BGW 10/14/05-Perfect Day Part 2-Howl-O-Scream

Associated parks:
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Sunday, October 16, 2005 8:49 PM
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: October 14, 2005.

10:00-10:00

My Perfect Day Part 2

Before I begin this, I want to give you my views on Halloween. I am not a fan of gore or that facet of Halloween (suspense and a good mystery on the the other hand I enjoy). Halloween is not a holiday to be taken seriously, in my opinion; I’m all for putting up spooky lights, having employees in costumes and playing creepy music but don’t overdue it with the fake blood and rubber bodies. I prefer the classic Universal monster movies and Young Frankenstein to Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Haunted Houses do not thrill me, I don’t really enjoy them; what I do enjoy is watching the people in front of me scream like babies (yes I’m "that guy" who goes through Haunted Houses laughing) and the maze type aspect of the experiences but not enough to go on one unless there is a short line and I have done the coasters enough that day. That was the case today, which is why I managed to do all of the Haunted Houses. As you read my reviews, please bare in mind that my ratings are strongly influenced by the people who went through the mazes with me’s reactions.

After my hour nap it was 4:30, t-minus 1.5 hours until Howl-O-Scream. Still feeling a little drowsy I decided to take the train from Scotland mainly because I love BGW’s track but, I also wanted to see the decorations they had up for the Haunted Train because I had heard conflicted reports about whether or not the ride was worth the wait. While waiting for the train to come I had a great conversation with the conductor and two veteran season pass holders I found out what I assumed all along, the train has the longest line and the haunted houses get big lines quickly too. After the train ride to New France the scenes looked promising enough for me to decide to make the train my first Howl-O-Scream attraction. Wanting to stay close enough to the New France station I decided to hit:

Alpengeist: Wait-15 min (due to guest illness) 8/10. My third and final day ride on this attraction proved to be the same as the first two, a good ride but shackled by breaks.

Due to the guest illness the Alpie line had grown from about 10 mins to 20-25 which was cutting it a little to close to start of Howl-O-Scream so I couldn’t ride it again, at the moment (I was determined to catch the first Nightmare Express Train.) To get into the Halloween Sprit, and because the wait was only 10 min, I took my second and last trip on Curse of the Darkastle. Upon exiting Ludwig’s castle it was 5:30 so I decided to head back to New France, picking up a caramel apple on the way (to hold me over until a late dinner after completing all of the haunted houses.) I arrived in the station and waited about 15 mins for 6:00 when Jack arrived:

Jack’s Nightmare Express: Wait-First Train of the Night 6/10. This ride lived up to the cheesiness that everyone said it had; but it was a good cheesy. I also loved the detail they put into the ride, such as having a Jack appear in the station as we took off, and having Jack have an Irish accent (since he is an Irish character) and also having each scene a vignette of the haunted houses/shows.

During the ride, I saw a huge line for Sleepless Hollow, but not for Pompeii. With that info I hopped on the sky ride from Rhineland to Scotland and enjoyed the nice view of Alpengeist and LNM. Even though I heard it was stupid and not worth it, it was the quickest way to Pompeii and had no line so I went through:

Sea Dog Cemetery: Wait-Walk On 4/10. This may be because it was still light and this was an outside attraction, but this walkthrough was not scary and down right disgusting (too many people with chainsaws "hacking up" rubber bodies). But as I said the only reason I did this is because it was the quickest route to:

Curse of Pompeii: Wait-<5 min 7/10. This was by far the best Haunted House in the park, as well as the longest. I enjoyed the Indiana Jones/Mummy vibe it had and all of the random things that jumped out at us (especially the fake giant spider.)

Leaving Pompeii I headed to Fiesta Dementia, big props to the scare actors on the midway here they were all great and scaring people left and right. AC had a 20 min wait, confirming that the park was starting to fill up so I skipped riding it and headed to:

Last Laugh Industries: Wait-<5 min 6/10. While this was the shortest legitimate haunted house (Sea Dog Cemetery doesn’t count in my mind) I was impressed with how long it was considering it was in the Roman Rapids queue. I don’t understand why people find clowns scary, but this was an enjoyable house since scare actors kept on opening up fake windows in the wall and yelling.

As I escaped the factory, night had finally descended on the park and the clouds had cleared to show an almost full moon. This was my first night in October in a park (my other two parks SFGAm and CP I visited in Oct I was only there during the day) so I don’t know if this is normal for most parks or not but the BGW’s lighting and fog effects were amazing. Everything (including random patches of forest) was lit up in either an eerie green, orange, or bizarre white and purple light. After that I left Fiesta Dementia I headed over to Germany and what I thought was going to be my first wait of the evening, I was wrong:

Sleepless Hollow: Wait-<5 min 6/10. For some reason the line had completely evaporated with the sunlight. For being the park’s signature house, I was not impressed. I read online that they had reversed the entrance and exit and I can defiantly tell, the horseman was the first scare actor I saw and he became more rare the further you went into the maze. The scenes bordered on disgusting (especially the dinner scene) and seeing a headless man just doesn’t push my scare button. Also Pompeii was a much longer maze (even though this maze was long considering it was in the old Dracken Fire station) and better themed.

Having successfully done every haunted house and the train in one hour, it was time to have dinner at the Festhaus and view:

Fiends of the Festhaus: Wait-N/A 7/10. I have a soft spot for 80s music, and seeing that this show essentially consisted of Universal Monsters and psycho nurses belting out 80s tunes (with the required and appreciated signing of Time Warp thrown in for good measure) amd some jokes as a bonus, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having my fill of Halloween attractions for the moment, it was time to take some night rides on the coasters; due to proximity first up was:

Big Bad Wolf: Wait-10 min, 10 min 8/10, 10/10. Knowing I wasn’t likely to get back to Germany that night I decided to do back to back rides on BBW, in my opinion the most improved by night steel coaster in the world. I decided to try both sides of the back front (cant go in the back row due to my tall legs) and discovered the right (exit platform side) to be the superior side. Unlike Labor Day weekend, the breaks were on on the Rhine River Plunge but it didn’t take much out of the ride; the full moon really added to the whole atmosphere of the ride. Next up the Swiss Alps aboard:

Alpengeist: Wait-10 min, 10 min 10/10, 10/10. Replicating BBW, I did a double trip on Alpie. I don’t know if it was me imagining things or if they actually did dim the lights that usually illuminate this monster, but it seemed darker then normal. The midcourse breaks were still on but not as much as they were during the day, I love this ride.

With the final showing of the Jack is Back Show about 45 min away I decided to head down to Ireland. The trip was shorter then expected and Khilarney square was devoid of people waiting for the show so I decided to continue on to Scotland and do:

Lockness Monster: Wait-<5 min 9/10. Yet another of BGW’s coasters greatly improved by darkness Nessie gave me its typical fantastic night time ride. After that ride it was time to double back to Emerald Isle for:

Jack is Back: Wait-N/A 7.5/10. With the 80s music from the last show combined with this show’s 70s/Early 90s music brought back memories of my favorite college bar. Besides the nostalgia, the jack o laterns, dancing scarecrows on stilts and Jack hamming it up from his DJ spot made this another entertaining show. Sadly 10:00 was quickly approaching on my last day of the coaster season time for one last ride on:

Lockness Monster: Wait-<5 min 9/10. Fulfilling tradition, it was time for my last ride, and it was wonderful.

So totaling it up, 15 rides and one show during the day, 16 rides/houses and two shows during Howl-O-Scream for a total of 31 rides and 3 shows; I couldn’t have asked for a better day despite my leisurely pace. While it was sad to end the 2005 season, at least it went out with a bang at my favorite (and adoptive home) park. It’s also nice to know that this off season will only be 6 months instead of the typical 9 months due to me living in the south this year. Until then, its back to reading rumors and ride announcements on the web.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 12:28 AM
Sounds like it wasn't a bad day at all! Fridays are easily the best day to visit the park because kids are still in school. If you would've came on Saturday, you would've hated it because the park reached max capacity and turned people away.

I don't get scared in the mazes either. I usually go with someone who gets quite scared going through it, so I'm laughing the entire time. But I always go through hoping to get scared but alas, it never happens.

Nice to see that you liked Jack is Back the most (according to your ratings) of the shows for HoS, seeing that I'm the Photo Op. Muhaha!

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Monday, October 24, 2005 2:35 PM
RCT fan, that is why I never visit a park on a Saturday (or weekend if I can avoid it). If you go on a Saturday you are just asking for a full park. Out of curosity how is most Sundays in October?
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Monday, October 24, 2005 6:07 PM
Sundays aren't usually too bad. I think yesterday was about 16,000 guests. I would only attend on Friday or Sunday if I had the choice. Saturdays are WAY too crowded to enjoy yourself.
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