Busch Gardens Williamsburg Howl-O-Scream Opens September 14, 2012

On September 14, Busch Gardens Williamsburg transforms into the Dark Side of the Gardens.  The park’s Howl-O-Scream event runs for seven weekends through October 28th.  Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream promises guests will be chased by hordes of monsters, zombies, and minions as well as 3 Halloween themed shows and 6 different haunted houses.  Busch Gardens Williamsburg offers a Fall Fun Card for $66.99 (ages 3 and up) that includes unlimited admission between September 8 and October 28, 2012.  Continue reading for all the details on Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream.

Photo by Scott K. Brown © 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

From Busch Gardens Williamsburg Press Release

Busch Gardens popular Howl-O-Scream event has been extended to seven weeks this year to accommodate the park guests’ seemingly insatiable need for thrills, scares and startles.  Howl-O-Scream visitors will need to keep a watchful eye for these scary followers.  No place is safe in the darkness of the gardens.

The Lady of the Gardens returns this year to show off the Dark Side of the Gardens.  Evidence of her decaying green thumb can be seen throughout the park, much to the chagrin of the park’s landscaping team.  She had a hand in a special new haunted maze that will debut this year.  While she won’t provide details of the new maze just yet, sources say she has been spending a lot of time working in her greenhouse.

Photo by Scott K. Brown © 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Two new shows are debuting at the park this year.  Dig It Up, a new show in Italy, promises to raise the dead.  A second show is under development at Das Festhaus, but details are still under wraps.  Guests eager for all the details can expect more information about the park’s new show and maze in early September.

What else can guests can expect this year at Howl-O-Scream?  Below is the most up-to-date information available about Howl-O-Scream’s mazes, shows and festivities.


  • FIENDS (Abbey Stone Theatre in Ireland)

The wacky doctor and his manic nurses are creating the ultimate Fiend, and there’s not a bad seat in the lab.  The voltage is high, and so is the fun as they sing, dance and bring you along on the operation of a lifetime.

  • DIG IT UP (Il Teatro di San Marco in Italy)

Relics long forgotten and buried in the vaults of the Muse di San Marco have recently been dug up, dusted off and brought to life through song.  Cavemen, Egyptians, Romans, and even an alien encounter make their musical debut in this eclectic energy packed anything goes at Halloween show.

  • TBD – A new show in Das Festhaus

Details coming soon.

Photo by Scott K. Brown © 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Through a ruined cemetery filled with statues lies a tunnel that leads to an underground city.  Its history is more terrifying than that of France’s worst revolutions.  Deep within these tunnels lie mile after mile of bones—the final resting place for those who are buried here.  But all is not as quiet as it appears.  As guests venture forth into the dank, dripping corridors of rat infested remains, the voices of the dead begin to speak, and some have taken shape.


Deep underground, construction of the newest line of the Pompeii Metro was moving smoothly until an ancient pipe was accidentally struck.  At first, it seemed like steam.  Then the mist became thicker, more sinister.  Now the strange gas is leaking quickly, and everyone trapped inside is infected.  The difficult decision was made to cut off all communication to the outside world.  The Dead Line is off the grid.


Suspicion, darkness and mind-numbing fear surround the “Bitten” house which is set in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s.  Full of legends and lore of vampires and the undead that preyed on the innocent, this manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass but few return.


For 13 long years, the dark tower was locked away from the world—existing only in the nightmares of those who had dared to experience Howl-O-Scream’s first and most terrifying maze.  But now the seal has been broken.  The tower is open once more and on the 13th floor, your darkest phobias and fears lurk in the shadows.  Are you brave enough to face them or is your number up?


On the dark outskirts of the Fair Grounds near Festa Italia, a traveling carnival is waiting under a stained and tattered big top.  Lift the flaps of the tent and discover the macabre—a fantastic collection of freaks, psychotic clowns and other insane oddities that defy human explanation.  Will your sides split with laughter?  Or will you turn around and run for your life?  Either way, you’ll quickly understand why this evil carnival is doomed to wander the Italian countryside … never stopping in the same village twice.

  • TBD – A new haunted maze

Details coming soon.

Photo by Scott K. Brown © 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Howl-O-Scream officially kicks off Friday, Sept. 14 for seven chilling weekends.  The park is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 28.  For park operating hours click here.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.