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So I planned a mini trip for Sept 21-24 for Orlando/Tampa. I had no idea it was the preview night for Howl-O-Scream. So I jumped on tickets for Friday night. I can't wait because I've always wanted to check out BGT's Halloween event.

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I participated in the Journalism Day at Busch Gardens today! (PHOTOS TO COME SOON)


We arrived at 8:15am and were taken to some area to the left of the Xcursions store. There were about 10-15 schools there and we can either write an article or make a documentary on Howl-O-Scream and/or Christmas Town for free tickets to those events. We were introduced by the entertainment director (the guy who did the previous scream cams a few years ago, and I forgot his name) but he went through all the information on Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town.


One thing I didn't know was there are 2 official scare zones for Howl-O-Scream, not 1. "Faded Memories"-located by Sesame Street and "The Family Plot"-themed around the commercial and "The Dark Side of the Gardens."


Our schedule of the day was:

9:30-10:15 Vampire Casino: Condemned Lights on Tour

10:15-11:00 Christmas Town preparation, costuming, "snow" info, etc.

11:00-11:45 Scareactor auditions!

11:45-12:30 Making of Shop of Horrors (tshirts, theming,etc.)


The lights on tour was great! We were led by that same guy who introduced/welcomed everyone and followed him in. There will be a small LED flashlight given. They are going to test out different ways to use it. For example, they might give a flashlight every 4 people. There will be some lighting though such as strobe lights here and there.


Christmas Town is going to be really exciting this year! Just going into the preview area and learning about the preparation of this event makes me want to go here. They are already decorating the park (lights mainly) and will be during Howl-O-Screm howver they won't be lit during HOS.


The entrance and sign of Alone got some yellow spray paint where it says "Can you make it through Alone?" Thought it really stood out and looks nice. All of the houses look ready to go!


In Blood Asylum, it will be the first time ever HOS has had a "thunderstorm" occur throughout the whole house.


Also, the roaming hordes...there are 18 groups of 260 people total roaming the park scaring you. The only place safe is the bathrooms!


For scareactors, 900 are hired out of 1500 that audition and it takes a long process.


One of the guys I talked to about Alone said that by the time I could become a scareactor, a new experience, not Alone but similar, would be here. He wouldn't say anything else.


The beginning of Nevermore is supposedly different this year. Zombie Mortuary will keep the picture taken at one of the trap doors, etc.


BTW, if you were wondering why Trickster had the BGT nametag "Jim," they did that as a prank to their park manager!!!

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Also, the roaming hordes...there are 18 groups of 260 people total roaming the park scaring you. The only place safe is the bathrooms!


Are we talking 260 for all the houses plus the scare zones or just the scare zones?


Either way, some of the stuff you talked about got me very excited for HOS. I will be there Sept 21st for the preview night. I can not wait. I of course will take some pictures. I even have a guest, decided to come with me last minute, who I can not wait to see her scream at HOS.

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I had no idea that Orlando Attractions Magazine was in my group! Here are some videos of the event from them:


This was the video with all the HOS information!


I asked the flashlight question and was standing next to the lady in the video! This is the Vampire Casino house info before we went inside.


I was the one in the curtain thing! Scareactor mock auditions!!!

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^ That is some cool information. I had no idea we would get flashlights for one of the houses. I'm getting really excited for my trip now.


Does anyone know on the preview night for HOS, if there is anything I will miss? I mean I understand the actors may not be up to par yet since it will be the first weekend.

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Does anyone know on the preview night for HOS, if there is anything I will miss?


The lines. I went twice last year, Freaky Preview Sept. 23 (Friday) and TPR's Busch Bash Oct 22 (Saturday). The lines were terrible in October, while in September, my girlfriend and I walked into every house. I also had better timing with the walking hoards in Sept. than in Oct, maybe due to the lack of people so they were able to move around more.


I mean I understand the actors may not be up to par yet since it will be the first weekend.


This is not always true. They were great both dates and I would have gone back a third time I had the money! Can't wait for my visit this year.

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In preparation for mine and Renee's upcoming shoot on Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Howl-O-Scream's new-and-improved HD Scream Cam, the park has sent us a video giving us some back story on the house we'll be exploring, Blood Asylum. Make sure to watch carefully--you might recognize the familiar face of someone very important to Howl-O-Scream in Tampa!



For those of you that aren't familiar with Busch Gardens' Scream Cam, I've attached our video from the one I did two years ago in the My X Rocks house.



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Earlier this morning Renee had the chance to experience the terror I felt two years ago (see last page for more info) by walking through one of the newest houses at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Howl-O-Scream, all while being recorded by the incredibly fun Scream Cam, now in HD.


Once again hosted by the mastermind behind Howl-O-Scream, Scott Swenson led Renee into the entryway of the Blood Asylum, a new house themed to an insane asylum that has become home to the deranged Creature, a serial killer with a penchant for wearing his victims' faces after he murders them.


First, let's share the backstory on the Oglethorpe Asylum...



Let's see if Renee survived...



This doesn't look ominous at all...


This isn't helping!


An exciting aspect of this new house is the introduction of a heavily themed queue!


There's definitely a backstory to this house.


Time to get suited up!


Scott Swenson played host for the Scream Cam once again, helping to set the mood...


And we can happily say, he really gets into character!


An attending nurse at the facility welcomes guests into the Asylum...


These residents definitely deserve to be here!


It looks like Renee made a friend!


Renee was caught off guard by this one!


Quite a shocking encounter!


Leaving so soon?


I think not!


No time for basketball Dr. Jones!


There are some really creative spook-spots in the house!


I'd say this was a successful Scream Cam experience, wouldn't you?


Tears are a sign of success for sure!


Renee survived the Blood Asylum (barely)!


This was another amazing experience courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay! We can't wait to come back to check out the full event this year... And with the Trickster's key in hand, getting back into the Dark Side of the Gardens looks awfully tempting!

Edited by ernierocker
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