Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida is an award-winning event that ushers in the spooky season on select dates from early September to October 31.
Due to the intense scares and grotesque characters, participating in these Halloween horrors may not be appropriate – or desirable – for all guests.
Universal Studios Florida strongly recommends that children under the age of 13 do not attend Halloween Horror Nights events. Set designers create attractions, costumes, and special effects that increase the overall creep factor throughout the park and scare the pants off of everyone who attends.
The fear isn’t ratcheted up until Universal Orlando closes for the day; however, after reading more about Halloween Horror Nights below, some parkgoers may decide this spine-chilling after-hours event is not for them or their children.
What Is Halloween Horror Nights and What Makes It So Scary?
On select nights in the two months leading up to Halloween, Universal Studios transforms into a ghoulish playland featuring themed haunted houses, creepy costumes, ominous special effects, and menacing scare zones.
When these Halloween Horror Nights occur, the park shuts down early, and regular visitors must exit.
Guests who purchased passes to this separately-ticketed event then wait in a staging area until the action begins.
The whole purpose of Halloween Horror Nights is to scare people as much as possible, and according to past guests, they are more than successful.
The nightmarish attractions, realistic costuming, and macabre atmosphere are so terrifying that Universal has won the Golden Ticket Award for the Best Halloween Event 13 times in the last 16 years.
For Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios Florida creates several haunted houses with various themes.
Some are based on popular horror movies, while others are centered around the things that scare us most, like insects, vampires, mummies, zombies, clowns, and the supernatural.
Previous haunted houses at Universal Studios have been designed around cult classics like the film Halloween, where Michael Myers pops out of doorways and lurks around corners, brandishing his long, sharp knife.
Other haunted houses from previous years include:
- Bugs: Eaten Alive
- Fiesta de Chupacabras
- House of 1000 Corpses from Rob Zombie’s 2003 film
- The Horrors of Blumhouse, based on the movie Freaky
- The basement from Black Phone
- Funhouse of Fear
- Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
These houses are full of jump-scares, monsters, strobe lights, spooky lighting, corpses, blood, carnage, loud noises, screams, and the sound of slashing knives.
People who like to be scared enjoy wandering through the darkened maze of rooms and corridors that wind through these lifelike sets.
Scare Zones are spread throughout the streets of Universal Studios Florida and contain actors dressed as crazy, creepy, or scary creatures and characters that jump out at guests while they wander the streets.
The eerie lighting and fog that limit visibility in Scare Zones heighten the tension and make these areas extra chilling to walk through.
Moreover, Universal erects structures in the middle of the streets that add to the atmosphere and provide cover for the scare actors.
Team Member costumes are extremely elaborate and detailed, and Halloween Horror Nights designers put a great deal of effort into creating the looks of the monsters and characters they release onto unsuspecting guests.
Universal Studios has an army of makeup artists who craft the unique looks of more than 100 different characters and monsters required for each Halloween Horror Night.
Guests of Halloween Horror Nights want the monsters and characters to look realistic, so applying makeup and prosthetics can take more than an hour for some of the most elaborate costumes.
Additionally, the costumes must stay in place for several hours while the actors scare people.
As a result, great care is taken with each actor’s costume.
It’s important to note, however, that Universal Orlando does not allow attendees to wear costumes to Halloween Horror Nights.
Because Universal Team Members dress up during the event, this policy helps avoid confusion in already unsettling circumstances and ensures no one purposefully impersonates a Universal employee.
What Ages Are Appropriate For Halloween Horror Nights?
Halloween Horror Nights are definitely not for everyone.
Universal really embraces the darker, more sinister themes associated with Halloween, and this event is not made to be family-friendly.
Universal Studios Florida strongly recommends that children under the age of 13 do not attend Halloween Horror Nights.
A good rule of thumb is if a child is too young to watch horror movies, they’re presumably too young for the gory themes brought to life.
Likewise, adults who avoid the horror genre, in general, will probably not enjoy experiencing the terror in person.
Halloween Horror Nights are held at Universal Studios Florida on select dates leading up to Halloween each year.
This event is true to its name and really piles on the fear, so Universal strongly advises that children under the age of 13 not attend.
Guests attending these separately-ticketed after-hours events should be prepared for the haunted houses, Scare Zones, elaborate costumes, and makeup that all contribute to the very real feeling they’re in the presence of monsters.