The opening of Halloween Horror Nights only means one thing, Halloween season is upon us. Everyone is back at Universal Studios Hollywood, the scare actors, the monsters, the ghouls, ghosts, demons, zombies, killers, and even Death Eaters are out to play. If you live in the Southern California area, there’s no better place for scares than Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Last week we gave you a detailed review of all the mazes and attractions at Horror Nights in Hollywood, but this week you’ll be getting your ultimate itinerary for your time of frights at the park.

Starting off, you’ve gotta buy your tickets first, so grab tickets for Horror Nights at

Get There Early, Try To Get Into The Park For Early Access

Universal Studios Hollywood is open during the day until 6:00 PM, and Horror Nights officially open at 7:00 PM. However, if you have an early access ticket, you can get in for Horror Nights at 6:00 PM. The only Houses that are open at this time are The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and Universal Monsters: Legends Collide. The lower lot area is only open to Horror Nights ticket holders, so you can try to get through these three houses during this time or grab some food or drinks.

Start With Halloween And Scarecrow: The Reaping

These two houses are farther away from the park near the Curious George lot. That means that besides these two attractions, there’s nothing else to do down here. After going twice through, these two houses got the highest wait times with Halloween getting up to 85 minutes and Scarecrow: The Reaping getting up to 60 minutes at peak times. If you get down here around opening time, these both have absolutely no line, you’ll be able to walk into the houses. Cutting out about 2+ hours of waiting in line sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

Just try not to get distracted walking through The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, save that area and the Death Eaters for when it gets darker. Both of these houses are indoors or have canopies over them so the sun won’t shine through as it’s setting when you get down to them. If you need food or drink down here, there is a cart selling both, so you won’t be left without a snack if you need one.

Check The App, Check Wait Times, Make Your Own Adventure

From here, it’s really a choice of what houses have the lowest wait times after you finish up with the two “island” houses. The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare and Killer Klowns From Outer Space both had pretty sizeable wait times throughout the night with Killer Klowns getting up to 75 minutes to get in. After going for a second time, I would recommend getting Killer Klowns out of the way before anything else. Going later in the night, they were packing people in like sardines, and it was basically like waiting in line inside the house. So get that one out of the way when they might be letting in a normal amount of people.

If you choose to go the path of the upper lot houses, Universal’s Horror Hotel and La Llorona: The Weeping Woman both had fairly reasonable wait times earlier in the night with La Llorona getting much longer later in the night, up to 50 minutes. You can also hit up the Terror Tram or The Horrors Of Blumhouse: Freaky and The Black Phone. The Terror Tram closes at 11:15 PM each night, so you might want to get that done before it’s a time crunch to do so. The Horrors Of Blumhouse was a fairly reasonable wait throughout the night so that one could get saved as your last house.

Also, make sure to check out the goings on at The Wizarding World. They’ve really stepped up their game in this area, making Hogwarts look spooky, adding Death Eaters around the place, and even giving us what amounts to a Death Eater scare zone. The whole thing is atmospheric as hell with green lights, tons of fog, and of course, Butterbeer. The two rides here are also open throughout the night, but Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey closes around 11:00-11:15 PM.

Can’t Get There Early Or Want A Different Experience? Check Out Universal Express Or The RIP Tour

If you don’t want to wait in line, Universal does offer the Express pass for a fee, either before you enter the park, or at the park. After 11:00 PM they offer the Express Pass upgrade for a lesser fee. So if you’re willing to wait around, that could be an option for you. If you really don’t want to wait in lines of 30-80, the Express Pass is the way to go.

There’s also the RIP Tour which is a guided tour for you and your party that’ll take you all around the park and to the front of the line. These both cost a bit extra, but they’re well worth it if you want a better experience or if you’ll be arriving late.

Rides And Almost Everything Else Is Open During Your Stay At Horror Nights

There are a couple of scare zones throughout the park, and also other attractions are open. You won’t be able to check out the Despicable Me section of the park (outside of food) or other shows. However, The Simpsons area of the park is open and all the various food and games are there for you to peruse. As for other parts of the park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is also open with both rides in that section of the park available. Down in the Lower Lot, Jurassic World, The Mummy Returns, and Transformers: The Ride are great breaks from all the frights of the mazes.

If you follow this loose schedule for your time at Halloween Horror Nights, you should be able to get through all the houses with some time to spare. The food and drink options this year are much better than in previous years, and the options are plentiful. Stay late, get scared, and you’ll have a great time at Universal Studios Hollywood.

For more on horror, make sure to check out Fright-A-Thon, the 2-month long Halloween marathon of content.

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