I mentioned in a post over on the WDW board that I’m heading down to Orlando on a very impulsive and very short visit to see all things spooky. The main part of my trip is at Universal, and I’ll be staying for two nights at Dockside before heading over to spend a third night at Disney after MNSS. Arriving Oct 2 and coming home on Oct 5.
My husband no longer likes to travel. He gets REALLY grumpy. It’s not the parks, or the events, or anything like that, but just the hassle that almost always comes with travelling. Getting to the airport early, the whole boarding process, checking into the hotel etc, it just puts him off. That’s perfectly fine, and I have gotten accustomed to traveling solo or with just my kids. Sometimes my mom comes, but she’s a hard no on the halloween stuff. She did like Boo Bash at Disney last year, but I think HHN is a bit more intense I like traveling alone because I can do what I want to do, eat where I want to eat, etc.
I’m SO EXCITED about HHN. I love haunted houses. I love halloween. I love the horror genre. I LOVE that they are having a 1920’s speakeasy themed house with flapper witches (I’m probably going to go through it multiple times if I have time…) But I am a little nervous about going alone to this one. Afterall, it’s even the tagline for the event LOL! I’m afraid that it’s not going to be fun by myself. But it’s that or don’t see it. Has anyone ever gone by themselves and survived? Is safety a concern as a solo woman? I’ve never felt unsafe at the parks, but I’m mildly nervous about this one.
And with the negativity out of the way, what fun tips/not to miss items are there? HHN is the only seasonal event I haven’t experienced yet, so aside from the Youtube videos I have no idea what to expect. I have four houses at the top of my list, and the two shows. Of course I’ll do more than the four houses if I have time, and I’m all about food booths/trucks at these kinds of events. I am thinking of doing Stay and Scream since I’ll be in the park anyway, but I also kind of want to see the opening “scaremonies.” Does anyone have an opinion on that one way or the other?
Thanks for chatting with me about it! I’m getting very excited as the dates get closer!
I never have until now, either! I always have someone to come with me to our local haunts. It didn’t bother me at first, but the more I plan and sit and think about it, the more I’m like “Is this the best thing to do by myself?” LOL I’m sure it’ll be fine. What could go wrong, as they say
I’ve spent time wandering alone during HHN and it was fine… definitely easier to get better spots at shows. There are a lot of people who go alone, despite the tagline.
4 houses and 2 shows isn’t too ambitious, even for a Saturday in October but if you want to be able to do much more than that definitely stay and scream. Opening scaremonies really isn’t that exciting, especially because you’re packed into a big crowd (think the RD crowd at HS, but in a much smaller space), and it’s full daylight. It’s more exciting to be to be able to be through 2 houses already by the time the front gate crowd gets past the front scare zone (which isn’t scary yet because it’s daytime).
Welcome to the club! I’ve been taking solo trips to Universal this year and loving it. I can go at my pace, which is “high gear” and not deal with my picky eaters!
There’s so much to take in that you can be constantly distracted! You can do a Trip Report too! We love following along with you.
Being solo means you can get in & out of everything and Single Rider queues are a godsend!
My daughter is 20. I would feel ok with her walking around solo. (CityWalk and the theme parks are a better area than her off-campus apartment!)
It’s well lit and there are so many other people around, including security, that you are rarely not in a herd of people.
This is my first HHN as well! I’ll be there mid-Sept for 8 nights / 8 days! The first 3.5 days I’ll be solo and then my DD20 will be joining mid-week!
I totally get what you mean about the opening event! After much research, it seems better to be in the S&S area to get a jump start on the houses. Seems like you can get 2 houses done before most people even get in the park. We get to go four nights so I’m debating if it might be worth it on a week night.
I’ve had the twisted tater at the Mardi Gras festival. It was awful…worst thing I’ve ever had in any theme park. They even remade it and it was still dry cardboard!
I will definitely get whatever drink comes in a “blinky” cup! I love collecting cups for my shelf!
I’m looking forward to the two shows! I think my daughter is going to love Nightmare Fuel!
If you want to see the Ghoulish lagoon show do it the first night the weather permits! You can never tell if the rain will come the next night or not!!
I would not say the open scaremonies are worth going out of your way. You’ll see those same characters roaming the park later. It’s like a 60 second thing with the characters at the front gates…not like an actual show or anything. Better to be in the fenced in area for the houses you want to start for early and walk thru the scarezones for a much better character interaction. I was gonna do this alone last year and joined a VIP tour but then a friend came along. If it’s in your budget a VIP tour (not a private one but a group one) is a good way to not really be alone. As far as being alone going thru the houses, I think that’s fine. It’s not like you can talk to your friends/family when you’re in there. So unless it’s you need to hold their hand for security you’ll be alright. I will say there was one haunted house last time that spooked the bejesuz out of me (Hill House one from the Netflix show). It’s not the macabre sites that did it to me. It was the mindfrack they did. There was this one room where it was literally pitch black. You could not see a thing and they did some kind of projection thing with the Nell ghosts voice. It literally sounded like she was talking in my left ear and right next to me. My heart jumped so hard. My friend grabbed from behind and we slowly but as quickly as possible got the heck out of that room. If they find a way to accomplish something like that again, it’ll be nice if you can grab a tour guide LOL!
As far as touring strategy goes, my suggestion is to be in the stay and scream area for the back of the park, and do the lesser-known houses first. The original houses in the back take awhile before any lines build, but the IP houses and the ones right up front build lines very quickly.
Last year they had people lining up in the “Central Park” area along the water going back to Springfield, and we were allowed to go get food in Springfield as well. We were released and probably 80% of the people headed for kids section where there were entrances to 2 of the bigger named houses, but we went the other way, towards Men In Black where there are original houses and did everything there with no lines. We had similar results in 2019 (when they had the stay and scream just sort of corralled into the Springfield area).
When we’ve done the front stay and scream our results have varied, based on whether there was a majorly popular house or not. Both times they had a Stanger Things house that was what everyone went to first, and in 2018 they actually let people form a line for it will before 6:00… all the rest of the middle area houses had no lines right away. Last year was a little different in the front because there were no really big names there so the stay and scream crowd spread out more evenly.
One thing I will say is that if you have Express don’t even use it for the first few out of the stay and scream… save it to use in the middle part of the event when the lines for everything get long. Occasionally in the early parts of the event we saw the line for Express get longer than the regular line just because the regular line was so short.
And be prepared for A LOT more walking than you’re used to in a theme park. Nearly all of the queues are in backstage areas, and the houses are a well, but the entrances are all in the park proper. You don’t seem to notice it as much when you’re going in to a house, especially if there’s a line, but then iit’s a hike to get back to the entrances… you might find yourself annoyed as you backtrack past where you just came in.
I did the Hollywood one too and it didn’t have that. Orlando won last year. But Hollywood got me in 2019 in Stranger Things. One of those plant things came out of the vaulted ceiling at least 6 feet above me to within an inch of my face in 1 second flat. Universal does a fantastic job on both coasts with this event. It’s truly one of a kind but 10 haunted houses in one night is a lot!
Last time we went, my mom took the kids to Wizarding World and I wanted to ride the Mummy, which my kids won’t ride, not even my daughter who is named Evelyn/Evie (I did not do that consciously, but suffice to say I love that movie.) I started to go through the regular queue and the team member yelled after me to get my attention. They told me I should go through the single rider because there would be no wait at all, whereas a 20 minute wait in the regular queue. I just walked right on because of how the cars are designed, they need people to fill in the extra seats. Now last week we went to Cedar Point and I was a single rider on Steel Vengeance- again, a ride none of my family will ride, and I had an express pass for it- I got into my car and the ride operater spent considerable time shouting “Is there another single rider? We need one solo rider. Anyone can fill this seat? Party of one?” I’m sure there was another single rider somewhere in line, but too far back. I wish more theme parks would implement this idea!
Oh no! I’m sad that you didn’t like it. We got twisted taters at Mardi Gras and loved them! I think it goes back to that statement in another thread that the food can be very inconsitent. I think it helped that ours were fried right when we ordered them, so they were very fresh. I’ve heard some people say they got one from under a heat lamp and it wasn’t good. The best thing I’ve had is the moon pie from Mardi Gras; that was surprising. I also liked that ube ice cream bubble waffle, also surprising! I’m hoping there will be more fun food surprises.
I love shows, and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the version they had last year.
That’s a good list. I think your 3 andd 4 are my close 5 and 6 (they are the first ones I’ll do if I have time after my initial 4.)