Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood
- Hours: Thursday through Sunday nights, September 23 through October 31
- Cost: Admission fee. Extra parking fee
- Location: North of Hollywood off US 101
- How Long: About 3 to 4 hours
- Best Time to Visit: Halloween Horror Nights are busy throughout their run, but the first weekend and Sundays are your best bet
- Halloween Horror Nights Website
- More: Visiting Universal Studios
What to Expect at Halloween Horror NightsMazes are constructed just for Halloween Horror Nights, featuring the silver screen's notorious madmen: The Walking Dead, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a whole crew of Universal monsters, joined by legendary La Llorona (the weeping woman) and gruesome-minded rock star Alice Cooper. They come with all the blood and gore you'd expect.
More than 1,000 people are hired to staff Halloween Horror Nights and you'll find them at every turn, jumping out of dark corners, chopping up victims with glee or just walking along, zombie-like. Competition is so fierce for the chain saw guy roles that they hold tryouts. These folks know how to scare people and won't pose for pictures. If you scream, bite your fingernails or start running away, they'll know they have their mark and keep coming after you.
Besides numerous mazes in the park, there are also special "Terror Tram" tours of the Backlot.
A few of the regular rides are also open and they make a nice break from all the blood and guts.
If you want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Horror Nights, you can follow Creative Director John Murdy on Twitter @HorrorNights.
Rating Halloween Horror NightsUniversal claims that Halloween Horror Nights are the scariest thing going in the Los Angeles area. From what I've seen, they're not exaggerating. That being said, this event appeals mostly to young adults and we quickly tired of all the bloody, slasher-style scenes in the mazes, as did our older-teenaged companions.
Halloween Horror Nights are designed to be really frightening and are not suitable for small children, squeamish individuals who don't like simulated bodily harm or anyone who doesn't like to be scared out of their wits. Universal says they're not recommended for anyone under 13.
Tips for Halloween Horror Nights
- The characters are scary enough, so you don't need to be. No costumes are allowed.
- Tickets for the Halloween Horror Nights go on sale about a month before opening night. Buy your Halloween Horror Nights tickets in advance online (at the website listed above) to avoid sellouts and waiting in line. You'll also save on so-called Killer Deal Nights (Sunday, Thursdays) and Halloween night (up to $25 ticket, the amount depending on the day and saving the most for Halloween night).
- You can get tickets good only for the Horror Nights event or for day/night combos good for visiting the theme park during the day, too.
- For a lot of extra money, you can also get front of the line passes or enjoy a VIP experience that includes exclusive access to the Horror Lounge (w drink maximum) and a restricted-access Backlot tour.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of reviewing Halloween Horror Nights. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.