Ultimate Busch Garden’s Tampa Howl-O-Scream 2012 Review

HIPSTER Review: Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2012

This past weekend I made my way over to Busch Gardens for their annual Howl-O-Scream 2012 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’m excited to take you through each house that I was able to go through for Howl-O-Scream 2012.

Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream 2012 Review

Howl-O-Scream 2012 scare zones, shows, club, and photo ops at Busch Gardens Tampa

Blood Asylum

I’m not a fan of psych wards or asylums. Busch Gardens knew this and gave us the back story of the owner who wants you to join him.

I actually was really scared going through this house which was located inside the old Questor ride building. The environment was filled with mayhem and madness.

A great house to start your night off at Howl-O-Scream 2012.

Zombie Mortuary

"Howl-O-Scream 2012 059

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.

Circus Superstition

Howl-O-Scream 2012 Circus Superstitions
Howl-O-Scream 2012 Circus Superstitions

A quirky and fun maze, which surprised me with the combination of jokes and scares.

I loved the little things such as “step on a crack” superstitions brought to life.



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.

Ultimate Gamble: Condemned


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.

Final Thoughts on Howl-O-Scream 2012

Overall I had a blast!

Howl-O-Scream 2012 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!

Remember to just have fun!

You’re really going to have a great time, so try not to stress too much and enjoy the chilling frights of Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream!

I hope this Howl-O-Scream Survival Guide helped you prepare for this year’s event. Remember that it is one of ThemeParkHipster’s favorite fall Florida event.

Be sure to leave your own stories and comments below and let me know what some of your favorite tips are when going to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens. Also let me know what your favorite Howl-O-Scream maze is of all time.

Send me a picture of your experiences. You can do this by tagging me on Twitter or Instagram!

For more information on the houses, shows, pricing, policies, and times please visit the official Howl-O-Scream website.

Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to Busch Gardens alone, then read the top 18 tips.

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

 For more theme park news, discounts, tips and guides, subscribe to the newsletter!

I’m super grateful when you share my posts on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest. It helps spread the word about ThemeParkHipster and allows me to keep bringing you great content.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!


Share this article!

Leave a Comment