Monday, June 29, 2015

Busch Gardens Howl O Scream 2015

Anyone who bothers to follow this blog even part time during the Autumnal Event will know about my ongoing love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  I railed against the loss of the Big Bad Wolf and the limp and ineffectual Verbolten that replaced it and how the Oktoberfest polka show was given the boot for a saccharine fairy tale mashup that even small children hated (see here).  I've spoken highly of Howl O Scream and I've castigated the same for its Dark Side of the Gardens seasons with the Scare Zones that took the balls right out of the event (here).  Who can forget my excoriating post (here) about BG's complete and total disrespect of their patrons?
So what does this year hold?
This year promises Unearthed, a setting for which we have only the scantest of information:


Breaking News: Maintenance Crews Stopped in Tracks - A construction team was halted yesterday when crews hit upon a mysterious object while digging in a back area at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The park is currently investigating the unusual discovery. Please check back for more information.

Source-BG Howl O Scream webpage: BGWilliamsburg

We have three shows this year.  The first is Fiends, wacky Doctor, body parts, whore nurses.  
We have Monster Stomp again, featuring Jack the Ripper in a stomp pulse-pounding review (probably a good show).
Finally we have Night Beats.  If you can imagine Vampire Flappers  (and honestly why would you ever do that?) then you have the gist of it.  I'd bring a stake if I were you.

Some rides are open during the season, so that's always a bit of fun and it is not as hot so standing on line is not as big a deal.

Spooky shopping.  I don't know that I can say anything about spooky shopping other than it is shopping and apparently it is somehow spooky.  

The area of most concern to me is the decoration scheme.  The atmosphere (did you really want me to pun that?  Fine atmosFEAR.  Happy now?) is what makes Howl O Scream work or fail.  I have written in the past that it is a shame that the park does not do more to decorate the grounds out of easy view as it would really enhance the train ride to take advantage of the woodlands for decoration and I can't imagine they'd start taking MY advice at this stage of the game, but the Terror-tories (BG's name, not mine) are the themed decorations that take over the regular lands of BG Europe during Howl O Scream and that's what we need to discuss.  

In previous years on the Pumpkin I have taken you on a full tour of the park with pictures and all, so you can go look those up for a visual trip into previous Howl O Screams.  This year we have France turned into Demon Street complete with demons carrying chainsaws because the zombies in Canada are just so two years ago.

We have Ports of Skull because nobody at BG got the memo that pirates aren't cool anymore.  It's superheroes now, BG.  Get with the times.

Germany is still full of bloody vampires.  Not sure why, unless...well, you know, Nosferatu.
Look out, sparkling twat behind you!  Oh, yeah, never mind.  

Canada is Wendigo Woods, which makes sense as that is a Canadian/North Woods thing.  Also it is a state-of-the-art research facility that got attacked by some wendigos, I guess.  They used to have werewolves, so it's just keeping it in the general forest monster family.

Finally we have Ripper Row, which is in the England section, naturally.  England section is traditionally the least exciting section of the park as it has nothing but shops, dining, the theater and the entrance/exit facilities (first aid, stroller rental, lost articles, etc.) but given the nature of the event it already feels creepy so that's just bonus innit?  Of course the Jack the Ripper Monster Stomp as well.
That headless hearse driver was in France last time I went.  Lots of headless things walking about Ripper Row for some reason.  Seems more French to me.

We've discussed attending this year, Frau Punkinstein and myself.  If I do, I'll take pictures.  If I don't nobody will really be surprised.

Howl O Scream runs 25 SEP through 1 NOV Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  The park opens at 10 AM but Howl O Scream officially begins at 6 PM on those nights.
And as the website puts it:
Be warned: at 6 p.m. Busch Gardens® becomes a seriously scary place and may not be suitable for little ones. Please use discretion when bringing children into the park at this time. The curse spreads Sept. 25 and continues weekends through Nov. 1.

Yeah, don't lie to me, you bastards.  It's a happy, cheery, not even scary by half event.