Busch Gardens Halloween Celebrations 2017

Blood Asylum House [© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Ricky Brigante, https://www.flickr.com/photos/insidethemagic]
Blood Asylum House [© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Ricky Brigante, https://www.flickr.com/photos/insidethemagic]

At Busch Gardens in 2017, they are celebrating with Howl-O-Scream for 19 select nights (2 nights less than last year) on September 22, 23, 29 and 30, October 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29. The first weekend is billed as a Freaky Preview.

Like Universal, some children may find some of the attractions too intense and no costumes are allowed. Note, Busch Gardens do not release all the details up front so some of this information may relate to last year.

This is a separately ticketed event and the park opens at 7:30 p.m. and closes as 1:00 a.m. on all nights. This also gives you a chance to ride the roller coasters like the Cheetah Hunt in the dark.

In 2015, for partygoers aged 21+ there was “The Bar @ Club Unearthed” where you could dance and drink the night away at the Marrakesh Theater. To complete the party there were photo opportunities, games, gifts plus food and drink.

Some of Busch Gardens other attractions remain open during Howl-O-Scream including:

  • Falcon’s Fury
  • Sheikra
  • Cheetah Hunt
  • Kumba
  • Montu
  • Cobra’s Curse

Howl-O-Scream Houses

Busch Gardens have started to release details about the houses for 2017. They are promising seven houses in total.

Some of the houses will have been seen before and others are brand new. Housed announced so far are:

  • Motel Hell — first introduced in 2016, visit a deserted motel
  • Death Water Bayou — escape the clutches of the Voodoo Queen
  • Unearthed — from the producers of “The Blair Witch Project: Unearthed”

Reintroduced in 2014 is the show called Fiends featuring Dr. Freakenstein and his naughty nurses.

As you walk around Howl-O-Scream, do not be surprised to be chased by roaming hordes of scare actors.

Food & Drink

Other details relate to the 2016 event

As well as roaming “shot girls and guys”, there are a number of full-service liquor bars and beer tents throughout the park serving a range of alcoholic beverages including special signature potions named “Karver’s Creation” and “Evil Encore”.

As well as a food truck you can also enjoy a dinner buffet at the “Fright Feast” at the Dragon Fire Grill starting at 6:00 p.m. Prices start at $21.00 and include reserved seating for the Fiends show, half an hour of early access to the haunted houses and front-of-line privileges until 8:30 p.m.

VIP Packages

For the ultimate experience, Busch Gardens offers a choice of three VIP packages:

  • Super – includes the Howl-O-Scream admission ticket, gift shop discounts, front-of-line access to the houses (excluding the Zombie Containment Unit), complimentary photo, exclusive check-in bar with beer, soda and water included, private beverage stations also with beer, soda and water included plus a tour of the park with a Howl-O-Scream Insider guide
  • Mega – all the benefits of the Super package plus front-of-line access to the roller coasters and free preferred parking
  • Ultimate – all the benefits of the Mega package plus half hour early access to the houses, priority access to the Zombie Containment Unit and a private customised tour with guide. New for 2016 is a private character meet and greet

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2017 Ticket Prices

Busch Gardens have not yet released all the details of pricing for 2017 so the following are the 2016 prices. Only details so far are that up until August 16, 2017 you can buy a single night ticket to any night for $29.99 plus tax.

Single day ticket prices start from $35.99 but there are often some special promotional ticket prices. All prices are plus tax.

If you are with a group of friends, Busch Gardens offers a group 4-Pack ticket where you can buy four or more tickets at a reduced price. Larger groups of 15 or more can also get discounts.

When one day is not enough, then there is a Thrills & Chills Weekend ticket. This is excellent value as it gives you one weekend (four consecutive days, Thursday through Sunday) of unlimited daytime admission plus Howl-O-Scream event admission over that same period when open (two or three days depending upon dates).

Passport Members can get special discounts.

Front Line Fear

There are two “Front Line Fear” passes that give you front-of-line access to the six houses plus discounts in the gift shop and photos.

The Extreme Front of Line Fear Pass also gives you front-of-line access to the thrill rides.

Freaky Preview Single Night Ticket Adult
Single after 5 pm admission to Howl-O-Scream on first weekend.
Available on first weekend only.
From $35.99
plus tax
Single Night Ticket Adult
Single after 5 pm admission to Howl-O-Scream.
Available on selected nights only.
From $45.99
plus tax
Group Four-Pack Deal Adult
Single after 5 pm admission to Howl-O-Scream for four or more people.
Available on selected Thursday and Friday nights only for four or more people. Price is per person.
From $35.99
plus tax
Single Night Ticket For Groups Of 15 Or More Adult
Single after 5 pm admission to Howl-O-Scream for groups of 15 or more.
Available on selected nights only.
From $35.99
plus tax
Wild & Wicked Weekend Ticket Adult
Enjoy weekend evenings at the Howl-O-Scream event plus daytime admission to Busch Gardens from Thursday through Sunday of the same weekend.
Available on selected weekends only.
$99.99
plus tax
Front Line Fear Regular Pass Adult
Get front-of-line access to 6 of the houses (excludes the Zombie Containment Unit). Also gives discount at all gift shops and photos.
Standard Howl-O-Scream admission ticket also required.
From $45.00
plus tax
Front Line Fear Extreme Pass Adult
Get front-of-line access to 6 of the houses (excludes the Zombie Containment Unit) plus one-time use on 5 major rides. Also gives discount at all gift shops and photos.
Standard Howl-O-Scream admission ticket also required.
From $55.00
plus tax
Super VIP Package Adult
Super VIP package (see above for details).
Includes standard Howl-O-Scream admission ticket.
From $89.00
plus tax
Mega VIP Package Adult
Mega VIP package (see above for details).
Includes standard Howl-O-Scream admission ticket.
From $119.00
plus tax
Ultimate VIP Package Adult
Ultimate VIP package (see above for details).
Includes standard Howl-O-Scream admission ticket.
From $229.00
plus tax

The Experiment

In 2013 Busch Gardens introduced a separate house called The Experiment where you could challenge your fears by participating in psychological tests involving cockroaches, snakes, needles and darkness amongst other phobias. This has not been repeated in subsequent years.

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream History

In 2016, the theme was called “Evil Encore” and featured seven houses:

  • Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh — a 3D adventure where you will need more than luck to escape
  • Unearthed — from the producers of “The Blair Witch Project: Unearthed”
  • Death Water Bayou — escape the clutches of the Voodoo Queen
  • Zombie Mortuary — zombies have taken over the funeral home
  • The Black Spot — new for 2016, confront an infamous pirate
  • Motel Hell — new for 2016, visit a deserted motel
  • Zombie Containment Unit 15 — an interactive attraction where you have to hold back a zombie hoard

In 2015, Howl-O-Scream was themed on ”Unearthed" which revolved around a woman called Scarlett and a 200 year old house found inside Busch Gardens Tampa and featured seven houses:

  • Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh – you will need more than luck to escape
  • The Basement – the Butcher is looking to turn you into the latest sauce for their award winning recipe
  • Zombie Mortuary – zombies have taken over the funeral home
  • Death Water Bayou – escape the clutches of the Voodoo Queen
  • Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets – interactive zombie hunt
  • Unearthed Scarlett’s Revenge – from the producers of “The Blair Witch Project: Unearthed”
  • Dead Fall: Thirst for Blood – watch out for ghosts lurking in a Victorian garden and greenhouse

For 2014, Busch Gardens used social media to allow guests to help define elements of the attractions.

In 2013 the theme was “When Evil Comes Out To Play” and they gradually introduced 13 scary characters that you would find in the Haunted Houses or the Scare Zones. Also new for 2013 was a separately ticketed add-on called the Experiment.

Halloween Characters, Haunted Houses and Scare Zones

The characters for 2013 were:

  1. The Possessed
  2. The Torturer
  3. The Hunter
  4. The Butcher
  5. The Banshee
  6. The Voodoo Queen
  7. The Surgeon
  8. The Demon
  9. The Zombie
  10. The Cannibal
  11. The Psychopath
  12. The Hangman
  13. The Clown

There were seven Haunted Houses:

  • Death Water Bayou
  • The Basement
  • Circus of Superstition 3D
  • Blood Asylum
  • Nevermore
  • Zombie Mortuary
  • Ultimate Gamble: Reversal of Fortune

As well as the Haunted Houses there were also three Scare Zones:

  • The 13
  • Harvesters Haunt
  • Pain Lane

Other pages of interest