Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa 9/28/02

Associated parks:

This would be my first Halloween event at a park and I was looking forward to it. The entire week I had only seen Halloween Horror Nights commercials on TV and I was dying to go there. The night before we left I was a commercial for Howl-o-Scream, which didn't show much, it was kind of a teaser.

-The Park-

Busch Gardens is one of the nicest parks in Florida, IMO, others may look better themed but Busch Gardens is a top contender in a way. They do theme, it just doesn't always catch on to some people.

The decorations for Howl-o-Scream were modest, not in your face everywhere but they added special touches around the entire park. There were scare zones by Stanleyville, Timbuktu and the Lori Birds. The park entrance shopping area was covered with fog, lights and eerie music. There were people running everywhere trying to scare you. At one point this huge puppet came out and followed people around. We were already having fun and we hadn't even done one attraction.

The first haunted house we went to was...

Escape from Insanity '02

This maze was in the sky ride area and it was HUGE! It must have taken us 15 minutes just to walk through it. When we approached the line it wrapped around the entire queue for the sky ride but it went by very quickly. All of the haunted houses had excellent capacity. This was supposedly one of the scariest in the park and it didn't let me down. The house was themed around a mental institution full with murders and crazy employees. The funniest part of the maze was when my friend pointed to a toilet in a bathroom scene and it sprayed water at her. The very end of the maze you have to go through a fog filled alley while people grab at you and then you’re out the door. If anyone goes to Howl-o-Scream give this one a try, it is not too scary but it's very entertaining.

Next we went to Montu and the wait was 90 minutes. From what it looked like they were either running only one train or there was terrible stacking all night.

Right next door to the Crown Colony House was…

Demented Dimensions in 3D

The queue for this ride went outside and through Akbars queue. Despite the 3D glasses this one wasn't that scary, the scenery was very good though. On the park map there is a rating of the haunted houses and this one was rated the least scary in the park. This was very helpful in deciding on which ones to go to.

After we came out of Ackbar's exit we were anxiously waiting for a coaster to go on. I had been dying to go on Gwazi all week but we ended up deciding on Kumba. Timbuktu had been turned into a scare zone called "Cursed". The costumes and props in this area were great. People followed you around here as well and one clown even chased this one lady from the entrance all the way to the rides.

We hit the Phoenix before Kumba and that was fun as always. Money was falling everywhere and I just laughed my head off. You think people would notice while waiting that your change isn't safe in your pockets. Mwhaha…


No matter how many times I go on this ride the wait is always so short. It was about 10 minutes this time and we got in the 4th or 5th row. WHOA! Kumba was flying tonight! I sat on the outside right and I almost flew out of my seat coming out of the zero g roll. Still an awesome ride day or night.

Next we were getting hot so we jumped on Congo Rapids.

Congo River Rapids

Usually during the day this has one of the longest lines in the park but it was very fast moving last night. I had not rode this in a while so I was excited to give it a spin. As soon as we left the station and turned a corner those water guns on the bridge drenched me. Grr! It was fun though. Fast, fun ride. I wish they turned off the lights in the cave part that would have been even better.

Next we were off to eat and ended up walking a half hour to the Hospitality House when we realized it was closed. We chose the Zagora Cafe instead which was quite busy. We finished our food but my friend wanted to go on Gwazi....right after I ate. Nooooo! I waited the entire day to ride Gwazi and they wanted to go now? I wasn't going to take the chance, I've never thrown up after a ride but I knew I wouldn't feel too good afterwards if I did go on. So, we waited almost an hour for them to go on the ride and then get off. Oh btw, someone did throw up on the ride and they cleaned it up. Thank god it wasn't me.

This brought an end to the day, I wish that I could have gone to more houses and rides but we were all dead tired. Howl-o-Scream was a lot of fun and I'm sure that the rest of the houses did not let anyone down. The atmosphere was great and the ride ops were excellent. Keep up the good work BGT!

Nice TR! I'm glad to here that the haunted houses appeared to have good capacity. We are going to be going on Oct. 12th and were worried that we wouldn't have enough time to hit everything. I don't blame you for not wanting to go on Gwazi right after you ate. I always try to give myself a little extra time after a meal myself. I've never had the urge to vomit on a coaster but who knows how a belly full of food might change that. ;)
Eating then riding has never effected me, maybe because I've never thought about it. Generally, the stomach has to be somewhat full, or I'll hit some water, then the sloshing inside starts. Anyways, I feel bad when I DON'T eat.

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