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Howl-O-Scream 2021 (SeaWorld Orlando)

WAJAS

Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2014
3,538
--Classified--
The tickets say that they let you in an hour before the event starts. Is this through the HoS entrance or the normal park entrance? Also, can you go do Manta and Kraken during this hour-long period before the park closes.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,127
Orlando
So i've heard that there was originally supposed to be five houses for the event and on the inaugural T-Shirt, one of the zones (Witchcraft Bayou) is on the shirt as the only zone represented along with the four houses. Does anyone know if Witchcraft Bayou was originally supposed to be a house, or am I just reading too much into it?
 

wutisgood

Rookie
Aug 3, 2020
113
So i've heard that there was originally supposed to be five houses for the event and on the inaugural T-Shirt, one of the zones (Witchcraft Bayou) is on the shirt as the only zone represented along with the four houses. Does anyone know if Witchcraft Bayou was originally supposed to be a house, or am I just reading too much into it?
I heard five houses was the plan originally from an employee.
 
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shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
14,030
Florida
So i've heard that there was originally supposed to be five houses for the event and on the inaugural T-Shirt, one of the zones (Witchcraft Bayou) is on the shirt as the only zone represented along with the four houses. Does anyone know if Witchcraft Bayou was originally supposed to be a house, or am I just reading too much into it?
Maybe they were going to have another new one at BGT and move Death Water to SW

Or maybe have four at both events...which would have been terrible
 
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SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
3,094
Orlando
Rained out early tonight, but seen everything now, so here’s an initial review:

The Good (starting with the best)
  • The scare zones. What they may lack in elaborate props they make up for in … well, scares. Well-staffed and the actors are intense. Will get right in your face and stay there, following you as you go. Just about every actor has the manic energy the Chainsaw Drill Team used to have. Special shout-out to the guys in the ghillie suits who just disappear into the bushes, and the sliders who get a rise out of just about everyone they target.
  • The shows. Monster Stomp feels more off-Broadway than theme park show—better costumes and choreography than I expected, plus live singing. Siren’s Call is the sexy people dancing segment of Bill & Teds made scary. Both are can’t miss.
  • The bars. Really went all in on theming. E.g. the aerialist in Poison Grotto, go-go dancers in the Siren bar. Specialty drinks are potent and, for the most part, not cloyingly sweet like I expect from a theme park drink dating back to P.I.
  • House ops. They’re pulsing, at least for now, which makes the houses far more effective. Outside, a couple greeters have tried to hype guests up, rather than warn them they better run thru and not stop for anything. Inside, they disappear, have had zero issues.
  • Captain’ Revenge. Best house. Satisfying length, really well done sets, dedicated cast.
  • Beneath the Ice. Sets not elaborate but the cold from the exhibit helps here. Cast is intense. Really long house. Outside fans keep the tightly packed queue bearable.
  • The parking situation (in theory). A minor thing, but by using the side lots right by the main entrance, you be in the park in under 3 minutes. Front gate security quite good.

The Bad (finishing with the worst)
  • Waterfront Inn. Some cool haunted hotel tropes but felt like it was trying to tell a story and on that level, it fails. Cast good but not on the level of the above houses.
  • Dead Vines. Again, felt like it was trying to tell a story but I have no clue who, what or how. A few creepy moments but I still don’t know how the archeologist and little girl’s tea party are remotely connected.
  • The size. Probably needed a 5th house. Broken record at this point, but was clearly designed to spotlight Ice Breaker, and really misses that.
  • Security (outside the main gate). Vaping and weed everywhere. Also a problem at HHN the other night, maybe it’s just the decline of society.
  • The parking situation (in reality). Side lots have virtually no lighting. Morgan & Morgan going to have a field day with the first accident here. And for some reason they painted over the lane numbers a few weeks before the event started. Good luck finding your car in the dark after a couple Siren’s Kisses.
  • The food. Been spoiled by Sharks and the Beer Fest booths. Event is back to Sea World’s trademark inedible cafeteria-style quick-serve dished out by surly lunch ladies up past their bedtime. Hit up WaWa before the event.

On the whole, it definitiely feels like a first event, with all the hiccups that entails, but it’s still a solid start. Paradoxically it manages to be both scarier but also chiller than HHN. It seems to be pulling a decent crowd, which hopefully means they can continue to improve over the next couple years.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,127
Orlando
Rained out early tonight, but seen everything now, so here’s an initial review:

The Good (starting with the best)
  • The scare zones. What they may lack in elaborate props they make up for in … well, scares. Well-staffed and the actors are intense. Will get right in your face and stay there, following you as you go. Just about every actor has the manic energy the Chainsaw Drill Team used to have. Special shout-out to the guys in the ghillie suits who just disappear into the bushes, and the sliders who get a rise out of just about everyone they target.
  • The shows. Monster Stomp feels more off-Broadway than theme park show—better costumes and choreography than I expected, plus live singing. Siren’s Call is the sexy people dancing segment of Bill & Teds made scary. Both are can’t miss.
  • The bars. Really went all in on theming. E.g. the aerialist in Poison Grotto, go-go dancers in the Siren bar. Specialty drinks are potent and, for the most part, not cloyingly sweet like I expect from a theme park drink dating back to P.I.
  • House ops. They’re pulsing, at least for now, which makes the houses far more effective. Outside, a couple greeters have tried to hype guests up, rather than warn them they better run thru and not stop for anything. Inside, they disappear, have had zero issues.
  • Captain’ Revenge. Best house. Satisfying length, really well done sets, dedicated cast.
  • Beneath the Ice. Sets not elaborate but the cold from the exhibit helps here. Cast is intense. Really long house. Outside fans keep the tightly packed queue bearable.
  • The parking situation (in theory). A minor thing, but by using the side lots right by the main entrance, you be in the park in under 3 minutes. Front gate security quite good.

The Bad (finishing with the worst)
  • Waterfront Inn. Some cool haunted hotel tropes but felt like it was trying to tell a story and on that level, it fails. Cast good but not on the level of the above houses.
  • Dead Vines. Again, felt like it was trying to tell a story but I have no clue who, what or how. A few creepy moments but I still don’t know how the archeologist and little girl’s tea party are remotely connected.
  • The size. Probably needed a 5th house. Broken record at this point, but was clearly designed to spotlight Ice Breaker, and really misses that.
  • Security (outside the main gate). Vaping and weed everywhere. Also a problem at HHN the other night, maybe it’s just the decline of society.
  • The parking situation (in reality). Side lots have virtually no lighting. Morgan & Morgan going to have a field day with the first accident here. And for some reason they painted over the lane numbers a few weeks before the event started. Good luck finding your car in the dark after a couple Siren’s Kisses.
  • The food. Been spoiled by Sharks and the Beer Fest booths. Event is back to Sea World’s trademark inedible cafeteria-style quick-serve dished out by surly lunch ladies up past their bedtime. Hit up WaWa before the event.

On the whole, it definitiely feels like a first event, with all the hiccups that entails, but it’s still a solid start. Paradoxically it manages to be both scarier but also chiller than HHN. It seems to be pulling a decent crowd, which hopefully means they can continue to improve over the next couple years.
Pretty good review and overall I agree with most everything. I may write something up myself, but the major negative I had was there's no wait time signs, no wait times on the app, and the houses (Dead Vines and Waterfront Inn specifically feel hidden). The only one that stands out is Beneath the Ice.

I was thinking about it though and with this being their first year and pulsing the houses, they may not know how long it's going to take from x point in line yet, so I guess with it being the first year, I can forgive that, but it's something that needs to be fixed for next year. I remember Dark Horizon had wait time signs in 2019 (although wait times were always 5 minutes pretty much so it wasn't that hard for them...).
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
3,094
Orlando
Pretty good review and overall I agree with most everything. I may write something up myself, but the major negative I had was there's no wait time signs, no wait times on the app, and the houses (Dead Vines and Waterfront Inn specifically feel hidden). The only one that stands out is Beneath the Ice.

I was thinking about it though and with this being their first year and pulsing the houses, they may not know how long it's going to take from x point in line yet, so I guess with it being the first year, I can forgive that, but it's something that needs to be fixed for next year. I remember Dark Horizon had wait time signs in 2019 (although wait times were always 5 minutes pretty much so it wasn't that hard for them...).
An excellent point and one I forgot to bring up. Along with the parking lot, a (relatively) easy fix that would go a long way in improving event ops.
 
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GA-MBIT

Member
Jun 16, 2017
679
Haines City, FL
So i've heard that there was originally supposed to be five houses for the event and on the inaugural T-Shirt, one of the zones (Witchcraft Bayou) is on the shirt as the only zone represented along with the four houses. Does anyone know if Witchcraft Bayou was originally supposed to be a house, or am I just reading too much into it?
I don't know much, but I would Occam's Razor it to just being a mistake at the hand of the merch department rather than a full cut house. The Harvest zone was on the HHN28 house shirt instead of Blumhouse. I imagine it's something similar to that.
 

Skipper Justin

Veteran Member
May 8, 2010
1,193
Vancouver, WA
So consensus from everyone who has gone is that the HoS Express pass isn't worth the money?
From my experience, definitely not. My friend and I were always the only ones in the line or it was 10 mins. This was last Saturday. Agree about the houses being hidden (other than the ice one).
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
4,109
Still debating whether to give this event a try or to pay for another night of HHN that isn't currently covered by my FFP+. We're coming from out of state, and the caveat is we won't have a car - so would need to pay for/manage rideshares.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
25,127
Orlando
Still debating whether to give this event a try or to pay for another night of HHN that isn't currently covered by my FFP+. We're coming from out of state, and the caveat is we won't have a car - so would need to pay for/manage rideshares.
If you have the time, it’s worth it IMO.
 
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Lucky Planet

Veteran Member
Sep 23, 2013
3,011
Still debating whether to give this event a try or to pay for another night of HHN that isn't currently covered by my FFP+. We're coming from out of state, and the caveat is we won't have a car - so would need to pay for/manage rideshares.
how many days are you doing for hhn?
 

Stonecoldfreak1

Newcomer
Oct 29, 2020
24
A few pages back, someone mentioned how if you dine at Sharks you can get daytime access to the park early without a ticket? I've been paying attention to reservations, but nothing has become available. Does anyone know if they do walkups?