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Halloween Horror Nights

30 years of screams

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights takes place
select nights Sept. 3 - Oct. 31.

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Insider’s guide to Halloween Horror Nights 2021 Extras: Express Passes, RIP Tours, and More

Halloween Horror Nights 2021

When purchasing extras for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida, there are many upgrades to consider – and we’re going to walk through all of the different options to make sure you get the most out of your experience!

But before we get started, there’s a very important point that you should know first: Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event (sometimes referred to as a hard-ticket event), which means, one way or another, that you have to pay for separate admission to get in. The event is not included with regular admission to Universal Orlando’s theme parks, like, say, Mardi Gras or the holiday festivities.

After you’ve read our complete overview of Halloween Horror Nights extras, use the navigation links at the top or bottom of the page to learn even more.

Skip to: Express Passes | Add-on experiences | Tours 

Halloween Horror Nights 2021 admission – Express Passes

Transformers: The Ride – 3D at Halloween Horror Nights
Transformers: The Ride – 3D at Halloween Horror Nights 2017

Just like regular Universal Express Passes, Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes enable you to skip the standby queue and hop in a shorter line, thereby allowing you to experience the various haunted houses in an expedited fashion (just once per haunt). Although the regular, daytime tickets nearly always allow you to get into an attraction in only a fraction of the time, the HHN-specific passes can sometimes, on peak nights, only cut off half of the posted wait – which, yes, means you will still spend a fair amount of time standing in line. But there are two important things to keep in mind in this regard: (1) you’ll be able to get more value out of your Express Pass on less-crowded dates (though, then again, you might not need it as much to begin with), and (2) when you consider that the houses on those peak nights can get up to a three-hour wait, you’re still getting out ahead with Express access.

Rounding out your HHN Express Pass decision-making, you should be aware that it also works on each of the rides that are open during the event as well as the mazes (again, just once per attraction), but – super important – it is separate from the usual, daytime front-of-line tickets, which means that your free Express access from staying at one of the on-site hotels or from your annual pass won’t be valid here.

HHN Express Passes vary in price, ranging from $89.99, plus tax, per person to $189.99, plus tax, per person. Unfortunately, there are no discounts for Florida residents, annual passholders, or anyone else.

Here is what the pricing looks like for 2021:

  • $89.99 – Sept. 15, 22
  • $99.99 – Sept. 16, 23
  • $109.99 – Sept. 12, 19, 29, 30 Oct. 26, 27
  • $119.99 – Sept. 9, 10, 17 Oct. 28
  • $129.99 – Sept. 26 Oct. 1, 6, 7, 20, 21, 29, 30
  • $139.99 – Sept. 11, 18 Oct. 3, 13
  • $149.99 – Oct. 8, 14, 17, 31
  • $159.99 – Sept. 25 Oct. 22, 24
  • $169.99 – Sept. 24, Oct. 2, 10, 15
  • $179.99 – Oct. 9, 23
  • $189.99 – Oct. 16

They can be purchased on the official Halloween Horror Nights website.

Unlimited Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes – currently not available for 2021

In 2019, Universal tested out offering unlimited versions of its Horror Nights Express Passes – which means that, just as with the daytime version of Unlimited Express, it would allow users to hop into the shorter line for each haunted house and ride as many times as they would like. There were several stipulations to this experimentation, however: only an extremely limited number of these tickets were offered; they were only for sale at the front gate or in the park; they weren’t available every single event night; and, finally, the price seemed to fluctuate.

This year, the only way to get Unlimited Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes is to add this option when purchasing a Frequent Fear Pass. The Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass with Unlimited Express Pass will run you $749.99 plus tax, but you can attend every night of Halloween Horror Nights and use your Express Pass every single night of the event. There are more budget-friendly options as well, all on Universal’s official website.

Halloween Horror Nights 2021 Express Pass tips – READ THIS NOW

Whether or not you’re considering Express Passes for Halloween Horror Nights 2021, you need to read these tips.

1. Express Passes for HHN 2021 will sell out on peak nights

If you know you’re going any night that Express Passes are $129 or more, we recommend that you buy them as soon as possible, because they will likely sell out (or, at the very least, ramp up in price) – sometimes, many days in advance. (It’s worth mentioning here that guests can purchase Express separately, so don’t worry if you haven’t yet figured out what general-admission ticket you’re getting.)

2. Express Passes might (and usually do) go up in price the closer we get to the event

This is because Universal’s projections for certain dates change as more and more tickets are purchased, which means nights that might have seemed slower even just a few weeks ago are suddenly looking busier and busier. So, if you have your dates locked in right away at the start of the Horror Nights “pre-season,” when Universal first puts the various passes up for sale, you’d do well to buy them right away. (In 2018, for example, two new, more expensive pricing tiers were added to the roster due to all the increases [and added-on dates]!)

3. The unlimited Express access included with staying at select on-site hotels does not cover HHN (or any other separately-ticketed event)

Yes, we’ve already pointed this out, but it’s worth repeating it again. It doesn’t matter if you purchase a Halloween Horror Nights vacation package, book the hotel on its own, or stroll in an hour before the event starts – your on-site hotel Express benefit does not work at Halloween Horror Nights. Consider yourself (doubly) warned.

4. Express Passes can, on certain nights, only be expected to reduce your wait time by half of the posted standby time

Here we go, repeating ourselves yet again, but we’re doing so because we really want to make sure your expectations are calibrated correctly. On peak nights, the popular houses often have wait times of over two or three hours – so, even with an Express Pass, you may still have to wait an hour (or more). This is yet another reason to skip peak nights altogether, which we can’t stress enough!

We do want to mention that the speediness of HHN Express access tends to change year-to-year and house-to-house – it is very dependent upon the popularity of the maze and the team members working it.

(Do you need a reminder of what the peak nights are again? No problem – you can view them on our Halloween Horror Nights overview page.)

5. It’s possible to get a discount on Express Passes – sort of

If a certain date’s Express Passes don’t sell out, Universal may offer the remainder of its inventory at a discount (usually 50% off) later on that night (typically around 10:00 or 11:00 pm). The catch here is that Horror Nights only runs until 1:00 or 2:00 am, so you’ll only be getting some three or four hours’ worth of use out of them – and if a night isn’t busy enough to move all of its Express Passes, it’s debatable whether it’s busy enough to warrant the use of Express in the first place. We just mention this here in terms of completeness.

Haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights 2016
Haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights 2016

Halloween Horror Nights 2021 admission – add-on experiences

Nearly every single year at Halloween Horror Nights, Universal experiments with additional add-on experiences, some of which end up returning and becoming the newest horror mainstays and some of which end up becoming fleeting – but nonetheless intriguing – one-offs. Each of these items is an upcharge, meaning that you’ll have to pay extra for the experience, and, as such, you’ll have to carefully consider whether the expense – and the time it takes away from your touring of the event – is worth it for you and your party.

With that warning out of the way, we should also point out that some of these premium items are some of the most fun a number of attendees have at HHN. It really does come down to personal preference.

Halloween Horror Nights 2021 tours

Atmosphere at Halloween Horror Nights 26.
Atmosphere at Halloween Horror Nights 2016

Halloween Horror Nights offers up several different tours to allow horror aficionados to get the best bang for their annual-event buck – or, even more intriguingly, to get an in-depth look at what it takes to make an HHN haunted house.

RIP Tours

RIP Tours provide you with a blood-red-carpet journey through a multitude of horrors more ghastly than you can imagine, without having to face your worst nightmare: waiting in line. All RIP Tours provide you with immediate VIP entry to the haunted houses and select regular park attractions. 

Orlando Informer recommends the RIP Tours for guests who want to experience the best of Halloween Horror Nights and who do not want to have to worry about planning.

Private RIP Tour

The chilling choice for the true connoisseur of carnage and chaos! You and your party of up to nine guests will take part in a guided walking tour of a single Horror Nights event night. As the party consists of just your compatriots, the choice is yours as to how to spend your evening; your RIP guide can tailor the tour to the interests of your party to include not only the haunted houses and shows, but the regular park attractions, as well.

Private RIP Tours can depart nightly as early as 5:30 pm, with a 30-minute break midway through. Universal has a strict policy of not listing any pricing whatsoever for these – instead, it strongly encourages guests to call its VIP Tours number at 866-346-9350 to discuss cost and reservations. (Just be aware that you must already have HHN admission before you can start your tour.)

Private RIP Tours include the following:

  • 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

Non-private RIP Tour – full

Indulge in an evening of unbridled terror! You and your party, along with other RIP Tour guests, will be combined together and take part in a structured, guided walking tour of one Halloween Horror Nights event night. During the Non-Private RIP Tour, you will experience all of the haunted houses (one time each) and have reserved seating for HHN 2019’s live stage show.

Non-Private RIP Tours depart nightly at 8:00 pm and last up to four hours, with combined groups consisting of no more than 12 guests per RIP guide. Prices start at $299.99 per person, plus tax and event admission, but they are wildly dependent upon date and availability.

Non-Private RIP Tours include the following:

  • 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)

Non-Private-RIP-Tour guest requests to be in the same party as other Non-Private RIP Tour attendees cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, it should be noted that the tour ends once all of its inclusions (all haunted houses and stage show) have been met.

Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour (daytime)

Pierce the veil and get a lights-on, inside look at Halloween Horror Nights. You and your party, along with other Unmasking the Horror guests, will be combined together to take part in a guided, informational walking tour providing an overview of this year’s event as well as a lights-on walk-through of several haunted houses, with the opportunity to take photos in select rooms. Along the way, you’ll learn how Universal’s Art and Design team takes some of the world’s most popular movie, television, and videogame properties and turns them into immersive haunted houses, along with how they create original haunts that can only be seen at Halloween Horror Nights each year.

Guests can choose a three- or six-house Behind the Screams Tour, with the former lasting up to two-and-a-half hours and the latter up to five. Groups consist of 12 attendees, with each member receiving a “unique HHN token.” Prices start at $79.99 for the three-house variation and at $129.99 for the six-hour configuration, plus tax – but please note that, unlike with the various RIP Tours, Horror Nights admission is not also required. You must reserve your spot in advance, however, with departure times starting as early as 10:30 am. Behind the Screams outings are typically available on every single event date.

And here’s one final important bullet point to keep in mind: due to the intensely graphic nature and lights-on viewing within the haunted houses, these are not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Orlando Informer strongly recommends the Unmasking the Horror Tour for anyone interested in learning how Universal produces Horror Nights.

Before you go, don’t forget: some upgrades (like Express Pass) require standard Halloween Horror Nights admission – and Halloween Horror Nights itself is a separately ticketed event from a normal visit to Universal’s parks.

Do you have a question about the information on this page, would like to provide feedback, or did you spot an inaccuracy? Please let us know by posting in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.
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