Inspired by @GhostyBunnie243's amazing guide to a day at Disneyland, I thought I would show you how I got through all of the mazes, experienced the scare-zones and saw a show, in one night at HHN 27, whilst also giving you some tips on what to expect this year!
For this guide, I've compiled my own knowledge as well as information I have found through various sources.
Last year, I took a trip to Florida with my family and we allowed ourselves one night to soak up everything HHN had to offer. At first glance, this seemed impossible however, there are ways you can get around this!
The first and main thing you are going to want to experience at HHN are the mazes. This can vary in difficulty, dependant on crowd level but there are two ways you can get to all the mazes in one night.
1. Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass
This was the method I went with on my trip to HHN and I can't recommend it enough. We through the queues for the mazes in 20 minutes in a queue that would normally take up to 80 minutes. While this seems like the ideal option, these passes can knock you back anywhere from, 79 to 139 dollars pp, depending on the night you go. If you are looking to save that extra money for merchandise or simply don't have it, there is another option.
2. Stay and Scream
Stay and Scream happens just as the park is closing to get ready for HHN that night. You can choose one of four options for this while you wait for the park to get ready. I have taken the following from touringplans.com:
The Springfield section near Fast Food Boulevard features priority access to the first two haunted houses that open each evening. Guests in this area can queue as early as 4 p.m., and are allowed into the two houses with entrances there between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. Guests are released from the area at 6 p.m., and can be the first to queue for the house nearest to the MIB Gear shop. There is a limited selection of food and drink vendors available in this location. Note that on the first two weekends, this area is restricted to annual Passholders who have registered online for an exclusive Passholder event, during which 3 houses are opened as early as 5:30 p.m.
The New York area holding area includes Finnegan's Bar which offers a full liquor bar and table service food, though reservations are virtually impossible to secure between 4 and 7 p.m. Guests here are released around 5:45 p.m., giving them first crack at the soundstage houses.
A small overflow holding area is located in Hollywood near the near the Hello Kitty store. There is no food or beverage available here, but you do get early access to the soundstages.
Finally, Diagon Alley is not a holding area for HHN, but guests with park-to-park daytime tickets may board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station after USF’s closing as long as IOA remains open.
With Stay and Scream, you can knock out up to three houses before the park even opens for general guests. This is a true no-brainer if you are willing to get the park a little bit earlier.
The only confirmed mazes we have so far for Orlando are, Stranger Things, Trick 'r' Treat and Dead Exposure: Patient Zero. You can check updates for these mazes on The Official HHN Twitter or Youtube pages.
Now that you have knocked out a few houses, you can check out the scare-zones! These are very immersive, detailed areas around the park themed to different properties or ideas. In these zones, you can get the scares you would get from a maze while also getting to interact with scareactors that roam the street.
We have no confirmed scare-zones as of yet for 2018. Again, you can check updates for these scare-zones on The Official HHN Twitter or Youtube pages.
HHN have pretty incredible entertainment throughout the course of the night. The fan-favorite, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" played its last show at HHN 27, however, we still have Academy of Villains and presumably a new show in the works as well. Academy of Villains is an intense, 15-minute dance performance that normally takes place outside Mel's Drive-In. This is a show that is not to be missed and the shows keep getting more and more elevated and dynamic each year!
Although I suggest getting food at CityWalk prior to entering the event, there are a few places where you can get food, during the event.
Mel's Drive-In - This usually consists of, Burgers, Fries and Chicken Nuggets. However, at HHN 27 we had a Fiery Onion Ring Burger that was pretty awesome.
Richter's Burger Co - This has the same food as Mels, however last year we had a Chili Garlic Chicken Sandwich that was special for HHN.
KidZone Pizza Co - As the name suggests, this place serves Pizza, but usually serves more interesting items like Pizza Fries and a Cheesesteak Sandwich.
Louie's Italian Restaurant - Here you can get fresh calzones with marinara sauce, sausage, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese, topped with melted butter and garlic.
Various Food Tents - These vary every year, but usually the staple foods are: Twister Taters, Bavarian Salted Pretzels, Hot Dogs, Funnel Cake Puffs, Mixed and Frozen Drinks.
If you are looking for something more substantial while offering a great experience and photo opportunities try Scareactor dining. This is going to be an all-you-care-to-eat character dining with some of the icons from the mazes that year. This is $49.99 pp and happens before the event. The menu tends to stay similar but this was the menu from 2015:
Entree salads: Spring Mix, Romaine/Iceberg, Potato Salad, Bowtie Pasta Salad Crudites: a variety of cheese and fresh vegetables Entrees: oven-roasted rosemary pork, slow-roasted beef striploin, rotisserie chicken, pasta puttanesca, grilled chicken marsala Sides: mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, mixed vegetables, broccoli, corn on the cob Desserts: warm peach cobbler, warm bread pudding, chocolate layer cake, strawberry cheesecake, key lime cheesecake
Again, this may change for 2018
Now that we have gone over all the main information, we can delve into some of the tips for 2018!
1. Be Early (If you don't have an express pass)
As previously mentioned, you are going to want to be as early as possible to catch that stay and scream! This will ensure you knock out 3 of the houses before the park even opens to general guests.
2. Choose accordingly
HHN is a very busy event and the day that you attend may affect your experience, positively or negatively. Below is a list of expected crowd levels on each night of the event:
Most recommended days to attend Halloween Horror Nights
September: 15, 16, 20, 23
October: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18
Medium crowd days to attend Halloween Horror Nights
September: 14, 21, 22, 30
October: 5, 7, 14, 24
November: 2, 3
Most crowded days to attend Halloween Horror Nights
September: 28, 29
October: 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31
3. Be statistical (If you don't have an express pass)
The houses tend to have varied wait times and if you tackle this in the right way you can knock out all of the houses without having an Express pass. A few ways you can do this is by using various wait time apps, structuring your time and using common sense. The house that will have a guaranteed long wait every night is Stranger Things. If you really want to do this house, try knocking it out during Stay and Scream or getting it at the start of the evening.
I would like to thank you if you made it this far! I hope this helped someone who is possibly attending the event this year. I'm sure you will have a blast!