There’s a strange mist hanging in the air, faint screams coming from every direction, the smell of pumpkin spice latte slowly draws you in… It’s Busch Garden’s annual HOWL O SCREAM event. I know the fall season is officially here when the air is crisp, leaves start to transform into beautiful crimson and gold and when the ghosts and goblins traverse every corner of Busch Gardens. It’s my favorite time to visit the park, it’s a festive and well themed environment and the weather has started to become much more tolerable. Busch Gardens does a very nice job of decorating the park with pumpkins, spooky lighting, fog and all things eerie for their annual event. Howl O Scream is not ideal for young children as there are ghastly guests hiding around every corner of the park ready to terrify unsuspecting patrons.
This year there are seven haunted houses: Demented Dimensions, The Vault, Dystopia, Circo Sinistro, Cornered, Frostbite and Lumberhack. There are also “scare zones” throughout the park as well as Halloween bars and three shows. The festivities start at 5:45 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (all of the children’s rides and experiences end at 5:00) and end at either 10:00 or 11:00 depending on the day, you would want to check the Busch Gardens, Williamsburg website to confirm time.
We arrived at the park on a Saturday at about 3:30. We met up with our friends then enjoyed a meal together at the outdoor dining area in the Italy section of the park. It’s a great place to just relax and wait for all the frightening fun to begin. Our group made sure we were in line for our first Haunted House by about 5:30 p.m. Let me tell you, the park was very crowded. Probably the most people I’ve ever seen. Fridays tend to be a better day to go with lower crowds if that’s an option for you. We waited in significantly long lines for each Haunted House and only took one short break for coffee (and a delicious chocolate crepe) in between two of the Haunted Houses, we were only able to make it through six of the houses before the park closed.
BUT, not to worry, we will be back at least one more time before the season is over and will be sure to explore the horrors in the last Haunted House we missed. All in all, I always have a great time hanging out with friends, laughing at ourselves and others throughout the night, feeling like a kid again and just taking time out of life to be silly. We have made some really great and funny memories over the years!!!
If you’re looking for something fun to do this fall I suggest a trip to Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens in beautiful Williamsburg VA. Get there earlier in the day to be able to enjoy some of their great thrill rides for all ages, have some dinner and prepare to be terrified!!! For more information check out buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/howl-o-scream.