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Busch Gardens releases details about this year’s Howl-O-Scream with NEW Haunted Houses

It’s going to be a haunting Halloween season in Tampa Bay with the return of Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!

This is one of our favorite events to celebrate Halloween for teens and adults and when we say this event is haunting, we mean it…

Prepare for a night of screams, startles and even some ghoulishly good treats! We attend this event each year to bring you all the details to help you map out your night.

We’re answering the top questions about what we know about this year’s event. And don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals in Tampa Bay for your best season ever!

When is Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens?

The thrills kick off on Friday, September 9, 2022 and continue Thursday-Sunday evenings before the final scare on Monday, October 31, 2022. This is a separately ticketed event which runs from 7pm-1am on Fridays and Saturdays and from 7pm-12pm on Thursdays and Sundays.

How much are tickets for Howl-O-Scream?

As we mentioned, you will need a separate ticket to attend Howl-O-Scream, so don’t plan on trying to go to Busch Gardens earlier in the day and trying to sneak your way in later.

If you do plan to visit the park during the day and have your Howl-O-Scream ticket for later, there will be designated holding areas where you can get your event wristband.

Tickets start at $44.99 and go up depending on the day and as it gets closer to Halloween.

If one night of scares isn’t enough for you, you can also purchase an Unlimited Admission Ticket to go as many times as you want–that ticket is $139.99. There’s also an Unlimited ticket that excludes Saturdays for $124.99.

Do Busch Gardens Pass Members get a discount on Howl-O-Scream tickets?

Yes! It’s one of the many perks of being a pass holder. All you have to do is log into your pass member account and you can purchase tickets. Ticket prices for pass members start at $39.99. This discount applies to Bronze, Silver, Gold and Florida Platinum pass holders.

You can absolutely purchase an annual pass and THEN buy your Howl-O-Scream tickets. Annual passes include entry to other special events at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay including Christmas Town, so it might be worth it for you to buy now and then enjoy the perks for an entire year.

If you are a Florida Platinum Pass holder you get into the first weekend of Howl-O-Scream for free (September 9-September 11, 2022).

Can I wear a costume to Howl-O-Scream?

Unfortunately for those of you who love to get dressed up, the answer is no.

What’s NEW at this year’s Howl-O-Scream?

Did you know the creative teams literally spend all year thinking and planning for this event? in fact, they’re probably already dreaming up NEW ways to scare you next year right now!

There are some new additions to this year’s event including a new Haunted House and two new Scare Zones.

NEW Haunted House: Stranglewood Estate

In a nutshell, the story of this haunted house centers around: “a once lively home filled with laughter and parties is now filled with darkness and the spirit of evil.” Gulp…

REVAMPED Haunted House: The Residence: Home for the Holidays

Christmas has arrived earlier than ever this year, but this is one present you don’t want to unwrap and let’s just say it’s a not-so silent night in this house of chills.

NEW Scare Zone: Ravens Mill

Ravens Mill is a place to venture if you dare–a place where the scarecrows lurk among the walls of the cornfield waiting to scare YOU.

NEW Scare Zone: Beyond the Veil

Watch out for the fairies and orcs along the path of the Nairobi Trail. They’re not as friendly as you may think…

Returning haunted houses and scare zones you don’t want to miss

There are five haunted houses total including the new and revamped houses we just mentioned, but a few of your favorites are back this year!

Returning Haunted Houses:

Death Water Bayou: Blood Moon – The Final Phase

Busch Gardens had something good going with Death Water Bayou and now they’re bringing it back. The blood moon is back and the werewolves are back… The question is, will you make it out?

The Forgotten

This house had our hearts literally pounding as we walked through last year. The sights, the sound of the thumping music, it was definitely freaky. The story goes: “Victims will be drawn into a hidden world beyond the rubble and rocks of an unsuspecting quarry, where dark secrets lurk in the shadows.”

Oh yeah…they lurk, so watch out!

Witch of the Woods

We liked this house which was a new addition last year along with The Forgotten. You start out in the woods outside and make your way into a hauntingly dark forest where a wicked witch “summons you with her inescapable curse”.

Returning Scare Zones:

Along with the hidden scare zones and roaming hordes, there are 7 scare zones this year, including the NEW zones we mentioned above and these:

  • The Junkyard
  • In the Shadows
  • Skeleton Crew
  • The Shortcut
  • Voodoo

The entertainment at Howl-O-Scream

There are four live shows you can enjoy throughout the night including:

  • ALL NEW SHOW! “50/50: Choose Your Fate”: No matter your choice— he wins, and you lose. Join the game show host as he decides your fate and experience the fright of a lifetime.
  • Fan-Favorite “Fiends!” returns to the Festival Field Stage: The raunchy monster dance party will return to its spacious outdoor venue for more devilish antics from Dr. Freakenstein and his gang of ghouls.
  • “The Rolling Bones” light up the stage at Dragon Fire Grill: As guests fuel up on a pre-fear feast, the live performance of this skeleton band lights up Dragon Fire Grill with epic covers of classic rock anthems.
  • Cirque Scream: Cirque X-Scream features exhilarating acts and stunts, including trampoline tricks and aerial performances.
  • Words in this section were written by Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Fear not, there are some ghoulishly good ways to upgrade your night at Howl-O-Scream!

Who doesn’t love a ghoulishly good upgrade?? Along with the Unlimited Passes you can purchase to attend as many times as you want, there are also some other VIP upgrades you might want to take advantage of!!

Ultimate VIP Tour: (2 guest minimum $249 per person)

This is a 7-hour private tour with a tour guide where you can get a customizable tour of Howl-O-Scream, unlimited front of line access to all rides and haunted houses and one front of line access to Iron Gwazi. It also includes private complimentary beverages and private seating for Fiends, photos and more!

Behind the Scenes Tour: ($29.99)

This is actually a really cool tour if you want to learn more about HOW the creative team at Busch Gardens creates the haunted houses. You’ll get a lights on tour of one of the haunted houses and a one-time, one house priority access.

Front of Line Fear (prices start at $69.99)

Why wait for the thrills when you can skip the line? This ticket gets you one-time front of line access to five haunted houses

Front of Line Fear Extreme (prices start at $79.99)

If the haunted houses weren’t enough for you, this ticket will also get you single-use front of line access to the thrill rides, including Iron Gwazi!

No Boo Necklace ($9 if purchased online, $15 at event)

If startles aren’t your thing, then the No Boo Necklace is for you. It lets scare performers know you’d rather not be spooked and they’ll try to avoid you. Of course, this can’t be guaranteed and you may be initially approached, but once they see your necklace, they’lll go after someone else. You save 40% by buying this online.

Interactive Skull Lanyard ($35)

You can level up the scares with this interactive lanyard that comes with present fog and light effects. It works at 10 different attractions, including the “Fiends” show. We’ll be interested to see how this one works!

Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood. Howl-O-Scream 2022 is a separately ticketed nighttime event. No costumes are allowed.

Related stories we think you’ll LOVE:

Tampa Bay’s BEST Fall Festivals, Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Halloween Events and MORE!

Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa returns in 2022 with new thrills and treats!

Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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