Theme park hack: Universal Studios in Orlando, Halloween Horror Nights for less than $100

Yes, you can do Universal Studios in Orlando for less than $100 − here's how.

Book a ticket on select nights to Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2023 for under $100

Admission to Halloween Horror Nights ranges from $79.99 to $129.99 before taxes. According to Halloween Horror Nights' site, here's when tickets cost less than $100:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 20: $79.99

  • Thursday, Sept. 21: $79.99

  • Sunday, Sept. 24: $89.99

  • Wednesday, Sept. 27: $84.99

  • Thursday, Sept. 28: $84.99

  • Friday, Sept. 29: $92.99

  • Sunday, Oct. 1: $82.99

  • Wednesday, Oct. 4: $94.99

  • Thursday, Oct. 5: $94.99

  • Friday, Oct. 6: $99.99 (OK, we acknowledge this price squeezes by the "less than $100" ticket hack by one penny)

  • Sunday, Oct. 8: $99.99

  • Wednesday, Oct. 11: $84.99

  • Thursday, Oct. 12: $84.99

  • Sunday, Oct. 15: $94.99

  • Wednesday, Oct. 18: $84.99

  • Thursday, Oct. 19: $84.99

  • Friday, Oct. 20: $99.99

  • Sunday, Oct. 22: $89.99

  • Wednesday, Oct. 25: $84.99

  • Thursday, Oct. 26: $84.99

  • Friday, Oct. 27: $99.99

  • Sunday, Oct. 29: $94.99

  • Tuesday, Oct. 31, Halloween! $94.99

  • Wednesday, Nov. 1: $84.99

  • Thursday, Nov. 3: $84.99

  • Friday, Nov. 3: $94.99

It's fall, y'all! The gory details on Halloween in Florida with events in Orlando, Tampa and Miami

These are the rides open at Universal Studios in Orlando during Halloween Horror Nights 2023

Wait times for rides and attractions are typically shorter during Halloween Horror Nights because many guests are in line for the haunted houses or other ghoulish entertainment (see below). Typically, waiting times for the rides listed could be anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour. But during Halloween Horror Nights? Guests can ride and re-ride multiple times during their visit. Note: Universal Studios closes early for Halloween Horror Nights, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on the dates mentioned above, and several traditional park favorites are closed for the special event. These are the rides Universal Studios offers during Halloween Horror Nights 2023:

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

  • Transformers: The Ride-3D

  • Revenge of the Mummy

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley

Cost comparison: Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights vs. SeaWorld's Howl-O-Scream

These are the attractions open at Universal Studios in Orlando during Halloween Horror Nights 2023

Men in Black Alien Attack: In this attraction inspired from the hit films starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (not the Chris Hemsworth-Liam Neeson-Tessa Thompson reboot), guests will "wipe out the scum of the universe." This is a multi-room, motion-based experience for you and a group of six "to defend the galaxy against the biggest — and smallest — threats that alien kind has to offer," according to Universal Orlando. It's set in New York.

Death Eaters Encounter: Since the '90s, Universal Studios in Orlando has been known as the theme park where you can "ride the movies." When the park introduced the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, guests could experience walking around a Harry Potter movie set. Fans of the films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson would know not to show fear around Death Eaters since they suck the soul right out of you. Fortunately, wands to counter those Death Eaters and conjure up a patronus are available for purchase at Diagon Alley, and so is Butterbeer − the creme de la creme of Harry Potter beverages.

These are the haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Orlando

Here’s where guests encounter long lines at this theme park — but that’s to be expected because of the amount of detail and thought that goes into immersing guests into the world of Chucky, zombies and scary monsters.

These are the themed “scare zones” at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios in Orlando

Here’s where to expect crowds at Universal Studios during Halloween Horror Nights. Tip: For guests who like to people-watch, these are prime spots for that.

  • Dr. Oddfellow’s Collection of Horror

  • Dark Zodiac

  • Jungle of Doom: Expedition Horror

  • Vamp ’69: Summer of Blood

  • Shipyard 32: Horrors Unhinged

What else is included with Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios in Orlando?

  • Scare actors, lots of them

  • Universal Orlando’s Nightmare Fuel Show, Nightmare Fuel Revenge Dream

  • M3GAN dancers

  • David S. Pumpkins sightings, the black-and-orange pumpkin suit-wearing viral character on “Saturday Night Live” made famous by Oscar winner Tom Hanks

  • Halloween Horror Nights themed merchandise and food — Left Behind Ravioli or Peanut Blooder Burger, anyone?

Is Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando worth the price?

That depends on your perspective. Here’s a scenario from a theme park fan and longtime entertainment writer:

  • Attend Halloween Horror Nights on a night where tickets cost less than $100.

  • There’s time before gates open at 6:30 p.m. to explore Universal Orlando CityWalk, the theme park’s retail, dining and entertainment complex. Or get to the park early to find parking, go through security lines and wait for admission so you can walk right in at 6:30 p.m.

  • Ride the rides, visit the attractions, brave a haunted house or two, do some shopping, try Butterbeer hot (that’s Universal speak for the hot beverage sold only at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando).

  • Stay at the park until close, which is up to 2 a.m. on Halloween Horror Nights. If you arrived at 6:30 p.m. and experienced the park until 2 a.m., that’s 7 1/2 hours of theme park fun. On a single-day visit to just Universal Studios during this time of year, park tickets start at $119 for adults before taxes. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is nine hours of theme park fun. You’re paying for the experience — and Halloween Horror Nights is a signature annual event for Universal Orlando.

How much is parking at Universal Studios in Orlando during Halloween Horror Nights 2023?

Self-parking for Halloween Horror Nights opens at 6 p.m. and costs $30. Parking is free after midnight.

The gory details of Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 2023

  • Halloween Horror Nights 32 runs Wednesdays through Sundays through Nov. 4, 2023, at Universal Studios, 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando.

  • Theme park hours are 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. those nights.

  • Halloween Horror Nights is recommended for people ages 13 and older.

  • Single-night tickets start at $79.99 online. Multi-night tickets start at $179.99 online. Express passes may be added on at additional cost, starting at $119.99. RIP Tours are available from $329.99 per person.

  • Call Universal Orlando at 402-224-7840 or visit

Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY, Christina LaFortune, FLORIDA TODAY, and Samantha Neely and Lianna Norman, USA TODAY Network-Florida

Sangalang is an Orlando theme park fan, longtime entertainment writer and a lead digital producer for USA TODAY Network-Florida. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @byjensangalang. Support local journalism. Consider subscribing to a Florida newspaper.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida