Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour: Types, Cost and Reception
There are lots of different ways to tour Universal Orlando and see all of the houses during Halloween Horror Nights, but the most convenient way is with a Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour. This guarantees that you will see every HHN house within a single night and still have time to spare to do other things in the park like eating, drinking, riding rides, and seeing shows.
R.I.P. Tour Description
The R.I.P. Tour is a walking tour with priority VIP entry to all of the haunted houses - in other words, you get to walk right into each house without ever having to stand in a queue. Other perks include complimentary standard valet parking, exclusive access to the R.I.P. lounge, a commemorative R.I.P. Tour credential on a lanyard, and reserved seating at Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure. You also get Universal Express ride access (in the form of your R.I.P. Tour credential) that can be used one time for each ride following the 4.5 hour tour. This is not a private tour - you will be put into a group of other people (usually up to 11 other people) who have also booked the tour for the same date and time. In other words, you will be placed into a group of people you do not know. R.I.P. Tours started at about $170.00 per person in 2017. Prices for 2018 are not available yet.
Booking an R.I.P. Tour
R.I.P. tours should be booked in advance. You can book a tour online on the official Halloween Horror Nights website. It is important to note that you need to purchase an admission ticket to Halloween Horror Nights on top of your tour. Booking a tour does not get you admission to the park. Because tour spaces are limited, you should buy your admission ticket and book your tour in advance if you can rather than waiting until the last minute.
Exclusive Pre-Tour Reception
R.I.P. Tours usually start with an exclusive Pre-Tour Reception at Café La Bamba in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida. After showing your HHN pass at the front gate, you should make your way to the first check-in area, where you will have to show your I.D. and your reservation paperwork.In previous years, this check-in area was located just inside the glass doors next to the Guest Services location at the front of the park. If you aren't sure where to go, ask a Universal Team Member; they will be happy to help.
You should arrive at Café La Bamba about 30 minutes before your tour is scheduled to start so that you can have a drink, eat some free food, and mingle with the other people in your group. While you're there, you'll also meet your tour guide and receive your commemorative lanyard and R.I.P. Tour credentials.
The food at the Pre-Tour Reception is served buffet style and consists of appetizer-like items (veggies and dip, meatballs, mini quiche, etc.) as well as desserts (chocolate covered fruit, mini cakes, cookies, etc.). Soda and water is available for free; if you'd like alcohol, you'll find a cash bar in the corner that serves beer and cocktails. You can take your drinks with you on the tour but you must drink them or dump them before entering a house.
One other important thing: you should use the restroom before you leave for the tour. Although you will get bathroom breaks during the tour, the rest of the group won't be happy with you if you have to ask for a break 15 minutes in.
Taking the R.I.P. Tour
The rest of your night will depend on whether you booked a private or non-private R.I.P. Tour. If you have a private tour, your tour guide will ask you what you want to do and help you customize your itinerary. If you have a non-private tour, the tour guide will have a pre-established walking tour set up that takes you from house to house. During the non-private tour, you will also get to walk through most (if not all) of the scare zones and experience one ride (chosen by the tour guide).
If you visit a house or ride that you do not want to experience during the tour, the tour guide will wait outside with you while the rest of the group does their thing. There is typically a 30-minute break scheduled during the tour, but if you need an additional break for any reason, you can always ask for one - the guides aren't monsters; they want you to have a good time (and not pee yourself).