Yesterday the surprise announcement was made that Howl-O-Scream would be coming to the Orlando Sea World with tickets already on sale. The event will run from September 8th through Halloween night October 31st. In the teaser released, terror appears to be rising from the same lagoon that Jaws 3D did many years ago. (Perhaps the ghost of Louis Gossett Jr. career will rise from the depths that 3D film sank it to as well.)
As many of you know we are huge fans of Howl-O-Scream every year at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, so when it was announced that it would be expanding to Sea World San Diego, we thought it was a great move for Sea World Parks. Having covered the offerings in San Diego for many years, some were absolutely amazing and some left a lot to be desired, so having a park sized offering with the budget and creative talent of the team that brings Howl-O-Scream to life at the Busch Gardens parks every year made a lot of sense.
The addition of the event to Orlando is very intriguing. Tampa Bay is just a short 1.5 hour drive from Orlando, and we know many people (ourselves included) who don’t mind the drive to the event. The Tampa park with its unique loop construction is a great layout for all the houses and scare zones. With Universal the only “nearby” major competition in the area for the park-style horror events, the move made sense in the market. However, in recent years, things have been changing here in Orlando. Great new offerings like Dark Horizons have proven there is an ever-expanding audience and appetite for new, innovative scares. With both Tampa and Orlando adding residents at an amazingly high rate, perhaps the demand for scares beyond the roller-coasters, actually makes it necessary.
Any visitors to SeaWorld Orlando can attest that, after nightfall, the park can be Scooby-Doo creepy. It’s dark with a lot of dimly lit paths, that huge killer shark-infested lake (we know Bruce is still out there…sorry Universal), and just in general so many twisting trails that it’s easy to get lost anyway.
They are promising Haunted Houses for the event. If they are on par with the Tampa offerings they should be unique and highly immersive.
Scare Zones with no places to hide.
Terrifying Shows and DJ Party Zones.
And the big rides in the dark!!!! These are some of the best coasters in the Orlando area, so it’s definitely worth the ticket just for them.
They are even offering pass holders a discount on single-night tickets that start at just $24.
There newly minted website has most of the details and I’m sure will be unveiling all the details of the houses and other offerings soon.
This is an adult-oriented, no costume event. So no don’t expect to visit Sesame Place, please. Elmo and Big Bird will be escorted off property promptly at sundown.
I personally can’t wait to visit both local Howl-O-Screams this year and expect them to give HHN up the road quite a run for the horror fan’s money.
Ken Toghia is a director, animator, technologist, and horror/haunt fan living in Orlando, Florida. He was raised in Southern California on Friday the 13th films, Elvira’s Movie Macabre, Oingo Boingo Halloween shows, Theme Parks, and Haunts. He started off his career as a Jungle Cruise Skipper and Riverboat Pilot at Disneyland, has a degree in Film and Television from Cal. State Long Beach, and loves to attend haunts and horror films with his amazing wife and sons (who also happen to love this stuff)