I have my misgivings about Howl-O-Scream this year at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Please feel free to click the above link to get a very small preview of this year's Halloween event.
Last year, which I chronicled in pictures in several posts here in 4 parts showed a kinder, gentler Howl-O-Scream, which is just not what the holiday should be about. I enjoy Disney parks, but I have no desire to go to their Halloween event. It is too bright, too shiny, too cartoony and too damned kid friendly. Halloween needs to be a bit sinister. It needs to be a bit creepy and spooky. I'm not going to launch into some long speech about devalued counterparts in the modern world but take as red that I did. Two years ago at Howl-O-Scream "the scare [was] everywhere". No place was safe after 6 P.M., as it should be. There is plenty of time and plenty to do with the young kids during the daylight hours. After dark the park should be a scary place. In order to compete with other parks this pervasive sense of fear and holiday cheer is imperative. Busch Gardens chose to restrict the scary ghouls to "Scare Zones" last year. As my quotes denote these Scare Zones were anything but.
As of this year Busch Gardens has changed dramatically. Things must change, that I understand and grudgingly accept, but not every change is for the better. The Oktoberfest show, long a staple of the Festhaus, has become an insipid, syrupy, vomit inducing fairy tale mishmash called Entwined and the current Howl-O-Scream plans do not feature their long-running and most entertaining Monster Stomp as the show has been retired. My only hope is that this year in the Gardens the scare will again be everywhere.
This might be the case if the scant information on the website tells the tale I hope it does. At this point there is simply not enough to go on to make an accurate prediction. If the Scare Zones have been removed in favor of full after dark horror, then I will be satisfied, if not happy. As with so many things I will have to wait to know the full truth of it, but after last year's disappointing showing I am understandably guarded. When we add to that the poor decisions being made currently regarding shows and events, all of which seem to be worshiping at the altar of the 3-7 year old crowd, then I am more than simply guarded; I am filled with dread.
On the other hand, if it turns out to be as charybdic as any combination of last year's Howl-O-Scream plus the added drivel of the latest shows and events I can at least go to Hunt Club Farm.
Get a pumpkin. Keep it lit.