Good report, Bert--thanks. It's always interesting to see how different parks in the chain do Howl-o-Scream. I'm looking forward to HOS in Orlando next month. Williamsburg should try the "ride with monsters" thing, too.
The layout is a simple out and back. Not bad but I don't think there is anything special about it. I have to admit that relocating the coaster would probably mean putting 80% new wood in it, so might as well building brand new if the blueprints are still available. But I don't know if it'd be a success. The Blue Streak is great operating there at CLP if well taken care of. It has good pops of air time, history, and its delapidated look, which induce fear amongst many riders (although the ride is safe). Unless a new owner comes in soon to operate it, and I'm sad to say this, but I can only see the Blue Streak rotting away, and that is if it's not taken down.
Heads up for anyone coming to the park for Halloweekends, they are doing the same early entry for passholders and hotel guests like during the normal year, despite it not being published. 5:00 opening for early entry on Fridays (and presumably Thursdays when that starts), 10:00 on Saturday.
EDIT: Double-bonus! Standard re-entry policy applies all night long! A life saver for us smokers.
ThemePark Review got invited to SeaWorld San Antonio's kick-off event for Howl-O-Scream last night (the event starts in full tonight at the park), and i was able to attend to report back on the scares and fun they are offering up this year!
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Howl-O-Scream and SeaWorld San Antonio has gone all out for this year - making it the biggest Halloween event in Texas - and also the scariest.
This year the Event features 5 Houses (1 new), 7 Terror-Tories (3 new), and 5 bars (that serve along with lots of options, some specialty drinks for Howl-O-Scream). The event is certainly geared towards those who are older, and the bars do offer non-alcoholic versions of the frozen drinks. . but as it doesn't take place until the evenings, there's still plenty for families to do at the park thruout the day!
The area that hosts Howl-O-Scream proper is just beyond Sesame Street Bay of Play - you pass thru the Howl-O-Scream pillars, and you can follow the path all around the lagoon - with the houses, Terror-Tories (scarezones), and Bars spread along the way. Making this a really large, and pretty immersive event.
Before you get to the main Howl-O-Scream entrance tho, there are some fun kid-friendly options to enjoy in the Sesame Street area, including some "not so scary" displays:
and this *amazing* Cornfield Hay Maze SWSA has created just for the Howl-O-Scream event.
Perfect for the kiddos:
But once you pass thru the "gates" into the main Howl-O-scream area? the frights get a bit more extreme:
the New Terror-Tories scare zones include Prey-Ground & SINdustry District, as well as the Swamp at Blackwater Bayou.
-- but for this kickoff event, SWSA was shining the spotlight only on the new for this year Swamp at Blackwater Bayou Terror-Tory that features the brand new House: the Swamp at Blackwater Bayou, as well as a large bar/entertainment option, and Steel Eel.
let's pass thru the gates and have some fun:
they rolled out the "Black Carpet" for us:
Trying to put on an "Imma not gonna be skared" face. . . .
but yes, some of the things in this section just terrified me. the least of which was the Live Snake (on the tree) you could touch and take pictures with (part of Seaworld's Conservation and Teaching policies). . but nope. . I just took the picture
They had some really great Cajun food options out for us (and the humidity made it a perfect match for the Swamp theme) - I was really impressed by this stunning Ice Sculpture:
and I got to meet/say hello to Ray from SeaWorld San Antonio (who is also a member here at TPR) who filled me in on the event happenings and how excited he was for Howl-O-Scream to be kicking off today:
The scare actors were out in full force, and staying in character. As the sun began to set, it got creepier and they got me to jump a few times as they snuck up on me here and there during the event:
The Lone Star Lakeside Bar has been remade into: Liquid Voodoo Bar:
and here's a sampling of the Howl-O-Scream special menu
(note: both frozen drinks can be served without the alcohol for those under 21 if they wish to partake)
The new house didn't open until 8pm:
but this really fun option opened right at 7:
Yes, during Howl-O-Scream, you get to ride the Coaster (s) with Monsters!
this sounded amazing, so headed there to try it out (after sampling the special drinks and a nibble or two of the Cajun snacks)
it really makes for some great pictures! (in the full event, I believe every coaster will have the option to ride with monsters)
it was nice and dark by this point, so after an announcement, some voodoo curses, and fireworks? the Swamp at Blackwater Bayou opened for us:
Not gonna post any pics from inside the House, because you should experience it yourself, but I must say that it's very well done: not only are there trees/swamp, and voodoo witchdoctors inside, but there's also a decaying/decrepit mansion that houses all kinds of ghouls and monsters - who may (or may not) jump out at you from (well) hidden spaces.
It's a great effort and a fine addition to the Howl-O-Scream houses.
and it's incredible that the houses are all free with admission (although there is an option that one could purchase a "skip the line" pass for the houses if one so chooses, I was told).
back out into the main walkway, and more of the Monsters had come out and about as it got darker:
this young lady was an attendee who was there with her uncle and was having a great time!
All in All, this is a great event, and I plan on going back to enjoy the full Howl-O-Scream event in the next couple of weeks - it runs Fri/Sat/Sun (with one Mon tossed in) from 9/17-10/31
So Scary, So Freaky, and So Much Fun.
SeaWorld San Antonio has really knocked it out of the park with this event.
If you've got the Fright Lane already, then yeah, do Saturday. I don't trust Friday night staffing at Cedar Point during Halloweekends. I don't know if this year Saturdays will be any better, honestly, but it sounds like you've got a better shot at it.
I'm planning on heading out that way in early October; the major goal is to get out to Kings Island for my daughter's first visit ever, and Cedar Point is probably going to be an "on-the-way-home" stop on a Sunday. Supposedly they're actually doing haunts on Sunday nights in October, we'll see how that goes.
Rode it last night for the 1st time. . . LOVED it.
SO much airtime, especially in the back car.
tho I think it would be even better if those seats had a little cushion (overheard from the row in front of me on one of the airtime hills "this is gonna hurt when we land"). . .LOL
I've not been to Knott's since Haunt 2018, but that third train was doing a whole fat load of good in the transfer area sitting directly next to the second train that wasn't in operation even though the line was 45+ minutes.
I have always had good luck with less lines Friday night. I always just wait a few hours before getting in line and they start to die down. With that said everything is different. And the weather is amazing right now so it could be a big old mess
I've been to the Dallas world aquarium and they had a Jaguar in a rather small enclosure. The whole place looked rather poorly run with shoddy looking exhibits in terms of the health of everything too. One of the few times I didn't read reviews about a place before going. Apparently the owner has a lot of controversy surrounding him as well.