2023 Halloween Horror Nights - Travel Blog, News, Updates and More
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2023 Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort

Are you ready to enter the fog for Universal Orlando Resort’s most anticipated event of the year? Halloween Horror Nights is Universal Studios annual Halloween-themed event which includes haunted houses, scare zones, entertainment, specialty food items and much more! Over the past 12 months a team of talented Universal cast members conjure up ways to immerse guests in the lore of scare zones and haunted houses each year. If you are visiting during early September to late October, then you are bound to notice these elaborate set designs and spooky decor as you wander throughout the park. 

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On select nights, this event takes place starting at 7:00 pm until closing. When planning your Universal Orlando Resort vacation, it is important to note that this is a separtely ticketed event meaning that you will not have access to Halloween Horror Nights using your daily theme park ticket.

2023 marks the 32nd anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, and each year there is an icon who takes the spotlight of the event. This year that icon is Dr. Oddfellow, a sinister ringmaster you can learn more about through the haunted house Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins, and five original scare zones dedicated to this foe.

 

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Now, let’s dive into what you can expect to find on your visit to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights this year!

 

Haunted Houses:
The themes of the houses consist of a blend of intellectual properties as well as Universal Studios original stories. The 2023 line-up is one of the best we’ve seen in years consisting of the following houses:

 

Blood Moon: Dark Offerings

Location: Hollywood, near Minion Land
Step into a Colonial-era village and be face to face with townspeople who have been obsessively worshiping the moon. When the blood moon rises during their fall festival they begin to hunt down any non-followers.. that means you! Avoid becoming part of the sacrifice as you make your way through their offering.

 

The Exorcist: Believer

Location: Production Central, in front of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
When two girls are found after missing for three days, their loved ones start to notice something strange… However, the girls have no memory of their time away. Showcasing the most terrifying scenes from the newest film in the Exorcist saga, this house will send you home with nightmares. Be sure to check out The Exorcist: Believer when it comes to theaters this Halloween season.

 

Stranger Things 4

Location: New York, near Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
When Stranger Things initially debuted on Netflix it was an instant hit, so it’s no surprise that Universal is bringing it back to Halloween Horror Nights with the most recent, and scariest season yet. Come face to face with Vecna and relive some of the most exciting scenes from season four.

 

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Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate

Location: New York, to the left of Revenge of the Mummy
Paying homage to a beloved former attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate haunted house. The story goes that two powerful warlocks break into the castle of a great and powerful wizard to steal his spellbook. However, they are caught in their greed and turned into two dragons - one fire, one ice. Enter at your own risk as these two dragons battle it out. What’s exciting about this house is it follows a “choose your own adventure” type of layout with four alternate endings!

 

YETI: Campground Kills

Location: New York, to the left of Revenge of the Mummy
When people ask me why I don’t camp - I can now give them excuses of Yetis running rampant. In this haunted house you and your scream squad must make your way through a campground where yetis are running wild tearing apart anyone who gets in their way.

 

Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count

Location: KidZone, near DreamWorks Destination
Wanna play… the killer doll is back at it again. What was supposed to be a Chucky inspired haunted house has turned into a bloody hijinks when Chucky himself overthrows the playful haunted house idea to up his murder count.

 

Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins

Location: San Francisco, near Fast And Furious – Supercharged
This year’s Halloween Horror Nights icon is Dr. Oddfellow himself - so step into his origin story with this haunted house. Here you will find an array of twisted oddities such as distorted animals and freakish fiends. The price to enter? Your soul.

 

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The Darkest Deal

Location: World Expo, near Men in Black: Alien Attack! restroom entrance
Pinestraw Spruce has always dreamed of being a successful musician and when he is put face to face with the collector who promises all his glory - it’s a deal he cannot refuse. What does he have to give in return? Find out as he gets his soul taken to Hades alongside other musicians who paid the price of fame.

 

The Last of Us

Location: World Expo, near Men in Black: Alien Attack!
What started out as a popular video game and has since turned into a successful crowd pleasing tv series is The Last of Us. In this house, silence is key. Work together to stay as quiet as you can to avoid clickers, hunters and whatever else may lay around each corner. Follow main characters Joel and Ellie as they make the treacherous journey across Pittsburgh.

 

Universal Monsters: Unmasked

Location: KidZone, E.T. Adventure
Are you ready to enter the Paris Catacombs? The Universal Monsters are of course iconic additions to Halloween Horror Nights, and at this haunted house you will come face to face with notorious characters such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Invisible Man.

 

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Scare Zones:
If you think you are safe once you exit one of the many haunted houses around this event - you thought wrong. Many sections of Universal Studios are considered scare zones where you will once again be thrown right into the middle of the story. Be fully immersed with the assistance of live actors, incredibly detailed sets, sound effects and more.


With Dr. Oddfellow being the icon of this year's event, all the scare zones revolve around him and his backstory. So, be sure to keep an eye out in each scare zone as you might notice Dr. Oddfellow as he takes different forms throughout his journey… and the only way to notice him is by the unique scarring on his face. Can you find him in each of the follow scare zones:

 

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Dr. Oddfellow’s Collection of Horrors

Location: Production Central
Located at the very entrance of the park is Dr. Oddfellow’s Collection of Horrors where Dr. Oddfellow himself invites you to enter Halloween Horror Nights with the promise of immortality. This is the perfect way to become immersed in the night as the icon takes the main stage alongside his terrifying creatures and oddities.

 

Vamp ‘69: Summer of Blood

Location: New York
Who doesn’t want to have a gruesome good time by attending a music festival? This one doesn’t seem like your typical festival as it seems Dr. Oddfellow has released a horde of killer vampires at the event. What sets this scare zone apart is the welcoming colors and patterns throughout it; however, don’t get too distracted by the vibrant sights or killer sounds… the bloodsuckers might get you!

 

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Shipyard 32: Horrors Unhinged

Location: San Francisco
This shipyard is owned and operated by none other than Dr. Oddfellow himself. Here he would use crates aboard the different ships to secretly transport his creature. You have arrived on the night they have broken out - keep an eye out as you wander through as they wreck havoc along the docks.

 

Jungle of Doom: Expedition Horror

Location: Central Park
It is here in the jungle where we can see Dr. Oddfellow’s origin story begins as he steals the Crystal Skull and harnesses its power. You will witness the doctor as he has begun experimenting with different wildlife causing them to become his first oddities and abominations.

 

Dark Zodiac

Location: Hollywood
Dr. Oddfellow has harnessed the power of the zodiac dimension and created his own oddity for each of the 12 zodiac signs. Can you spot all 12 signs and make it out before Dr. Oddfellow’s rise ends with your doom?

 

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Entertainment
As if the multiple haunted houses and scare zones weren’t enough, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights provides additional entertainment offerings featuring even more horror characters from both your nightmares and intellectual properties.

Nightmare Fuel: Revenge Dream
A fan favorite and epic spectacular has returned once again after its original debut in 2021. Nightmare Fuel: Revenge Dream uses the effects of pyrotechnics and aerialists to the beat of high intensity rock, metal and electronic music to create an unforgettable experience featuring creatures from your nightmares. This show takes place multiple times an evening at the old Fear Factor stage in World Expo.

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PMV Tip: I would recommend arriving 30-45 minutes prior to showtime for the best viewing spot.

 

M3GAN Horde
Keep your eye out for a horde of killer dolls as the M3GANs take over the streets. M3GAN from the 2023 Universal Pictures film is making an appearance at this year's event. As one innocent looking doll makes her way through the park moving robotically, she is soon joined by a horde of dolls performing a dance inspired by the recent horror movie.

 

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David S. Pumpkin
Any questions..? Find this iconic character that first premiered on SNL played by Tom Hanks hanging around the Peacock Lounge located in San Francisco. You may also find additional characters from The Purge movie franchise and more roaming around this area alongside him!

Death Eaters
For the first time ever, Death Eaters have been spotted in Diagon Alley. If you are willing to pledge your allegiance to the Dark Lord then be sure to stop in and see his loyal followers casting spells and causing mischief.

 

Rides and Attractions
When visiting Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios you will find that some of the park's most popular rides and attractions will be operating throughout the course of the night. As many guests choose to spend their time doing the event’s exclusive offerings, you will find the wait times for the participating attractions are quite short! If you are a big fan of the following then you may want to carve out some time in your night to enjoy them:
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Transformers: The Ride – 3D (closes early)
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (closes early)
- Men in Black Alien Attack
- Horror Movie Makeup Show

 

Exclusive Food & Drink Offerings

With the popular additions of intellectual properties such as The Last of Us, Stranger Things, Chucky and the Exorcist it is great that you can experience them not only within their haunted houses but through a variety of merchandise, food and beverage options scattered throughout the park.

 

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My top recommendations for this event would have to include a few additions to this years event, and two classics treats that are iconic to Halloween Horror Nights every season:


Left Behind Ravioli

Location: New York, Ration Station

These mini cheese ravioli are topped with marinara, truffle cream, garlic bread, and tempura fried enoki mushrooms to go with the “fungus” theme we all know from the video game. Not only do you get a tasty treat, but it’s served in your own personal food rations cup that you can take home as a souvenir!

 

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Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Puff

Location: Today Cafe

This sweet treat is a pumpkin and dulce de leche filled puff topped with whipped ganache, pumpkin seeds, and gold accents. Perfect for a sweet tooth!

Peanut Blooder Burger

Location: Mel’s Drive-In (which turns into Mel’s DIE-In for the event)

This smash burger is topped with a peanut sauce, raspberry jelly, cheddar cheese, shaved onions, jalapeño bacon, and cherry peppers on a vampire bun. Definitely a picture perfect bite.

 

Surfer Boy Hawaiian Pizza

Location: Surfer Boy Pizza located in Hollywood

A french bread-style pizza with crispy Spam, pineapple chutney, jalapeño, scallions, and mozzarella. As Argyll would say, try before you deny!


Twisted Taters

Location: Gramercy Park The Last of Us

Fried spiralized ribbon potato, thinly sliced and skewered, seasoned with your choice of: Seasoned Salt, Garlic Parmesan, Sour Cream & Chive, Porcini Powder, Ghost Pepper. This is one of the iconic treats that makes an appearance each year during Halloween Horror Nights.

 

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Classic Pizza Fries

Location: KidZone

French fries topped with marinara sauce, melted cheese, pepperoni and sausage. The most iconic snack available at Halloween Horror Nights, and is a must try every visit!

 

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If you are brave enough to enter the terrifying haunted houses, are you brave enough to try this year's most controversial dish Dr. Oddfellow’s Carn”Evil” Dog located in Gramercy Park. This red hot hotdog comes served in a confetti hot dog bun, topped with Kool-Aid pickles, bubblegum mustard, and potato sticks. Love it or hate it, will YOU try it?

Merchandise & Tribute Store
Over the past few years the Tribute Store has become a staple of Universal Studios changing its theme multiple times throughout the year but the halloween displays never disappoint. You can find it located in the New York area of the park behind the Macy’s Facade. This year the store is themed to a twisted comic book shop - McPherson's Collectibles Cards & Comics. Guests enter this mysterious comic book shop, while seeing advertisements of the newest horror comic “Tribute to Terror” that is set to release. As you walk through the store, each room will be themed with a story that is from this new fictional comic book. Although you can find Halloween Horror Nights merchandise all throughout the parks and CityWalk, the experience of shopping at the tribute store is not only completely immersive, but you can find exclusive items only offered here! The tribute store is open all day so if you are not brave enough to attend the event of the season, you can still get your spooky fix by taking a look around!

 

PMV Tip: If you are planning to visit the theme parks during the day, I highly recommend visiting the tribute store then as well for shorter waits and less crowds. The tribute store can get pretty busy during Halloween Horror Nights, and this will give you more time to spend exploring houses and scare zones!

 

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Event Tickets & Passes
As I have previously mentioned above - Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event, so let me tell you all the ways you can gain access to what was voted Best Halloween Event by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for 12 years.

 

Single Night Tickets: The most common ticket purchased by guests traveling to Universal Orlando Resort would be the single night ticket. This ticket will grant you access to one event night, but you will have to choose the date when purchasing. This is not only for crowd control and capacities but also because the prices range from day to day and are subject to change anytime throughout the season. It is always best to purchase these tickets as early as possible for both availability, but also for the lowest possible price point. If looking to attend the event on multiple nights, talk to your Pure Magic Vacations Travel Agent to see if one of the multi night tickets such as the Halloween Horror Nights Frequent Fear Pass might be better suited for you!

 

PMV Tip: If you have purchased a single night ticket, I always recommend showing up anywhere from an hour to 45 mins prior to the event starting, as those lines at the front gate tend to get quite long! This gives you time to get through security, and head start for one of the houses.

 

Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass: Similar to the Universal Express Passes that are available during the day - Halloween Horror Nights offers a Express Pass that will allow you to bypass the standby queue for its haunted houses and rides that are open throughout the event. Like mentioned above, securing these tickets early into your vacation planning is always encouraged. Express passes for Halloween Horror Nights usually sell out before the single night tickets do, so act fast if you are interested in adding this onto your ticket for the event. It is important to note that Express Passes purchased for that day in the theme parks, or the free Unlimited Express Passes provided to guests of Universal Premier Resorts will not be valid for Halloween Horror Nights.

 

PMV Tip: If you are someone looking to see and do everything within one evening, I highly recommend the addition of Express Pass to your event ticket for Halloween Horror Nights. It’s worth the additional cost!

 

Scream Early Ticket: If the anticipation is just too much for you, and you’d like to get into the park early, you can opt for the Scream Early Ticket that provides you access into Universal Studios from 3pm-5pm. At 5pm you can wait in one of the three Stay and Scream waiting areas located around the park. What’s great about this option is for just a small additional fee you can beat the lines at the front gate and beat the crowds getting to some of the most anticipated houses!

 

Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour: This daytime tour provides a different look at Halloween Horror Nights. Guests will be guided through some of the houses with the lights on to get a better look at how the event comes together. This tour is offered in 2 varieties: a 3 house tour, or a 6 house tour lasting about 3-6 hours depending on the tour chosen. Theme park and/or event admission is not included and is required to participate in this tour.

 

Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour: Grab your boo crew and your tour guide and experience the best way to enjoy the event. This tour is offered in two varieties - private and non-private. Please see below what to expect with each one:

 

Private:

  • VIP entrance to Universal Studios Florida

  • Unlimited immediate VIP entry to all haunted houses while with your RIP guide

  • Customizable itinerary

  • Reserved seating at select shows

  • Unlimited Express access to participating regular park attractions with your RIP Tour credential following the tour (park hours permitting)

  • Access to exclusive cash bar locations throughout the tour

  • Commemorative RIP Tour credential with lanyard

  • Complimentary standard valet parking (subject to availability and limited to one vehicle)

  • Complimentary My Universal Photos three-day package

  • Pre-Tour Reception in Cafe La Bamba

 

Non-Private:

  • VIP entrance to Universal Studios Florida

  • One-time immediate VIP entry to all haunted houses while with your RIP guide

  • Reserved seating at select shows

  • Unlimited Express access to participating regular park attractions with your RIP Tour credential following the tour (park hours permitting)

  • Access to exclusive cash bar locations throughout the tour

  • Commemorative RIP Tour credential with lanyard

  • Complimentary standard valet parking (subject to availability and limited to one vehicle)

  • Pre-Tour Reception in Cafe La Bamba

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With so much to offer, have I convinced you to put on your big kid pants and enter the fog? Universal's Halloween Horror Nights is really an event like no other and definitely worth experiencing - I myself cannot get enough, and have been attending annually over the last 10 years!

 

Talk to your Pure Magic Vacations agent about the special offers, vacation packages and savings that are available to you to make the most of your visit!

 

And remember, never go alone…

 

Cass Lloyd, Travel Advisor with Pure Magic Vacations

Contact Cass here!

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