coneyislandchris wrote:Asking the question since it seems to have been glossed over... the new waterslide? Solar Vortex? What exactly is a "dual tailspin" waterslide? Anyone know? Even the official site doesn't seem to have much info.
WhiteWater and ProSlide seem to kind of have this back-and-forth where one company comes up with a new thing and the other puts their own spin on it.
In this case, the Tailspin is Whitewater's newest slide element that's kind of a mix between their Constrictor slide and Proslide's Flying Saucer. It's an open, very tight diving turn sized for large / long rafts.
Last night TPR was invited to attend the opening night of Howl-O-Scream 2019 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This year's theme is Twenty Years of Fear as the event celebrates its 20th season in Tampa. This year's event features six houses (five returning and one new), eight scare zones, one show plus the added benefit of having eight of the park's rides open to experience in the dark!
Howl-O-Scream has always been a unique favorite of mine when it comes to the Central Florida haunt scene. While Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando has built a reputation of scares based on immersive, movie-quality sets in their houses (many of which are based on popular horror properties), Busch Gardens has focus most specifically on making the most effective scares with what they have. Unlike some of the other haunts, the houses are not replaced annually, rather rotated in and out every few years, with the returning houses being regularly plussed year over year to make sure it isn't a straight repeat of the year prior's experience.
Time for a break down of the year's lineup:
The Residence: The one new house at Howl-O-Scream 2019, this one is built upon the former Demented Dimensions house and this was one of my favorites for the evening. As you roam this haunted home, you'll find that things are more than out of the ordinary... I really was impressed with how effective the scares were for this one!
The Black Spot - Bloodshed: Over in the back corner of Stanleyville by Tigris, this pirate-themed house returns for the second most well-themed house of the event (behind my personal favorite, Death Water Bayou). Taking advantage of the cavernous former queue of the African Queen Boat Ride, this house is filled with wrecked pirate ships and the maddened pirates who suffer from the Black Spot.
Simon's Slaughterhouse: This house debuted during last year's event, borrowing a bit of the former Zombie Containment Unit 15's concept of splitting groups up down different paths. Guests are herded into three different corrals at the entrance of the Slaughterhouse like cattle for the kill, sent down close but separate paths with individual scares along the way before regrouping parties roughly a third of the way through the house. From here it becomes a more traditional house, with scares at every turn. The wooden barriers the funnel you forward don't lend to overly detailed set pieces but once you exit the corral, you start to see the horrors of Simon's Slaughterhouse come to life... And take some away.
Motel Hell - Infestation: Always a solid house. This one leverages the phobias people have with hotels, so you know the inside won't be the cleanest... But what this house does well too is give you an experience of the insanity that fills the inside and the outside of a twisted motel.
Death Water Bayou - Wrath of the Queen: Consistently my favorite house year over year. This house is filled with detail starting with its outside, leading you into the bayous of New Orleans, where a decrepit house marks your entrance into the world of voodoo. You come in close contact with one of this year's icons, the voodoo queen early in the house and the scares consistently catch you off guard here. This is the house that features the annually-present spinning tunnel effect but other than that, there's little that you could find predictable in this house. Bungee jumping scare actors lunge at you from dark corners of the house and before you can respond they've already disappeared. The horror extends to the forested waters of the bayou, a haunted cemetery and to the backstreets of New Orleans. The detail in this house is rich--probably the closest house you'll find to Halloween Horror Nights-quality set design. There's nothing not to love about this one, and you'll likely find yourself convinced to revisit at least once more while at the event... I did.
Insomnia: Another new house from last year's event, this shocked me by how strong a concept Insomnia could be, considering the "Deconstruction" house that has been hosted in this location for many, many years before was so tired. Insomnia places you in the middle of a sleep therapy clinic where the patients have been overcome by their nightmare demons and lashed out at their doctors to run the clinic into madness. Mayhem ensues. The house teeters on true insanity as layers peel away from the clinic facade to reveal nightmarish hellscapes, monsters, a rabid sheep and patients who have gone off the rails. This house is peak Howl-O-Scream alongside Death Water Bayou.
As an aside, while all of Busch Gardens coasters are amazing, this was my first chance to experience Tigris... And man, did it thrill me. Admittedly this wasn't something I rushed over to the park to experience, but the triple launch, the unexpected airtime and the crazy hang time made this so much more fun than I expected. Operations were also on point, with an average dispatch time of 1 minute and 35 seconds from unload to dispatch.
Howl-O-Scream is worth the drive to Tampa, year over year. The houses continue to thrill, the already world-class lineup of rides are incredibly fun to ride at night and with scare zones filling the park, the scares don't end until you get to your car. Howl-O-Scream runs on select nights at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay between now and November 2nd. Do yourself a favor if you're a haunt fan... Check it out!
Tonight we’re at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for the opening night of Howl-o-Scream!
Work on the station and queue for Iron Gwazi is under way.
This year marks Twenty Years of Fear at Howl-O-Scream, and with that many of the event's past icons have a presence during this year's event.
Guests can enjoy liquor tastings throughout the park during Howl-O-Scream.
Scares can be found everywhere throughout the event.
Ran into some friends of TPR here tonight! Be sure to follow Super Enthused and Expedition Theme Park on Youtube. Great seeing you guys!
I love that they consistently update the scare zone themes year over year.
Death Water Bayou returns for another voodoo-filled run at Howl-O-Scream!
Iron Gwazi is looking amazing already!
Just look at this turn!
I made a friend over at Death Water Bayou.
Beware of the infected souls in the “Hell on Wheels” scare zone!
I'm might be swooning a lot over this coaster.
This certainly looks different than a few years ago.
Excited to see what comes of this.
Simon’s Slaughterhouse separates guests as they move through corrals towards their doom!
I can't stop staring...
Looks like we have an inversion incoming!
Motel Hell returns for another great year.
Cheetah Hunt is even more fun at night!
These scare actors startle guests by sliding across the grounds of the park!
Insomnia is the strongest maze to fill this space in years and it is great to see it return.
Wait times for the coasters of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are short during Howl-O-Scream so there is plenty of time for night rides!
You never know when you could be caught off guard at Howl-O-Scream...
Opportunities for scares are everywhere!
Falcon's Fury is amazing, especially at night!
Tigris is way bigger in person than I imagined...
And this thing really flies!
Time to take a ride on Tigris!
Fiends, a @howloscream tradition returns...
The show wouldn't be complete without its signature Naughty Nurses.
Cheetah Hunt in the dark... I can't rave about it enough!
It is never a bad idea to take another night ride on Cobra’s Curse!
Just so much fun!
Dia de los Muertos is a new scare zone for the year.
There are some really cool projections running at the entrance of the park.
The Voodoo Queen from Death Water Bayou roams the entrance of the park.
This was a nice, new touch.
Time for some photos from inside of the houses and scare zones!
Meat Market is a perfect lead up scare zone to Simon's Slaughterhouse.
Here is the point at which you get separated from into different corrals in Simon's Slaughterhouse.
Leaving so soon from Hotel Hell?
I ran into a few of the infected in Hell on Wheels...
Hell on Wheels has lots of kinetic energy.
Dia de los Muertos has some neat elements to it...
Over by Cheetah Hunt you can find a zombie dance party.
Insomnia features some fantastic practical effects.
And some great scares too!
This demonic sheep is one of my favorite elements of the house!
Little Nightmares sees demonic toys come to life...
The horror is real.
Drop in for a ride or two while you're here...
What a perfect moment captured inside of The Residence.
The Black Spot is filled with fun details.
Up close and personal...
That wraps up our awesome time experiencing the opening night of Howl-O-Scream! Be sure to check out the event between now and November 2nd to experience what 20 Years of Fear has brought to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
jynx242 wrote:I always found Howl-o-Scream to be my favorite haunt in Florida. Horror Nights is really great - but it seems like there is more of a passion for the event at Busch Gardens and that they try harder.
Yeah that's pretty much my take, I like both events for different reasons but HoS is just so much fun. I m bummed I can't make it down this year but next year after Iron Gwazi opens makes it a can't miss for me.
I'm heading down to Busch Gardens in a couple weeks to check out Howl O Scream for the first time and seeing these photos makes me even more excited! Busch Gardens is one of my favorite parks so I can not wait.
I was at the first game ever at the New Yankee Stadium. 4/3/09
I just visited HOS for my first time this past weekend. It was a nice haunt! The design reminds me of a lower budget Knott's, but that's not a bad thing. The bungee scares really got me.
Did Fright Feast, and didn't know there was entertainment there! But I had to say, the food wasn't that great. But it was nice to have FOL for the first hour... we got all 6 mazes done!
Only other complaint (aside from the not-so-great food at Fright Feast) was the the lines for the rides were actually pretty long. Fury said it was 15 min and the queue was barely half full, but it took 45 minutes due to extremely slow ops. They'd let people exit and have the ride sit there empty for literally 2 minutes for no visible reason before letting on the next group. I don't understand why they don't have a single rider line for that.
The line for Cheetah was 60, and Cobra was 70. We got on a lot faster, and we realized after the fact that we had honestly, completely accidentally, gotten into the Express line and no one told us we were in the wrong queue. Kinda felt bad, but even the express line took 20 minutes. This was on a Saturday night, so I guess I should have expected longer lines, but based on what everyone else was saying, I thought the lines would be a lot less.
So is there any information or speculation on whether the lift hill will be wood or steel? It looks like they're basically going to build it from scratch so it would be nice if it was steel. Personally, I love the way Zadra's lift hill looks.
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