Unearthed: Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2015

Get ready to unearth some seriously scary fun at Busch Gardens Williamsburg for Howl-O-Scream® 2015. Ramping up the scare factor this year will be the producer of the hit movie The Blair Witch Project, Robin Cowie. Robin has teamed up with the park to produce and direct one of the newest haunted houses, Unearthed™ – howl o scream busch gardens williamsburg 2015Scarlett’s Revenge. See the Robin Cowie produced video of the origin of the Unearthed™ house.

Unearthed will join two other new houses – Cornered™ and LumberHack™- along with the return of Bitten, Catacombs, Cut Throat Cove and Deadline. Guests can also enjoy great shows (Monster Stomp on Ripper Row), themed dining options (Blood Banquet™), shopping (Blood Haus™) and five Terror-tories™.

Howl-O-Scream starts September 25 and will run Friday-Sunday until November 1. For more information on Howl-O-Scream, including operation hours and more, visit www.HowlOScream.com.  Busch Gardens opens at 10 a.m. with haunts starting at 6 p.m.

Bring A Friend Free

Pass members (1-park, 2 park and Platinum, Fun Cards not included) can bring a friend free to Howl-O-Scream during the weekend of September 25-27 and Oct 2-4. One free ticket per pass holder. Pass holder must accompany guest. To redeem, visit bgwpass.com

UPDATE: Due to the weather, Busch Gardens has graciously extended the Bring a Friend Free offer for the next two Fridays only, October 9 & 16. This year, the park will close at 11 p.m. on Fridays, giving you extra time for ghoulish fun. Redeem as indicated above. (Offer is not available on Saturday or Sunday. The park attendance is normally lower on Fridays to accommodate  the extra guests utilizing the free ticket offer.)

Howl-O-Scream 2015 Review

We had a chance to check out Howl-O-Scream for media night on September 25. Here are my thoughts on our experience…

Cornered

Unfortunately we did this house first, when it was still light outside. That in itself takes away from the house because you can see everything coming, BUT it was a very well done house and we enjoyed it regardless. The layout was fun and the scare squad was very well placed throughout the house and played their roles well. I love the concept and think it was executed fairly well (the use of props, costumes, etc). I am claustrophobic, so I did not enjoy going through the small balloon area but it adds to the anxiety of fun of the house. I found out later there is an alternative pathway to the right for those who do not enjoy small spaces as well. There were not a lot of people due to the weather, so the spacing and backing up of the house was not an issue. The end with the mirrors was fun and I can’t wait to return to see the effects of the house as night.

Score: 8* Will probably be higher once I go back at night.

Lumberhack

I really LOVED this house and so did my husband. Everything is executed perfectly to the point I felt like I was actually in a horror film. The two “campers” in the front of the house did a great job with their characters. The square actors, set, props ( blood, guts, body parts and chainsaws) and the setting of the house (in the woods) are really on point. It was also still somewhat daylight outside but did not take away from this house at all. I can only imagine how intense it is at night. Very well done! I wish it was a little longer, and the walk to get there was extremely long.

Score 9.5

Bitten

Although this is a returning house, I had never done it before. Not sure why, but I am glad I did. This house performed extremely well and I got quite a few scares. It is very dimly lit and I got turned around at one point, but that’s the point. Love the decorations and theming of this house.

Score: 9

Blood Banquet

We had a chance to once again enjoy check out this dining option. Unfortunately the cast was unable to perform (not sure why) but they did come out to greet the guests and mingle. I really enjoyed the show last year, so I was kind of disappointed. But from what I heard others say who have seen it this year, it is just as good.  The food wasn’t as good as I remember last year, but it was okay.  The buffet included a variety of  meats, pastas, chilli, salad, baked potatoes, desserts and drinks.

Score: 7

Monster Stomp

I LOVE this show!! I think this may be my favorite at the park, overall. The music selection is great, and the glow-in-the-dark dancing skeletons are so much fun. The guys making beats with the knives (eye candy for the ladies) is an added bonus, plus they are great with what they do. I would watch this year round.

Score: 9

 

We didn’t make it to the other new house, Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge and get the footage of us going through the house. You can check out the footage from one of my fellow Thrill Chasers, Naoma on her YouTube page. I have heard mixed reviews about this house, but I am hoping it will improve with time.

 

Overall

We had a great time, as usual. Once again, my favorite Terror-tory is Wendingo Woods. I love the setup and the scare actors are always so good. That got me again this year, even better than last year. Not sure if the two of them were working in cahoots to get me, but it worked well lol. I am also still fan of the headless Victorian ladies with the umbrella on Ripper Row. They are so creepy and cool looking!  I love the fog machines as it adds to the creepy atmosphere. It can get a little thick at times in some areas and you can’t see, but it is still fun.

I heard/read complaints about the decorations up in the park being minimal as well as the performances of some houses. Keep in mind that opening weekend is never perfect, the kinks still need to be worked out in every area. Take bad first impressions with a grain of salt, as I am sure things will improve with time. The bad weather didn’t help the situation, so lost time has to be made up. But I am sure BG will pull through in the end, they always do.

We didn’t have a problem with lines due to the weather, but in the coming weeks, I am sure they will be long. You may want to invest in a Howl-O-Scream quick queue to avoid long lines.