I've been attending Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando for a long time. The first one I ever attended was Horror Nights 3. It's safe to say that both the event and Danielle have come a long way. For some unexplained reason I'm no longer afraid, gone are the days of me burying my face in the back of whoever I'm there with, and thankfully gone are the days of me literally running into walls in fear. In 2019 me and my friend (who is also my boss) Eric decided we were going to go to Horror Nights and we had such a blast that a tradition was born! This year being the 30th anniversary of the event I knew I had to go and Eric was on board so on a Thursday night in September donning shirts I made we headed out for a night of spooky fun!
One of the reasons Eric and I make good Horror Nights buddies is that we both hate waiting in line so I will tell you that if you are heading to Horror Nights for one night only the Express Pass is the key. I will also tell you that it is pricey so if you think you will be able to head out several times the Frequent Fear pass may be the more cost effective way to go for you. Armed with our express pass and a game plan we were ready to take on the night. Another reason we are a good Horror Nights fit is that we easily agreed on our must see houses and preliminary direction we would head when entering the park.
On this particular evening it rained - A LOT and we got soaked but two of the houses that topped our must see list were Beetlejuice and the Haunting of Hill House. These houses didn't disappoint. Slight spoiler - I got very dizzy entering the Beetlejuice house but it wore off in a couple of seconds. The Haunting of Hill House was pretty impressive, when we entered my jaw dropped and I will just leave it at that. I thought that I would be able to put together a list of favorite houses but I have to tell you this year I had a hard time picking a clear cut favorite. I thought Texas Chainsaw Massacre was too short, I thought Revenge of The Tooth Fairy was beyond clever and really fun, HHN Icons Captured was everything I wanted it to be, full of nostalgia from Horror Nights past. There was no clear favorite I loved all ten houses for different reasons. That's right we were able to complete all ten houses with very little trouble. We also caught the first showing of the Halloween Nightmare Fuel show which was really good, the fire dancer was my favorite and we hopped on a couple of rides with zero wait. We stopped to eat Buffalo Chicken sandwiches and browsed the Tribute Store.
The Tribute Store is so cool, full of HHN history and busts of the icons from the past. I can't wait to go back during the day and really explore, we went into the store late and it was a little crowded so we took it all in but I was sweaty and wet so I didn't get all the good pictures I want to get. Of course if you've been to HHN before you might be thinking "Danielle, you left out the scare zones" no way! I am simply saving the best for last.
The scare zones are my favorite! I love going through and getting photos, watching people get scared, following the story of the area and just taking it all in. We would just pick a spot and stand for several minutes, watching, snapping pictures, basically in awe of it all. I didn't love the Seek and Destroy zone mostly because I feel helmets are less scary then chainsaws and scare actors who talk to you and are oozing some kind of goo but all of the others were incredible.
We got in the car at the end of the night having done like 20,000 steps, we were sweaty, we were rain soaked, our legs and feet hurt and yet before we were even out of the parking garage we were discussing our plan for next year. Heading out to Horror Nights with Eric might be one of my most favorite spooky time traditions and I can't wait to do it again. Have you been to Horror Nights? I'd love to hear your favorite house or experience, past or present! Here's to 30 more years of fear Horror Nights!