This year's Halloween Horror Nights was one for the record books. From Frequent Fear Passes selling out mere days into the event to the extended run until November 4, this was a year unlike any other. And while the fog may have cleared on the 2023 event, many fans are already eagerly looking forward to 2024's event already.
Universal hasn't made any announcements just yet about what they're cooking up for next year, but rumors have already surfaced about what fans might be able to expect when it comes to new houses, IPs, icons, and more!
1. The return of Jack the Clown
Though this year's icon, Dr. Oddfellow, was immensely popular, nothing can captivate Halloween Horror Nights fans like perennial icon Jack Schmidt, AKA Jack the Clown. Jack was officially last seen in 2021, during Halloween Horror Night's 30 Years, 30 Fears celebration, where he was an official icon and appeared inside the HHN Icons house.
However, eagle-eyed fans in 2023 may have caught a glimpse of Jack's shadow in the Dr. Oddfellow's Twisted Origins house this year, with many chalking this up to a fun easter egg and nod to the characters' shared backstories. However, on the final night of Halloween Horror Nights in 2023, Dr. Oddfellow addressed fans and specifically mentioned his rivalry with Jack, saying the clown "knew nothing about horror," and chastising his followers.
Though this could have been some final-night playfulness, many have wondered if this could be the first hint about Jack's return in 2024, either as the subject of a house (with Oddfellow) or a return as the event's icon.
2. Could a bonus house be built inside the new Villain-Con attraction?
One rumor for 2023 that we were sad to see didn't pan out was the addition of an 11th house. This year's event felt very crowded, and an additional house would have gone a long way towards helping to spread guests out and reduce wait times.
However, there is a chance that we could realistically see an extra house in 2024, now that there is potentially space available in the Villain-Con: Minion Blast attraction. This walk-through experience was built in the area formerly occupied by Shrek 4-D, which longtime event fans know was regularly used for Halloween Horror Nights houses. Though the opening of this attraction and the start of Halloween Horror Nights may have been too close together in 2023 for a house to realistically occupy a spot inside this building, if the space is still usable for a house, hopefully we could see an 11th house at this location added to the lineup next year.
3. Five Nights at Freddy's could be next year's Blumhouse house
Blumhouse and Halloween Horror Nights have forged a historic partnership, with each year featuring at least one house by the horror-first production company. And though the filmed version of Five Nights at Freddy's released in 2023, many are already wondering if this sleeper hit could make an appearance at next year's event.
The film broke box office and Blumhouse records when it released just before Halloween, so there's definitely a big fanbase there, and this could be a natural addition to the Halloween Horror Nights lineup next year.
4. Higher ticket prices are all but guaranteed
Though it is fun to think about new houses and icons for next year, unfortunately we have to think about some not-so-fun things as well: Price hikes. This year's event was very crowded, with many nights selling out, and some fans complaining that the high wait times across the park were an indication that the event was oversold.
To control crowds, we'd expect ticket prices to be much higher next year, potentially starting at $99.99 instead of $84.99 and going much higher for peak nights. While this is just speculation, given the crowd levels this year, it would be an expected move.
5. A new structure for Frequent Fear passes
And speaking of admission, expect the Frequent Fear pass system to get an overhaul next year, with more date restrictions, higher prices, and fewer perks. This year saw unprecedented demand for these multi-night tickets, and we'd expect that a new system will be introduced next year that will help spread out locals more evenly across event dates.