Universal Studios Hollywood 2021 Halloween Horror Nights Planning Guide

Celebrating Halloween at Universal Studios Hollywood is a much different experience than Halloween time at Disneyland. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal are hugely popular with tickets selling out every year. If you're looking for a more traditional Halloween scare this season, heading to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal is your best bet.

Keep reading for information on party event dates, costs, entertainment information, and tricks on navigating the crowds!

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Halloween Horror Nights 2021 Event DatesUniversal Halloween Horror Night

Halloween Horror Nights begin in the beginning of September and run on varying nights until early November. Your ticket cost will depend on which date you select for your visit with cheaper tickets being available earlier and later in the season. You also have the option of selecting passes to enjoy multiple nights of spooky fun.

You need to purchase tickets for both the Halloween Horror Nights and the Halloween Horror Nights Express passes directly through Universal Studios Hollywood. Tickets usually go on sale every year around August. If you purchase your ticket on Universal Studios Hollywood's website you can get early entry into the evening with your ticket so I recommend buying them in advance.

Even though we can't help with discounts on Halloween Horror Nights, we can help with discount tickets for regular park admission to Universal Studios Hollywood! Be sure to read our discount ticket guide here to make sure you're getting the best price for your day at Universal.

*We will update with the 2021 dates when we have them, for now you can look at the past year's event dates to get an idea of how to plan for this upcoming Halloween!

This year is Universal's First Ever Fan Preview Night

“Halloween Horror Nights” Fan Preview

The first ever fan preview for Halloween Horror Nights will be on September 12th, one day before the event officially begins. This will give guests a  chance to be among the first to explore 10 terrifying new mazes, special themed photo ops with scare-actors, DJ music performances, plus receive a special commemorative credential, in addition to possibly seeing favorite celebrities attending the event’s red carpet premiere which takes place that same evening.

Guests have the following options for the Fan Preview Night:

  • Fan Preview Night General Admission: $69 per person
  • Fan Preview Night with Universal Express: $179
  • Fan Preview Night Admission + Frequent Fear Pass for up to 26 nights: $199

Preview night tickets along with select tickets to “Halloween Horror Nights” are available for purchase here.

Here are the 2019 event dates for Halloween Horror Nights:

September 13-15, 19-22, 26-29

October 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31

November 1-3, 2019.

Ticket Options and Pricing Information

You have a few options when it comes to experiencing Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The Halloween Horror Nights regular ticket is separate from regular park admission and if bought online in advance can get you into Universal by 4pm. I recommend not purchasing a separate park admission ticket for the day unless you only have one day to spend at Universal and want to experience the regular day time rides and entertainment. The price of the regular ticket varies based on the date chosen and ranges from $66-77 per person.

Guests also have the option of purchasing a ticket with Halloween Horror Nights Universal Express Pass. This is similar to the same Express Pass that is sold during regular park admission. Express Pass at Universal works similar to how FastPass does at Disneyland for an additional cost. Guests who purchase the Express Pass get to use a shorter and lower wait line for attractions and entertainment. The Express pass for Halloween Horror Nights is valid for the mazes, rides, and includes priority seating to some of the live shows offered.

Due to the opening of the new rethemed Jurassic World- The Ride, guests can purchase a General Admission + Special Universal Express that gives you access to Halloween Horror Nights and a one time express access to the new ride. This ticket ranges from $67 – $77.

Universal also offers an After 2.pm. Day/Night Combo ticket which allows guests to enter the park at 2pm rather than at 5pm. This is a good choice for guests that want to experience the daytime attractions that won't be available during Halloween Horror Nights.

Universal Studios Pass Members should also check their pass for benefits which may include one free ticket to Halloween Horror Nights on select dates.

Head to Universal's website here to purchase tickets. Remember- purchasing online gives you the option of early entry at 5pm-otherwise the event traditionally begins at 7pm.

Frequent Fear PassesHalloween Horror Night with Clown

The Frequent Fear Passes for Halloween Horror Nights allows guests to visit more than once and bundle their days to save money.

There are a few different options for the Frequent Fear Passes that allow guests to visit multiple times, or every event, throughout the season.

September Pass

  • $109 per person
  • Good for up to 11 nights in September

Frequent Fear Pass

  • $179 per person
  • Allows guests to pick any night for their first visit and revisit up to 21 times on select dates

Ultimate Fear Pass

  • $299 per person
  • Guests can visit any night for first visit and attend every night of Halloween Horror Nights

Read more about Fear Passes and how to purchase on Universal's website here.

Tour Options for Halloween Horror NightsRIP Tour Halloween Horror Nights

Guests can also opt for a VIP walking experience called the R.I.P. Tour which includes:

  • Universal Express Unlimited access to all mazes and available rides
  • Complimentary valet parking (one vehicle)
  • VIP entrance to event
  • Reserved VIP seating for Jabbawockeez
  • Private VIP trolley transportation to Backlot mazes and Terror Tram
  • Exclusive interactive behind-the-scenes experiences such a “Stranger Things” experience with themed photo ops, props from the Netflix series and scare actor makeup demonstration.
  • Gourmet buffet dinner, which features foods themed around “Stanger Things,” such as Upside Down Sliders.
  • Two complimentary drinks
  • Access to two lounges — a “Stranger Things” lounge and a lower lot lounge.
  • R.I.P. credentials

Similar to the daytime VIP tours at Universal each tour consists of up to 12 guests per tour. If you're looking to splurge on your Halloween Horror Nights experience, this is the best way to do it.

Halloween Horror Nights MazesImage result for stranger things universal maze

Mazes are the main form of entertainment for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. This is where you can expect many guests to go first thing upon entry. If you want to beat the lines, heading to the mazes open for early entry at 5pm is a great way to get a jump start on some of the most popular options offered.

This year's 2019 mazes that have been announced are…

Stranger Things

The debut of this popular tv show's maze in 2018 was a big hit with guests averaging lines for nearly three hours on some nights just to experience the Stranger Things maze! This year's Halloween Horror Nights have confirmed the return of the popular Stranger Things maze that will continue the story from last year's maze along with including details from season 2 and season 3 of the Netflix series. The story of the maze imitates that of the series with the maze taking guests on a visit to Hawkins, Indiana. It's up to friends of a missing boy to find him when he goes missing near a government facility as they come across flesh-eating creatures along the way.

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

This classic spin featuring monsters from the 1943 Universal Studios horror flick are teaming up to wreak havoc since their escape of the 2018 Universal Monsters maze. This maze is completely new for 2019 and features classic monsters from previous years Universal Monsters mazes.

Holidaze in Hell

Another new maze for this year's Halloween Horror Nights will focus on holidays with a scary twist as guests will see warped and creepy version of Cupid, leprechauns, a killer Easter bunny, mutant turkeys, and other spooky spins on holidays.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

This brand new maze features the crazed klowns from the Killer Klowns from Outer Space movie. If clowns terrify you on most normal days of the year then you may want to avoid this Killer Klown inspired maze from the popular movie.

Halloween Horror Nights

Rob Zombie’s twisted “House of 1000 Corpses”inspired mazes that feature the movie's roadside tourist attraction Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen and will introduce guests to the country's most famous serial killers, including Dr. Satan, the demented surgeon from the movie. Guests will get to explore the home of the Firefly family and meet the victims of Dr. Satan's operations.


The CreepShow maze is inspired by the 1982 movie directed by George Romero, and the all-new series, debuting on Shudder’s streaming service. Guests are invited to step into the anthology’s comic book pages to experience five terrible tales of terror guided by The Creep, the skeletal namesake of the comic book.

“I’ve partnered with Universal Studios Hollywood and ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ for years and it’s a thrill to bring ‘Creepshow’ to life for the fans as part of this year’s iconic event,” said Greg Nicotero. “I consider myself honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside George Romero and many other groundbreaking filmmakers who have inspired me. So to be able to create a television show based on the Creepshow movie, and then see it come to life as a ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ maze is a great way to pay tribute to this legendary filmmaker and introduce this incredible anthology series to a fans old and new.”

The five frightening fables featured in the maze include:

  •  “Father’s Day” – Years ago Nathan Grantham, the cruel patriarch of the wealthy Grantham family, was murdered by his long-suffering daughter on Father’s Day. Now Nathan’s maggot-infested corpse has risen from the grave to take revenge on his inheritors…and finally claim his Father’s Day cake.
  •  “The Crate” – An unlucky janitor finds a long-forgotten shipping crate under the stairs of a science hall in a small east coast college. Little does he know, the crate contains a ravenous beast that’s been hibernating for over a hundred years…and it’s just woken up.
  • “They’re Creeping Up On You” – Eccentric billionaire Upson Pratt lives in a hermetically sealed “germ proof” penthouse apartment in Manhattan but he still has a bug problem. When a citywide blackout cuts his power, Mr. Pratt’s pest problem is about to get a whole lot worse.
  • “Gray Matter” – Ritchie Grenadine, an alcoholic former factory worker, unknowingly ingests a strange mutagen after guzzling a can of cheap beer. Now an alien fungus has taken over his rundown apartment and his body…creating in him an insatiable hunger that can’t be quenched by his favorite ale.
  •  “Bad Wolf Down” – The surviving members of a decimated American army platoon in the North of France during World War II are holed up in a small village jail awaiting the German army to overwhelm them. The clever lot, however, have an ace up their sleeve that the German’s won’t expect; the men are all werewolves and tonight is a full moon.

The Walking DeadImage result for walking dead maze universal hollywood

This maze has been so popular that it is now a year round offered attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood and will be open for Halloween Horror Nights. This maze features a walk through all centered around the television show The Walking Dead with bloody and gore filled zombies jumping out at you.

Expect more mazes to be announced as we get closer to September!

Halloween Horror Nights EntertainmentAlbum cover image of Jabbawockeez

The main entertainment show at Halloween Horror Nights features Jabbawockeez for a live stage show. This show features amazing choreography, special effects, and Halloween humor. If you've purchased the ticket with the Universal Express Pass, you can get priority seating for this show.

If not, it's typically easier to get a good spot later in the night so you can spend the first half of your evening focusing on the popular mazes.

To get an idea of what this live entertainment group can do, watch this video here:

Halloween Horror Nights Terror TramTerror Tram at Universal Studios Hollywood

Each year Halloween Horror Nights features a newly themed Terror Tram which is essentially the Studio Tour tram that takes guests to a special scare zone area in the Backlot. The tram itself is part of the experience and takes about 30 minutes to ride.

(Insert this year's theme when announced)

Because of the use of the tram for the Terror Tram, the regular Studio Tour does not operate during Halloween Horror Nights.

Halloween Horror Nights Scare Zones

The scare zones are similar to the mazes but are smaller and in more contained areas of Universal. The scare zones are just as popular as the mazes and are must to complete once you've finished the mazes you're interested in.

Monster Masquerade

This scare zone is inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Phantom of the Opera. This Monster Masquerade ball takes guests down the foggy streets of old Paris and straight into “The Danse of the Dead.”

Trick ‘r Treat

This scare zone is based on the horror movie from Michael Dougherty and features each of the film’s spooky stories  that focus on vampires, zombies, werewolves, and a vengeful little creature named Sam who wreaks havoc on those who don’t follow the rules of Halloween.

Hell’s Harvest

This scare zone has a theme of a scary pagan harvest when dark magic was used to bring sinister dolls to life with the use of human sacrifices.

Toxxic Tunnel

Experience underground tunnels where the remains of an industrial accident has created toxic and radioactive monsters looking for revenge.

Halloween Horror Night Treats and SouvenirsRelated image

You can expect to find an abundance of Horror Nights themed treats and souveniers at Universal Studios Hollywood when you visit.

The popularity of Stranger Things and the inclusion of this new show into the maze lineup has also brought out a large line of Stranger Things souvenirs to purchase during Halloween Horror Nights.

As for food, not all dining options will be available during Halloween Horror Nights since some areas are off limits to guests attending the event. Here are your choices for available dining during the event:

  • Hollywood and Dine
  • Plaza Grill
  • Starbucks Upper Lot
  • Mel's Diner
  • Krusty Burger
  • Cletus Chicken Shack
  • Luigi's Pizza
  • Moe's Tavern
  • Lard Lad's Donut
  • Panda Express
  • Jurassic Cafe
  • Studio Scoop
  • Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck

You can find Halloween themed treats like decorated doughnuts, Blood Bags with red drinks inside, zombie themed churros, Halloween cupcakes and cookies, and more. You will also find plenty of pop up carts in the upper and lower lots offering themed food for the event.

Halloween Horror Nights Frequently Asked QuestionsUniversal Maze with Jason

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and our answers to make sure you show up prepared.

What age range is best for Halloween Horror Nights?

I wouldn't recommend Halloween Horror Nights for anyone under the age of 13. But that's just a recommendation- your teenager may not be into horror and get terrified at some of the mazes. When experiencing the thrills at Halloween Horror Nights, it's common for scare actors to jump out at guests and if you don't think your teenager would enjoy that then you may not want to attend.

Halloween Horror Nights are popular with locals though ranging from teenager to adults so you can expect to see large crowds at these events. I personally would leave the smaller kids at home! Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

How can I beat the crowds?

Your best starting point for beating the crowds at Halloween Horror Nights is to purchase your ticket online from Universal in advance which will give you an early entry of 5pm- two hours prior to the official even starting time. Not all mazes are open at that time but the most popular ones tend to be allowing you to cross those off your list early.

We also recommend heading to the mazes first and saving some of the lower wait entertainment for later in the evening. If you're really worried about crowds, you can always buy the ticket with the Universal Express Pass to ensure lower wait times for your group.

Make sure you download the Universal Studios app so you can check current wait times for the mazes and scare zones during the event.

Which attractions are open during the event?

Not all Universal Studios Hollywood daytime attractions and areas are open during this event. These areas and rides will be closed to guests attending Halloween Horror Nights, even if they try to enter for early entry:

  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • Studio Tour
  • Regular shows/entertainment like Animal Actors, Waterworld, etc.

The attractions that are open for guests looking to get a break from the frightful activities are:

  • Transformers 3-D
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Jurassic World
  • The Simpsons Ride

If you don't want to miss out on the rides that aren't open during Halloween Horror Nights, you may want to consider purchasing a regular daytime ticket too.

What are the rules for attending Universal's Halloween Horror Nights? Can I wear a costume?

No masks, costumes, or items that resemble weapons are allowed. No face paint is allowed although guests can get spooky face paint done during the event.

There are also rules for the mazes that state guests cannot record, take flash photos, bring laser pens or food/water into the maze. Most mazes are wheelchair and ECV accessible, contact Universal for more information on access.

You are not allowed to touch or harm the actors or line jump during the event.

There is no-entry into the event so bring everything you need inside with you when you enter. This is especially important for guests to remember- no dipping out for a quick dinner on City Walk! You won't be allowed back in, no exceptions.

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