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Howl-O-Scream Rookie Asking Questions

Busch Gardens Tampa: I'd like to be oriented as to what I can expect from Howl-O-Scream, since I've never been.

From Joe Llorens
Posted July 13, 2005 at 9:45 PM
I'll be attending Horror Nights again this year, my 7th straight. However, since I now live in the Orlando area I'll also be attending Howl-O-Scream this year. This will be my first experience at the Busch Gardens event. Could anyone give me some kind of preview as to what I can expect? Are there haunted houses like at HHN? Are the rides still operating? Do they offer express pass-like tickets? Someone please orient me. Thanks in advance.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Chuck Campbell
Posted July 14, 2005 at 2:55 PM
I can only speak for the Williamsburg version, which does have haunted houses and most of the rides operating (all except the water rides). I understand that the Tampa version is a bit more intense.

From Joe Llorens
Posted July 14, 2005 at 4:51 PM
Thanks Chuck. No one else can give me any indication as to what to expect in Tampa this October? Come on, everybody.

From Jason Jackson
Posted July 14, 2005 at 11:12 PM
I would check out the www.howl-o-scream.com website. It will probably be updated soon, but may still have some of last years info on it.

From william dorsey
Posted July 18, 2005 at 10:59 AM
I have to tell you that I like howl-o-scream(HOS) as much as halloween horror night(HHN). both are similar in their set up meaning that yes some of the rides are open and that both have haunted houses and scare zones. HOS offer 2 prepark dinners one is a show similar to bill and ted but more halloween themed the other is a photo/dinner with some of the monster characters both will cost an extra $19(?) meal is included but after the dinner you have 30 minutes early access to the haunted houses ( which is awesome) and rides also very important you have to prepurchase tickets online for this . If $19 is a little too steep the shows are free after the park opens for HOS. the mood at HOS is Darker and some of the haunted houses are more , graffic; scream house, the morturary, and the escape from the asylum( I can't forget in the asylum poop was all over the ground walls every where my wife went to touch it to see if it was real and it was really nasty), .there are other less intense haunted house there too. some haunted houses have forking pathways so if there's a group in front of you you may be ushered in a different path. one scare zone "rippers row" was so good and detailed I'd almost classify it as a haunted house . last year there was a magic show involving a beheading of a witch and curses and stuff. there are several dj's around the park for music and prizes . If you like HHN then HOS is a must. these two theme parks are directly competing for halloween trying to out do each other every year it gets better.

From Joe Llorens
Posted July 18, 2005 at 1:28 PM
Wow, awesome. Thanks for all the info. Are you able to buy something like an express pass like at HHN?

From Chuck Campbell
Posted July 18, 2005 at 3:08 PM
Hmm--Tampa's version definitely sounds more intense that Williamsburg's (must be the competition with Universal). I'm hoping to check out PKD's Halloween festivities this year (and Tampa's next year, perhaps).

From Cameron Rust
Posted July 19, 2005 at 9:25 PM
Be advised that Tampa's Howl-O-Scream is NOT free with park admission, with passholders only getting a small discount. The park closes at 6 or 7, then reopens and stays open late for the event (you need two separate tickets to stay the entire day).

It does look more intense, but that intensity seems a bit stipled when considering that it is only scarier because of the separate admission.

From Hope Brown
Posted July 20, 2005 at 10:43 AM
One more thing to add, BGT offers an Annual Pass Holder preview night also (don't know about this year yet). I also agree that if you like HHN you will enjoy HOS but in a different way.

From Cameron Rust
Posted July 20, 2005 at 6:40 PM
PKDs Fearfest was pretty good the first year when it was a separate-priced-event, but it is a complete waste of time now that its free with park admission. The haunted houses, though they stayed the same, became less detailed with very few scarachters in them. Best to visit PKDs before Busch's, though that seems kind of difficult, as Busch is starting their's one MONTH before PKD is theirs. (Sept. 16 for Busch and Oct. 16 for PKD, I believe).

From william dorsey
Posted July 21, 2005 at 2:30 PM
No, unfortunately busch gardens traditionaly haven't offered an express pass like the way universal does. the pre-event dinner show offers early admission to the haunted houses. you would be able to get 2 haunted houses out of the way before the crowds start. I remember seeing signs inside the park advertising a guided tour of the haunted houses and rides which would allow you to cut in front of everyone but it was really expensive something like $60 or $100 per person. the early access from the dinner show allowed me more than enough time to do all of the haunted houses. also I hate to bring negative information because I really like both parks but there tend to be repeat haunted house themes from the year before. mainly at busch gardens you can expect a few repeat haunted houses and scare zones themes. If it's your first time then this isn't a problem but for myself and others who visits the park every october we get a diminished return. on the other hand, I wish universal would repeat more of it's haunted houses and scare zones. I miss the pitch black haunted house and the thick street filled foam bubble scare zone. :)

From Nicolas Schmelter
Posted July 21, 2005 at 4:38 PM
it's all about knotts scary farm

From Joe Llorens
Posted July 21, 2005 at 9:04 PM
That's so funny that you mentioned Pitch Black. I think that's easily one of my favorite houses ever at HHN. Thanks for all the info. I might look into that early entry dinner if only to avoid having to wait too much through the night. (I gotten really spoiled with the HHN express passes)

From Krystalynn Walker
Posted August 19, 2005 at 5:28 AM
I went to both Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream last year. And I think that Howl-O-Scream was MuCh better. This year my daughter is going to the Howl-O-Scream sleepover, and she is really excited.

From ryan saunders
Posted August 19, 2005 at 8:27 AM
BGW's Howl-O-Scream is very childish and is only recommended for children ages 7 and under.

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 19, 2005 at 1:03 PM
BGW's Howl-O-Scream is not childish, but is not as scary as Tampa's version. But BGW's if free, so you have to give them that...

From ryan saunders
Posted August 19, 2005 at 1:45 PM
What makes me mad is that 1 of BGW's haunted houses is where a roller coaster should be. Makes me want to cry! But yea BGW should make theirs alot scarier!

From Cameron Rust
Posted August 19, 2005 at 5:26 PM
There is some new show called NightScares in the Royale Palace, according to their website...

From omar martinez
Posted October 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM
awsome

From omar martinez
Posted October 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM
Well i havn't gone to Halloween horror nights but i know that it is mostly blood and gore. i would have to visit to know witch one is better. i just went to Howl O Scream. There are 7 haunted Houses,4 Scare zones.... most of the roller coasters are on.This year there was offered to pay more to be able to skip people in line on both houses and rides. the difference between BGW is that they have used the same person over and over.BGT has used diffrent characters. like the Raven Twins,Jack in the Box, and Ms. Vayne. they make up there characters. unlike holloween horro nights that use people from movies.

From steve lee
Posted October 18, 2009 at 7:36 PM
Guys, I pretty much hit my peak with my zombie response over in the "Disney building in South Carolina?" thread. Anyone else feel like fielding this one?

From Mark Dingley
Posted October 20, 2009 at 3:52 AM
Howl-O-Scream was a great night . I went in 2006 and it was quite scary , as my Wife has a fear of clown's . We had to walk through a scare zone that had load's of them , one with a chainsaw that really got her screaming LOL . Ive just got back from Florida and I went to HHN at Universal twice with the frequent pass . Thow the houses were more scary I Found that they did'nt keep the fear going by people jumping out of bushe's , and the scare zone's were spread quite far apart. But other than that I really enjoyed both park's . And if I had more time I would have gone down to Tampa again for HOS .

From Kathryn Leigh
Posted June 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM
I would just like you to know that for someone who considers herself brave, I legitimately wet my pants there. It's a LOT scarier than HHN.

From Joel M
Posted May 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM
I've gone to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights maybe 10 years so far. In my opinion, it's gotten pretty lame over the years. So I made the extra hour trip and went to Howl o Scream around 2006 and it was just super lame. Half as many people scaring, half as much smoke, making it super easy to spot the people that MIGHT just take the time and effort to stop talking with co-workers to try to scare you. The scare houses were fairly well lit and there was fewer of them.

If you're looking to be scared for Halloween (like me), Universal's HHN is the closest thing to it. If you want something for the kids, go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Jamboree (or whatever, I've never been to it). I'm assuming Busch Garden's HOS would be a happy medium if you're really skirmish or have kids that are a little too young for HHN, but old enough to step it up a little.

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