The Complete Guide To Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2023

It’s early February 2023 as I’m putting this together, and Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2023 is already shaping up to be the biggest and best event that Universal has ever had. Universal Orlando’s most popular event is celebrating its thirty-first year of scaring guests, and it promises to be a truly epic experience. Get ready for all kinds of thrills and chills, as we’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about what to expect from this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.

From traditional haunted houses to surprises that will make your hair stand on end, we have all the details here, regularly updated as new information comes available.

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Expectations for 2023

This year the Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights event is set to be even more epic than last year’s 30th Anniversary. With 10 new haunted houses and five scare zones, Universal Orlando promises a truly unforgettable experience. Keep checking back with us for updates on what 2023’s experience has in store – you won’t want to miss out on this one.

Remember that regular Universal Orlando tickets do not gain you access to the event, so be sure to plan accordingly. Use the below information to work towards ensuring the most effective possible experience. And it’s important to note, effectiveness is not efficiency. It’s about finding a balance between time management and enjoyment.

What is Halloween Horror Nights?

Universal’s 2023 Halloween Horror Night is shaping up to be a truly horrifying experience. You’ll get to see haunted houses inspired by classic horror books and movies, as well as some of today’s most popular cult favorites. And of course, the haunted houses are the big draw. But there’s also plenty of other scary fun to be had at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2023. Get ready for a jam-packed night of terror, whenever you decide to go.

With so much to experience, you may want to consider attending multiple nights. But, if one night is all you have, we’ve got tips and tricks to help make sure every minute is full of frightful fun.

2023 will be my fifth time experiencing Halloween Horror Nights. I attended the Orlando version in 2018, 2019, and 2021, and the Hollywood version in 2022.

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Dates for 2023

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights for 2023 is coming up quickly. Enjoy two months’ worth of frights from September 2nd to October 31st. Get ready for select weekdays and all weekends – plus, extra HHN event nights have been added this year to meet the high demand of Florida locals. So mark your calendar for one (or more) of these days:

  • Dates in September 2023: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30
  • Dates in October 2023: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

What are the best days to go to Halloween Horror Nights Orlando in 2023?

Of the dates above, there are going to be sweet spots in when to attend to avoid crowds and lines. Below, I break down what should be considered the most effective nights, the moderately crowded nights, and the extremely crowded nights.

These predictions are based on the dates provided for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando in the 2023 season. For quick reference, please see the calendar image I have created below.

Most Effective Nights to Visit

To make the most of your visit to Halloween Horror Nights Orlando this upcoming year, avoid going in October, period. The best nights for frights are weekdays in the first three weeks, between September 3rd and 23rd. Specifically, the following days:

  • Dates in September 2023: 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29

Moderately Crowded Nights

Looking for a spooky good time in a more spooky time of the season, but don’t want to fight the crowds? Moderately crowded nights tend to be weekdays leading up until Columbus Day weekend in October. So plan your visit for September 24th through October 14th to capture some of that Halloween essence without standing in line (even with Express Passes) for a while.

  • Dates in September 2023: 24, 25, 26, 30
  • Dates in October 2023: 6, 7, 8, 13, 14

Extremely Crowded Nights

Mondays and Tuesdays are the best bet for a more peaceful HHN 2023 experience heading into October 2023. If you’re looking to beat the crowds, keep in mind that most locals visit on Fridays and Saturdays, so it would be wise to avoid those nights.

Take advantage of Early Entry to get a head start on beating other guests out the door – the first two hours of the event tend to be the least crowded ones, especially before the sun sets. But, in general, expect these dates to be extremely crowded for Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights:

  • Dates in October 2023: 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 

Where to Stay for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando in 2023

Want to make the most out of your visit to Halloween Horror Nights Orlando? When deciding on a Universal Orlando hotel, there are a few factors to consider, including location and price. Fortunately, Universal has options available for every family’s needs and budget.

There are also ample great options off-site if that works best for your individual and unique needs. When it comes specifically to Halloween Horror Nights, here are our top picks for the most effective experience at HHN in 2023.

loews portofino bay hotel

Recommended On-Site Property: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Immerse yourself in the luxurious Italian-inspired atmosphere of the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool or spa, admire the lake views, and indulge in a variety of Italian, American, and seafood dishes.

With its shopping outlets, fitness center, and movie theater, this beautiful resort at Universal Orlando is sure to make your Halloween Horror Nights visit both luxurious and convenient.

My wife and I stayed here, not for Halloween Horror Nights, but for an overnight trip to Islands of Adventure in 2022. The rooms were stunning and clean, the vibe was immaculate, and the on-property amenities were fantastic. We ate dinner at BiCE and it was amazing. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to fancy it up a bit but do not have to dress up for the process.

However, the biggest draw in my eyes was transportation to and from the park. We took the shuttle boat to CityWalk a time or two during our stay, and it was a breeze to get on and off, and sped up the process generally of getting to the park. However, in the evening time, when it was cool and quiet, we walked back to the hotel from the park. It was about a half mile and is quite a nice walk overall.

Overall, if you’re looking for effectiveness as a combination of experience and time saved, the Portofino Bay Hotel is going to be hard to beat, unless you’re dead set on another on-site property.

If the Portofino Bay Hotel doesn’t seem like the right fit for your needs, fear not. I have reviewed all seven on-site Universal Orlando resorts in this guide, so you are sure to find one that works!

Recommended Off-Site Property: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando is an ideal location for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando in 2023. Situated at the entrance of Universal Orlando Resort and close to other popular attractions such as Walt Disney World and SeaWorld, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations and a wide range of amenities.

Some amenities offered by this property include an outdoor pool, fitness center, and restaurant. Well-known for its friendly staff, great customer service, and comfortable rooms, DoubleTree by Hilton is a tourist favorite for HHN 2023 in Orlando.

We have stayed here twice in the past, both times for Halloween Horror Nights. The walk from the park to the hotel was about the same distance as walking back to Portofino Bay from the park. If you’re a member of the Hilton Honors program (which I very much am), this is a great use of points.

Room availability during busier Halloween Horror Nights evenings is also more likely to be available at this hotel than at any of the on-site Universal hotels and resorts.

If the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando doesn’t seem like the right fit for your needs, fear not. I have reviewed the top five off-site Universal Orlando hotels in this guide, so you are sure to find one that works!

Haunted Houses for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2023

Universal Orlando has yet to announce the houses for this year’s edition of Halloween Horror Nights. In the meantime, take a look at this list of last year’s houses and whet your appetite for what you can expect from this year’s adventures:

  • Descendants of Destruction
  • Dead Man’s Pier: Winter’s Wake
  • Hellblock Horror
  • Fiesta de Chupacabras
  • Bugs: Eaten Alive
  • Spirit of the Coven
  • The Weeknd – After Hours Nightmare
  • Horrors of Blumhouse
  • Halloween
  • Universal Monsters: Legends Collide

I will be updating this section of the guide as more information is made available.

Descendants of Destruction

You’ve ventured into post-apocalyptic New York. Mutant packs are out for a meal, and you’re on the menu. If you want to survive, you better be ready to take off into the subway tunnels with only your feet as your companion. Keep a sharp eye though; one wrong turn and you could become a feast!

Dead Man’s Pier: Winter’s Wake

You’ve come to a sleepy fishing village in New England, but something’s not quite right. A foul presence has been lurking around: undead fishermen seeking vengeance against the living. If you don’t want to end up joining them on the ocean floor, you’ll have to make it through this night of aquatic doom!

Hellblock Horror

You’ve been sent to prison, and there’s no guarantee you’re ever getting out. The inmates here are a special kind: creatures, ghouls, and monsters eager to ensure your stay is permanent. If you want to survive these Halloween Horror Nights, you’ll have to find a way to break free from this haunted house – or prepare for a life sentence!

Fiesta de Chupacabras

Welcome to a small Latin American village where an ancient legend has come to life. Something sinister lurks in the shadows, ready to take over the streets in blood, guts, and gore. If you’re not careful, this vibrant fiesta might be your last – so watch out for the Chupacabra – or else things will end badly for you!

Bugs: Eaten Alive

The year is 1950, and you find yourself in a house plagued by creepy crawlies. As hordes of insects menace your every move, you must keep watching overhead, beneath your feet – and everywhere else they might be hiding! If you want to survive this Halloween Horror Nights haunted house, you’ll need help from an exterminator. But with HHN just around the corner, will you make it out alive?

Spirit of the Coven

Welcome to the 1920s, and an experience like no other. Step inside a mysterious speakeasy, where you’ll find a coven of flapper-style witches and all manner of evil brewing in a cauldron. Beware their blood-curdling laughter as they plan to transform you into something terrifying – a night of horror awaits if you don’t escape the hellacious hags!

The Weeknd – After Hours Nightmare

Get ready to be taken on a journey like never before! The Weeknd, award-winning artist, and music mogul, has teamed up with Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights to create a one-of-a-kind haunted house experience.

Step into the dark, twisted mind of The Weeknd as you explore “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare” – based on his groundbreaking album “After Hours” – at either Universal Orlando or Universal Hollywood. Prepare for a night of scares unlike any other!

Horrors of Blumhouse

Brace yourself for a night of double the terror! The 2022 Halloween Horror Nights have unleashed a new Double Feature Haunted House called “The Horrors of Blumhouse”. As you explore the depths of this nightmare, you’ll come between two monstrous figures – a crazed teenager and a bloodthirsty serial killer who have swapped bodies.

Make your way through the dark corridors of The Grabber’s basement as quickly as possible before you become yet another victim in his malevolent game of “The Black Phone”. Can you make it out?


Relive the classic horror of 1978 as Michael Myers returns to the spotlight for Halloween Horror Nights 2022! Journey to Haddonfield, Illinois and face the famous masked killer, as you attempt to survive a horror-filled night on his turf. Speed might not help you out this time – all you can do is run for your life and pray that you make it out alive!

Universal Monsters: Legends Collide

Don’t miss this epic battle of the greats for Halloween Horror Nights 2022! Enter the colossal Monster Legends house, and come face-to-face with some of horror’s most iconic figures – Dracula, The Mummy, and Wolf Man. Watch as they clash over an ancient relic, The Amulet of Ra, in a bloodthirsty fight that could decide their fate. Prepare to witness first-hand what happens when legends collide!

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando: More Than Just Haunted Houses

In addition to typically around ten different haunted houses that are the star of the show, there are multiple other things to do at Universal Studios. Below is some information about the annual shows, scare zones, and rides that Universal leaves open for patrons to enjoy.

Shows at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

If you’re looking for something extra to do beyond the haunted houses, then make sure you check out the two shows that perform each evening. These spine-tingling performances are sure to send chills down your spine and provide an extra bit of horror at an already frightening event. Get ready to experience Halloween Horror Nights like never before.

While there have not yet been announcements on the exact shows that will be occurring during Halloween Horror Nights Orlando in 2023, I can make a guess based on the popularity of the events in past years. My predictions are Ghoulish: A Halloween Tale and Halloween Nightmare Fuel Wildfire.

I will be updating this section of the guide as more information is made available.

Scare Zones at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

Take a stroll through one of Universal Studio’s infamous Halloween Horror Nights Scare Zones for an extra dose of terror. The 2023 fright-filled zones are yet to be announced but expect plenty of ghoulish creatures, psychos, and more on your journey.

Last year’s scare zones included Horrors of Halloween, Scarecrow: Cursed Soil, Sweet Revenge, Graveyard: Deadly Unrest, and Conjure the Dark – all sure to give you goosebumps! Beware the curse that lurks in these spooky grounds!

I will be updating this section of the guide as more information is made available.

Rides Left Open During Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

Enjoy Halloween Horror Nights, with a few of your favorite attractions still open for you to ride! Spend the night screaming, laughing, and jumping on rides such as Transformers: The Ride-3D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and Men in Black Alien Attack. Fast & Furious – Supercharged and The Simpsons Ride will also be available during this spooktacular event. Don’t miss out on the frightful fun at Universal Studios!

If you’re looking to determine which rides are the best at Universal Orlando, I recommend my comprehensive guide on the best rides in the parks, which is available here.

Enjoy shorter wait times for rides during Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights – freeing up more time to purchase all the must-have merchandise.

And don’t forget the roller coasters: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will all stay open during this season of scares. Transformers and Fast & Furious close early most nights, so make sure you squeeze in a ride before night falls!

About Halloween Horror Nights Ticketing

Ready to experience Halloween Horror Nights 2023? Prices typically range from $78.80 to $97.99, depending on the night of your visit. However, once official prices and tickets open up, I will update this section with more up-to-date information.

Keep in mind that outside drinks are not allowed and that there will be alcohol available for sale during certain hours. Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy this spooky evening of fun!

Express Passes: Experiencing Effectively

Don’t miss a beat this Halloween Horror Nights – grab yourself an Express Pass and skip the regular standby line. With the extra time you save, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious treats from the Halloween Horror Nights food menu, as well as stock up on all the merch that’s been haunting your dreams.

Bear in mind, however – despite the pass, popular houses can still have a wait of over an hour, especially during peak weekend times.

Don’t miss out on the best of Halloween Horror Nights – get your Express Pass and skip the lines at each house, attraction, and scare zone. Don’t wait too long to purchase though, as these passes are popular and will sell out quickly – especially during peak nights. With your pass, you’ll get one entry per night to all the attractions.

The Unlimited Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass

Get the ultimate experience out of Halloween Horror Nights and upgrade to the Universal Express Unlimited Pass. There’s a limited number of passes available each event night, so be sure to grab yours quickly – these can only be purchased in person at the front gate.

Though you’ll receive all the same benefits as an Express pass, keep in mind that even with unlimited entries to attractions, wait times will still remain long – especially for popular haunted houses. Highly recommended, but only if your heart is set on one specific house. Otherwise, a standard express pass will work perfectly for your needs.

The Scream Early Pass: Highly Recommended

Make the most of your Halloween Horror Nights experience by arriving as early as possible. One way to beat the long lines is to take advantage of the Scream Early Ticket. This ticket is perfect for guests who don’t have or want an annual pass, yet still want to enter the park from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Getting Into Halloween Horror Nights

Guests have several entry options, such as a day pass that can be upgraded to HHN or the ‘Stay and Scream’ option. For security reasons, we strongly recommend getting there between 30-45 minutes before the event begins – although Universal does tend to open the gates early most nights. Hotel guests can enter via a special VIP entrance gate until 8 PM.

Frequently Asked Questions About Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

The entire concept of Halloween Horror Nights can seem intimidating. Heck, the first time I went, I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going, and we ended up missing out on some of the most exciting things as a result. Below are some of the answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions I have seen about Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Is the Harry Potter section of the park open?

During Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is still open to exploring. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts remains open until 9:00 PM, while Hogwarts Express and Olivanders Wand Shop are both closed for this season. Experience the magical world of Harry Potter to its fullest – just in time for Halloween!

What time does Universal close the Harry Potter part of the park before HHN?

Got your Halloween Horror Night ticket? Then it’s time to explore Diagon Alley! Regular guests leave at 5 PM, but with HHN access you’ll have until 9 PM to experience Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – part of the Halloween Horror Nights event.

What time does Universal open and close for Halloween Horror Nights?

Looking to experience Halloween Horror Nights? Start your night at 6:30 PM and get ready for a spooky celebration – with select weekdays ending at 1:00 AM and weekends going until 2:00 AM. However, ticket holders who also obtain a Scream Early pass get early entry to the park during normal operating hours.

Does Islands of Adventure stay open during HHN hours?

Typically, Islands of Adventure will run normal operating hours. It does not remain open during Halloween Horror Nights hours, as that takes place wholly inside Universal Studios. If you are wanting to experience Islands of Adventure, I highly recommend doing this over two days instead of thinking you can handle both Islands of Adventure and Halloween Horror Nights in one day.

Is there a minimum age to attend Halloween Horror Nights?

Surprisingly, there isn’t. However, with things I have seen inside the park during Halloween Horror Nights unless your child is a horror buff with a strong will, I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of thirteen. As always, though, your mileage may vary (YMMV).