Halloween Horror Nights is marketed as the “nation’s premier Halloween event.” I’m not one to always share out a company’s media tag on a whim, but in this case, I believe that is 100% true.
HHN at Universal Orlando is the best theme park event I’ve ever been to. They have the best haunted houses I’ve ever seen (and I’m counting scare zones in that). And you get many of the regular theme park attractions for your price of admission. You can’t beat this deal.
Tickets for HHN may seem straightforward to some. They have single night tickets that you can buy online or in-person at the gate. But if you do either of those options, you’re probably losing money and/or you’re not getting much done.
Like with any theme park vacation these days, you have to do a bit of research to make sure you are are being the most effective and planning ahead to make best use of your time. Fortunately, this guide will break down all the prices and help you start to do the math for your own trip.
While this guide specifically focuses on tickets and costs, you should check the hashtag #HHNFriday on Instagram for a series of tips I’ve been doing all month long. (I have a companion series on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tips called #NotSoScaryMonday if you’re interested.)
First Tip: Buy Online
Let’s get this one out of the way because it’s probably the easiest to see and understand. Single night tickets and multiple night express passes are cheaper (considerably so) when bought online than at the gate. You can print the ticket at home or pick it up at Will Call at the park (without paying the gate fee).
I do suggest picking up your ticket earlier in the day or the day before if you do Will Call – lines for tickets get long right before the event starts each night.
Single Ticket Prices
All prices in this post will reflect the online price (see above for why).
A single night ticket = $68 per person
Multiple Ticket Passes
Unless you are only going one night, you are probably better off buying one of the multiple night passes. You will save money. Which one you get depends entirely on the dates of your trip or the days of the week you want to (and how much you want to go in the season).
Rush Of Fear = $110. Includes all September nights. This isn’t useful to you at this point if you haven’t already bought it and been using it, but I include it here for the sake of completeness. This is less than the price of a single night ticket at the gate (online is still cheaper). And you get 4 full weekends of access plus the weeknights. If you can, do this. It’s the best deal and the cheapest option.
Frequent Fear = $120. No Fridays or Saturdays during October (some are included in September and November but not many). This is a great option so you can go all season long on weeknights and Sundays, and avoid the busier crowds on the weekends. It’s not much more than Rush of Fear, and you get a lot more nights for $10 more.
Frequent Fear Plus = $140. Includes Fridays in October. This is a great option if you need those Friday nights when you don’t have to work the next day, if you plan to go multiple Fridays in October, etc. Again, not a huge price jump from the last pass type.
Ultimate Frequent Fear = $260. Includes all nights. This is for the HHN diehard that is there nearly every night (they do exist) and includes those busy Saturday nights. There’s a considerable price jump here, you’ll notice. More on that in a moment.
Do The Math
Again, I want to emphasize that if you plan to go 2 or more nights to Halloween Horror Nights, you should consider and do the math to see if a pass is better for you financially. It very well might make more sense – and you might be able to add an extra day for no extra cost because it’s already included if you do that too.
There’s a reason only the highest pass includes those nights and that pass makes a huge price jump. They are the most crowded. Weeknights are the least crowded, but even those will start to get busier and look more like weekends closer to Halloween. Going in September is best, but obviously not as possible right now as the month comes to an end. Early October is still good and mid-week late October will be your next best option. There are also options the weekend after Halloween in November if you just need one more HHN fix for the year.
What about Express Pass?
This is where the pricing gets really confusing. Hopefully you’re still with me and following the numbers, because we’re about to add a lot more “ifs” and scenarios to the story.
A single night express pass = $90 per person
You can also get the previously mentioned multiple night passes with Express already added for all the nights the pass is good for. Don’t just assume, however, that the pass will be the smarter option.
Adding Express to a multiple night pass gets expensive quickly. It’s a great deal if you are going most of the nights on your pass (great for locals). If you are just buying the pass to save $10-20 vs buying 3-4 nights individually, you might be better off buying the Express passes separately.
I’m looking at doing 3 nights the week of October 21st and doing HHN on 10/21, 10/23, and 10/24. That’s a Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Even just looking at buying two of the nights, I’m saving $16 by getting the Frequent Fear Pass (the lowest pass that includes my dates). The third night is already included.
Note: I actually already bought two nights’ tickets earlier this year when they offered a buy one, get one free deal. So for the price of one ticket, I got two. Buying early is another tip, but not an option right now. It still makes sense to upgrade to the Frequent Fear pass if I want to go a third night though.
What’s NOT cheaper is buying the Frequent Fear pass with Express. It would cost me $10 more to add Express onto the pass than to just buy 3 Express passes, one for each night.
Frequent Fear w/ Express costs $400. Whereas Frequent Fear pass + Express individually for 3 nights only costs $390.
I could upgrade to the Frequent Fear Plus pass and go on the Friday 10/25 night as well. It would definitely still be better to buy the pass instead of two extra tickets (for a total of four). It would also now be better to add Express onto the pass for the four nights than buy individually.
Frequent Fear Plus w/ Express costs $460. Whereas Frequent Fear Plus pass + Express individually for 4 nights costs $500.
I was losing $10 before, but when I up the pass type I’m saving $40 versus buying things separately. This is why it’s important to do the math for various pass types around your dates and wants.
As you add more nights and/or more Express passes, the passes become more useful and cost efficient. It all depends on when you want to go, how many nights you’re going, and really how much you want to spend.
Do I even need Express?
You may not. Personally, I like to have it any time I go so I can go do all the houses each night. So I add it to my pass (if it’s cheaper) or buy it separately. But if you’re going multiple nights (with whatever ticket option you choose), you can go without Express and do a few of the houses each night and see them all eventually. You have to decide how much you’re okay doing each night. If you know you won’t make it all night and be tired after a few houses, don’t mess with Express and do the houses the other night.
Tip: Express passes often go on sale for half off the gate price the night-of an event if there are any left for sale for that night (they are limited). That’s a great option to save money if you want to add it once you’re in the park, but there’s no guarantee that there will be any left to sale and you won’t have a full night to use the Express pass.
If you found this post helpful, please share it out on Instagram and other social media. And leave a comment letting me know what ticket option/express method you prefer!
Are you ready for HHN?