• +1-407-906-0912
  • themeparkhipster@gmail.com

HIPSTER Review: Busch Garden’s Tampa Howl-O-Scream 2012

Howl-O-Scream Busch Gardens

HIPSTER Review: Busch Garden’s Tampa Howl-O-Scream 2012

This past weekend I made my way over to Busch Gardens for their annual Howl-O-Scream event. To my surprise I had a great time! Getting there early really helped me optimize my time and I was able to go through five of the six houses (I skipped the shows this year to focus on the haunted attractions).

I started the night off in one of the new houses called Blood Asylum. To be honest it wasn’t really frightening and the set up reminded me of a past house that I may have seen here a few years ago. The story line was common and my overall opinion of the house was that it was just “okay”.

The Circus of Superstition was the featured 3-D house. The theme of this maze was to take a spin on superstitions such as breaking a mirror and stepping on a crack. It was visually exciting (minus the flimsy glasses) and humorous with a sarcastic tone. This house actually turned out to be my favorite of the night.

The Zombie Mortuary was a returning house this year. The set up reminded me of a haunted maze at Universal Studios. Busch Gardens stepped up to the plate on this house by providing great details along with an exquisite production. This was my second favorite house of the night.

I then headed over to Nevermore, another returning house based on an Edgar Allan Poe poem. I enjoyed this house a lot more than I thought I would. The eerie atmosphere and the spooky gray statues provided an unexpectedly remarkable experience.

The final house of the night was called the Ultimate Gamble: CONDEMNED. This house wasn’t one of my favorites. The theme was based around a once vibrant casino that was eventually abandoned and overtaken by vampires. The one thing I did like about this house was the startling surprise that came at the very end.

The main reason why I love Howl-O-Scream is the fun atmosphere that surrounds the event; however, don’t take the fun for a lesser degree of terror. Constant screams are heard throughout the park. I enjoyed the groups of killer clowns, walkers, and the chainsaw guys who roamed freely at the event. This meant that there was NO place to hide and that no place was off limits. This was another one of my favorite features of the night.

The area of improvement that I recommend is in makeup. Some of the scareactors appeared as though their makeup was done for fun and not for a significant event as this.

Overall I had a blast! This was the best year for me. Even with the sore feet, I would not trade the experience I had. I was able to see so much this time and I was able to keep my eyes open 90% of the time….pat on the back for me 🙂

Before the season is over, be sure to stop by Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2012 for a fun Halloween party!



I’m a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related. I was born and raised in Florida, which attributes to my Theme Park passion. Every since I was a child I had a natural affinity to the parks here that has now spilled over into adulthood. Instead of rushing over to the thrill rides, like I used to, you may find me in the Italy Pavilion at EPCOT enjoying a nice glass of wine and a delightful book!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: