This article will remain at the front of the site through the remainder of the regular season and Howl-O-Scream (through Nov. 1).
Official Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Map:
This map was leaked and looks to be legit, but it may change minimally between now and the 25th.
Update: Just heard from the communications office that this is the map they’ve released now as official.

[singlepic id=228 w=320 h=240 float=center]
Click To Enlarge
Update:
Take a closer look at the Howl-O-Scream map.
Best Guess Map:
This map is one that I worked up to show where I think the Howl-O-Scream attractions will be
[singlepic id=194 w=320 h=240 float=center]
Click To Enlarge
Update 8/27/09:
Added images of some Howl O Scream construction I found in the BGEscape.com to the gallery at the bottom of the page. Thanks to CoasterTails for posting them. The wall at the Royal Palace Theater points to my guess about Catacombs using the venue in some manner being correct. The theming outside of the Drachen Fire station seems to fit Bitten more than any of the other attractions, and the wood structures in Festhaus Park look like features that are in line with farm land theming (Harvest Hollow); it wouldn’t surprise me if the pyramid structures will be used as bases for dried corn stalks. I’ll be doing some filming today at the park and will ride the train to get some HD footage of these areas.
Update 8/27/09: Part 2
So, I went to the park today and found a few interesting things. There are headstones sitting in the storage area at the Royal Palace Theater (it’s the area directly behind where the face painting and hair braiding takes place). There were also quite a few Busch employees going into the theater, odd since there is no show going on. There was also an employee applying some type of finish to the black wooden wall on the side against the train tracks.
It is pretty much official that Harvest Hollow is going to be in Festhaus Park, there were scarecrows beside the old Drachen Fire station. Speaking of the Drachen Fire station, it looks like Bitten will be there and I’m 99% sure that The Hunted will be in the old train barn. I’m going to be posting the footage I got today on YouTube, it’s in HD, so you should be able to clearly make out everything I’m talking about. I’ll update the post again with the video. The new pictures are in the gallery at the bottom. They are somewhat high resolution, so they may take a little while to load, but it’s worth it!
As far as Cavern of Darkness, I asked a ride operator if Corkscrew Hill was going to be open for Howl-O-Scream and she said it was, but when I went to Guest Relations, the woman there said that she had no idea if it would be open. It seems odd that they wouldn’t know if one of the major attractions would be open, perhaps she was telling me all she could by shaking her head no as she said it. The title image has a four leaf clover in it, so, it would seem it is in Ireland, making Corkscrew Hill the likely location, not quite sure how it would work in the queue though as it is limited in space.
Here’s the video:

Update 8/28/09:
I’ve posted a press release from the park HERE. It doesn’t contain a whole lot of new information about HOS, but it does say that the park will be selling Fall Fun Passes this year, much like their Summer Fun Pass.
Update 8/28/09: Part 2
According to one of our readers, Hunter, they spotted witches brooms and cauldrons where Wicked Woods was last year. That appears to confirm that Cursed will be located where Wicked Woods was last year.
Update 8/28/09: Part 3
One of the readers, CastleOSullivan has pointed out that there was a maze called Dark Tower located in what is the Corkscrew Hill queue during the first HOS. The fact that it has been used for a maze prior points to it being used this year for Cavern of Darkness.
Update 8/30/09:
I went to the park last night for about an hour and noticed a sign at the New France train station (apparently it is at all of the stations) that I had not noticed prior. It was an “excuse our mess” sign, mentioning that the park was making preparations for Howl-O-Scream. I’m not sure if this means they will once again be doing something with the train, or if their just referring to the construction you can see from the train, but I think it’s probably the latter. You can see the sign in the picture gallery at the bottom of this post.
Update 9/1/09:
As you may or may not know, I went to the park earlier today to take a look around and see if there was anything new going on in the park regarding Howl-O-Scream. I didn’t notice a ton of new things, there were a couple new signs and some work going on behind the old Drachen Fire station and train barn. I took some video and will be posting it here when it finishes loading on YouTube. I also took pictures of two new signs and you can see them in the gallery at the bottom of this post.
Here’s the video from 9/1/09:

Update 9/4/09:
Here’s a video posted on the official Busch Gardens YouTube channel:

I’m expecting a big week coming up at Busch. Not only will Big Bad Wolf be making it’s last run, but I think a lot of work will be done on the Howl-O-Scream attractions. I’m going to be making a visit to the park every day next week and will be updating this post with anything new I see, so check back daily.
Update 9/11/09:
I went to the park today and saw a few changes since Labor Day. Ireland is the section most ready for Howl-O-Scream at this point. There are pumpkins on the roofs of the buildings as well as the giant pumpkin in front of the theater. Corkscrew Hill is closed, which pretty much makes it official that Cavern of Darkness is going to be there.
[singlepic id=212 w=320 h=240 float=center]
There was a little more construction for Cursed which you’ll be able to see in the video that I will post here once it finishes uploading to YouTube. You’ll also see in that video that there has been a little more work done for Harvest Hollow. I also took a look at what was going on at the Royal Palace Theater and there was an excavation machine there. Not sure exactly what it was there for. Feel free to comment on this post with info or questions, or head over to the forums.
Video from 9/11/09:

Update 9/18/09:
Took a trip to Busch today and saw quite a bit done in terms of theming for HOS. There was still quite a bit left to do for a couple of the scarezones, but that can probably be done fairly quickly when they get to it. I went to the Monster Stomp sneak preview and it was pretty good, it used the theater well, although there was a section of the show with tap-dancing werewolves and the music was too loud to actually hear the tap dancing, but working out the kinks is what sneak previews are for, I’m sure it will be addressed. I took a bunch of pictures today, they’re posted in the gallery for this post and I also got some video footage.
Here’s the video from 9/18/09:

Update 9/28/09:
I thought I’d include an update of HOS after the first weekend has come to an end. I’m overall very satisfied with what’s going on at the park this year for HOS. The new theming of the houses is done well, but you’ll probably be able to recognize the physical attributes of the mazes being pretty similar from last year. I’d have to say the best two houses are Bitten and Catacombs, with Catacombs being the number one seed. The theming for Catacombs is better than the theming for any of the other houses and the cast is doing a great job thus far.
The scarezones improved over the course of the weekend, as did most of the other attractions throughout the park. However, one scarezone I have been completely unimpressed with is Stranger’s Beware. It seems that there are only two or three cast members making up this entire scarezone and it is located just outside Festhaus Park. It’s honestly quite difficult to even think of this as a real scarezone as there is zero theming done for it.
Feel free to come to the forums to discuss your thoughts on HOS and hear from other people as well.
Mazes/Haunted Houses:
Bitten:
Picture 1
– Eastern Europe in the late 1800s was a time of suspicion, darkness and mind-numbing fear. This is where our story begins. The “Bitten” house has always been full of legends and lore about vampires and the undead who prey on the innocent. The manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass … and never return.
–Scareguide – 5/5
Opens At:
6 PM
Likely Location:
I think this will use one of The Big Bad Wolf’s station buildings. The description says, “The manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass” and BBW is right next to the San Marco bridge, which is part of the main ring path for the park. Update: Read the Cavern of Darkness description for a clue as to why this may be in the Drachen Fire station if it’s not in a BBW building. Something WILL be using the Drachen Fire station. Update: It appears this will be located in the old Drachen Fire station and Cavern of Darkness will be in the Corkscrew Hill queue.

Catacombs:
Picture 2
– Through a ruined cemetery filled with statues lies a tunnel that leads to a city below the ground. Its history is more terrifying than that of France’s worst revolutions. Deep within these tunnels lie miles upon miles of bones – the final resting place for those who are buried here. But all is not as quiet as it appears. As you venture forth into the dank, dripping corridors of rat infested remains, the voices of the dead begin to speak, and some … have taken shape.
–Scareguide – 4/5



Opens At:
6 PM
Likely Location:
This will be located in France obviously, but exactly where is the question. There isn’t a lot of room in France for a maze, but I think the Royal Palace Theater will play a part. Update: I’ve seen tombstones in storage at the Royal Palace Theater, there is a black, wooden wall along one side of the theater that blocks the view from the train tracks and I’ve captured the sound of some woodworking going on in the area of the stage.

Cavern of Darkness:
Picture 3
– At the dawn of time, it is said that magical beings held dominion over the earth. That is, until the advent of man and their “great cities”, as they called them. Forced to abandon their earthen homes and flee below the surface, these magical beings have lived in exile on the Underside, waiting for the day when they could return to their beloved Above. Now man has invaded their home, once again opening a doorway into their “Cavern of Darkness” with the explorations of the earth’s crust. And the creatures of the Underside will lie still no more. Having already lost what is above, they will not lose what is below. They didn’t choose to live in the Underside, but it is their home – and those that venture below, will never again see the light of day.
–Scareguide – 5/5
Opens At:
12 PM
Likely Location:
I noticed some stone work in the old Drachen Fire station when I was taking the train a couple weeks ago, stone would certainly fit the atmosphere of a cavern. Certainly the best park attraction to fit the atmosphere of a cave would be Corkscrew Hill, but there just isn’t enough room in the queue to allow for cast members to jump out at you. Update: It looks like (due to the cloverleaf in the title) there’s a possibility that this will be in Ireland, perhaps in the queue for Corkscrew Hill, since that is already themed as a cave. Update: CastleOSullivan, one of our readers, has pointed out that this queue line was used as a maze during the first year of HOS. This points to it most likely being home to Cavern of Darkness this year. Also, Guest Relations could not confirm if Corkscrew Hill was going to be open during HOS this year.


A peak at what Cavern could look like. This is video of The Dark Tower from a decade ago, which was located in the same queue Cavern will be in. Thanks to cschartz1 for posting on YouTube and buschfan11 for posting a link in the bgescape.com forums.
Cursed:
Picture 4
– Between the borders of legend and reality lie the cursed, and those whose fate is determined by the witches of the woods will forever be changed. Into a depthless abyss, through a cracked cave wall where the veil of consciousness is at its thinnest lies the world of the witch. On All Hallows Eve, their blazing beacon beckons and you are unable to resist.
–Scareguide – 5/5
Opens At:
6 PM
Likely Location:
This will be located where Wicked Woods was in 2008.

The Hunted:
Picture 5
– In 17th-century Germany lies a hunter’s cabin in the darkest part of the forested valley. Home to a family of werewolf hunters, this cabin has long been hidden to the world. Now it lies in shambles and only the bloody clues will tell the truth of what has happened.
–Scareguide – 5/5



Opens At:
6 PM
Likely Location:
This could use the old Drachen Fire train barn.

Revenge of Pompeii:
Picture 6
– The ruins of Pompeii – an old expedition camp lies abandoned. All those working have gone missing. It is said that a storm of ash descended upon the camp, like that of the eruption. But it was not your everyday ash storm, it was something more sinister. The beings of those frozen in time are walking – their ashy corpses reanimating and wreaking havoc. And as the new team arrives to continue the exploration, the beings that still haunt Pompeii will have their revenge.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Opens At:
12 PM
Location:
Escape From Pompeii



Scarezones:
All scarezones will begin at 6 PM.
Harvest Hollow:
Picture 7
– A journey through the “Harvest Hallow “ is a journey into your wildest nightmare. Creatures who haunt the Harvest are looking for victims to replenish the crops. It’s planting season and they need the seed of blood for a bountiful harvest. From the oppressive Fields, where the Scarecrow walks, to the woods, where nightmares of everything that goes bump in the night have come to rest. The Axmen need a sacrifice – are you in line to be chopped? Harvest Hallow is a journey through all the terrifying tales of dangers that lurk in our nightmares.
–Scareguide – 5/5
Likely Location:
I think the only place with enough empty space to allow for a “farm land” environment is the empty land once used by Drachen Fire.

Mischief & Mayhem:
Picture 8
– The little creatures of Ireland are wreaking havoc. Jumping from tree to tree to hide is something they do very well. And now, they are intent on having a little mischief with you. As you walk out of the Irish village into the reserves of the wild, be prepared to face a little Irish magic as trolls and goblins use the darkness to play with your mind – and frighten you beyond your wildest dreams.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Location:
Ireland

The Moors:
Picture 11
– The highlanders of Scotland have long been known for their fighting prowess and strength. Now, the ghosts of those souls have risen to haunt their battleground. To protect their homeland, they view anyone as a threat to bonnie Scotland – and will torment any who tries to step on her soil.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Location:
Scotland

Spellbound:
Picture 12
– The air is eerie and gloomy near the bridge to Festa Italia. Blue lights shine on an abandoned wagon and decrepit fencing lies ahead. You see shadowy figures moving through the darkness. Beware, because these witches are looking to put you under their spell.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Location:
Bridge to Festa Italia from San Marco

Werewolves:
Picture 13
– The quaint village of Rhinefeld nestled in the Germany countryside has undergone a transformation. Entering the village, boarded windows greet you. “Stay out”, “Silver bullets needed”, and “Do not enter” written on them. The people of this town have clearly barricaded themselves within the safety of their homes. But you are not safe. You are in the village. The moonlight breaks through the clouds during your journey, illuminating the only way out of the village. Eyes peer at you from the bushes, but you do not see. As you venture forth, your fate awaits.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Location:
Rhinefeld, near Alpengeist

Strangers Beware:
Picture 14
– The townsfolk who live here are tired of being afraid, tired of living in fear of Strangers. The rabble mob has no choice – to survive, they must band together and defend their land from anything foreign to it, be it monster, mad scientist, or legendary creature. If you are not with them, you are against them. They watch. They follow. They act. If you are labeled a stranger to them, it is your life that will perish. They do not trust. If they do not know you, you will be dealt with. “Strangers Beware” – you will be punished.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Likely Location:
This seems like the story of Frankenstein, so it will probably be in a German section.

The Watchers:
Picture 15
– The vengeful spirits of New France are determined to make your visit memorable. Ghosts lurk amidst the rooftops of the village. Flying out of the trees, they will come inches from your face, luring you into this terrifying nightmare. In contrast to the spectral figures you see that hang throughout the village, these “Watchers” will leave you screaming in the street.
–Scareguide – 4/5
Location:
New France


Shows & Other Attractions:
Frankenrock:
Picture 16
– Frankenrock is performing live in Das Festhaus. Frankenstein and his band mates have created the ultimate super group of monsters – and they intend to rock. Join them as they serve up some of your Halloween favorites like Thriller, Monster Mash, and Time Warp wrapped up in familiar tunes from the ‘90s.
–Scareguide – 4/5

Halloween Show At Prince Elmo’s Castle:
– Stroll over to the Sesame Street Forest of Fun for a great family-friendly experience at Prince Elmo’s Castle. This 10-minute show stars Count Von Count and his Sesame Street pals in a Halloween spectacular featuring dancing, singing and music. Everyone’s favorite Sesame Street characters will perform in their very own Halloween costumes. Following the show, Count Von Count and the rest of the gang will be in the Sesame Street Forest of Fun for special photo opportunities and hugs for the young and the young at heart.
–Scareguide – 1/5

Jack Is Back:
Picture 17
– In ancient Celtic Ireland, Jack-O-Lanterns were used to ward off evil spirits. As nighttime descends, this tale comes to life at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. A party procession of carved creatures invades the village to pay homage to Jack-of-the-Lantern. Pumpkins, scarecrows and Jack himself entertain park guests during this dancing party.
–Scareguide – 2/5

Monster Stomp:
Picture 18
– Join us for a revamping of a classic – vampires have come to the monster stomp party, and they are dying to have a good time. Witches, Mummies, Skeletons, Beasts, and Vampires rock out in this high powered musical “rockstravaganza.” Parental supervision advised.
–Scareguide – 4/5

Movies of the Macabre:
Picture 19
– View some classic black-and-white movies on a big screen in the Italy pavilion. Served up in a film-festival motif with a hanging screen, guests will enjoy these classic horror movies while dining. It’s a fun experience for the whole family that evokes a mood of frightening fun.
–Scareguide – 2/5

Photo Opportunities:
– This year’s Howl-O-Scream offers six new photo opportunities in addition to nearly 20 haunted attractions. Guests can have their picture taken with a variety of their favorite Howl-O-Scream characters. Track down Jack in Ireland, the witches of Italy, the Phantom in France, the villagers of Germany and the Werewolves or Frankenstein in Oktoberfest.
–Scareguide – 1/5

Schedule:


Howl-O-Scream will be held on the weekends (including Friday) starting Sept. 25th and come to a close Nov. 1st.

Misc. Videos:



This is footage from 2001 of the theming around the train. You can also see Drachen Fire in it’s standing but not operating period.



Pictures:


[nggallery id=24]

Leave a Reply