2020 – The Fear is in your Eyes
is here and Halloween is in full swing. We have been bringing
you some of the Tampa Bay area’s best in Haunted scares. Let
us not disappoint you when we say Busch Garden’s, Howl-O-Scream
will continue that terror all month long, a definite “Must Do”.
Earlier this month we took a trip to Busch Gardens to check
out this years event, here is our recap.
Before we get started on sharing our visit to this year’s event,
I wanted to share some of the cost and the upgrade options in
case you want the ultimate experience. They do require temperature
checks before entering and masks are required at all times.
Tickets for this year’s event start at $29.99 depending on the
night that you are attending. Front-of-the-line-access passes
are available for an additional fee but you will skip the lines
at most of the rides, coasters and some select “Scare Zones“,
there is an Unlimited option too. If you are a big fan of the
“FIENDS” show, you can purchase VIP seating passes starting
at $19.99 and that includes one cocktail/beverage. Last but
not least, if you are looking to get a group together, they
offer a nice little discount for groups of fifteen or more.
would like to give a special thank you to the Busch Garden’s
staff for having us as their guest for this year’s event. This
year’s event has been modified for the safety and protection
of the staff and guests during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Keep in
mind that there is a capacity limit set, so get tickets and
make your reservations early. Now that we have all the details
worked out, here is our take on HOWL-O-SCREAM 2020.
Probably the largest modification to this year’s event is the
elimination of haunted houses. No indoor mazes will be on this
year’s list; however they are offering ten walk through Open
Air “Scare Zones”. Four of them feature a NEW theme
in addition to the return of some favorites.
at first I was not really sure how effective this would be;
I was wrong, in fact I was very wrong. I think that the adaptation
of scares into the scenery of Busch Gardens is the key. Being
a little familiar with the areas, I felt more comfortable, but
then all the sudden, something in the shadows are heading right
Here are the names of the Scare Zones; I do not want to pick
a favorite because each has its own unique offerings, however
I will share my top three and why I chose those. As stated earlier,
ten open air Scare Zones, located throughout the park. The NEW
zones for this year are: Lycan Landing, The Shortcut,
The Junkyard and The Escape. The returning favorites
include: First Fear, Little Nightmares, Maniac
Midway, Deadly Toys, Hell on Wheels and Dia
De Los Muertos.
My top three would include: Lycan Landing, The JunkYard,
and Deadly Toys and here is why. Again there is no specific
order for these and I am not any type of professional, so in
my opinion these did it for me.
Lycan Landing, fully immersive experience. I hope you
packed your flash light for the camping trip, with a FULL Moon
you may not need one, but then you may not make it out alive.
Werewolves are around every corner, wreaking havoc on the neighboring
campers. Try to run for help but you might just want to run!
Junk Yard, it’s late, the junk yard is closed. Are you brave
enough to walk through? During the day you can get the car or
part you are looking for a leave, but at night this place turns
into an infestation of fear. I see movement in dark corners
and creepy cries coming from all directions. Abandoned cars
may be our only shelter. This reminded me of being in a cemetery
at night alone or with a small group of friends. Walk through
as quickly and quietly as possible, maybe the deadly residents
will miss your presence.
Finally, Deadly Toys, the last but certainly not the
least scary. There is just something about old dolls and toys
that can just be terrifying. This is another area where they
use the natural environment against you. At a distance, I could
see this odd looking doll perched off to the side, looking almost
like a prop, but with every movement closer it looked as if
it was following me. The doll’s head is moving with my every
move, just the head. I stepped forward just a few feet to get
a closer look and then the doll disappears into the darkness
a Bonus, the Little Nightmares section is a must visit.
I am not going to describe it to you, just go and enjoy a nice
stroll, stop and look at the sleeping Flamingo’s. My only advice
is, do not carry a drink with you. You will probably spill it
or drop it while you are running.
Another modification to this year’s event is the FIENDS
Show. This year it is outside at the Festival Field Stage. There
is plenty of seating and lots of space. As noted earlier, there
is a VIP seating area with a drink included. The show includes
Dr. Freakenstein’s traditional line up of his spooky friends,
always a great show. Not always for the young ones. Content
is a little more mature audience driven so please just keep
that in mind of you are attending with smaller children. Howl-O-Scream
in general is intended for mature audiences.
thing that is returning this year is the Drink and
Food Specials. In fact, there are multiple areas in the
park with different offerings. There are some drink choices
including some Craft beers, specialty spooky cocktails and shots
from the helpful nurses. If you are looking for food or a snack
there are some new options to check out including the taco’s
at the Dia De Los Muertos area. I would like to
suggest you take a peek at the specialty cupcakes, the flavors
are not what you would expect. I purchased the variety pack
and I assure you it was NOT a scary purchase, delicious.
If you are looking for some Howl-O-Scream merch, they will not
disappoint. There are T-shirts, a collectors throw (offered
at a discounted price w/ purchase), shot classes, Halloween
themed masks, mugs and more. I really like the themed masks.
They are fairly priced, good quality and a fun way to be a little
since we are in a Pandemic and everyone has been making adjustments
to the way we safely do things, I felt it best to add a small
little section about how safe I felt during this event. I can
tell you from the time that I stepped out of the car and head
to the tram station; I had access to hand sanitizer. The tram
is seated with social distance considerations and the trams
are sanitized multiple times a night. Exiting the tram it was
time for the temperature check, not invasive at all, simply
walk through. If you need a disposable mask or sanitizer, there
is some available.
Once in the park there are plenty of stations throughout the
park. I did come across one empty bottle and asked a team member
where the closest one was and it was just a few feet away. I
can walk away saying that I felt very safe during my visit.
Even when I was eating and drinking, I was able to take my mask
off and felt at a safe distance from other visitors. One addition
that I would like to highlight is that there are a few designated
areas for anyone that may need to take a MASK break. In these
areas with respected distance to others you can sit down mask
free. I really like this idea, especially in the Florida heat.
They are promoting safety but conscience of guests needs too.
Overall, it was a really good time. Even with the modifications,
it really set the Halloween mood. I highly recommend checking
out this year’s event. We have shared some of the pictures that
we took in this article but we will be posting more pictures
and video from our visit on our INSTAGRAM
page (@RealTampaBayGay) next week, please check
it out and follow us there.
Thanks to the Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream staff for having
us out to enjoy this year’s event. If you are interested in
purchasing tickets, making reservations, or upgrading your tickets
check out the link below.
Reservations,Purchase Tickets and Upgrades Here: https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/howl-o-scream/reservations/
More Info on Howl-O-Scream and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay please