Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida starts on September 19 this year and runs on select nights through November 1. If you're a tourist who plans to only spend a night or two taking in the horror, your ticket choices are easy. However, if you're a local who wants to pack in as much terror as possible, or if you're in Orlando for an extended period in the fall, 'll share some tips for choosing the best multi-night option as we look at each of the tickets:
Rush of Fear: This ticket can be purchased with or without Express (which means a much shorter wait for the houses). It gets you into the event on the first Friday and Saturday and then Thursday through Sunday for the next two weeks. I never buy it myself, since I want to visit as much as possible throughout the event, but it's great for people spending a few weeks in Orlando. For example, I know British horror fans who come to Orlando for up to a month at a time. This ticket is practically tailor made for them. Do you need the Express option? Possibly yes if you don't have a day ticket that lets you wait for HHN to open inside the park or if you can't get there right at HHN opening time, since it gets more crowded as the night wears on. But historically the first weeks aren't as crowded as later in the season, so you might be able to get by without it if you use a smart touring plan.
Frequent Fear: This is another pass that can be purchased with or without Express. It's good every Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday all season, plus the first Friday and Saturday. Hardcore locals gravitate to this ticket. Some add Express, but the most savvy among them don't need it because they arrive early and know the right pattern to do the houses with minimal waits. Do I get this pass myself? Nope, because there's one more option that's for the most insane of HHN fans...
Frequent Fear Plus: Halloween comes but once a year, and I want to cram as much horror into the season as possible. Thus I get this pass, which is the same as Frequent Fear but which adds Friday nights, too. I always buy the Express option, even though I never use it if I only do one round of the houses because I know the right pattern (I'll share some touring secrets as we get closer to the event date). Still, I like that option if I want to stick around late and be assured of doing another round of the houses without long waits.
You can find these options and the prices on the official Halloween Horror Nights website. Meanwhile, if you're planning to stay at a hotel in the area, check out the video accompanying this article to see why Cabana Bay is my personal recommendation.
Want a taste of what's on tap for this year's event? Go here to read about the SyFy Face Off scare zone, or jump here for The Purge: Anarchy.