Anyone who happened to be searching for Busch Gardens Williamsburg Quick Queues on Google recently may have stumbled upon quite a treat: The park’s publicly-accessible-and-searchable Howl-O-Scream Quick Queue page was updated with what appears to be the Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s 2022 Howl-O-Scream house lineup!
While there’s some chance this listing could be some sort of placeholder, we’re more inclined to believe that it’s probably an accurate listing of this year’s Williamsburg Howl-O-Scream houses.
As of the time of writing, the webpage in question with the advertised house lineup is still live, here. Assuming that Busch Gardens Williamsburg pulls it soon after seeing that it has leaked, a screenshot of the page is included below for posterity.
As you can see in the image above, the two Howl-O-Scream Quick Queue descriptions advertise five houses—two new, two returning, and one update/relocation:
We can assume that Killarney Diner and Witch of the Woods are staying put in their existing locations—the Killarney Simulator Building and the Woods Maze Location respectively. Judging by the Nevermore props that were visible outside of Drachen Fire’s Station in our last update, it seems likely that Nevermore Chapter 2 will take up residence there.
That leaves Inferno and Death Water Bayou. Thematically, Inferno seems to match up beautifully with the Pompeii Show Building; so, hopefully it will be the Dystopia replacement. Assuming our previous guesses are correct, that leaves Death Water Bayou for the last spot—the Area Behind Roman Rapids—to replace Circo Sinistro.
Speaking of Death Water Bayou, that’s a house name that will likely make a lot of your ears perk up. For anyone who doesn’t know, Death Water Bayou has been a staple of Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl-O-Scream for many, many years now (over a decade) and is widely regarded as a very strong house.
Busch Gardens Tampa still has an iteration of their Death Water Bayou house this year. Hence, unlike with Nevermore last year, it doesn’t seem that we’re stealing Tampa’s actual sets and props for our Death Water. Instead, Williamsburg seems to be following in SeaWorld San Diego’s footsteps by stealing the name, theme, and story for their own version of this iconic Tampa house.
Currently, my highest hopes lie with Inferno. Assuming it is replacing Dystopia, there’s an opportunity for some very compelling scenic here. Pompeii’s Show Building has long contained some of the park’s most best-themed mazes due in large part to its flexible, dedicated, fully-indoor location.
We shouldn’t ignore this year’s updated and relocated house, Nevermore Chapter 2, either. Last year’s Nevermore had some great bones (thanks Tampa!) but it succumbed to many of the lighting and environmental issues that plagued the string of largely mediocre DarKastle houses.
Fortunately, Drachen Fire’s station building has never had the “giant warehouse” problems presented by DarKastle. Both iterations of Vault—and Bitten before them—have always nailed the environmentals. Tampa’s props and sets paired with one of Williamsburg’s strongest house locations could be a winning combination.