Scream Early or Stay and Scream at Halloween Horror Nights 2022

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Perhaps you have not been to Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Orlando before. Maybe you tend to visit HHN after other daytime activities before an HHN evening. A term used often in reference to HHN goes by a few names like, “Stay and Scream” or “Scream Early.” If these terms sound unfamiliar, let me try to explain.

HHN functions as a separate ticketed event after Universal Studios Florida theme park closes at 5pm on those nights. Once attractions shut down at 5pm, day guests will be slowly guided out of the park before HHN guests may enter.

However, many guests will remain in Universal Studios Florida in sectioned off areas. These would be the “Stay and Scream” areas. The location of these areas adjusts each year. Yet, you can expect one in the New York area, another in the Springfield USA area at least. Guests with daytime admission to the park on HHN days may enter these corralled areas usually starting at 3pm to remain in the park to “stay and scream.” These guests wait in these areas until released to go enjoy the HHN houses. Some people have compared this to early park admission, except for HHN.

Besides being able to avoid the long queues to enter when each night of HHN starts sometime between 5:50pm and 6:30pm, other advantages emerge. Stay and scream participants can walk through one house, if not, more before the guests with only HHN ticket may enter. A bit of planning is involved since you want to “stay and scream” near the houses you want to see first. There also exists some planning based on the food you want to snack on while you “stay and scream.” For example, the New York area has become popular for people doing this since food booths and Finnegan’s reside there.

If you have an annual pass, you can enter Universal Studios Florida anytime on a HHN night before 5pm and can enter a holding area if you also have HHN admission that evening. If you have daytime admission of another variety, you may also simply enter a holding area also

Now, a few years ago, Universal Orlando started selling passes for people with only HHN tickets to enter at 3pm so they could “stay and scream” also. This year this cost $35. Universal Orlando calls these “Scream Early Tickets.” Universal Orlando says on their website that guests may “start the thrills early at Universal Studios Florida from 3-5 pm. At 5 pm you’ll wait in the Stay & Scream area until the event begins. Event admission for the same day is required and not included. Guests who arrive at Universal Studios after 5 pm forfeit their Scream Early Ticket.”

If you do not have daytime admission to Universal Orlando theme parks but want to experience one night of HHN, buying these tickets will help. This $35 investment could give you a big head start over most of the crowd. HHN nights can get very busy and crowded. An early start could be the difference between a great night and just an average one. Enjoy the spooky!


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.