In past years, BGWFans has always kept a constantly up-to-date list of all of the rumored, under construction, and confirmed Howl-O-Scream attractions on the ParkFans Forum and, while that has always worked, I think posting it to the main site this year may increase the list’s visibility to people who don’t stay up to date with the forum. Anyway, as stated before, this page will be updated continuously as more information is announced and/or leaked. If you’d like to know whenever the page is updated, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or, if you’re so inclined, circle us on Google+. We’ll be sure to update all of those channels whenever a notable update to the list is made. Have a bit of inside information that you’d like to share? You’re more than welcome to email me here.
Also, before I dive in, there’s two things to note: First off, the titles of all confirmed attractions link back to their official pages on the park’s Howl-O-Scream website. Secondly, any attractions that I think are worthy of expanding on will have their own sections under the lists they are a part of. With so many returning attractions, I saw no use in writing out a ton of information on everything that’s returning from previous years. If you’re interested in my thoughts on any of the previous attractions, check out BGWFans’ Howl-O-Scream 2012 review. Anyway, enjoy!
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Houses

As I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from the list below, houses are anything but the park’s first priority this year. All of last year’s houses (including both Bitten and Catacombs which are turning 5 this year) will be returning for this year’s event with the exception of the once-great Fear Fair that debuted back in 2011. Having seen Fear Fair top all of the houses that are returning this year back in 2011, I am honestly a bit sad to see it go. Unfortunately, as I’m sure anyone who experienced it last year will attest, the park simply wasn’t able to make lightning strike twice with Fear Fair and, in 2012, it was actually one of my lowest rated houses. All that said, though I’m not expecting much out of its replacement, Cut Throat Cove, part of me is looking forward to seeing what the park is capable of pulling off in its current budgetary state.
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13: Your Numbers Up

Theme: Thirteen Phobias
Hamlet: Killarney
Location: Europe in the Air
Debut Year: 2011
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction

Catacombs

Theme: Skeletons
Hamlet: Aquitaine
Location: Royal Palace Theatre
Debut Year: 2009
Status: Confirmed

Root of All Evil

Theme: Haunted Greenhouses
Hamlet: Rhinefield
Location: Behind DarKastle
Debut Year: 2012
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction
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Bitten

Theme: Vampires
Hamlet: Oktoberfest
Location: Drachen Fire Station
Debut Year: 2009
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction

Dead Line

Theme: Zombies
Hamlet: San Marco
Location: Under Escape from Pompeii
Debut Year: 2011
Status: Confirmed

Cut Throat Cove

Theme: Pirates
Hamlet: Festa Italia
Location: Behind Roman Rapids
Debut Year: 2013
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction
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13: Your Numbers Up

Not many changes are expected however it does sound like clowns will be making their way into Thirteen this year. With the removal of Fear Fair and the disappointing lack of clowns in Festa Italia this year, I suppose the park is trying to throw the many people out there with a phobia of clowns a bone by adding them to Thirteen. Hopefully their addition will fill up one of the more bland areas of the house.

Root of All Evil

Though we don’t know many details about the changes coming to Root of All Evil this year, we do know that there will be some notable alterations. Most interestingly perhaps is the inclusion of props and sets from Scavengers, a fairly well-themed scarezone from back in 2011. Will it be enough to fix what most everyone considered to be the park’s biggest Howl-O-Scream mistake in recent memory? I’m doubtful, but I suppose it’s possible.

Cut Throat Cove

Cut Throat Cove, the park’s only new house for 2013 should provide an interesting experience. Though it sounds like it has some sort of potential, you shouldn’t go into it expecting superb set design or innovative scare tactics. The fact of the matter is that Cut Throat Cove is a thrown-together conglomeration of props from past Howl-O-Scream, IllumiNights, and Christmas Town events that have been painted and roughly themed to fit into a haunted house designed around Pirates. From what I understand, there are few, if any, original thematic elements or set pieces in this house. Additionally, Fear Fair’s red and white striped tents and layout will both be fully utilized in this “new” house as well. It should also be noted that, aside from being reversed, Cut Throat Cove’s layout will be identical to Fear Fair’s. Basically, if you go into Cut Throat Cove expecting Fear Fair-level or Dead Line-level theming, I fear you’ll be extremely disappointed. Do I think it has a chance to perform well? Sure- look at Kings Dominion’s event: A good fraction of their houses look like garbage when put up against the likes of Dead Line but they consistently perform vastly better than any house we’ve ever seen at Busch Gardens. We shall see what happens but, fortunately, if it’s awful, we already have a nickname for it: Cutback Cove™.
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Terror-tories

As I recommended they should do in my review of last year’s event, after the failure of the “Scare is Everywhere” in 2010, strictly marked scarezones in 2011, and roaming hordes in 2012, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has once again returned the the drawing board to try to figure out a way to provide Howl-O-Scream with some atmosphere. For years now the park has seemed to struggle with how they should go about not only adding houses and shows for Howl-O-Scream, but also transforming the park into a unique and spooky environment– a way to transport visitors away from the pre-industrial European-themed park in Williamsburg. Over the last few seasons, one of the chief complaints among those who frequent the event (our members and the general public alike) has been that walking around the park during Howl-O-Scream doesn’t feel like Howl-O-Scream should. This year, the park thinks they have a way to fix that. That’s where the Terror-tories come in.
What is a Terror-tory you ask? It’s essentially a full thematic overlay for a set area of the park. In the past we’ve seen existing hamlet’s themes supplemented by decorations and the like, but what Busch Gardens Williamsburg is planning for 2013 goes far above and beyond what we’ve seen in the past. We’re talking facades, elaborate temporary structures, themed dining experiences, heavily themed Food & Wine-style drink booths, scripted events, and more. This is where all of the park’s time, effort, and money is going this year. They’ve quite literally bet the event on these Terror-tories. The concepts sound, quite frankly, awe-inspiring- I just hope they can pull off what they have in mind. Even more importantly, I hope that the general public appreciates being thrown neck-deep into a themed environment and is willing to see past what will likely be rather lackluster scares (if any exist at all) and instead enjoy the atmosphere the park is trying to create.
To be completely honest, I see this as a very, very risky move for the park but it’s one that I’ve hoped they’d take for a while now. Over the last few years they’ve tried everything to scare people on the park’s pathways but, because of the park’s narrow paths and troublesome terrain, nearly everything they’ve tried has failed- often for reasons out of the park’s control. In a lot of ways this feels like a last ditch hail mary for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s in-park Howl-O-Scream theming. I do think there’s a legitimate possibility that even if the park is able to pull off everything they want to do, the general public won’t appreciate the atmosphere and will instead demand paths stuffed with people in cheesy costumes once again. I sincerely hope that’s not the case.
All that said, personally, I’m thoroughly looking forward to what the park has planned and want nothing more than to see the ideas and plans I’ve heard about thus far appear inside the park by September 13th. If the park can do this thing right, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll absolutely love it. Why? Because this is legitimately what I’ve been begging for over the last 5 years or so- it’s literally exactly what I’ve always wanted. If the park can pull it off and the general public are willing to give something new and unique a chance, I think Busch Gardens Williamsburg may have a winner on its hands.
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Demon Street

Hamlet: Aquitaine
Theme: Hell/Demonic
Debut Year: 2013
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction

Ports of Skull

Hamlet: San Marco
Theme: Pirates
Debut Year: 2013
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction
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Ripper Row

Hamlet: Banbury Cross
Theme: Jack the Ripper-Era London Slums
Debut Year: 2013
Status: Confirmed

Vampire Point

Hamlet: Rhinefeld
Theme: Transylvanian Vampires
Debut Year: 2013
Status: Confirmed
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Shows

With the massive investment the park made put into their Howl-O-Scream show lineup in 2012, it should be no surprise to see nothing new appear on this list for 2013. Luckily, all of last year’s shows were absolutely fantastic, so I can’t even begin to complain.
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Dig it Up

Hamlet: San Marco
Location: Il Teatro di San Marco
Debut Year: 2012
Status: Confirmed

Night Beats

Hamlet: Oktoberfest
Location: Das Festhaus
Debut Year: 2012
Status: Confirmed
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Fiends

Hamlet: Killarney
Location: Abbey Stone Theatre
Debut Year: 2012
Status: Confirmed
 
 
 
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Dig it Up

I’ve been told Dig it Up’s setlist and whatnot should remain the same for 2013 however, considering the full stage replacement that happened after Christmas Town 2012, I suspect that some aspects to the show’s layout will need to be altered in order to work on the new stage.
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Hamlet Themes

Though Banbury Cross, Aquitaine, Rhinefeld, and San Marco, the park’s four Terror-tory locations, get the spotlight this year as far as theming goes, the rest of the park’s hamlets (with the exception of Oktoberfest) will get the decorations and whatnot we’ve come to expect out of the event in the past as well. Don’t expect anything particularly stunning or immersive out of any of these areas, but it’s nice to see the park isn’t planning to completely neglect the rest of the park.
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Hamlet: Festa Italia
Theme: Pirates
Status: Rumored
Hamlet: Killarney
Theme: Frankenstein’s Laboratory
Status: Rumored
Hamlet: Oktoberfest
Theme: None
Status: N/A
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Hamlet: Heatherdowns
Theme: Pumpkins
Status: Under Construction
Hamlet: New France
Theme: Spiders
Status: Rumored
Hamlet: Wild Reserve
Theme: Ghosts
Status: Rumored
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Other Attractions

As you can tell from the rather massive list below, themed eateries and other experiences are a remarkably large part of this year’s event. From what I can gather, the Entertainment Department was basically told to find a way to make Howl-O-Scream bring in more money after guests get into the gates this year. Fortunately, after the Food & Wine Festival earlier this year, the park seems to have found a passion for themed eateries and bars. That passion will become very apparent once again when Howl-O-Scream 2013 begins to take shape.
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Blood Banquet

Hamlet: Rhinefeld
Location: The Willkommenhaus
Status: Confirmed

Demon Drinks

Hamlet: Aquitaine
Location: Crépe and Coffee
Status: Confirmed

Inoculation Station

Hamlet: Killarney
Location: Around the Abbey Stone Theatre
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction

Pirate Baarrrgh

Hamlet: San Marco
Location: Grape Stomping Photo Spot
Status: Confirmed
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Buccaneer Galley

Hamlet: Festa Italia
Location: La Cucina
Status: Confirmed

Fright Feast

Hamlet: Killarney
Location: Castle O’Sullivan
Status: Confirmed

Open CASKet

Hamlet: Oktoberfest
Location: In Front of Das Festhaus
Status: Confirmed & Under Construction
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Construction Updates

[list style=”3″]
[li]August 22nd: BGWFans’ first official Howl-O-Scream 2013 update can be found here.[/li]
[li]August 7th: Three new pictures of the work going on behind Roman Rapids on Fear Fair’s pirate-themed replacement have been posted here.[/li]
[li]July 28th: The first pictures of early Howl-O-Scream work can be found here. Additionally, a few more pictures of the progress being made on Festa Italia’s new house can be seen here.[/li]
[/list]
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Post Updates

[list style=”3″]
[li]August 23rd: A few more status updates have been made and a new massive construction update has been added[/li]
[li]August 20th: A few minor status updates have been made throughout[/li]
[li]August 15th: A metric ton of new rumored and confirmed information has been added throughout the post. Quite honestly, you’re better off reading the entire thing over again[/li]
[li]August 7th: The rumored Aquitaine theme has been added to the list along with a new construction update[/li]
[li]August 6th: Additional information added to the second paragraph, multiple house statuses updated, more information added about both Root of All Evil and Dig it Up, rumored Festa Italia theme added, and a few other small changes throughout[/li]
[li]August 5th: Heatherdowns theme added[/li]
[li]July 30th: Theme added for the new house in Festa Italia and for the hamlet as a whole[/li]
[/list]

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