By Amanda Lafoe
Tampa Bay’s No. 1 haunted attraction will be Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream. It is the best Halloween fright fest with hundreds of roaming and interactive creatures, 9 scare zones, 7 major thrill rides, 6 haunted houses and live entertainment throughout the park. Be prepared to be scared throughout the night with tears from fear and laughter.
It is an adult-targeted event to celebrate 20 years of fear.
Looking for liquid courage? Check out their happy hour BOGO specials from 5-7:30PM at the Cheetah Hunt Plaza and their liquor tastings throughout the park including tequila, bourbon and a “pick your poison” location. There is plenty of live entertainment with dance party zones throughout the park and nurses with their monster-sized Jell-O shot syringes from their featured “Fiends” show with Dr. Frankenstein and Igor in Stanleyville Theater.
In order to have a scream dream experience, skip the wait and invest in Front Line Fear passes at an additional cost in advance.
There are three different options with prices starting at $35, $45 and $150. These options include 1) front-of-the-line access to any 6 haunted houses plus 20% off all gift shops, 2) front-of-the-line access to any 6 haunted houses AND 7 of the major thrill rides or 3) for the ultimate fear fan, get front-of-the-line access to 6 haunted houses AND unlimited front-of-the-line thrill ride access during ALL 22 event nights.
Once you have purchased your Front Line Passes, coordinate your safe arrival and departure options with either a local ride-share company or carpool with an annual pass holder to avoid the $25 parking fee. You will be greeted at the gate with plenty of photo opportunities that can become memorable selfies or use their photo key option to digitally access your photos upon arrival and at designated locations throughout the park.
How will you decide your path for food and adventure?
My biggest recommendation is to enjoy the thrill of the rides (especially Tigris, their newest attraction) first before entering the violent, gory and bloody haunted houses. For our nutritional readers, check out their new plant-based Impossible burger with a gluten-free bun option at the Dragon Fire Grill. As a safety precaution for you or anyone you know having negative reactions to strobe lights, be aware that some of the haunted houses (Insomnia and Motel Hell) and dance party zones might affect one’s experience. Speaking of safety, a big shout out to Busch Gardens for providing a strong presence of both security and first aid locations throughout the park.
Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream has a lot to celebrate for their 20 years of fear in the Tampa Bay Area. Enjoy their creativity and level of production that will make this an annual event for you and your friends and family. Get your tickets today at buschgardens.com/tampa/events/howl-o-scream.