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BUSCH GARDENS® HOWL-O-SCREAM®
Howl-O-Scream® is back for 2019 with a heightened scare factor
Saturday September 14 and will run on select days through Sunday, October 27.
Howl-O-Scream® returns to Busch Gardens® Williamsburg for their 21st anniversary this fall. As part of Busch Gardens Thrill Seekers Blogger Ambassador team we get insider previews of new rides and events but this last preview was one of our favorite escapes from reality: Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg!
If you have not yet been to Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream here is a breakdown of the event. The park turns into Terror-tories™ and Haunted Houses to scare you as you walk through the park and through a venue. It really is fantastic. We have a complete list of all the Terror-tories and Haunted Houses at the bottom of this review.
In addition to the haunted houses and Terror-tories™ check out the new show Jack is Back and two new escape rooms Jack’s Twist Terror and Grave Obsession.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to elevate the event’s scare factor,” said Peter Dunklee, Vice President of entertainment for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. “We try to balance the fun and the scares and we’ve accomplished just that with two new escape room experiences, additional startles in our haunted houses and resurrecting a guest favorite show,” added Dunklee.
Howl-O-Scream features six haunted houses and six Terror-tories this year. Check out one of the Howl-O-Scream-themed bars, go shopping at Blood Haus and see a live performance like Monster Stomp™ on Ripper Row®.
Beware of Coaster Creepers as they climb aboard Busch Gardens’ world-class roller coasters. You may not know who is sitting next to you until it’s too late.
We have done the escape room two years in a row and love them! The first year we did indeed find our way out with just seconds to spare…but at one point we were stuck in a ruse and the voice of the Bobby (No Escape Room) came over head and gave us a clue. I guess the staff was watching us go down a rabbit hole and after we proceeded to knock our heads against the wall for a good 5 min – they took mercy on us!
It was great fun – our husbands were with us so the four of us laughed, searched, guessed, schemed and in the end…got out! You get a group photo for each participant at the end. Yes, there is an additional fee but it was great fun and something none of us had done before! Last year we were not on our A game and did not escape. You can schedule your time before you get to the park online or you can walk up and book it that night – we would recommend doing it before you go as it may be sold out. They only take 6 people at a time for 30 minute time slots.
Jack is Back is a street style performance starring who else but Jack. This is a fun upbeat celebration that will get the entire crowd dancing and singing along. This is kid friendly! Showtimes are 5:30, 7:00, 9:00 and 10:30 in Ireland.
Monster Stop is not for the faint of heart as you will witness Jack the Ripper’s murderous behavior but it is a pretty rockin’ show! So parents, you know your kids best, but the last time we saw the show, there are three throat slittings and the first one opens the show, with a woman being grabbed by two men, as Jack the Ripper slits her throat and her blood sprays on the backdrop. It sounds extreme but it is really just theatrical.
That said, my daughter is not ready for it this year. I however, will be back this season. Why? The dancing, singing, stomp choreography and the dancing skeletons are show stopping. Don’t let Jack the Ripper hold you back from seeing this talented ensemble bring down the house!
Control Lab at Inoculation is your chance to take part in the scares. By the push of a button you can activate a scare and watch as your victim jumps out of their skin. 5 scares is $3 or 10 scares for $5.
Night Beats: Revamped in the Das Festhaus is a great show. The singers and dancers are spot on. The songs are fun and upbeat. We recommend grabbing a drink and bite to eat while watching the performance! This is not a kid friendly show.
Don’t forget to stop by some of the shops for Halloween swag including shirts, decorations, jewelry, and much more. We are loving this fun bag.
There are absolutely no costumes allowed in the park for the general public. But if you want to join in the Halloween fun, we would recommend getting your face airbrushed. I had my whole face done in under 5 minutes. It is easy, silly and you look crazy in selfies which is great fun.
Keep scrolling for a break down of Terror-tories and Haunted Houses at Howl-O-Scream this year:
- Fools’ Court (France): A new king has taken over the throne at the Royal Palace and he’s a real Joker. Chaos reigns supreme in the Fools’ Court™. When the Motley Fools hit the streets, the joke always will be on you.
- Garden of the Souls™ (Italy): Welcome to Funeral Gardens, the setting for Garden of the Souls™. Here guests may visit the graves of the deceased, but this garden has a dark secret.
- Axe Alley™ (New France): The Norsemen came to invade, but what they got was their own Viking funeral. For this was no ordinary raiding party, but an unleashing of power so grotesque that even those mighty Viking warriors fell prey to its devices.
- Sideshow Square™ (Festa Italia): Your jaw will drop on your way to the big top. What was once only in your imagination is now a frightening reality full of haunts, curiosities and plenty of scare to make you shriek. So step right up and brave Busch Gardens’ newest terror-tory if you dare.
- Ripper Row® (England): Things are looking a bit unsettling in England; a murderer is on the loose plucking unsuspecting victims from the city streets to satisfy his grizzly curiosity. No one knows what Jack the Ripper looks like or who he will strike next.
- Vampire Point™ (Germany): Even vampires need a vacation once in a while and Vampire Point™ is the perfect destination for bloodsuckers. Watch your step and your neck or you might end up the main course. Dawn is hours away, your last salvation lies in escaping the vampire village before the inhabitants sink their fangs into you.
- The Vault: XX™: Jack has been released from the Vault to make room for creature favorites from past Howl-O-Scream experiences like Igor, Freakenstein and the famous Fiends nurses who will now take over the haunts and instill new fears on those who dare to enter. Also joining these new scares will be classic characters who are dying to frighten you again. Park-goers can look forward a walk down memory lane. INSIDER TIP when your leaving the vault step on the button Freakenstein is waiting…
- Dystopia: In a futuristic post-apocalyptic world, a new world order has risen. In this new system, you have a choice – join or be forgotten. Surrender to the utopia. Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing – ever again.
- Demented Dimensions™: Sterling Manor, a massive estate, is home to more than meets the eye and is sitting on unspeakable terror. The energies of a dimensional vortex have opened portals to dreadful realms where unearthly creatures reside and humans are at the bottom of the food chain.
- Frost Bite: The fire-breathing giant that once guarded the enchanted dark castle has met his chilling demise. He once stalked the premises, providing the warm lifeblood for the stronghold, but now his bones are mere decoration in a macabre icy grave. Frostbite now consumes all those trapped within.
- Circo Sinistro: No one knows when or where the tents will rise, but all who see them are drawn to find out what lies inside Circo Sinistro at Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Howl-O-Scream. The park’s new haunted house is not of this world and not of this time – but beware, what you see, you soon will be.
- Lumberhack: Hikers beware: The woods hold a terrifying secret. More than 50 years ago a logging camp was abandoned after a horrific accident where saws ripped into human flesh instead of tree bark. Tragically, the loggers perished … only to inexplicably awaken from death sometime later filled with inhuman rage. The undead loggers rampaged until every living thing in the camp had felt the bite of their axes. Now the forgotten lumberjacks lie waiting for unsuspecting campers to stumble into their den of the damned.
Howl-O-Scream opens September 14 and will run on select days through October 27. There will be more chances to feel the fear this year, as the park will stay open until midnight on Saturdays in October and three Thursdays, Oct. 10, 17 & 24, to its schedule.
Busch Gardens becomes a seriously scary place at 6 p.m. when the Howl-O-Scream haunts come out. Guests should consider the park’s elevated scare factor when deciding whether Howl-O-Scream is appropriate for young children after 6 pm. If your little ones do not like scary creatures coming at them with chainsaws, or creatures jumping out from the woods, then you might plan to end your visit at 5:45 pm. They will have a great time during the day and for older kids, teen and adults – Howl-O-Scream is a great time anytime!
The Count’s Spooktacular
During the daytime Howl-O-Scream has lots of fun kid friendly activities including trick or treating, hay maze, character fun and more. Learn about Howl-O-Scream for younger kids here at The Count’s Spooktacular on Saturdays and Sundays Oct 5 – 27.
For more information visit Busch Gardens. For the latest discounts on tickets visit our Busch Gardens Ticket Discount post HERE.
We hope this review helped you decide to enjoy Howl-O-Scream with your family this season. It is a scream-fest-of-a-good-time – it’s official..we love it!
Want to read more about Busch Gardens? Check out our other Unofficial Guides:
WilliamsburgFamilies.com is a member of the Thrill Chasers™ Blogger Ambassador team and is invited to attend new ride and show openings as well as review food and events at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.