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P. 443 - A Night at Busch Gardens' Christmas Celebration

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Here's some more info on this year's version of Howl-o-Scream.

 

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BUSCH GARDENS® WILLIAMSBURG CELEBRATES

20 YEARS OF SCARES AT HOWL-O-SCREAM

 

 

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia – Fill fall nights with fright at Busch Gardens® Howl-O-Scream® on select dates through Oct. 28.

 

Celebrate 20 years of fears in this special anniversary year, with more haunted houses, Terror-tories™ and scares than ever before. The park brings the spirit of Halloween to life at 5:45 p.m., becoming home to a host of creepy creatures hungry for unsuspecting victims.

 

This year’s event promises to be the scariest ever with new haunted houses Demented Dimensions™, Dystopia and The Vault: XX™, and new scare zones Garden of the Souls™ and Fools’ Court™.

 

Also new this year, No Escape: Jack’s Nightmare Room, an escape room featuring the original Busch Gardens trickster, and five new bars, including Control Lab at Inoculation Station, where park-goers can be the scare-masters for unsuspecting haunted house visitors.

 

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Please note that all kids attractions close at 5 p.m. as the park prepares for the terror to be unleashed. For more information, please visit http://www.howloscream.com/va.

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Media Day for Howl-o-Scream: 20 Years of Fears

 

Busch Gardens planned their Howl-o-Scream media day for earlier in September, but an unexpected guest, named Hurricane Florence, persuaded them to change their plans. Fortunately, the hurricane didn't hit Williamsburg, but better safe than sorry; then again, howling winds, thunder, and lightning wouldn't have seemed out of place, either. So, the park treated the media (local TV and "bloggers") to a peek at this year's edition--the 20th anniversary of Howl-o-Scream! Hard to believe, but I've been around for every one of them. Perhaps I'll end up haunting the place myself someday.

 

How is the park celebrating 20 years of fears? How about with three new mazes?

 

The Vault: XX--Think of this as "Howl-o-Scream's Greatest Hits." Favorite children of the night have all come together to scare guests in what used to be the station for Drachen Fire near the Festhaus. Look for the Executioner from the Dark Tower (the first HOS maze), Scarlett from Unearthed, Mummies from the Curse of Pompeii, the Pirate Captain from Sea Dog Cemetery, and many more. I think this is the best of the new mazes.

 

Demented Dimensions--"The energies of a dimensional vortex" have twisted and distorted the rooms of Sterling Manor (and the neighboring Victorian Street) into a new haunted realm where strange creatures dwell and reality simply doesn't matter. Get demented inside of the Ride Formerly Known as DarKastle.

 

Dystopia--There's a "new order" in charge of our world (or at least the part of it under Escape from Pompeii). "Join--or be forgotten!"

 

Returning mazes for this year are Frostbite (creepy ice monster inside the old DarKastle show building), Cornered (an evil corn maze behind DarKastle), Lumberhack (insane lumberjacks with chainsaws, axes, and one big buzz saw in the woods behind Verbolten), and Cirquo Sinistro (terror under the Big Top in Festa Italia).

 

Daring guests can stroll (or run screaming) through two new Terror-tories (that is, "scare zones") this year:

 

Garden of the Souls--In Italy's Funeral Gardens, guests can visit the graves of the deceased--or with the deceased themselves.

 

Fools' Court--Chaos reigns in France when motley fools roam the streets. The joke will most likely be on you.

 

Other scare zones include Jack the Ripper and his minions in England, scary Vikings in Fort New France, bloodsucking vampires in Germany, and evil clowns and circus freaks in Festa Italia.

 

This year also marks the return of Jack, the event's oldest icon and trickster, after an eight-year absence. He hangs out in Vault XX and in No Escape: Jack's Nightmare Room (this is an up charge). Jack said that his old show at previous events was a "a bit too family friendly" for his taste, and he's hoping to really get back into scaring people this year. It's good to have Jack back.

 

Guests can help Jack and the other fiends scare people at the Control Lab in Ireland. For a slight fee, you can push a button and scare the crap out of some random person on Festa Bridge or in the Vault, Demented Dimensions, Dystopia, and Frostbite. While you're at it, a Naughty Nurse (or perhaps Dr. Freakenstein) can serve you a nice Jello shot or cocktail in the Inoculation Station.

 

There are two party zones, and three shows, too: Monster Stomp on Ripper Row in England, Fiends in Ireland, and Night Beats--Revamped in the Festhaus.

 

Howl-o-Scream is part of your park admission (no separate ticket required); however, some activities inside (such as escape rooms) are an up charge. So, let's have a look at the Control Lab, Vault XX, Demented Demensions, and Jack's Nightmare Room, shall we? (Oh, very well, I'll go first.)

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First stop, the Control Lab in Ireland. There were no inoculations today.

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Dr. Freakenstein was very busy.

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"Tell me about it! I've been waiting to see him since 1842! Never gonna get my bleeding at this rate!"

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But the good doctor did provide us with cookies . . .

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. . . and witches! (She would like everyone to know that she isn't dead--yet.)

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Clowns. Why did it have to be clowns?

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Here's the Control Lab. Just push a button and watch the fun on the monitor as something scares the crap outta somebody!

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Of course, if ya play, ya gotta pay. Dr. Freakenstein doesn't work free.

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Time for a nice, relaxing tram ride to . . . HOLY CRAP, WHO IS THAT?

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This one is loud--very loud.

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Jack, buddy, how ya been?

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Jack gave us a personal tour of Vault XX.

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Here you'll find remembrances of Howl-o-Screams past.

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Sheesh!

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Again with the clowns!

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Looks like Dr. Carver's evil doll escaped his No Escape Room.

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Scarlett (from Unearthed) has been playing a little solitaire.

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Hmm--I think this could be the Dark Tower . . .

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. . . then again, it could be Sea Dog Cemetery.

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I asked this guy, but he was a bit of a stiff and wouldn't answer.

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One of the cages from the Catacombs.

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Hmm--can't place this one, but they look a little annoyed about something,

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The Lady of the Gardens--one of HOS's creepiest past icons.

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The Witch from Cursed is happy to be indoors this year.

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And we all made it! Whew. More to come

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Time to check out Demented Dimensions and Jack's Nightmare Room--boogie, boogie, boogie!

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Smoke and get drenched in blood. Noted!

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Demented Dimensions shares space with Frostbite inside of DarKastle.

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Welcome to Sterling Manor's library, where everything is made of paper.

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This hints at something to come later.

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I'm sure that something frightening will be sitting in the chair this weekend.

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Oh, some bridezilla is going to be very unhappy.

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It's gonna be tough to get those stains out.

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Imagine how much creepier this would be . . .

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. . . with the show lights and sound on.

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Yep--even the flowers are creepy now.

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When acupuncture goes bad.

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Hmm--I wouldn't recommend following her. She'll probably go all "Ring" on you.

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Interior decoration fails, lesson 1.

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Remember the White Rabbit photo in the library?

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Time for a steampunk tea party.

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She's having a very bad day.

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She is too. Demented Dimensions was originally at Tampa's Howl-o-Scream last year. Williamsburg used some of the same elements and made some modifications.

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Welcome to Jack's Nightmare Room.

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OK, what's in here, again?

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Oh. Silly me!

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"Hello. I'm a gargoyle. I'm a decorative element that suggests terror and otherworldly dimensions. Sometimes, I'm just a fancy downspout. Thanks for stopping by."

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You can watch Jack's home movies here.

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But you probably shouldn't play with his creepy dolls.

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That's it for Howl-o-Scream! Thanks for reading. Oh, and "boo."

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I love the idea of the Vault XX house, that's pretty cool. The Control Lab seems like a ton of fun! Thanks for the report Chuck.

 

I wonder how Jack feels about pumpkin beers being served in park (if there are any)

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I wonder how Jack feels about pumpkin beers being served in park (if there are any)

 

Funny that you mention this, but the pumpkin-spice-beer-and-food question did come up. Jack's response: "My people are being murdered!"

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I wonder how Jack feels about pumpkin beers being served in park (if there are any)

 

Funny that you mention this, but the pumpkin-spice-beer-and-food question did come up. Jack's response: "My people are being murdered!"

 

That is exactly the response I was hoping for, haha.

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I was wondering why two cop cars were speeding into the park as I left last night: https://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/article_19d17052-cfc0-11e8-bc10-43d007430b50.html

 

Naked man running around Busch Gardens parking lot is arrested, police say

By Jack Jacobs

The Virginia Gazette

 

A 21-year-old man was arrested after complaints of a person running around naked in the Busch Gardens parking lots.

 

A James City County police officer responded to a report of a naked man in the Italy and Germany parking lots of Busch Gardens Friday night, [a] department deputy chief . . . wrote in an email.

 

The man was trying to enter other peoples’ parked vehicles. Bystanders corralled the man until a police officer arrived at the scene. Once the officer arrived, the man fought the officer and bystanders and attempted to run away. The officer tased the man, who was taken to the hospital because he was intoxicated by alcohol and illegal narcotics, Rubino wrote.

 

The man has five arrest warrants pending, among them a charge of felony assault on a law enforcement officer. The man is a member of the Navy and is stationed in Norfolk, Rubino wrote.

 

The man's identity was not immediately released.

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There is absolutely hilarious video floating around on Facebook of the incident - especially funny due to the (obscene) commentary of the guy filming, which is also the reason I won't link to it on here. But its out there if you can find it.

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^Oh, I'm sure it'll find its way to YouTube at some point.

 

EDIT: Local news stations have the video (highly obscured, of course). Perhaps the park should hire this fellow and start a "Crazy Naked Guy Terror-tory."

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The park is opening this Thursday from 5:00-11:00 pm. I went last Thursday, and it was great--a small crowd and minimal waits for mazes. When I drove by the park last Sunday around 5:00, they were already using the auxiliary parking lots on Rt. 60.

 

So, if you can make it on Thursday night, go then. The weekend will be bonkers.

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I was curious on when they will start construction on Finnegan's Flyer? Also, has anyone ever been on one of these smaller versions of this swing ride? I've only been on Skyhawk at CP and that thing is absolutely amazing! I know this is smaller and not as fast, but I am hoping it will be similar to Skyhawk. I think it swinging over the river will make this a very unique experience and add to it's intensity

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To be perfectly honest, I don't notice too much of a difference on-ride between the larger and smaller screamin' swings. What does make a difference is the placement. Silver Dollar City's is perched on a hill and swings over the rapids ride below which is a cool effect.

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I've ridden a bunch of Screamin Swings of all sizes (CPs, Funspot, Compounce, Moreys, Dorneys) and they're all awesome.

 

We had a great day @ this park yesterday. God damn if that craft beer bar isn't the best park bar ever.

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I was curious on when they will start construction on Finnegan's Flyer? Also, has anyone ever been on one of these smaller versions of this swing ride? I've only been on Skyhawk at CP and that thing is absolutely amazing! I know this is smaller and not as fast, but I am hoping it will be similar to Skyhawk. I think it swinging over the river will make this a very unique experience and add to it's intensity

 

There are construction walls up, and they've been clearing the ground on the left as you enter Ireland.

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They couldn't really start construction until yesterday afternoon so it's probably running behind schedule. Some a**hole named Balor or whatever stole the Heart of Eire so the whole Ireland section was basically in turmoil and they couldn't safely start construction because of everything that was going on with the dragons or whatever. Luckily we went over there yesterday and saved the day so they can start construction now. You're welcome.

 

PS: That ride is um... not good.

 

Oh, and yeah they've done a lot of land clearing. This ride is in an awesome spot. I can't wait.

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^That is the opposite sentiment of the reaction I have seen on other (unnamed) pages. People seem to be upset about all the tree removal. Me on the other hand? S&S SCREAMING SWING IN VIRGINIA AT BUSCH GARDENS!!!!!!! Sure it sucks it's less "pretty" in that area but I mean were getting one of the most fun flats out there!

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There are times where tree removal really does bother me and I feel that it takes away from the atmosphere of the park but I honestly think this looks fine. People just like to complain.

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