Its the wonderful haunt season and Busch Gardens is celebrating scaring its Tampa natives and tourists for 20 years this year. I have been going for quite a few years myself and I always enjoy it, and this year was no different. They had a new house, scare zones and the annual Fiends show, so lets talk about the fun that is”The Dark Side of the Gardens” this season.
Their newest home was called The Residence and personally, I enjoyed it. The theme was of a suburban home gone wrong and the family in this house was out for blood. They had some strong scareactors walking through terrorizing people and I love how close they would get without touching. We also had one of my all-time favorites Death Water Bayou: Wrath of the Queen, The Black Spot:Bloodshed also came back which I always enjoy, plus 3 others Simon’s Salughterhouse, Motel Hell: Infestation, and Insomnia: Patients’ Revenge. I always enjoy getting to go through houses multiple times so its nice they repeat some houses each year and add new effects.
The Scare Zones add some life to the streets, but there is still a lot of space to cover so they also have people hiding in the bushes which is fun. I personally got my best scare from one of them once when I was distracted and not expecting it. The zones are intense though and fun to go through. The newest additions are First Fear which gives you reminders of the 20 years of HoS past, Little Nightmares which has a classic Halloween vibe and Carpe Noctem which is a gothic roman cemetery that is being attacked by vampires which personally this was a fun one to see.
Some others came back like Camp DOA which is attack of a campground, Hell on Wheels which is an apocalypse attack and people trying to survive, Dia De Los Meurtos which is a day of the dead themed area that is great for photo ops, Maniac Midway which is all around the game area and well spread out, Meat Market which is before Simon’s slaughterhouse and it has fun interactions throughout and deadly toys where your childhood toys come to life and not in a good way.
The next thing we will talk about is Fiends. The theme this year was everyone was coming to the Doctor’s castle due to an apocalypse coming and affecting everyone who doesn’t make it in. Each year this show ties in some new music with classic monsters and current trends/topics throughout their jokes. I have always found this show to just be okay, but if you are looking for something to do that gets you off your feet and has a few good laughs, you can’t go wrong.
The final bit of this is the food, drink, merchandise and rides. While no specialty food was out they do have some neat drinks which I found the Embalming to be tasty. I also felt though that if you are looking for a buzz though, stick to the basics since these are premixed. They also have some cool merchandise in the front of the park in the gift shops so make sure you don’t forget to pick something up to remember the night! Also take a look and see which coasters are open because you can get a thrill that way too and possibly sit next to a scareactor.
Overall, Howl o Scream is a fun time. I would definitely take a night out and go check out what Busch Gardens has to offer for Halloween, because you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts if you have been this year! Until next time, see you in the parks!