Planning HHNs


Hi, I am visiting Universal with my two young adult children, both over 21, in September 2019, specifically to participate in HHNs. I would love to receive some tips and advice from people who regularly attend, as to how to get the best from the event. I have booked the HRH and will probably book a Frequent Fear Pass or whatever similar ticket is released next year. Are there any advantages to being an APH for the event? Because it will be extra busy do I need to make reservations at restaurants long in advance? Are there any restaurants that participate in the HHN events? Any information at all will be very gratefully received.


I plan on attending HHN at the end of September with my son and his girlfriend . Last year Instayed at the resort when they went. I think I will join them this year. If I do, I will give you a complete report. @brerbeer, is the expect on HHNs and I think @rebeecky could help too.


Oh thank you. That would be so helpful.


@brerbeer will definitely be your man. I went once, last year, and don’t have too much in the way of advice to give you other than to be in the park that day before the event starts. I just bought regular tickets, no Express Pass, nothing extra and wanted to try and get in about 4 houses. By being in the park before the event officially opened, my sister and I were able to get a jump on the houses and were able to have two of them done before the major crowds even started coming in.


Here is a link to this year’s passholder discounts. Huge advantage if your already in the park when the event starts. Orlando informer is a great source for tips as well as TP.


Thank you.


Ticket have been a moving target the last two years. Previous years you pick your date and buy your ticket. Last year introduced the Flex ticket. Good for a range of days but came with an increase in price for the flexibility. This year for a limited time a BOGO ticket was offered. Go any two nights excluding Friday and Saturday. An awesome value at $77! Add-ons is where it gets pricey. If your thinking about UOAP a seasonal pass is excluded from RIP tour discounts.


Thank you.


Do you have any idea when the map for HHN is typically released? Is it before the first night? I will be there the first weekend and am considering going. None of the people in my group has ever attended HHN before and we would be going on the opening night, Friday, September 14th (Sunday is not an options as we fly out that evening). I’ve been studying Orlando Informer’s information and map from last year, but I would really like to know the locations of each house ahead of time. We are primarily interested in Stranger Things (we definitely do not need to do every house) and want to make sure we pick the right holding area (we will be in the park that day).


It will definitely be released before the first night. IIRC about a week or so before.


Great, thank you!


Something I forget to mention. I would advise against downloading or looking at “leaked” maps. HHN Crypt, I’m looking at you! It’s tempting but last year my phone picked up a nasty little add-on. Be patient, you’ll have plenty of time to study the map and get a good idea of where the mazes are. Also, this is a prediction. Because of the buzz of Sranger Things I think it will be on one of the bigger soundstages so Hello Kitty might be the best holding areas.


We have been a few times and found the Hello Kitty holding area the best one. There is shade, a/c if you wander the store and it seems less crowded than the one outside by the bar (Finnegan’s I think it’s called)- no shade there! We were roasting by the time we were done.

The Simpson’s food court was definitely open last year and is our plan for dinner again this year. It was fun to eat while hearing the clowns with chainsaws accosting people outside of Moe’s.

The mazes/houses near the entrance are most busy as the regular doors open. If you can get to those after a park day or near the end of the night, the waits will be less. The shows are hilarious- at least Bill & Ted’s was… RIP old friend! Hopefully they have something equivalent.


Thank you for this info! this is really helpful.


Very helpful, thanks! we’ll be in the park during the day so will have access to the holding areas. Sounds like the Hello Kitty area will be the best for us.


With the final house just revealed maps shouldn’t be far behind.


Here it is.


Sweet! Thank you!!


Something to be aware of if purchasing an AP specifically for discounted HHN tickets.

Based on a phone call I made to Universal today, you will need the physical pass to purchase discounted tickets. They need the pass ID number which is only issued with the physical ticket.


I have never been to HHNs before, but I am planning on going 9/14/2018 (the first night of HHN28 :grimacing:).
Here is what I have learned during my planning from this forum thanks to @brerbeer, @hauntedmansiongirl and @rebeecky and reading blogs (mainly Touring Plans and Orlando Informer). If anyone has additional and/or contradicting info, please correct.

  • Arrive early! To get the most out of the event you need to be in the park (USF) before 5 pm, preferably by 4 pm. You will be able to enter a holding area and be released from said holding area at 5:45 pm ahead of general admission (the turnstiles are typically opened at 6 pm).

  • Holding areas are typically 1) Finnegan’s (NY), 2)Hello Kitty store (Hollywood) and 3)Springfield USA (Simpson’s area). Holding areas typically give early access to up to 2 haunted houses and these haunted houses are subject to change nightly; however, 1)Finnegan’s and 2)Hello Kitty typically get early access to soundstage HHs. Springfield usually gets early access to KidsExpo HHs.

  • Finnegan’s is usually the most crowded holding area (it includes a full restaurant/bar).

  • Annual passholders (APHs) can get discounted tickets (both single night and multi-night) but you need to have your physical pass in hand to get the discount. This means being physically onsite to pick up your pass as far as I can tell (I called UOR about this).

  • There are NO discounts on express passes

  • APHs receive an extra special early entry on the first 2 weekends of the season. This is by RSVP only and spots fill fast. This gets the APH and one guest entrance to a holding area (has always been Springfield) and entrance to 3 haunted houses starting at 5:30 pm. Each APH can reserve a spot for themselves and one guest. Everyone needs admission to HHN to participate (Premier Passholders can use their “free” HHN ticket for this). I think that an active AP is needed (same as for ticket discounts).

  • Most counter service restaurants are open during HHN (including Duff Brewery in Springfield).

  • Universal theme park restaurants take reservations up to 30 days in advance

  • Reservations at Finnegan’s Bar and Grill (a sit-down restaurant) were NOT available in for 4 pm - 7 pm 2017. It was first come, first serve only. I checked out the reservation situation for 2018 and could find nothing available after 12:45 pm (this was 29 days and several hours in advance of our date)

  • As of 2017, hard liquor (vodka, whiskey, rum, etc) have NOT been served in the pop-up tent bars (only beer and wine were available there).

  • The blood bag jello shots were also pulled before the 2017 HHN season started

  • Hard liquor is still available at the actual bars that are open at HHN (Lombard Seafood Grille’s outdoor bar, Finnegan’s and Chez Alcatraz). However, these locations are likely to have long lines.