Every year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg puts together what is, essentially, the best deal in haunts around with their annual Howl-O-Scream event. Unlike most other theme park Halloween events, BGW’s Howl-O-Scream event isn’t separately ticketable. So whereas you have to buy a specific ticket for events like Halloween Horror Nights, or even Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl-O-Scream, for the event in Williamsburg, you can purchase a regular day ticket (or, for season pass holders, just show up at any time during the day), enjoy the regular park during the day, and enjoy the Howl-O-Scream festivities in the evening. The best part of all? All the Howl-O-Scream shows play during the day as well, so you can watch all of them before the houses even open, and hit the houses without interruption, which is kind of vital, considering the crowds this place gets on weekends.
Howl-O-Scream opened this year on September 14th, a direct response to the fact that for almost the last two years going, the park has hit capacity every Saturday of the event, dealing with extremely long lines and wait times and, worst of all, turning away business. Of course, I attended this year’s event on a Saturday, and, even though I got to the park at 1PM and was able to hit a good amount of the shows and a coaster or two before the house’s opened. Sadly, even with this head start, without a Quick Queue pass, I was only able to hit 5 of the 6 houses, and 2 of the 3 shows. Yes, the lines were THAT long, and closing the park at 10 (4 hours after the houses opened) didn’t help. I’ll talk a little bit more about the options available for those trying to jam it all in in one night after the jump, as well as reviews of each of the houses!