Busch Gardens Tampa has announced info for this year’s Howl-O-Scream. Now in it’s 15th year, Tampa’s #1 haunt event is ready to scare up some spooky new thrills for guests. This year’s event will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from October 2 to November 1 (and on Sunday, October 19 as well). As usual, things kick off with Freaky Preview on Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27. Hours for Howl-O-Scream are 7:30pm to 1:00am for all event nights.
This year’s Howl-O-Scream has a some new additions, in the form an all-new house, roaming slash mobs, and brand new entry gate experience! Here’s a rundown of the new stuff:
Dead Fall (new house) – The ghosts of long lost memories reach into the present and will NOT be forgotten! These spirits from the past lurk in the shadows of this Victorian garden and greenhouse, longing to drag unsuspecting guests into their world.
Like last year with Death Water Bayou, Busch Gardens is asking fans to vote on the Howl-O-Scream Facebook page on some key elements that will be featured in the house. So far, fans have voted for the name of the house at Dead Fall to be called Hemlock Hall. Right now, you can vote for the murder weapon used in the demise of the Gardener.
Slash Mobs (roaming hoards) – Even sidewalks aren’t safe from roaming slash mobs creeping throughout Busch Gardens’ overgrown 300 acres of fright.
Cursed Front Gate Experience (entry plaza in Morocco) – The curse begins from the moment you enter the terrorizing gates of Howl-0-Scream 2014. There’s no escaping the evil spirits or spine-chilling song that seeps from the old music boxes and radios, cursing all who hear it. The only way to silence the curse is to survive the night with undead creatures and paranormal terrors.
EDIT: Since the publishing of this article, Busch Gardens has announced an additional new house for Howl-O-Scream – an interactive laser zombie hunt called Zombie Containment Unit 15.
Three years after the undead invasion, there has been a containment failure in Z.C.U.15. Zombies have escaped in search of flesh, and you’re the next target. Armed with only a Z.E.D. (Zombie Eradication Device), it’s up to you to hold off an undead mob in this interactive zombie hunting experience.
Zombie Containment Unit 15 is included with Howl-O-Scream admission and you do not need reservations to experience this new interactive house.
Along with the terrifying new experiences, the following houses will be returning:
Death Water Bayou – Deep in the bayou the Voodoo Queen mystically transforms lost wanderers into her minions of evil with black magic. Here, her night servants roam with a zombie-like hunger and seek to grow her collection. The darkest evils lurk in shadows. Get out before you fall victim to her spell.
The BASEMENT – From Momma’s secret ingredient to Granny’s bone-ground flour, Momma’s Meats’ award-winning recipe has always been a family affair that’s only created in the BASEMENT. Escape the depths of the BASEMENT before she turns you into the secret sauce! She always said it took blood, sweat and tears!
Circus of Superstition: The Final Act – You’ve tried to avoid black cats and sidewalk cracks, but all those years of bad luck caught up with you! Surviving the terrorizing surprises of Circus of Superstition: The Final Act will take more than luck as you try to escape this whole new dimension of fear.
Blood Asylum – As lightning rages and thunder crashes outside, “The Creature” escapes from his holding cell in a high-security asylum for the criminally insane. Now this sadistic deviant is running rampant, skinning his former cellmates and turning the mental hospital into his own torture chamber. This serial killer’s bloody playground will drive you out of your mind with fear.
Zombie Mortuary – No one remembers how the epidemic started, but now, the undead terrors infest this small town funeral home and feed on the fresh flesh and brains of mortuary mourners to satisfy their insatiable hunger. Avoid the walking dead or you may find yourself deeper than six feet under.
The Experiment – Researchers have devised some new ways to challenge your fear tolerance and mental endurance in this interactive Experiment. “Test subjects” endure psychological tests in this exclusive study, pushing the limits of the human body and putting them face-to-face with their worst nightmares. How far is too far in study of fear? Will you survive The Experiment?
Note: The Experiment is a unique, interactive experience that challenges your threshold for fear for an additional fee. Reservations are required, and each reservation can accommodate you and up to three additional “test subjects.” Pass Member discount does not apply. Not included with any other VIP tour or upgrade product. Howl-O-Scream 2014 admission is required, but not included. The Experiment admission for the first test subject starts at $50. Each additional test subject is $10.
After braving the houses, you’ll probably need a breather, right? Well, Howl-O-Scream has you covered with the following entertainment and shopping options:
Fiends – Is there a doctor in the house? Dr. Freakenstein and his naughty nurses will infect you with dance fever and keep your pulse pounding with their deranged dance party.
Club Cursed™ – Drive yourself mad partying at Howl-O-Scream 2014’s dance club. Sample Howl-O-Scream’s signature potions “Cursed,” “Contained,” and “Possessed,” along with craft brews at the full-service bar, and keep the energy pumping all night with a DJ and non-stop music.
Howl-O-Scream Shop of Horrors – Find GOREgeous apparel and trendy tees featuring Howl-O-Scream favorites. You can also purchase or pick up your Front Line Fear Passes here.
Want a little extra “bang for your buck”? The park offers the following options:
VIP Tour Packages – Take advantage of the best way to see Howl-O-Scream 2014 with all-inclusive VIP Packages, which include event admission, a tour guide and your choice of three levels of terrifying special treatment. All tours include commemorative photos, merchandise discounts and complimentary beverages, including beer, water and soda. Packages start at $99, and pass member discounts are available.
Front Line Fear Passes – For those who prefer to self-guide themselves through the event, but want the front-of-the-line perks, there’s the Front Line Fear pass starting at $45, which grants no-wait access to six houses, excluding The Experiment. The Front Line Fear Extreme pass ups the access and also lets guests skip the line at five freaky coasters starting at $55.
Fright Feast – Devour monstrous main courses and devilish deserts from a buffet and witness an exclusive performance of Howl-O-Scream’s fan-favorite show, Fiends, at Pantopia Grill. Then, be the first to brave the dark with a half-hour of early access to the haunted houses and front-of-the-line privileges until 8:30 p.m. Fright Feast is $26 per person, with group rates and discounts for Pass and Fun Card members available. NEW! This year, purchase your admission and Fright Feast together for Friday nights for just $75 on HowlOScream.com.
Pro Tip: We HIGHLY recommend adding Fright Feast if you can as it’s a great buffet. In the past it’s featured a VERY popular taco bar (Tacos? Yeah!). Plus you get a full 90 MINUTES of front of the line access to the houses (including 30 minutes before the event even opens to the public). You can knock out most of the houses in that time if you plan accordingly.
Remember that Howl-O-Scream is a separate ticket, nighttime event. Daytime admission to the park is not valid. No costumes are allowed. Also remember that Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This year’s event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood.
Howl-O-Scream general admission is $89 plus tax. Reduced advance-purchase rates and special offers are available for Busch Gardens Pass members at HowlOScream.com. Guests can save $39 on general admission tickets in advance at participating Publix Supermarkets and AAA locations. In addition, promotional codes can be found at participating WingHouse and Taco Bell locations in Central Florida and on Fanta products in participating Walgreens and Coca-Cola products in participating Circle K locations.