Horror Nights 2018 at Universal Studios Orlando

posted on 11/21/2018

We visited the Universal Studios Orlando during our visit in October 2018. We already been there last year and we usually only go for one day. Because one day is pretty short we always buy their Express Pass. We did anything we wanted to with the Pass but we didn’t get to see the parade and barely met character plus it was pretty stressful. If you want a stress-free day just go with 2 days. 

The previous days, when we were at Disney, it got pretty cold in the evening and I started freezing as soon as the sun was down. So I was really looking forward for this Outfit. I wore my Slytherin school uniform of Hogwarts. This outfit wouldn’t be too hot by day and since we visited the Horror Nights until 1 a.m. it would warm me up by night. 

Well, it was the hottest day and the hottest night. There was not even a breeze at night and I literally turned into a puddle.

Let’s start over again. We bought our tickets in our hotel, because the lines in front of the ticket counter are super long. As we got in we decided against the Express Pass today but the Express Pass for the Horror Nights. The Express Pass for the Horror Nights includes the fast entrance of the houses and fast entrance into the opened attractions like Men in Black, Escape from Gringotts or Revenge of the Mummy. There are two options for the Pass: Either the one which is valid throughout the whole night, which is slightly more expensive or the one which is valid starting at 10 p.m. for the rest of the night.  

As we rode the first attraction, Men in Black (which I really loved) we decided to buy the My Universal Photo Pass. I wasn’t too sure about that one, but I wanted to give it a try. It costs $70 for one day and included all photos digital and 2 print outs in different sizes. After all I would say this pass is not necessary to be completely honest.

We then headed straight into Diagon Alley, because I really wanted to buy my wand. You can either just go into the store or buy whatever you like or you go into the “show” and hope you get chosen. I wanted a wand which chooses me so I tried my luck and went into the show. And I actually got chosen. I had to try out 3 wands and move objects with them. Which was fun for me was probably really boring for others. There are two different kinds of wands: The non-magical, which are just beautiful to look at and the magical ones. If you choose to buy the magical one, you get a map of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. It shows you where and how to move your wand and what to say so something magical would happen. 

Right after I got my wand we rode Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. You walk into the bank and you literally feel like you’re in the movie. The Animatronics look SO real. I loved the ride. It’s a 3D ride and it may be not the best choice for you if you’re motion sick. They don’t have an attraction photo but they create a photo of you in front of a green screen with a goblin.

We then took the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade. For the Express you need access to both parks because Hogwarts and Hogsmeade are at Island of Adventures. Spoiler Alert: The window is a screen and you can see the Weasley twins riding their broomsticks or the car driving through the forbidden forest. Hagrid greets you as you arrive at the train station. But not only is the window a screen but the partition. You can hear Harry, Ron and Hermione and see their shadows. The ride from Hogsmeade to Kings Cross is of course another story so it’s worth to ride both ways. 

As we entered Hogsmeade we really got hungry. We didn’t have breakfast so we ate at Three Broomsticks. Since I wore my uniform I had some amazing interactions. A waiter asked me if I just skipped classes and I should be punctual tomorrow, some Gryffindor booed at me and another one wanted to challenge me with his wand. I had some fish and frites (chips) and a cold butterbeer. 

This day was really empty. I literally just walked through Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (the ride in Hogwarts). This is my favorite ride, but I think it’s really scary for smaller children. We then took a few pics with a My Universal Photos photographer and left Hogsmeade.

I saw a lot of videos online of Blue the raptor. As we were waiting in line I didn’t think this was scary at all, but when it was my turn and I stood next to her it would freak me out. As she tried to nab me I just left. This was too much for my instable nerves.

When we visited Universal Studios last year we didn’t meet any character. We kind of just missed it. This time we met Grinch. Right behind us was Thing 1 and Thing 2 photobombing us and we even ran into Puss in Boots. 

After we rode Hulk (we could stay seated because it was really empty), we headed back to Diagon Alley and as I tried to get an overview about the crowd I spotted Newt Scamander and Queenie Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts. They just got into Leaky Cauldron to eat something. How cool is that, huh?

We had dinner at Moe’s and as we finished the Horror Night already started. While we were eating we could already hear the chainsaws in front of Moe’s and the screams, which is pretty scary. Let me get that straight: I hate horror movies, Clowns and everything horror related. So Mickey‘s Not So-Scary Halloween Party was perfect for me. This was the definition of everything I hate. We had the following houses: 

  • The Horrors of Blumhouse
  • Stranger Things
  • Halloween 4
  • Poltergeist
  • Carnival Graveyard
  • Dead Exposure: Patient Zero
  • Trick’r’Treat
  • Seeds of Extinction
  • Scare Tales Deadly Ever After
  • Slaughter Cinema

 We got into the first two houses and these were real life nightmares for me. The first one was Trick’r’Treat. The theming is pretty cool and all I loved all the details. The scare actors were, well, scary and I literally screamed my way through this house. They showed up out of nowhere.

 The second one was Patient Zero. There wasn’t a lot of theming but flickering lights. First you got blinded, then they stop and someone is right in your face. During the night I kind of got used to it and I didn’t get scared as easily as I did at the beginning. I got told to not show them fear. How the heck can you not show fear when you’re hella scared? 

They don’t have only the houses but scare zones. When it’s bright you can easily see who’s an actor and who’s just another visitor. But you can’t in the dark. One of the scare zones we had was Vamp ’85. It was a vampire high school so they all looked pretty “normal”. I mean you sure can tell in some scare zones who the actor is since some wear awful costumes.

 There is one Horror Night shop which is hidden, but really cool themed. One room was themed as Stranger Things and they even managed to let these particles fly through the air. Speaking of Stranger Things, the queue was awfully long. The longest I witnessed was 180 minutes even though the whole day wasn’t crowded at all. The house was good, the scares not as bad as in the other houses. You walk through the houses of the character and you even meet some of them. 

But my favorite house was Scare Tales Deadly Ever After. Not only did two witches enter the house right in front of us to start their shift, but it was all about twisted fairytales. Rapunzel got all her hair ripped out, the little Mermaid was not even close to nice, the Little Red Riding Hood got eaten.

Right before we decided to leave (which was just before midnight) we wanted to see the Horror Nights show Academy of Villains. This was a dance and action show with a story telling about a group of humans who fight against the deadly robots. 

After all the Express Pass really was necessary for the Horror Nights since we wanted to see every house. The wait times were always around at least 60 minutes. Don’t expect the pass to be a walk through pass. You still have waiting times just not as long as the normal waiting time. The houses were crowded and you literally get pushed through it. You’re not allowed to stop and of course you’re not allowed to touch the actors. You will get banned. Filming and taking pictures is also forbidden. Also don’t wear costumes or masks. It’s also forbidden.

I don’t have to come a second time to Horror Nights this soon, but if you’ve the time and you’re there anyway, attend it. But I advise you to consider buying an Express Pass. Depending on which day you’re going the Pass is more expensive or cheaper.