BGT: Howl-O-Scream 10/20/2005

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Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:24 AM
If you live in Central Florida, it’s hard not to get hit with the Halloween marketing barrage that is Howl-O-Scream and Halloween Horror Nights.

Each year I go to at least one, this year, Howl-O-Scream. Going on a Thursday was definitely a plus. Having a storm in the Gulf also keeps some people away.

But TRs are not about personal habits, or at least most are not.

My 14 year old son and I arrived at about 8:30pm and marveled at the new entrance and parking configuration. They finally resolved the issue with parking lot trams on a major road, they built a tunnel.

Entrance was quick and painless. The usual "ghouls" haunted the entrance, with the hidden guy squawking from the PA at specific people; effective to those who spook easily.

First stop, The Mortuary. This house has been around for years and is one of the better ones. Each year they change it a bit. Absolutely no line. This one has lots of hanging cadavers and "spooks" who pop out of walls. Not for kids or people who scream because they are truly scared.

Next, Gwazi Lion. Still the slowest loading coaster in the world. Okay, slowest I have been on. However, they are a little faster. Four ops on the platform with two trains moved the double/triple checks along. We waited about 10 minutes. Gwazi is a solid ride that is even better at night. Powerful twists and turns, no dull moments here.

Freaked is a circus/freakshow concept that has been around a few years as well. Cool music, Bauhaus and Ministry while we were visiting. Think Lollapalooza on acid with a no touch policy. You get sprayed in the face with water, other than that, pretty tame, unless chainsaws scare you. Again, no waiting.

Next stop, Sheikra. Our only true wait, about 30 minutes. Smooth as glass, but seems to be a two trick pony. The splash down is unnoticeable to riders, but the folks watching get wet. Fat guy seats (that's me) are in the center row in the center. Not bad, too fast. Ride it at least once, decide for yourself.

The show Fiends has been there forever, and still has the same songs and most of the same cast. Everyone still does the Time Warp and the Bats and Nurses are still "hot" to quote my son. It is a nice diversion and worth the 20+ minutes if you are not in a hurry.

Next, Dearly Departed. Story line follows a couple as they get engaged, married, and then dead. Great props and scenes, very creepy atmosphere. Not too scary, but well done.

Two train wait for Scorpion. Great classic Anton that never gets old. The power of the helix surprises many and the loop with only a thin lapbar scares many.

The Hunted's idea is sort of like Deliverance with lots of blood, corpses, and rednecks. Consider yourself "big game" as rednecks chase you through the woods. Nice use of existing space by using the snake area for part of the show. Kind of silly, more so than the others; do it once, just to say you did.

The last house we visited is After Hours. This replaced the Insane Asylum set that used the old monorail station. The idea is a night club where people end up as part of the art on the walls. There are piles of bodies, a room with wall lined with tattooed skin patches and even a room with fluorescent severed heads that move with the trance/house music. Clearly the best house in the place. BG really out did themselves here. Not for kids, or people who don't like really loud techno music. Pay close attention to the he/she in the dance cage at the beginning. Very inspired.

We did not bother with the 3D house. 3rd Dimentia, It's great for the little ones. Boring for the rest of us.

The evening ended with a trip on Montu, clearly my favorite ride at BGT. The brakes just before the batwing were on very light at the MCBR was on just enough to make the last half intense without being painful. One train wait, quick dispatch. Great ride. Clearly my favorite at BGT.

The walk through areas are smaller this year, but better. I really liked Widow's Walk.

If you want to go, watch for discounts. We paid $24 each and do not have passes (anymore). "List" price is over $50.

Great time, worth the time and money.

*** Edited 10/22/2005 3:49:44 PM UTC by CoasterDad64***

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 2:23 PM
With my season pass "discount", we got tix for tonight for 25 apiece...LOL!

With the incoming hurricane, and attractions potentially closed tonight, I called and asked if we could "transfer" our e-Tickets to next Sunday. No problem, thanks Yolanda... :)

BGT's customer service/guest relations dep't. has been fantastic in the past as well. When will operations/maintenance catch up? ;)

The new entrance is a HUGE plus for the park...took FOREVER to finish, but WELL worth it.

I lvoe the Mortuary, and Dearly Departed seems like a quirky take-off on one of the best movies ever...Beetlejuiice! (See my photo) ;)

Corporate Nightmare was a blast last year as well, Dilbert gone mad...reminds us of the torture of working inside "the machine"...is that still there? How about Ripper Row, always loved that one too?

I am ALL about the night rides it's true, but the haunted houses at BGT, with typically little/no wait, are REALLY well done. I may not go back to HHN for awhile, HoS is just THAT well run (and not overcrowded).

Thanks for the TR, CoasterDad64...

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Sunday, October 23, 2005 2:56 PM
Good move changing days. BGT has some of the best cusomter service in the business. All the schools and many businesses in the area are closed tomorrow as we are under a Tropical Storm Warning. If Wilma moves just a little more North as she regains strength tonight we'll get hit harder.

I too enjoyed Corporate Nightmare and was surprised that it did not come back. The faceless businessmen were classic. I guess it cut too close to home for too many. In reality, it was in the field that is now part of Sheikra and it was probably a one shot deal anyway.

Freaked and 3rd Dementia are ready for replacement. But all in good time. As long as they keep up the good work I will return.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005 11:55 AM
Great report. We were at the event on the 15th and had a great time, even though it was packed (we did one of the VIP tours to cope). I still think that's it a notch below Universal but still does a great job in it's own right. I love how the size of the park allows for a lot of scare zones and you can't beat the coasters at night. Also, count me impressed at the new parking arrangement. Much better than before.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005 4:18 PM
I went to HHN in 2003 and was impressed. I especially enjoyed the park at night with the fog and soap suds.

However, I live <30 miles from BGT and 90+ miles from IOA. The difference is not worth the extra expense to me.

Such a late night visit requires hotel, food, and lots of gas.

I will probably visit HHN next year. It will be time.

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