Compared to all the commotion being caused by ‘The 13‘ down in Tampa, Busch Gardens in Willimansburg, VA has been very quiet so far. With less than a month to go they have now finally lifted the veil and revealed all the details for their 2013 Howl-O-Scream haunting season beginning next September on Friday The 13th, and it looks like, well… a scream.
This year they are doing complete conversions of their four European themed villages into Terror-tories where the lands are transformed – taken over by demons and creatures of unspeakable horror. With the introduction of the Terror-tories Busch Gardens is introducing a whole new immersive aspect to Howl-O-Scream. The villages of France, Italy, Germany and England will be transformed into over-the-top thematic experiences transporting guests to another time and place where they’ll chart a course through the haunted waters in Italy, flee the flames of burning France, avoid becoming a vampire’s dinner in Germany or hunt for Jack the Ripper in London’s East End. In this immersive experience, guests are the main characters whose fates are linked to Pirates, demons, vampires and Jack the Ripper himself, who all roam through the dark side of the gardens awaiting their latest victims.
In addition to the elaborate Terror-tories, a new haunted house is also premiering this season called Cut Throat Cove, an obviously pirate-themed attraction. There’ll also be bars, three immersive dining experiences, and shows. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention their collection of world class thrill rides such as Griffon®, Curse of DarKastle and Loch Ness Monster® Here’s all the gory details…
· NEW Cut Throat Cove: Heed the warning: Abandon hope all ye who enter. Cut Throat Cove™ is the haven for bloodthirsty, dangerous rogues – where the scurvy dogs, buccaneers and scoundrels go for shelter. Proceed with caution. Alas, something has gone terribly wrong. Within this macabre market, the pirates have been slaughtered and mutiny is afoot. The way out lies with the buried treasure and the blood-curdling screams you hear just might be your own.
· Catacombs: 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.
· Bitten: 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.
· 13: Your Number’s Up: 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?
· Dead Line: 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.
· Root of All Evil: The seeds of evil have been sown. Venture if you dare into a decrepit greenhouse. Experiments here have not gone as planned and evil has taken control. Botanists, landscapers and staff all poisoned by the very plants they created. In this maze of foliage, you are ripe for the pickings.
· Ripper Row® (England): Things are looking a bit unsettling in England; a murderer is on the loose plucking unsuspecting victims from the city streets to satisfy his grizzly curiosity. No one knows what Jack the Ripper looks like or who he will strike next. Authorities hunt furiously among the crowds in search of the killer nabbing anyone who looks at all suspicious. Keep your head down and your wits about you or you might not make it out alive.
· Vampire Point™ (Germany): Even vampires need a vacation once in a while and Vampire Point™ is the perfect destination for bloodsuckers. Watch your step and your neck or you might end up the main course. Dawn is hours away, your last salvation lies in escaping the vampire village before the inhabitants sink their fangs into you.
· Demon Street™ (France): Paris is burning. Can you escape before the city is engulfed in flame? Let the smoldering ruins light your way, but beware, fiery fiends lurk around every corner ready to put you on the coals. The smell of a burning inferno fills the air and rumor has it unsuspecting souls will be roasted on a spit. It’s about to get very hot in Paris, stay cool or you may find yourself going up in smoke.
· Ports of Skull™ (Italy): The Jolly Roger has risen over a ship graveyard filled with lost souls doomed to haunt the vessels they once sailed. Chart your course through Cut Throat Cove™ or cozy up to the Pirate Baarrrgh™ for a swill ‘o the grog, but keep a weather eye open or you may find yourself keel-hauled by cut-throat buccaneers.
Dines & Bars
· NEW Blood Banquet™: Visit Count Vlad’s hotel and meet a variety of paranormal characters for an all-new interactive dining experience. This one-of-a-kind spooky atmosphere paired with unexpected twists and turns offers guests the chance to sink their teeth into a whole new way of dining. With an eclectic menu, haunting music and an atmosphere to die for, Blood Banquet™ is otherworldly.
· NEW Fright Feast™: The laboratory lights are on and the electricity is crackling. Dine with the surgeon, his assistant and their kooky monster at Freakenstonia Castle. The slab is just as hot as the food and the drinks are flowing faster than an I.V. drip in this riveting, entertaining and live-action experience.
· NEW Buccaneer Galley: Arrgh matey! The galley cooks have prepared a buffet fit for a buccaneer. Join the lovely hostess as she and her cutthroat crew serves up a captain’s feast – pirate buffet-style.
· NEW Demon Drinks: On Demon Street™, everything is sizzling. Join the club, beat the heat and throw back a cold one. The Demon Drinks’ DJ and his too-hot-to-handle hosts are happy to serve guests as they fan the flames of fun.
· NEW Pirate Baarrrgh™: Ahoy scallywags, when the gale winds blow through the creaking yardarm, it’s time for dead men to tell tall tales at Pirate Baarrrgh™. Grab a swill o’ the grog stolen from Davy Jones’ locker and mingle with the likes of Peg Leg Pete, Billy Bones and Blackbeard.
· Inoculation Station: No appointments necessary for the shot of a lifetime with your favorite fiends in pink. Get your prescription filled – the famous test tube shot and photo op are always in stock.
· Open CASKet™: The dead are alive and so is the fun at the Open CASKet™ bar. Hang around, watch your neck and toss back a specialty libation served by the coolest vampires this side of the Rhine River.
· Dig It Up!: Relics long forgotten and buried in the vaults of the Museo 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
· Fiends: 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.
· Night Beats™: Things that go bump in the night sing, dance and transport you on a musical journey. From the devilish sounds of the roaring ’20s to vamping it up with the music of today, this show is filled with dazzling dance numbers, sizzling singers and a barely live band that will leave your heart … beating.
Howl-O-Scream begins Sept. 13 and continues to terrify weekends through Oct. 27. For more information and a complete operating schedule, visit www.howloscream.com/va or call (800) 343-7946.