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Tobias

Howl-O-Scream (Tampa) 2019

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Recently HoS has been releasing info for this years event, and it's Twenty Years XX of Fear for them.

 

Dates- 22 nights.

Sept. 20, 21, 27 and 28

Oct. 4-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31

Nov. 1-2

 

With it being 20 Years of Fear for them, they're bringing back multiple former Icons and here's the bunch they've announced so far.

 

Dr. Livingsdoom (2000)

The Death Jockey (2007)

The Trickster (2012)

Voodoo Queen (2013)

The Butcher (2017)

 

They also announced two returning houses

 

Simon's Slaughterhouse (It should be noted there's no warning of it being recommended 17 and up this year.)

The Black Spot - Bloodshed

 

There's also rumblings there's going to be one new house this year, and with Gwazi under RMC construction, it's safe to assume Unearthed has been buried.

 

------

 

Now that the formalities have been taken care of, I would say it's exciting to see them bringing back various icons for the 20th anniversary. But there's the unfortunate elephant in the room that the event hasn't been firing on all cylinders the past couple years. They've yet to make another slam dunk house along the likes of Death Water Bayou and Motel Hell (as those two houses have remained in the top of most people's rankings the past couple years), and any of the new houses have been split between decent (Demented Dimensions, Insomnia) to crap (Undead Arena, Simon's Slaughterhouse.). It also doesn't help last year had the marketing gimmick of Simon's Slaughterhouse and the Meat Market being recommended 17 and up when they had nothing to justify it.

 

Not to mention, it's never a good idea starting off your house announcements with the return of Simon's Slaughterhouse (The whiff of last year) and The Black Spot, which has been a whiff ever since it debuted. 

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Headed back that way from Las Vegas again this year. Howl O Scream always marks the start of my Halloween fright fest tour. Starting on the East coast and heading West by the end of October. :D :P

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Right now I am starting out the last weekend of September with two of my sons at Knott's and Queen Mary. The following week my wife and I are headed off to our annual Florida trip where we will we have two nights of Howl O Scream Tampa (Friday and Saturday) and Universal Orlando on Sunday.  Earlier this year I recently found my biological father and his family (it only took 54 years :lol:) so my wife and I will be spending time with them in October in the New Jersey area. There we will be taking in Six Flags and Shocktoberfest for starters. If anyone has any other thoughts for that region please let me know.

 

The third week of October my wife and I are headed back to So. Cal for a couple of nights of Knott's, one more night of Universal and Queen Mary on Sunday. The last weekend we are going to wing it. We may end up in Wisconsin where my wife is from originally. There are a few Halloween events there I wouldn't mind checking out this year.

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Too bad Vegas has lost Fright Dome.  By no means a great haunt, but not bad.  Try to check out Freakling Brothers when you are out there!

 

Also consider this pool for the trip back (or future years):

Bates Motel/Eastern State Pen (Philly/Lancaster area)

The Beast/Edge of Hell/The Darkness (St Louis - can hit all three if you VIP one night) - Multilevel Costco sized houses

Scare for a Cure - Austin, TX (A hell of an event)

Erebus - Detroit

The Lab/Haunted Schoolhouse - Dent, Ohio

Headless Horseman - New York

Haunted Hoochie - Also in Ohio

 

Personally, I recommend St Louis or Haunted Hoochie.

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Zombieman thanks for the tips! We live in Las Vegas and always take the local events in sprinkled throughout the month and Freakling Brothers and Hotel Fear/Asylum always make for a great time. My youngest son worked at Hotel Fear/Asylum for several years. I still can't figure out why the boy would be interested in such a thing? :lol: 

 

I agree about Fright Dome. I'm not sure why they discontinued it as it always seemed to have decent crowds, but I agree the content was usually "so-so." That said, I still enjoy even the mediocre events a lot. To me they have allows been part of the over all spirit and celebration of all things fun about Halloween. 

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Full event reveal:

 

Houses

 

The Residence [NEW house]

NOT ALL IS THAT IT APPEARS TO BE - DISCOVER THE DOMESTIC DEMONS WITHIN THIS SUBURBAN HOME

Enter the pristine home of the picture perfect suburban Clark Family, but beware of unseen horrors – once you’re invited in, you may never make your way out. Don’t let yourself become the next sacrifice in their sinister devotion.

 

Death Water Bayou: Wrath of the Queen

VOODOO MAGIC HAS RETURNED THE QUEEN TO HER SWAMP - DESCEND INTO THE SWAMPS IF YOU DARE...

Just when you thought she was gone for good, the Queen of the Shadows has been lifted from the dead by Voodoo’s dark magic and is seeking revenge upon the living. Armed with her devilish devotees, all who dare to enter the swamp are subject to curses around every corner.

 

Insomnia: Patients' Revenge

PATIENTS AND DOCTORS CLASH - EVERY DOOR IN THIS HAUNTED ASYLUM LEADS TO YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE

Years of cruel treatments at this sleep institute have warped the minds of the tortured and imprisoned patients. Now rising against the demented doctors, the inmates have taken over the ward to seek sick revenge to torture their evil caretakers.

 

Motel Hell: Infestation

ESCAPE FROM THE TORMENTED MOTEL -THE EXTERMINATOR HAS TURNED HIS NOXIOUS ATTACKS ON YOU

Hordes of oozing, wriggling insects have infested Motel Shellburn and the exterminator is determined to extinguish all signs of life, including the guests. Every room in this motel from hell brings new skin-crawling horrors as you try to escape his noxious attacks and check out alive.

 

The Black Spot: Bloodshed

ESCAPE FROM SAW TOOTH SILAS’S MURDEROUS HIDEAWAY - AN INFAMOUS PIRATE HAS YOU MARKED FOR DEATH AND HE HAS YOU RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS YOU

Dare to enter the underbelly of Captain Saw-Tooth Silas’ pirate ship. Try not to fall victim to what this macabre labyrinth has in store for you, the trick lies within the dimly lit corners of this mysterious hideaway- holding the secret to escape… or demise.

 

Simon's Slaughterhouse

TRY TO MAKE IT THROUGH SIMON'S HORROR-FILLED HOUSE - STEPPING INTO SIMON’S HOUSE LEADS TO A GRUESOME GAME OF SLAUGHTER.

Watch where you step in Simon’s house, as every twisted turn corrals you from one sickening scene to the next. Don’t get caged in or you might be the next one up on Simon’s butcher block.

 

Scarezones (More scarezones than houses - my mind is blown!)

 

First Fear [NEW]

The horrors of Howl-O-Scream’s haunted past are the first frights to greet you, rising from the dead and bringing 20 years of fear back to life.

 

Little Nightmares [NEW]

Take a creepy walk down memory lane to the bygone era of papier-mâché masks and homemade costumes sure to stir up the nightmares of your childhood.

 

Carpe Noctem [NEW]

The eerie quiet of this gothic Romanian cemetery is shattered by the triumphant screams of vampires and the sobbing moans of their victims. Climb into a coffin but your photo may be all that comes out.  

 

Camp DOA

Rising from the murky swamp waters, murderous mutants have taken over a seemingly peaceful campground. Campers are snatched from their idyllic dreams to become ghostly stars of living nightmares.

 

Hell on Wheels

In a post-apocalypse world, the surly survivors will stop at nothing for food and supplies, destroying all who stand in their way. Can you run the gauntlet of a murderous crazed biker gang to make it out alive?

 

Dia De Los Muertos

Honoring the souls and spirits of those who have gone before us, guests can dance the night away in this festive zone; featuring face painters, traditional tastes of Mexico, spectacle of performers, and a one-of-a-kind photo with an icon of La Catrina.

 

Maniac Midway

Go backstage at “scariest show on earth” with Sparky and his terrifying carnie-crew as they take over Pantopia and make the midway their own stage of torture creating a frenzy of fear.

 

Deadly Toys

You can run but you cannot hide as giant toys spring to life in a murderous rampage with you in their sights. Childhood memories will be destroyed when these toys turn a play date into a slay date.

 

Meat Market

Howl-O-Scream’s most fear-inducing zone places you in the center of a nauseating assault by cannibal creatures gorging on their monster menu of human hors d'oeuvres.

 

 

Show

 

Fiends

These captivating creatures of the night will infect you with dance fever and keep your pulse pounding with their deranged dance party at Stanleyville Theater.

 

Rides

Tigris

Cobra's Curse

Falcon's Fury

Cheetah Hunt

Montu

SheiKra

Kumba

 

 

Dates 

Sep 20,21           (Fri-Sat)

Sep 27,28           (Fri-Sat)

Oct 4, 5, 6          (Fri-Sun)

Oct 10,11,12,13 (Thu-Sun)

Oct 17,18,19,20 (Thu-Sun)

Oct 24,25,26,27 (Thu-Sun)

Oct 31, Nov 1,2 (Thu-Sat)

 

Tickets

 

Single Night Admission: $40 to $45 (AP holders get extra discount)

Howl O Scream Season pass (ALL NIGHTS): $80 

Weekend Admission: $110 - Includes daytime Busch Gardens admission AND HOS admission for one weekend (Thurs-Sun)

 

Front Line Fear: $35-$80.  Does NOT include admission. One time line skip per house for one specific night of HOS, 20% off all gift shops.

Front Line Fear Extreme: $45-$90.  Does NOT include admission. One time line skip per house AND rides for one specific night of HOS, 20% off all gift shops.

Front Line Fear upgrade: $150 - Does NOT include admission.  Good for ALL (multiple) nights of HOS.  One line skip per house or ride per night. (Intended for someone going 2-3 nights or who has HOS season pass)
 

Fright Feast: $35-$45 - All you can eat Buffet, Front line access to houses until 8:30

Fright Feast & Beverage: $50-$65 - All you can eat Buffet, Three drinks (incl alcohol), Front line access to houses until 8:30

 

VIP Guided Tour $100-$150 - Three hour tour, Admission to HOS, Front line access to houses, comp beverages (incl alcohol)

Ultimate VIP Tour $230-$330 - Seven hour tour, Admission to HOS, Front line access to houses and rides, comp beverages (incl alcohol), the only ticket that includes parking

 

My thoughts:

Lines at HOS can be long, but not HHN long.  Front Line Fear may not be necessary even on some Saturdays.  Last time I was there on a Saturday, the park was a ghost town after around 11PM.

Fright Feast is a pretty good deal, as it includes front line house access for about first two hours of the event.  It's possible to do several houses (not all) and some twice.  Just too much walking to do them all in that time. 

The VIP guided tour is recommended if you can swing it.  Not certain if the 3-hour tour lets you line skip into houses after the tour.  I was given an amulet that let me do this, but that was many years ago. 

The Ultimate VIP tour seems to hint at being private (has a two person minimum).  Seven hours is way too long for a structured tour with no lines, so I'm guessing this has to be a private tour, with the guide doing whatever is asked.  Plus, a non-private non-structured tour with multiple parties would be a very bad thing.

In all honesty, with the quality of HOS lately, one time in each is quite enough.  The only one I went through multiple times was Insomnia, which I thought was the best.

 

Interesting to compare season pass prices between HOS and HHN:

HOS (all nights): $80

HHN (Ultimate FFP): $260

HOS (all nights, with Front Line Fear every night): $230

HHN (Ultimate+Express): $680

Even given HHN has more than twice the number of nights, man! what a difference!

 

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