8 Halloween Horror Nights Survival Tips for First-timers

[Photo: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/]

There’s no better way to celebrate Halloween than experiencing the heart-thumping, anxiety-inducing, why-the-hell-I-am-here kind of night in the entertainment capital of Los Angeles, Universal Studios Hollywood. :D

Halloween Horror Nights is a series of Halloween events held during fall. Basically, people go there to experience ‘horror houses’ or mazes with different horror movie-like productions. What best about it is that they made it look so real, so the scare is quite real as well. Unlike the usual and mostly cute trick-or-treating by the kids, this event is very not kid-friendly. NOT.FOR.KIDS. or basically not for anyone who can’t handle too much scares or suspense. The event can be bloody scary but really fun all the same.

This year’s (2016) Halloween Horror Nights events are held on September through the 5th of November. This was my first time to go to the event, I didn’t know whether to feel excited or nervous. (Hello, anxiety! HAHA).

Halloween Horror Nights is a hard-ticket event. Universal Studios sells a separate ticket for the HHN. If you have the daily admission ticket, it won’t earn you a pass for the night event. Once the event starts, usually around 6:30pm, (some attractions will be closed) all the visitor with no HHN tickets will be asked to leave the park.
There are different HHN tickets you can choose from depending on your preference. You can find it here. For pass members, you can get the ticket with discount.
Tickets easily get sold out, especially on the day of the event.

TIP #1: Plan your trip ahead of time. Decide if you only want to experience the Halloween Horror Nights or want to go visit the other attractions during daytime as well.

Our friend, Cris, drove all the way from Sacramento to experience the Halloween Horror Nights here in Hollywood and also do daytime tour in the theme park. So, we got the Day/Night Combo that basically allows us to visit the theme park from after 2pm onwards plus the Horror Night. In the daytime, we explored the Wizarding World of Harry Potter J.
We got our tickets with discounts!!! Yay! Thanks to our friend, JA! :D

TIP #2: Purchase your tickets ahead of time and online.
To avoid hassle, or worse, not getting tickets on your planned visit, go ahead and purchase your tickets days or weeks before your selected date. Also, it’s better to get them online. It’s very convenient. In that case, you secure the day and don’t have to worry about the long lines to get tickets on the day at the theme park’s ticket booths.
We got our tickets on Oct 9th and we visited on Oct 29th. 20 days in advance! Tell me who was soooo excited??? HAHA

Tip #3: Don’t forget to print and bring your tickets
Ready your tickets and DO.NOT.FORGET. It is advised that you print them as well. I’m not so sure if you can just show a soft copy in your phone or something, but for this, you won’t wanna risk it. So go ahead and print it then bring it.

TIP #4: Be sure that you are energized with food and water.
As it is no longer news to all of us, food and drinks inside theme parks can be SCAAAARY expensive too. HAHA. So be sure to get in with a stomach comfortably full. You can also bring bottled water just to be sure.
Also expect the lines to be very long, so if you still have to get food inside, bear in mind that that can also be time consuming when your goal is to get to experience as much mazes as you can.

TIP #5: Wear season-appropriate and comfy clothes.
Halloween Horror Nights happens during fall. In LA, in particular, it doesn’t get too cold during the day but at night, it can be. So be sure to check the weather first before heading out.
Wear something comfy and remember to bring a sweater or a jacket, just to be sure.

TIP #6: Wear a very comfy and light footwear.
I need to separate this tip because I can’t streeeeeeeeess it enough of how important this is.
The lines are really looooong. And the park is huge. There's surely gonna be a looooooooot of walking (And running, if you know what I mean HAHAHA).
I’ve seen and experienced far worse horror stories before about your feet ghosting you because they literally just died. Why?!? Because you were wearing those cute and fashionable, inappropriate and not walk-friendly footwear just to look good, and then you regret it thinking how stupid you are haha. Have mercy on your feet because you’ll be needing them, trust me! LOL
I learned the hard way so this time, I know just what to wear. You can wear a good walking/running shoes. I, personally, wore my Bear Paw boots, which is very comfy, weather-appropriate and stylish all at the same time :D

TIP #7: Plan your mazes.
There are a number of mazes that you can try. This year’s Halloween Horror Nights lineup includes the following:
  • American Horror Story
  • The Exorcist
  • Krampus
  • Freddy vs. Jason
  • Halloween
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • The Walking Dead

Go to the Studio Directory. It has all the attractions listed and the remaining waiting minutes. So you can plan based on the minutes or your priorities (whichever you want) to see as many as possible.
Unfortunately, this tip is also for us to follow. We were only able to do 3 mazes, namely, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and The Exorcist. But because we also tried other attractions including Terror Tram and Transformers, I think we did a pretty great job considering how long lines were.
If it’s okay for you to splurge a little more, I would suggest you to get the ‘Front of the line’ tickets to make sure you won’t have to wait hours and hours waiting and to get to all the mazes.

TIP #8: Beware and Enjoy! J
People of The Purge with the knives and hammers and chainsaws were all over the place. They will come to you so BEWARE! Lol.
What fascinated me was how big the productions were and how realistic they look. All the portrayals of the Horror Nights’ actors were performed really convincingly scary. The theme park was almost covered with smoke/smog making the place look creepier. They had these blazing fires that added to the overall realness of the ambiance.
Bring your friends and family and enjoy the scare together :D

Happy Halloween! BOOOOooooo!!!

The whole HHN gang! :) Thanks, Ja for the picture :)

[Video credit: Kristine Doctor]