The main problem with Howl O Scream this year was that it was oversold. I live 30 minutes from the park, however, the trip took over an hour and a half because there were so many cars waiting to get into the parking area. Once we were finally able to park it was actually at Adventure Island’s parking lot! The wait for the tram was over an hour so we decided to walk. The lighting was poor and traffic was so bad that the walk was dangerous and took up a good 20 minutes more of our time.
When we finally entered the park the line for each attraction was a minimum of 2 hours. We only had time to go through 2 haunted houses and nothing else. And we still did not leave the park until after the 1AM closing time. I am an annual pass holder and this is the fourth year in a row that I have gone to Howl O Scream and this is the first time that I have been disappointed. I would suggest that Busch Gardens only sell a limited number of tickets for this event so that all guests can enjoy it. They do sell front line passes but they are $75 and when they let these pass holders go to the front of the line they are only making the wait that much longer for everyone else. If Busch Gardens does nothing to rectify these issues I will not return for Howl O Scream and I will recommend to everyone I know that they not go either….
I attended one night at Howl-O-Scream and definitely found it to be more crowded than I’d ever seen the event before. It seems to be a victim of its own success, much in the way Halloween Horror Nights is on its busiest nights. But Horror Nights has made up for long lines by offering more nights and more houses to choose from. The 3 new houses at Howl-O-Scream are the ones most people are going to flock to, creating extremely long lines for those experiences. There will always be nights were lines are longer than others, but it is certainly possible to oversell this event, particularly in the number of front-of-the-line passes sold.
This year was my first time going to Howl~o~Scream. I agree with a lot of patrons that I got to speaking with that it was PACKED! I had no choice but to get the fast pass, if not, I would have not been able to see and do all. $35 fast passes for just haunted houses or $50 for both haunted houses and rides. I did the $50 pass. Now, it’s not unlimited; you get one time to pass the lines to each of the houses and select rides. The rides that were open: Kumba, Cheetah, Qwazi, Montu and Sheekra. Two of the five rides where down the night I went. Yeah.
The haunted houses were nicely decorated, cool themes and very spooky looking; however, shuffling in a long crowded line really takes away from the experience. You just cannot get scared if you know what’s coming to you. Yeah. I have very mixed feelings about Howl~o~Scream. If Busch Gardens can cut back on the number of people they let in the park that would be great. The employees did a really good job at acting like zombies and trying to scare you as you tried to find your way to all the rides. Parking was easy since I invested (again) into the extras. I decided to bypass all the waiting and just went straight to preferred parking and since I bought the $50 pass I got a small discount on food and merchandise. Yayyy! (sarcasm in my voice). So… If you are willing to dish out more money on preferred parking and a fast past you should be good to go. If not, I guarantee you, you’ll be miserable and you will never see all the haunted houses.
I drop a leave a response whenever I appreciate a article on a site or I have something to contribute to
the conversation. Usually it is caused by the
passion communicated in the article I read. And after this article Howl-O-Scream 2011 event review,
as zombies invade scare zones, haunted houses of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
| Inside the Magic. I was actually moved enough
to post a thought 🙂 I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or do some of these remarks appear like coming from brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at other places, I would like to keep up with you. Could you list every one of your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
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