Review of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

 “the most intense, spine-tingling event to besiege Southern California”

Entrance to Hollywood Horror Nights. Credit: Lariat/Delani Taft

Let’s begin with the process: You start with a group of 7-8 people. When it comes to buying the tickets, four come through. Which is nice, because now you can all fit in one car. One car that takes 2 hours to make it from Lake Forest to Universal.

All three times I’ve been to Halloween Horror Nights, it’s taken about 2-3 hours to arrive. Parking at the gate for general spots is $26, VIP preferred parking is $40.

Park tickets range from $72-$97 for general admission, according to Universals website. There are also upgraded tickets ranging from Express ($249), Express Unlimited ($289), and the R.I.P. Tour ($309). With such long lines, it would almost be worth it for a broke college student like me to buy the upgrade, because the lines go from 45-130 minutes each.

If you get there right at the opening gate time of 7 p.m., you can rush in and make two or three mazes with short wait times. With general admission tickets, you can expect to average 5-6 of the mazes.

My personal favorite was the All Hallows Evil maze, which was set up to look like a scene out of the evil woods. Think Blair Witch, but more decaying animals and gory people were jumping out at you.

A new maze this year was Jordan Peels “US.” The two most marketed mazes were House of 1000 Corpses and Creepshow. Sticking with the 80’s theme were mazes from Stranger Things, Killer Clowns From Outerspace, and Ghostbusters. The shortest wait my group encountered was 15 minutes right at 7 p.m., and the longest was 120 minutes around midnight.

The three times I’ve gone, I had gone on a Thursday, and I cannot even fathom what the lines would be like on a Friday or Saturday. This year they had “80’s Thursdays” and welcomed guests to come dressed in their best acid wash jeans and neon hoop earrings.

The park closes at 2 a.m. most nights, and after an evening of Butterbeer, Cinnabon, coffee, and giant doughnuts, you’d think sleep would be far-fetched. That is indeed not the case, as soon as my friends and I hit the car seats, we passed out and slept the whole ride home.