Is Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights Too Scary for Your Kids?

Our theme park expert gives some insight into the event so you can decide if it is right for your family

If your kids are into a bit of tricks along with their treats this spooky season, you may be considering a visit to the annual Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood. Select nights each fall leading up to Halloween, the theme parks known for adorable Minions and Harry Potter-fueled lands evoke a sinister feel. You’ll find everything from immersive haunted houses to roaming ghouls—all brought to you by the creative minds behind one of the biggest entertainment giants in the world. 

Halloween Horror Nights has evolved to include many interpretations of the horror genre, from classic franchises, like “Halloween,” to current pop culture phenomenons, like this year’s “Stranger Things,” further widening its mainstream appeal and sparking interest in younger horror fans. 

Tickets can set a family back several hundred dollars, so it’s only natural to be hesitant before taking that financial leap. Is now the right time to summon your budding horror enthusiast into your scream squad at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights? Let’s break down the event.

What is Halloween Horror Nights?

people scared at Universal Halloween Horror Nights

It’s first important to understand exactly what the event is. Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed after-hours event that takes over the entire theme park—meaning it’s just about impossible to avoid the scares once you step foot inside. ‘Ghosts’ may be lurking in the shadows as night falls and a thick fog (albeit fake) descends upon the entire park. While it may sound frightening, the event carries a party-like atmosphere throughout. 

Its cornerstone is a collection of immersive haunted houses based on iconic intellectual properties and original storylines dreamt up by Universal’s creative team. These large-scale walk-through attractions are akin to actual movie sets and feature intricate detailing, props, and of course, live scare actors waiting around every turn. This year features houses from beloved major franchises, including “Stranger Things,” “Chucky,” and “The Exorcist.”

Another major element is its scare zones, highly themed areas that guests must walk through and encounter live scare actors as they move through the various sections of the theme park. Live entertainment and themed food and beverage are the most approachable offerings for the horror hesitant and round out the event.

Who is Halloween Horror Nights for?

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

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