For the review posted after attending this party, click HERE
If you've never attended Universal Orlando's HHN party, you can't grasp what it really is. You probably imagine some cool haunted houses, some neat characters, riding some rides at night and a general party atmosphere. You would be wrong. HHN is so expertly crafted that everywhere you turn, you will feel as if you are in a horror movie. The characters might as well be real, they are so absolutely perfectly made up. There are nine haunted houses, each one more terrifying as the last. This is not an event for children, or anyone squeamish or faint of heart. Anyone with a heart condition should not even go in my opinion, because even if you avoid the haunted houses, there are the five street scare zones to contend with.
For those that enjoy the fear, nothing will top this event. Words do not do it justice.
They let guests in for the party at 6:30. If you closed the park that day, there are holding areas where you can stay. If you are an onsite hotel guest, there is a special line until 8 PM just for you. The party goes on until 2 AM.
Be prepared for a lot of drunks, but they are good drunks usually, in good spirits. They sell good drinks, as well as shots in blood bags which are a perenial favorite. Lots of local teens hit these parties, as they do offer a Frequent Fear pass for those that attend often.
Lets go through some logistics. Ticket prices will make you scream, at $101.99. If you already have a ticket for Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, you can do an add on ticket, which ranges from $49.99 to $60.99, depending on the party. Florida residents with specially marked cans of Coke will pay between $49.99 to $60.99, also depending on which party.
You can use your ticket before and after the party to gain free entrance to some of the clubs at Citywalk (which you also can do if you are an onsite guest). Just show your ticket!
The Express pass you enjoy and adore for staying at one off the three Deluxe Universal resorts is useless at this party, you must buy it if you want it, and it is good for entrance once for each haunted house and ride. I debated whether or not to spend the extra cash, which is between $69.99 to $119.99, but our party is a $119.99 party, which means major crowds are expected and I was not about to spend 1-2 hours in line for a haunted house on my daughter's 21st birthday. So I took the plunge and paid nearly $400 for the Express pass for three of us, in addition to our tickets. Can you say ouch for my bank account?
They offer RIP Tours, which are behind the scenes tours that come with Express pass and access to the VIP lounge, along with a couple of other perks. The prices are $139.99-$199.99 (guess which one ours would have been). They also have a Behind the Screams Tour during the day, which begins at $64.99. The tours and the Express passes are limited, so if you want one, buy it now.
Here's a quick synopsis of each of the nine haunted houses:
- The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead. Walk through burnt ashes of Terminus, flooded food pantry basement, and churchyard.
- Freddy vs. Jason. Visit the camp by Crystal Lake and good old 1428 Elm Street. They fight, and the prize is you!
- Insidious. Go through the three parts of the Insidious saga.
- The Purge. Vigilantes utilize their right to purge.
- An American Werewolf in London. This is an old favorite, and you'll find yourself on the English moors experiencing bone crushing transformations.
- Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem. That is pretty much exactly as it sounds, you will relive moments and monsters of the last 25 years. I'm hoping to see Bloody Mary, personally.
- Run: Blood, Sweat and Fears. Run from assassins as they go after you for points.
- Asylum in Wonderland 3D. Follow the white rabbit into a killing 3D Wonderland. You know this will be on my to do list!
- Body Collectors: Recollections. Collecting body parts in Shadybrook Asylum is the goal.
The strategy for haunted houses, especially if you don't have an express pass, is to get there semi early and head for the houses in the back of the park. The ones at the front will fill up quickly, and you'll experience more if you hit the back houses first.
The five outdoor scare zones are:
- Psychoscareapy - Unleashed. Inmates of Shadybrook escape and go after partiers at a block party in New York.
- Icons-HHN. Have fun with icons from the last 25 years of HHN. My guess is you'll meet Jack the Clown here, as well as lots of other frightening characters from years past.
- Scary Tales - Screampunk. Classic fairytales, twisted.
- Evil's Roots. Go through Central Park as you've never seen it before.
- All Nite Die-In Double Feature. Experience a closed drive in theater in a murderous way.
There are two shows, and to be blunt, I am underwhelmed. Maybe they are better than they sound, but I'm perturbed they left out Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure. Okay, what is with Universal and Bill & Ted? Seriously over it. Find something more current, Universal.
- The Carnage Returns. Jack the Clown carries on murderous mayhem with his followers. This one might be fun.
There are only a few rides open during the party:
- Transformers The Ride - 3D
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Men In Black Alien Attack
- The Simpsons Ride (want to puke? Go on this ride)
VERY IMPORTANT THINGS:
- No masks or costumes allowed. They'll even give you trouble for hats, I've personally witnessed it.
- No food, drinks, bottles, recording, flash photography,flashlights or lasers in the haunted houses.
- Try to stay onsite. The parking lot and entrance can get extremely clogged.
- If you are terrified but stuck there, stick to the sidewalks. Or if just want a break, that is a good plan, because the characters tend to leave the sidewalks alone.
- Eat before you go. Do you really want to spend over $100 on an event and waste 2 hours of it with a sit down restaurant?
- The characters can't touch you. Sort of. For the most part they won't, sometimes they'll make you touch something icky.
- Interact with the characters in the scare zones. Some of them will just have zombies and such that won't talk to you (they might just go after you with an ax) but there are some speaking characters that love to interact with guests. One creepy one asked my daughter, who introduced her twin brother, if she wanted to have her own birthday. Yikes! Yes, I was a terrible mother and brought them at age 10. Picture them at Rocky Horror and you are about right...Mother of the Year.
Be ready for fun, fright, drinks, and a general party atmosphere. But trust me when I tell you that you will actually feel like you are inside a movie, running in terror for your life, several times during the evening. Good times!
Thanks to HHN website for the photographs. For ours updated for 2015, click HERE
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