 times so far and have loved every one!

Edit: Forgot to mention, check the calender for what days. It is every weekend, until 2:00 am and also every Thursday until Midnight/12:30 (?) but there was 1 week where they also had it on a Wednesday, so be sure to look into that! *** Edited 11/9/2004 10:44:46 PM UTC by JulieSFO***

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004 7:57 PM
Just make sure that whenever you go, buy your tickets well in advance. We went on Sunday the 24th last month and the express passes for the night were sold out more than a week in advance. Now what surprised us is that last year we bought the passes the day of the event and that was the night before Columbus Day (a holiday). Luckily with a little planning and staying in the park for an early jump on the lines, we only had one long wait all night. This was our third year in a row at the event, so you would think that we would have been better prepared but next year we are definitely getting our tickets as soon as they go on sale.

I would definitley say that the crowds get worse as the month goes on. Like I said earlier it was more crowded on a Sunday the week before Halloween than it was last year on a Sunday night before a holiday two weeks earlier in the month. Allthough it seems the crowds are getting more and more insane each year, with a little planning, you can definitley have a great time.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 1:05 AM
Well I went for the first time this year and I got the 5 day 2 park pass, citywalk, and HHN night package for 131.00 or something very close to it (give or take a dollar) I went on the 21st of oct and the park was kinda crowded but It didnt affect me at all because I purchased an express pass (which will become your best friend by the end of the night). I was actually ready to leave after a few hours because I had arrived at opening and I was alone also lol lol. So basically if your w/ folks then you probably wont get tired quickly but if your alone and going from one house to the next (like I was doing) then your gonna be fine.

The event itself was awsome! Im planning my trip next year, thanks universal!!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 12:14 PM
I would also STRONGLY reccomend getting the express passes and ordering them online in advance.

They ended up selling out very quickly on the night we were there this year (on a Thursday), and by 8pm, all the mazes had 30-45 minute wait.

The express passes allowed us to do all the mazes, some of them multiple times, Mummy multiple times, Hulk, Spiderman, etc; get prority seating for the Bill & Ted show, and have plenty of time to watch the parade.

It turned into a GREAT night and had we not had the express passes we wouldn't have been able to get nearly that much done.

My HHN tip: Get there early as do as much as you can before it gets busy, then once the crowds hit, use up your express passes! We managed to get in a couple of Mummy rides, and 2 or 3 mazes before the long lines.

Also, we stayed at the Royal Pacific and did the 'stay and scream' option. So combined with our unlimited resort express pass (only good during the day before HHN), and being able to get into HHN about 20 minutes before the main gate crowds were let in, we managed to have an amazing day at USO/HHN!

--Robb
*** Edited 11/10/2004 5:16:52 PM UTC by Robb Alvey***

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 2:30 PM
Thanks everyone for your great input. I have some follow-up questions if anyone wants to take a crack at them. We're going to book WAY in advance, actually so far in advance that it may be before they even sell HHN tickets, which prompted my price question. We are going to stay at the Hard Rock potentially from a Thursday through Monday, which means we'll get the length-of-stay pass and the express pass. So, in addition to that we'll need to buy the HHN passes. Knowing all that...

- If you already have a length-of-stay pass, is the HHN pass still $30 more? How much is the HHN express pass? (Yes I will get it way in advance.)

- During the weekend, how crowded are the parks prior to HHN opening? (The 9 to 6 timeframe.) Obviously with an express pass this shouldn't matter much, but I'm curious.

- Does anyone recall how crowded CityWalk was during HHN?

Thanks again to all. I knew this would be the place to ask!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 2:34 PM
Oh yeah, one more Q- I got the assumption from some of your replies that the coasters are still open at night. Is this true? If so, is the normal express pass still good for those rides? Or do you need the HHN express pass for the rides at that point?
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 4:47 PM
- If your booking so far in advance that you won't be doing any of the offered HHN packages, I would imagine that it would still cost $30+ for your ticket. The same as if you did the stay and scream or were a pass holder. I'm really not sure how much a ticket ends up being if you do one of their packages.

-I believe that the express passes were $30 on peak nights (Fri, Sat) and $20 on non-peak (Thurs, Sun).

-The crowds during regular hours on weekends can get pretty busy. Remember that because of HHN and other Halloween events, October has become a busy time for visitors to vacation in the Orlando area. City Walk is usually always crowded but the earlier you go, the better off you will be with crowds and waits. The Saturday evening we were there a couple of weeks ago during HHN, right after the park closed, we only had to wait an hour for a table to Margaritaville (we've had to wait a lot longer in the past) and after that immediately found a seat in the piano bar at Pat O'Brians. It can get a lot more crowded later in the evening when people leave the event. They even hype up a post HHN block party thing after the event.

-I think that the coasters are only open until around 10:00 pm because of noise issues. The Dueling Dragons are not even open on non-peak nights. Also, you do need the HHN express passes for the rides during the event itself.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 5:30 PM
Don't forget that this years HHN was different than any other in years past, because of having it in both parks.

Your best bet is to wait a bit since none of us (or them, probably) know what the layout of next years HHN is going to look like. No one knows what rides are going to be open, etc.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 5:54 PM
That's true Joe. The 10:00 pm closing is standard for the year when the park is open that late or later isn't it? With the way the crowds keep expanding for this, even on non-peak nights, I wouldn't be surprised to see them open up more rides, at least on Sunday nights. Lord knows they needed them open the night we were there. Crazy!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 7:26 PM
Great info., just what I needed. Thanks all!

My only crowd comparison is those from mid-June, on a weekend. Only time I've ever been to IOA. I had an express pass so I have no idea what the lines were like. :)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 8:14 PM
Upgrade tickets this year were 30.75 If you will be staying at hard rock for a couple of days you may want to purchase a Annual Pass for the discount.(ex HR on sun thru thurs for 169.00 and fri sat for 189.00) The AP is 179.00 and gives you discounts on food thruout the park and free parking (of course if you stay on property you do not have to pay for parking anyway) The AP discounts only come out a few months before so you cannot book now and get discount.But if you are staying for a few days you can save enough to pay for pass.

I am Hopefull that because of sellouts and the crowds they will open all of both parks next year.But that may mean increased ticket price.

I would agree with above that unless you go fri or sat or last day you will not need express pass I went on sunday night(oct 17) because of staggered house openings was able to see everything and do all the houses.

P.S. Coasters were open but close early cause of noise (10 or 11 pm) Dueling Dragons was only open on fri and sat nights. *** Edited 11/11/2004 1:16:51 AM UTC by kevin38***

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004 9:37 PM
I quite unfortunately did not make it to HHN at all this year. Considered going the very last Friday but figured it would be way too crowded and had spent the entire day in the parks anyway.

Oh well, there's always next year now that I live down here.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 12:39 AM
Yay me and Nat are gonna be neighbors! :)

Joe "eight more days!" C.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 11:13 AM
I've been wanting to do this for some time, and am thinking about moving my Florida trip to October next year. You will be going with me to HHN, Bill;).

But my question, for all you Floridians, is are Disney, BGT, IoA & USF pretty dead during the day in October? I'm probably not going to hit any parks up on a weekend, as I'll probably spend the weekend with family and driving home.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004 2:56 PM
US and Ioa should be slow midweek It may pickup towards the end of month as people show up for HHN on the nights HHN run in the park may get a little busy with locals with Monthy pass for HHN but that pass is not good on fri or sat So I would say get there early if HHN is running that night unless you are going to HHN. Getting there for opening at 9 or 10 and staying till after midnight makes for a long day in the park.I know I did it :)
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Thursday, November 11, 2004 5:58 PM
I loved it when I went last year. It wasn't that bad during the day but HHN was packed later in the week.

I should note that if you stay on site, and you have a car, you do in fact pay for parking. It's hidden in the bill, but it's there. Same price as if you parked by citywalk.

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Friday, November 12, 2004 10:32 PM
Oh boy Joe C is moving here I can barely contain my excitement ;)
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