A Rattlers’ guide to Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

The entrance at Universal Studios is appropriately themed for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando. Photo Submitted by Nicole Williams

ORLANDO –This weekend saw the opening of Universal Studios’ premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights Orlando. Each year, the Universal Studios Orlando Park is transformed into a giant horror excursion jam-packed with 10 haunted houses and seven scare zones open to the public.

The horror film written and directed by Jordon Peele, “Us,” is set to premier as a haunted house this year along with a revamp of the “Stranger Things” Netflix series. These are just some of the draws for the event.

This guide will give four steps to ensure your next trip to Halloween Horror Nights does not break the bank, and how you can do it the Rattler way.

Step one: Select the night(s) you will attend.

The best nights to attend would be Thursday or Sunday since the tickets are usually less expensive than the more popular nights Friday or Saturday when the park has a larger number of guests in attendance. This will take planning and coordination with a close group of friends, but you will need to decide on a day that works for everyone.

Step two: Buy your tickets online or at Publix.

In order to get the best prices, when purchasing your tickets head to your local Publix where a Halloween Horror Nights kiosk can be found with tickets at discounted prices for each night that HHN is open from Sept. 6-Nov.4. Or, for the students who prefer to shop online, you can visit the Halloween Horror Nights website to purchase tickets that can save you up to $52 on select nights. These are better options since prices at the gate can be as high as $115 for select nights.

Step three: Plan out travel and lodging,

Halloween Horror Nights is located in Orlando, which is approximately 250 miles from FAMU. This means there a number of different options for travel, such as car, bus or plane. To find the best prices for flights to Orlando, websites and apps like Google Flights and Skyscanner give you alerts on the dates when flights are the cheapest and compare the prices to other airlines at the time to ensure that you are getting the lowest prices.

For lodging, the most reasonable prices will come from sites such as Expedia and Airbnb. You will be able to find quality lodging at discounted rates for as low as $19 a night depending on the number of guests in your party. With unique features such as Reserve Now, Pay Later and split payments, both websites ensure you will be able to find somewhere near by Universal Studios that would not break the bank.

Step four: Arrive at the Universal Studios early.

To beat the crowds and long lines for haunted houses and attractions arriving at the park early is the best way to maximize your time and enjoyment. Be prepared to pay for parking before entering the park; that can cost up to $25. To ensure you are getting into the park at a decent time you can spend time in Universal City Walk where there are number of shops, restaurants and bars. Before heading inside the park, download the Universal Studios app so you can view wait times for all haunted houses, scare zones, rides and attractions. From the app you will also be able to see a map of the entire Universal Studios Orlando resort with many more features.

Halloween Horror Nights is open and running until Nov. 2, with the park open until 2 a.m. on select nights. These four steps will ensure the maximum amount of enjoyment at the lowest prices.