Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights

The only thing more terrifying than the traffic in Los Angeles is Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual Halloween Horror Nights. I can only speak to my escapades at the event on the attractions I was able to fit into the night, and wish I could’ve done more! But alas, after 10 miles of walking and 6 hours of standing in line, there’s only so much scariness you can experience, so come prepared knowing what attractions you’d like to prioritize.

Mazes, creatures called “scare-actors” (which you can read about a first-person encounter in performing as one, here) which chase you, aggressively bearing chainsaws, and intense scare zones areas are waiting to terrorize you at this event. Each year, Universal Studios changes the lineup of their offerings so that you can go every year with something new to try. This attraction is a classic Los Angeles experience and the theatrics involved in the production of this event is iconically Hollywood-esque.

The main attractions at Halloween Horror Nights include a variety of well produced mazes and rides located all around the park. It can be tricky because there’s absolutely no way you can do every attraction during peak times on a Saturday night during Halloween season. Even if you arrive to the park when the gates open around 6/7pm and stay all the way until 2am there’s just not enough time. Be sure to come prepared and with a plan of action, on where you’d like to go and what you’d like to prioritize doing.

Don’t want to mess with the dead horsemen

We started off the night with the “Ghostbusters” maze. It was a solid mix of humor and spookiness… This maze located all the way on the far end of the park from the entrance and to get there you must walk through a tunnel full of terrifying monsters. The journey is almost as scary as the destination.

Speaking of scariness- LINES. Strategically plan out your plan for waiting in lines. We went through the “Walking Dead” maze and the “Stranger Things” maze, after looking at the billboards located around the park that show wait times. There’s an app you can download to your phone that shows each attraction’s wait time in real time. Both mazes were equally disturbing in substance, but the wait times weren’t too bad since we strategically planned out when we would do them.

Another strategy for beating the line is the “single rider” trick. Conner, Monique and I split up to ride “Jurassic World” and made it through the 100 minute line in less than 15 minutes as “single riders.” Although I do enjoy the opportunity to sit close to them, I also appreciate the chance to cut 85 minutes off my time standing in line by riding as a single rider and just waiting for them at the end of the ride. P.S.- you WILL get wet on this ride. That was one thing I was not expecting, and only moderately prepared for…

If you get too scared at any point in the night, take a break in Simpsons Land. It’s hard to be scared when you’re surrounded by enormous pink donuts and a montage of entertaining cartoons running on a loop.

Halloween Horror Nights 2019 take place on select evenings from September 13th – November 3rd. If you live in the Greater LA area and would like a good scare, definitely make the investment in visiting the park for the evening to experience the theatrics.

Remember to plan out what you’d like to do ahead of arriving, download the app to check line times, and try to put on a brave face when someone inevitably charges you with a chainsaw! 😉

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