Planning Halloween Horror Nights 2019


#1

My son and daughter have been patiently waiting for my son to reach the age of 21 so that they can go to HHN and enjoy some liquid refreshments. My son is 21 in December this year so I have started to plan a trip for September 2019. My plan is stay at the Hard Rock from 17 to 24 September 2019. For the time being I have booked a Club room directly with the hotel for USD 2559.33. 3 park unlimited tickets sell on the UK site for £254 each (we are in the UK) so USD 990 for 3 adults. The total cost of the hotel and tickets is USD 3549.33. This is cheaper than booking a vacation package directly on Universal’s US site by about £100.

The HHN tickets for 2019 are not available yet (obviously) but if I use the price of the vacation package this year as a guide, the HHN vacation package from Universal comes to about USD 5422 of which the HHN ticket and express pass element is about USD899.97.

So if I buy the HHN tickets and express pass separately when they are released, I am looking at a total price of about USD4,449.30, so almost USD 1000 cheaper than the Universal Vacation package.

This sounds too good to be true…am I missing something obvious here?
Is there a ‘best time’ to book for this event?


#2

I think if I was going to be there for that many days I would get a HHN pass that allows for multiple visits and forget about the express pass.


#3

That is a thought. I even wondered about buying an annual pass. With the cost of parking it may save me money.


#4

If you’re going early enough in the Halloween season (which it sounds like you are), you should be able to get a Rush of Fear pass, so you can just go every night you’re there and take it easy.


#5

I thought that an AP may avoid the parking fee at HR but it doesn’t. :triumph:However, for some reason only known to Disney, UK and Ireland guests don’t have to pay parking charges at Disney resorts until December 2019.


#6

Mr. Dragon, here’s how you do the HHN 2019 planning:
Treat the HHN ticket independently. Don’t buy it as part of any package. Since you are planning to go in Sep 2019, plan to buy the Rush of Fear pass + Express. Based on this year’s price, that will cost you about $325 USD. It will get you into HHN every night in September and you will have an Express pass every night. But it won’t get you into the park during daytime. By the way, the week you are planning will be a good one in terms of daytime crowds. For HHN, Express is a necessity ANY night you go.

WAIT to book your room through Universal until they offer you a great deal - which would essentially be free daytime tickets. They would make you buy the tickets, but would give you several hundred $$ off the package. If only one or two are travelling, Sapphire Falls will have excellent rates, but no express. If 4+ are staying in the room, stay at Hard Rock, Portofino, or Royal Pacific and your daytime tickets will automatically get Express privileges. The room will be expensive, but the free Express upgrade is worth it (at least $100 per person per day). But for 3 people the added cost of the Hard Rock may not be worth the Express privilege. The reality is that for the week you are going, the parks will not be very crowded during the daytime, so Express would be nice, but certainly not necessary during the daytime. Trust me on this. I was just there for the same 2018 week as you and the daytime was nearly walk on for everything. So for just three traveling, I would still recommend Sapphire Falls. Aventura is a dive. I wouldn’t recommend it on any day. Cabana Bay is nice, but it’s a long walk or bus to the park. Sapphire Falls is very inexpensive, a beautiful hotel, and has the water taxi. I would recommend it in a heartbeat over the 3 expensive on site resorts if you accept that daytime Express is not a requirement.

Even if you plan a day or two at Disney, I recommend you Uber everywhere. I used to rent a car, but between gas and parking at Universal and Disney Uber is much cheaper overall.

So in summary:
Rush of Fear+Express
Free daytime tickets via a Universal deal
Uber everywhere, including the airport
Choose the onsite hotel based on number of people staying

In my opinion, this will be your least expensive route.


#7

Do you any idea when this may happen?

Thank you for your helpful advice.


#8

From what I understand, you already have a reservation at Hard Rock. Hang onto that, but because you are now on their mailing list, I am suggesting they will send you offers between now and summer 2019. Those may end up being quite sweet.

Do, however, periodically check the site for current deals, as booking far out is often not a great deal. Universal has great cancellation policies should a better deal come along. I think you will find better prices for September around May-June. Continue to look even in August, as last minute deals happen. Just make sure you have a booking in hand to fall back on.

Be aware I am saying this as a US resident. I can cancel up to a few days before the trip for a full refund. What you see from the UK side may be entirely different, and cancellation for UK based deals may be different. I listen to several UK-based Universal podcasts (Universal After Dark is a very good one), and they also highly recommend the Rush of Fear pass for HHN.