You’ve heard the expression, “Do one thing that scares you every day.” When you attend SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream, you can cross that task off your list for life.
This year, SeaWorld’s Halloween event is geared toward an older crowd (13 years and up) and it’s scarier (and more fun) than ever. The Howl-O-Scream experience is included in your park admission. And, even if you don’t have a Season Pass or Fun Card, you can still get into all of the after-dark haunted fun (shows, haunted experiences, rides, and more) for just $25 a ticket (when entering the park after 6:00 p.m. on Fri. and Sat. nights from Sept. 27 – Oct. 27).
After attending Howl-O-Scream as SeaWorld’s VIP guest* for opening night, my voice is gone (from all that screaming!) but I walked away (Alive! Intact!) with wisdom to guide you through this horrifyingly hilarious adventure:
1. Don’t take little kids. Seriously. They will never sleep again and, ergo, neither will you. SeaWorld recommends that kids under 13 not stay in the park after 7:00 p.m. Kid-appropriate shows run during the day from 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. but the spooks come out at 7:00 p.m. sharp.
If you do take kids, beware: they’re younger and can probably run faster than you, leaving you vulnerable to random zombie and scary clown chase attacks. You’ve been warned.
2. Dress up. Get silly. Get scary. But remember: only kids 10 and under are allowed to wear masks.
3. Know your Scare Zones (the red areas on the map). This is where all of the spooky fun takes place (and where the freaky freaks hang out). Although, even if you don’t know your Scare Zones, when you enter one it will become apparent. IMMEDIATELY.
4. Have a plan. When entering one of the four haunted experiences (Frightmare Forest, Den of the Departed, Prey, and S.O.S. Clowns in Control), be sure your friends flank you on both sides. Even more desirable, have your friends’ significant others positioned in front of and in back of you too, creating your own personal, mobile, no-scare zone. If that doesn’t work, look down at the floor and run like the wind because, clowns? Yikes!
— Colleen Pence (@colleenpence) September 28, 2013
5. Seek out the least scary (and most attractive) creatures. The vampires at Blood Thirsty (SeaWorld’s new creeptastic cocktail bar) are the least scary creatures at Howl-O-Scream. This isn’t surprising given my theory: vampires are attractive and charming and you can reason with them, unlike zombies who lack good personal hygiene and conversational skills (unless you count moaning, “Mmmmmm. Brains!” as they stumble toward you). Although the vamps may strap you above the bar, drain your blood and play with you like a cat about to devour a mouse, you’ll probably enjoy it more than running from a drooling clown on stilts. Or maybe that’s just me?
6. Try a drink in a souvenir cup at Blood Thirsty. Your nerves are gonna need it. But don’t tip the vamp servers with cash. They only accept gratuities of blood, thankyouverymuch.
7. Never show weakness. While
strolling running through Scare Zones, don’t make eye contact, show fear of any sort, or even so much as giggle or you’ll have a band of freaks chasing you. And, if you feel like someone is following right behind you, THEY ARE. Don’t move. Don’t look back. Just act bored and get the heck out of there!
8. Heed the warnings. When the signs say, “Inhabitants/freaks/clowns/monsters may invade your personal space,” they ain’t kidding. They won’t touch you but the anticipation that they might could send you right over the edge. Muah-hahahahahaha!
9. Splurge on a Quick Queue pass. When the icy cold chill of fear runs down your back, the last thing you want to do is stand in a long line. You want to KEEP MOVING! Buy one of three different Quick Queue passes, starting at $14 each, to run to the head of the line for haunts and rides. Get your scare on even faster.
10. Don’t miss Jack. Although not as prominently featured as in previous Howl-O-Scream events, the deviantly charming Jack the Pumpkinhead is Howl-O-Scream’s closing act. See his Jack is Back show at the park’s exit at 10:00 p.m. Where else are you ever gonna see a pumpkin twerk?
Above all, be ready to freak out, scream your head off, and have a hilarious time making fun of your scaredy cat friends. Halloween is just one night a year but Howl-O-Scream runs all month long!
Visit Flickr for a full set of my Howl-O-Scream photos and videos…if you DARE.
* Disclosure: As a VIP guest, I received free admission to Howl-O-Scream, a Quick Queue pass, and dinner. All opinions are mine.