^It all starts on September 13. They used have the Sea Dog Cemetery maze where the Forest of Fun is now, and, frankly, they have nowhere to go but up after two years of the Fear Fair maze in Festa Italia (that one never quite worked). They seem to be beefing up the dining options for HOS this year, too.
Busch Gardens is holding their annual Passholder Appreciation Weekend, and the first 1,500 passholders to make it to the Festhaus this morning were treated to some announcements about Christmas Town, Howl-o-Scream, and the park's new show for 2014 (London Rocks).
Christmas Town--For the price of a one-day ticket to the event this year ($30), passholders can buy an unlimited Christmas Town pass. In the past, you had to buy a discounted one-day ticket. But between now and October 31, passholders can purchase these Christmas Town passes for $25 online (just login into your passholder account online).
Howl-o-Scream--This event kicks off on September 13 (yes, Friday the 13th). Passholders can bring a friend for free from September 13-16, and these free tickets can be obtained online. That's one free ticket per "active" pass, and only for opening weekend. Although there is one new maze this year (Cut Throat Cove in Festa Italia), the park is emphasizing dining during HOS. Three separate, themed dining experiences are available: Blood Banquet in Germany (with Count Vlad and other bloodsuckers as your friendly hosts), Buccaneer Galley in Festa Italia (with scurvy wenches and pirates, of course), and Fright Feast in Ireland (with a mad scientist and monsters). They're really pushing the four "Terror-tories," as well: Ripper Row (England), Vampire Point (Germany), Demon Street (France), and Ports of Skull (Italy). They've ramped up the "adult" beverage offerings, too. Another new feature of HOS will be "Torture Hill" in Italy, where you can partake of such piratical sports as being placed in the stocks or walking the plank.
London Rocks--This is the show going into the Globe Theatre in England. They gave passholders a little taste of it today.
Jack Hanna was there to do some animal shows, too. Here's a look at what went on at the Festhaus and elsewhere today.
Yes, it's all about us today.
First stop, the Festhaus.
They're setting up for the HOS Casket Club show--no oom-pah-pah today.
Scott Gasparich, the park's entertainment director kept trying to talk about Howl-o-Scream . . .
. . . only to be interrupted by pirates, . . .
. . . a Victorian woman of questionable virtue, . . .
. . . demonic entities, . . .
. . . and vixens.
This is the Demonic DJ, and he'll be calling the musical shots on Demon Street (France).
Meet the sparkliest vampire of them all . . .
. . .Count Vlad!
Orlock, the lord of the Casket Club, is not pleased that the Blood Banquet will also be coming to Germany.
I imagine you'll be encountering Count Vlad and his bloodsucking guests at the Blood Banquet.
Finally, they gave us a look at the new show in England. I think these giant balloons look like shortbread cookies--or maybe I'm just hungry.
Sing it! "I need somebody!"
They played all sort of British pop and rock while flashing these projections on the balloons.
Everything from "Hard Day's Night" to "Start Me Up" to "Our House."
Then something blew up.
I think the show may have to do with British pop music; of course, I could be mistaken.
I pity the poor clean-up crew--the UK just puked all over the Feshaus after downing too much Guinness.
Remember--that's London Rocks.
This bus did not come from London.
OK, how about a look at some other HOS stuff?
They've put up the set for the "Dig It Up" show in Italy.
Blow like an Egyptian . . .
Arr, I think ye can get yer fruity rum drinks here, mateys.
But beware of scurvy bungee pirates!
And look out for Count von Count!
Punkins. That's all.
You can find jello shots and naughty nurses here.
No Europe in the Air during Howl-o-Scream--what bad luck.
Boogie, boogie, boogie!
France is slowly being transformed into Demon Street.
Even New France is getting into the act.
"Velcome to Vampire Point. Haf you been helped--or sucked?"
Hmm--looks like some scare zone stuff is being set up.
Here's a piece of Ripper Row in England.
Terror waits behind this door!
Why don't we finish up with some of Jack Hanna's adorable animals?
Always end a report with a cute little kitty--that's all.
There are rumors that the tiger side of Gwazi will be heading to BGW.
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