Halloween Horror Nights have descended upon Universal Studios Hollywood once again after its hiatus in 2020. Now, it’s been a while since you’ve done Horror Nights, so we’re here to help you survive (and maximize) your visit so you can experience everything Universal has to offer. Of course, the best way to do that is to get the Express pass, which is an additional $100-$200. Thus, your entire Halloween Horror Nights 2021 experience could cost you, at most, $300. However, money may be tight, or you’re a high schooler who doesn’t have the funds to drop that much money on tickets. That’s perfectly fine because we’re here to help you out.
The early bird catches the worm
Of course, the best way to maximize your experience is by getting there early. When you buy your tickets online, you get an Early Event Admission to select mazes at no extra charge starting at 6:15 PM. Although this would mean that you get there during daylight, it does give you more time to do everything. At the same time, you’ll be able to experience Horror Nights’ opening rope drop “scare”-mony.
Started from the bottom, now we’re here
Whether you want to get there at the start or when it’s nighttime, there are eight mazes spread out throughout the park. Except for the Terror Tram and Halloween 4 maze, the mazes are paired off with each other. Luckily, the two most popular mazes, The Exorcist and Texas Chain Saw Massacre are paired up together and found on the Lower Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood. Thus, considering the popularity of both mazes, we suggest you start your night at the lower lot.
Once you finish, head to the Terror Tram: The Ultimate Purge next because the wait for that will get longer due to the nature of the attraction. That is to say, the tram pick-ups and drop-offs and the length of the maze will take up most of your night. Afterward, head to the area in the back where The Haunting of Hill House and The Curse of Pandora’s Box is. Then, the center of the park has The Bride of Frankenstein Lives and The Walking Dead. Finally, head to the front of the park where Halloween 4 is.
In short, The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Terror Tram: The Ultimate Purge, The Haunting of Hill House, The Curse of Pandora’s Box, Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives!, The Walking Dead and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. To me, this is the most efficient route to take if you want to go through all of the mazes at Horror Nights.
The Halloween Horror Nights 2021 Mazes
If your group wants to go with a more relaxed approach, then use this handy description to help you decide which mazes to go to.
The Curse of Pandora’s Box
Pandora’s Box is the shortest maze out of them all. There are some scares, but not a lot. It has a kind of retro haunted maze feel with its use of blacklight paint and practical effects.
Located within one of the soundstages on the lower lot, the maze is intensely scary. However, it gets a bit repetitive going through Regan’s bedroom on multiple occasions. Nevertheless, the imagery is still frightening.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Relives the events of the movie and makes you feel as if you’re in a slasher flick with Michael Myers chasing after you.
The Haunting of Hill House
The best production value out of them all despite not building the actual Hill House facade. The way they scare you around every corner is both clever and cool.
Terror Tram: The Ultimate Purge
An open-air maze experience similar to the scare zones inside the park. There’s also a photo opportunity to take your picture in front of Norman Bates at the Psycho house.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
One of the most popular mazes is back for Halloween Horror Nights 2021. Similar to the setup from past years, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s been a while since the maze has been at Halloween Horror Nights, so it’s a good time to bring back an old classic.
Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives!
A surprising action-horror-style maze. The Bride of Frankenstein is brought back from the dead and ready to fight vampires. I mean how cool is that?
The Walking Dead
It’s similar to the year-round Walking Dead maze that used to be at Universal Studios Hollywood. The only difference is that they added a character to help you escape from the horde.
Feel free to ride the rides
Now, if you’re making good time (or uninterested in doing all of the mazes), then feel free to ride the open rides at Universal Studios. All of the rides will be open except for the DreamWorks animation rides. If you’ve wanted to ride particular rides, then this is your best chance of riding it. The average wait time I encountered on a sold-out opening night was around 10 minutes.
Random Killer Cuts
- There are plenty of Halloween-themed dining and drinking locations. Locations such as the Leatherface’s Texas Family Barbeque or the Dia de los Muertos bar are just some of the highlights.
- You can use your phone, but I wouldn’t advise you to use it in the three scare zones. It’s like a beacon for the “scareactors” to come over to you and scare you.
- People-watching in the scare zones is comedy at its finest. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then stand by a wall with a drink, and watch the “scareactors” go to work.
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights run on Thursdays to Sundays from September 9th to October 31st.
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How to Survive Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 2021