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Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Halloween Celebrations 2021

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 2021, they are celebrating Howl-O-Scream for 28 select nights (8 more than last year) on the following dates:

  • September 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26
  • October 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30

For the first time in 2021, there are two Howl-O-Scream events in Florida, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Howl-O-Scream is joined by its sister park, SeaWorld Orlando Howl-O-Scream with their own version.

As well as tickets to the Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream event you can also buy a two park ticket and enjoy one Howl-O-Scream night at Busch Gardens and another at SeaWorld Orlando.

Busch Gardens has yet to announce if their 22nd Howl-O-Scream has a theme. The event runs for eight consecutive weekends with three nights each weekend in September (Friday to Sunday) and then four nights each weekend in October (Thursday to Sunday).

Like Universal Halloween Horror Nights and SeaWorld Orlando Howl-O-Scream, some children may find some of the attractions too intense and no costumes are allowed.

If you are looking for a family friendly alternative, then there is SeaWorld’s Spooktacular and LEGOLAND Florida Brick-or-Treat which are both included in the standard admission or Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours BOO BASH which is a separately ticketed event.

Howl-O-Scream dates for 2021

Busch Gardens Halloween Howl-O-Scream calendar for 2021

This is a separately ticketed event and the event starts at 7:00 p.m. and closes at 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 12:00 pm. on Thursdays and Sundays. This also gives you a chance to ride the roller coasters like Tigris and Cheetah Hunt in the dark.

Day guests have to vacate the park by 6 p.m. On Howl-O-Scream nights though the event does not start until 7:00 p.m. Howl-O-Scream ticket holders can enter after 5 p.m.

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

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

You may even find you are joined on one of the rides by one of the scare actors!

Dr. Freakensteins’s Fiends Show

Reintroduced in 2014 is the show called Fiends featuring Dr. Freakenstein and his naughty nurses which in prior years was performed at the Stanleyville Theater.

For 2020 it became an outdoor show at the Festival Field Stage.

Fiends returns to the Festival Field Stage in 2021 and runs at 8:30 and 10:00 p.m. There is also a skeleton rock cover band called “The Rolling Bones” that performs at the Dragon Fire Grill.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay gradually releases information about their Howl-O-Scream event over a period of several months, usually starting in June. More details will be added as information becomes available

Howl-O-Scream Houses and Scare Zones

Like in 2019, walk-through houses are back at Howl-o-Scream this year plus Busch Gardens are operating a number of open air scare zones.

For 2021 there are five houses of which three are brand new:

  • NEW The Forgotten — enter an underground vampire realm where you are stalked by a swarm of starving vampires
  • NEW Cell Block Zombies — at the Purgatory Penitentiary you have to breakout to escape from the flesh-eating inmates
  • Death Water Bayou: Blood Moon — watch out for werewolves on the hunt for human flesh
  • NEW Witch of the Woods — do you dare to explore the abandoned village deep in the dark woods
  • The Residence — discover the domestic demons in the Clark families suburban home

A total of eight scare zones are also planned plus an unmarked hidden zone:

  • NEW Voodoo — witchdoctors and dark magic
  • NEW Skeleton Crew — shipwrecked pirates
  • NEW In The Shadows — ghost stories in the woods
  • The Shortcut — corpses rise from the graves in this cemetery
  • The Junkyard — beware as you navigate a scrap yard
  • Little Nightmares — relive childhood nightmares with papier-mâché masks and homemade costumes
  • Deadly Toys — life sized toys are on the rampage

As you walk around Howl-O-Scream, do not be surprised to be chased by roaming hordes of scare actors masquerading as zombies, deranged clowns and werewolves.

Howl-O-Scream Food & Drink

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 like “Karver’s Creation” and “Evil Encore”.

There is a new “Blood Bar” located by “The Forgotten” haunted house.

As well as a food truck in previous years you could also enjoy an all-you-care to eat dinner buffet at the “Fright Feast” at the Dragon Fire Grill starting at 6:00 p.m. Prices started at $29.99 (plus tax) and included half an hour of early access to the haunted houses and front-of-line privileges until 8:30 p.m. To include a beverage package, tickets started at $49.99 (plus tax).

There is no news whether Fright Feast will return in 2021.

Howl-O-Scream Front Line Fear

There are two “Front Line Fear” passes that give you single-use front-of-line access to five houses.

The Extreme Front of Line Fear Pass also gives you single-use front-of-line access a number of thrill rides; namely Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Montu, Kumba, Cobra’s Curse and Tigris.

Prices of Front Line Fear passes vary by date with Saturdays typically being the most expensive.

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Special Ticket Offers and Deals

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay often run special discounted prices for people who purchase their Howl-O-Scream tickets early.

Right now they are several special Monster Sale deals:

  • Save over 65% on a one day ticket — offer expires soon
  • Save over 35% on an unlimited admission ticket — offer expires soon
  • Save over 30% on a two park admission ticket — offer expires soon
  • Save over 20% on a two park unlimited admission ticket — offer expires soon
  • Save up to 65% on flex night tickets — offer ends August 8

Note savings are based on general admission prices.

Why not check prices or purchase your Howl-O-Scream tickets and upgrades online from the official Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Howl-O-Scream website (opens in a new window).

Expired Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Howl-O-Scream Offers and Deals

Below are listed recently expired deals:

  • Save up to 70% on a one day ticket — offer expired July 25, 2021
  • Save over 40% on an unlimited admission ticket — offer expired July 25, 2021
  • Save up to 20% on a two park admission ticket — offer expired July 25, 2021

Howl-O-Scream 2021 Ticket Prices

Single night ticket prices start from $29.99 but prices go up after the introductory period. All prices are plus tax.

This is a separately ticketed event and Fun Card and Annual Pass holders also have to buy a ticket though discounts of around 10% are usually available.

If you are with a group of friends, Busch Gardens has in the past offered 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 Wicked 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.

Howl-O-Scream Single Night Ticket Adult
Standard single evening admission to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream on the date selected.
Discounts not available at the gate. Normal gate price $99.99
from $31.99 to $44.99
plus tax

Standard single night tickets are only valid on the date chosen at time of purchase.

Howl-O-Scream Single Night Ticket + Day Ticket Adult
Standard single day admission plus evening admission to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream on the date selected.
Discounts not available at the gate. Normal gate price $214.98
from $119.99 to $128.99
plus tax

Standard single night tickets are only valid on the date chosen at time of purchase.

Howl-O-Scream Unlimited Admission Ticket Adult
Unlimited admissions to all 28 nights of Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream.
Discounts not available at the gate. Normal gate price $149.99.
$94.99
plus tax
Single Night Ticket For Groups Of 15 Or More Adult
Single after 5 p.m. admission to Howl-O-Scream for groups of 15 or more. All tickets must be used as part of a group admission on the same night.
From $26.99 to $39.99
plus tax
Howl-O-Scream 2 Park Single Night Ticket Adult
Standard single evening admission to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream and single evening admission to SeaWorld Orlando Howl-O-Scream on selected nights.
Discounts not available at the gate. Normal gate price $149.99.
$99.99
plus tax
Howl-O-Scream 2 Park Unlimited Admission Ticket Adult
Unlimited admissions to all 28 nights at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream and unlimited admissions to all 27 nights at SeaWorld Orlando Howl-O-Scream.
Discounts not available at the gate. Normal gate price $199.99.
$159.99
plus tax

Note that Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream events and SeaWorld Orlando Howl-O-Scream events take place on the same nights mostly.

Howl-O-Scream 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.
Howl-O-Scream is not open on Thursdays in September.
$159.99
plus tax
Howl-O-Scream Front Line Fear Pass Adult
Get front-of-line access to 5 of the houses.
From $59.00 to $129.00
plus tax
Howl-O-Scream Front Line Fear Extreme Pass Adult
Get front-of-line access to 5 of the houses plus one-time use on 7 major rides.
From $69.00 to $149.00
plus tax
Howl-O-Scream Ultimate VIP Tour Adult
Seven hour Ultimate VIP Tour (see details below). Minimum of two guests.
Includes standard Howl-O-Scream admission ticket.
From $229.00 to $329.00
plus tax
Howl-O-Scream Behind The Scenes Tour Adult
Daytime lights-on tour of one of the houses, suitable for guests aged 13 and up.
Normal admission tickets required. Includes a one time one house priority access at night during the event.
$49.99
plus tax

Howl-O-Scream VIP Guided Tours

For the ultimate experience, Busch Gardens offer a choice of VIP guided tours (it appears the standard VIP Guided Tour is not available in 2021):

  • VIP Guided Tour — includes the Howl-O-Scream admission ticket with a three hour exclusive group tour with a Howl-O-Scream Insider guide, front-of-line access to select houses, private complimentary beverage stations with beer, soda and water and complimentary photo
  • Ultimate VIP Guided Tour — all the benefits of the VIP Guided Tour package with a seven hour exclusive personalised group tour, unlimited front-of-line access to select houses and thrill rides, private complimentary beverage locations including beer, wine, water and soft drinks, complimentary photo and reserved seating at the Fiends show and complimentary preferred parking

Both VIP Tours include admission tickets to the Howl-O-Scream event.

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream History

In 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic both Universal and Disney cancelled their Halloween celebrations but Busch Gardens managed to come up with a scheme that allowed the event to continue whilst conforming to the necessary social distancing protocols.

Busch Gardens confirmed that the event would take place with limited capacity and plenty of open air spaces to allow them to operate their scare zones but there would not be any walk-through houses that year.

It ran for six consecutive long weekends from September 25 to November 1 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In previous years it typically ran on Fridays and Saturdays for the first couple of weeks and then from Thursdays to Sundays. Late on, October 29 was added.

In previous years the first weekend was billed as a Freaky Preview but for 2020 there was no Freaky Preview and the only ticket option was for a one event ticket with prices ranging from $29.99 to $44.99 depending upon date.

Busch Gardens ran Howl-O-Scream with ten outdoor scare zones of which four were brand new but no houses:

  • NEW Lycan Landing — watch out for glowing eyes in the trees at the campground
  • NEW The Shortcut — corpses rise from the graves in this cemetery
  • NEW The Junkyard — beware as you navigate a scrap yard
  • NEW The Escape — look out for escaped prisoners from Grey Echo Penitentiary
  • First Fear — the first 20 years of Howl-O-Scream brought back to life
  • Little Nightmares — relive childhood nightmares with papier-mâché masks and homemade costumes
  • Maniac Midway — Sparky and the scary clowns are on the hunt for new stars
  • Deadly Toys — life sized toys are on the rampage
  • Hell on Wheels — watch out for a dangerous motorcycle gang

For 2019, Busch Gardens had six houses in total.

Some of the houses had been seen before and one was brand new:

  • NEW The Residence — discover the domestic demons in the Clark families suburban home
  • Death Water Bayou: Wrath of the Queen — navigate the swamp and escape the clutches of the Voodoo Queen of the Shadows (a long time favourite)
  • Insomnia: Patients’ Revenge — enter a haunted asylum where tormented patients seek revenge on the demented doctors
  • Motel Hell: Infestation — first introduced in 2016, visit the deserted Motel Shellburn and come face-to-face with an evil exterminator
  • The Black Spot: Bloodshed — encounter the infamous pirate Captain Saw-Tooth Silas on his pirate ship (first shown in 2017)
  • Simon’s Slaughterhouse — new in 2018, an extra intense experience featuring cannibalistic creatures, suggested only for guests aged 17 or older

In 2018, Howl-O-Scream reverted to six houses including two new ones:

  • NEW Simon’s Slaughterhouse — an extra intense experience featuring cannibalistic creatures, suggested only for guests aged 17 or older
  • NEW Insomnia — enter a haunted asylum with demented doctors
  • The Black Spot — encounter an infamous pirate (first shown in 2017)
  • Death Water Bayou — escape the clutches of the Voodoo Queen (a long time favourite)
  • Unearthed — from the producers of “The Blair Witch Project: Unearthed”, escape from a demon in an unearthed house
  • Motel Hell — first introduced in 2016, visit a deserted motel and come face-to-face with a paranormal presence

For 2017, there were seven houses:

  • Motel Hell — first introduced in 2016, visit a deserted motel and come face-to-face with a paranormal presence
  • Death Water Bayou — escape the clutches of the Voodoo Queen
  • Unearthed — from the producers of “The Blair Witch Project: Unearthed”, escape from a demon in an unearthed house
  • Zombie Containment Unit 15 — returning from 2015, hold off the undead in this interactive zombie hunt
  • NEW Demented Dimensions — the abandoned Sterling House offers portals into different universes and escape is virtually impossible
  • NEW Undead Arena: Live — run the gauntlet in this gruesome event starring you, The Unworthy
  • NEW The Black Spot — encounter an infamous pirate

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

Howl-O-Scream 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.

This required a separate ticket in addition to the regular Howl-O-Scream admission ticket and prices started at $50 plus tax. Additional guests up to a maximum of three (four people in total) could join you for an extra $10 per guest.