I’ve been a huge fan of this event, especially some of their awesome mascots. Characters like The Raven Twins, the House of Vayne, the Death Jockey…vicious stuff like you don’t see here in Virginia. Well, this year, though the advertising of each park is a little different, the theme is the same between Tampa and it’s Virginia counterpart – “The Dark Side of the Gardens.”
In Tampa, four houses return from last year, including “Alone,” a premium (pay extra) experience where you get to go through a house…well, alone! New this year are a Zombie Casino and a Poe house, interestingly both similar to themes being used at UOR in Orlando. Still, I’m sure the parks will do vastly different things with them.
I can’t wait!
All the official details are after the jump!
Busch Gardens Reveals “The Dark Side Of the Gardens” at Howl-O-Scream 2011
Florida’s Top-rated Halloween Event Shares all of the Undead Details at TheDarkSideOfTheGardens.com
TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 16, 2011) – This fall, a new type of terror takes root in the Dark Side of the Gardens at Howl-O-Scream 2011. For 17 select nights, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be overgrown with NEW haunted houses, thrilling live shows, the return of Alone – Busch Gardens’ revolutionary idea in how guests experience haunted attractions – and the opportunity to experience Florida’s first triple launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt, in the dark.
Even the streets themselves aren’t safe… for zombies live here, and insatiable hoards pour forth from every shadow, hungry to show fans the most horrifying Howl-O-Scream yet. It will leave you begging for mercy… and screaming for more.
General admission is $77.99 plus tax. Reduced advance-purchase rates and special offers are available for Busch Gardens Pass members at TheDarkSideOfTheGardens.com. Savings on general admission tickets are are available in advance at participating Publix Supermarkets or with promotional codes found on select Pepsi Max and Mountain Dew products and at participating Taco Bell, Applebee’s and Lifestyle Family Fitness locations in Central Florida.
The event runs Thursday through Saturday nights, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29. Freaky Preview lets those who cannot wait to face the darkness experience the event a week early on Sept. 23-24 for discounted rates as low as $32.99. Operating hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. during Freaky Preview and on Thursday nights. Friday and Saturday hours are 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
From the master of gothic horror to the darkest secrets of a sinister casino, Howl-O-Scream 2011’s new haunted houses are designed to touch every aspect of terror:
- NEW! Nevermore – Beating hearts, swinging pendulums and a raven’s cries haunt the manor of Lenore, creating a demented and twisted nightmare. Step inside to experience the gothic terror that maddens the lord of the house. and feel delusion overcome reality. Find your way out of this horror story before paranoia authors your final chapter
- NEW! Zombie Mortuary – No one remembers how the epidemic started, but now, zombies live here. The undead that infest this small town funeral home 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.
- NEW! Ultimate Gamble: Vampire Casino – Fanged fiends entice you to test your luck in this sultry hangout straight from Sin City. The seductive games and high-stake thrills at Revivara Casino are sure to get your blood pumping, but will you escape before your luck gets drained? Just stay away from the killer All-THEY-Can-Eat buffet.
Some of the most demented houses ever are back by popular demand with some horrible new twists:
- Alone… (A personal experience in horror) – The deranged Master Alexander Daedalus opened Minotaur Storage to house his vast collection of “cultural” remains. But now his sinister obsession with hoarding has expanded to stockpiling people. Escape this lunatic’s labyrinth or you will become part of his collection. Can you make it out ALONE? Note: Alone is a unique, all-alone experience through the haunted house. Admission is $40.00 per reservation, and each reservation can accommodate you and up to 3 additional victims. Pass member discount does not apply. Not included with any other VIP tour or upgrade product. Howl-O-Scream admission is required, but not included.
- Nightshade Toy Factory – By day, the old Nightshade Toy Factory appears abandoned. But as night falls, the mysterious manufacturing plant glows and hums as it creates the diabolical dolls, terrible teddy bears and possessed playthings of your childhood nightmares. These twisted toys are alive…and they are coming after the adults who have forgotten them.
- Death Row Vengeance: Fear the Dead – The inmates of Grey Echo Penitentiary are slated for execution. But as a zombie plague infests the crumbling cells, those prisoners left alive must decide which is worst: facing the firing squad, death by electric chair or an eternity of torture at the hands of their undead captors.
- Deconstruction: The Doctor Is Out of Control – Dr. Edger VonAngst has the skill and technology to make you over…but what will you become? This mad reconstructive surgeon has fallen one notch deeper into insanity and is putting human parts back together with mechanical pieces, combining flesh, bone and steel in the most hideous ways.
After braving bone-chilling coasters in the dark such as Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Montu, Gwazi and Kumba, you can catch your breath at these twisted live shows:
- NEW! Midnight Hour – The music industry can be a devilish business to break into, especially when your road to fame leads to the Hellfire Club. Don’t believe the club’s shadowy owner when he promises his panel of sinister celebrity pop-culture coaches will help make you a star! Performing nightly at the Desert Grill
- Fiends – Is there a doctor in the house? These captivating creatures of the night will infect you with dance fever and keep your pulse pounding with their deranged dance party. But when Dr. Freakenstein’s naughty nurses start operating, the diagnosis is always “code pink.” Performing nightly at the Stanleyville Theater.
Looking for a sick party or the perfect souvenir to round out your evening of evil?
- Club Virus – Escape the hordes and head to the transformed Marrakesh Theater to join the killer party at Howl-O-Scream’s exclusive dance club. This adults-only nighttime playground keeps the energy pumping all night long with non-stop music, premium signature cocktails, drink specials and exclusive appearances by Howl-O-Scream’s most terrifying personalities.
- Howl-O-Scream Shop of Horrors – Remember your evening of evil with the perfect Howl-O-Scream souvenir, including toys, tees and other Halloween-themed gifts. Then, smile through the pain and snap the perfect pic at an exclusive Dark Side of the Gardens photo op that’s not for the faint of heart.
Take advantage of the best way to see Howl-O-Scream with all-inclusive VIP Packages, which include event admission and a tour guide. Three levels of terrifying special treatment: include Super, Mega and Ultimate. The Super experience is a three-hour group tour of haunted houses that includes front-of-the-line access. The five-hour Mega experience adds reserved show seating, front-of-the-line access to several roller coasters and preferred parking, and the Ultimate experience adds the Fright Feast dinner buffet, meet and greet with the Howl-O-Scream creative team and a $5 games card. All tours include commemorative photos, merchandise discounts and complimentary beverages. Packages start at $79, and Passport Member discounts are available.
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 for $35, which grants no-wait access to seven houses, excluding Alone. The Front Line Fear Extreme pass ups the access and also lets guests skip the line at five freaky coasters for $50.
The Thrills & Chills Weekend Pass lets true Halloween fans face their fears over and over again with a long weekend (Thursday through Sunday) of unlimited access to Busch Gardens’ thrills by day and Howl-O-Scream’s chills by night – all for just $79.99!
For out-of-town guests, Wicked Weekend Vacation Packages include Howl-O-Scream admission for two, plus one-night accommodations at one of Busch Gardens’ preferred partner hotels. Prices start at $90.00 per adult, tax inclusive, based on double occupancy. Stay two nights as part of the Thrills and Chills Weekend Package, and get in to Busch Gardens day and night, and enjoy two nights of accommodations. Prices start at $183.00 per adult, tax inclusive.
And if there’s one thing worse than being terrified, it’s being terrified on an empty stomach. Fright Feast is the most deranged dinner show in town, featuring a buffet of monstrous main courses and devilish desserts, plus an exclusive performance of The Midnight Hour. Fright Feast guests are also the first to brave the dark with a half-hour of early access to the all-new haunted houses and front-of-line privileges until 8:30 p.m. Fright Feast is $25.00 per person, with group rates and discounts for Passport and Fun Card members available.
Howl-O-Scream is a separate ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. For guest information, visit TheDarkSideOfTheGardens.com or call 1-888-800-5447.
Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This year’s event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood.