If you’re new to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida, you might be wondering just what to expect at this annual celebration of scares. For 26 years, this event has taken over the theme park after-hours throughout the fall season. It draws fans of the genre from around the United States and around the world. They converge on the park to be terrorized in haunted houses and scare zones, with breaks in between for ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure’ and other shows.

If you’d like to know what Halloween Horror Nights is all about and whether this event is for you, the list below should help.

It shares the three top things of you should expect if you visit Universal Studios Florida during the haunt season and decide to purchase tickets for the event.

Halloween Horror Nights draws a massive crowd

Halloween Horror Nights is an extremely popular event, made even more so by the addition of popular movie and TV properties like "The Walking Dead" and "American Horror Story." It’s always drawn big crowds, and they’re increased in recent years. That means long lines for the haunted houses, but fortunately Universal Studios Florida offers a few ways to avoid the worst of it. The most common is the Express Pass, which allows you to use a shorter line for each of the haunted houses. It’s sold in limited quantities and, even though the Express Lines still mean that you’ll wait, they’re significantly shorter than the standby lines that swell to an hour (or two, or more).

If you want the ultimate experience, choose an RIP Tour. This VIP experience provides you with a guide who takes you right to the front of every line, with zero wait.

Scares take over Universal Studios Florida

You won’t avoid the scares at Halloween Horror Nights if you don’t go in the haunted houses because they’re out in the streets of Universal Studios Florida, too.

With five scare zones scattered all around the park, you’ll have a hard time avoiding potential terror, whether it’s a chainsaw wielding maniac, a ghost of the lost fishing crew of the Annabel Lee, a bloodthirsty vampire, or event icon Chance herself. Diagon Alley is just about the only safe zone in the park. Otherwise, beware!

If you’re brave enough to face the nine haunted houses, you’ll experience scares tightly packed in confined areas where you can’t avoid them. While the crowds mean you typically go through in a conga line of other guests, the scareactors are still good at giving lots in individual attention with their jump scares and other antics.

Drinking at Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights is an adult-oriented event. As such, in addition to the intensity of the terror, it also features bars all around the park, including in the queue lines, which makes it convenient to quaff your thirst whether you’re walking around or enduring a long wait. The alcohol consumption means that some people will inevitably imbibe a little too much, so be aware of the potential for rowdy drunken antics at Universal Studios Florida during the event.

Fortunately, security is tight, so any troublemakers who go too far are escorted from the park. Universal also takes underage drinking various seriously, so don’t even bother to try.

Halloween Horror Nights has its own character that changes a bit with each year as the icon, themes, and other details change, but certain characteristics like the three listed above always remain the same. When you visit Universal Studios Florida in the fall and attend the event, you’ll be part of the massive crowd enjoying scares and bars in one of the best party atmospheres of the year.

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