Cheetah Hunt is one of the rides you can do at night during Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, Florida

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Are you looking to get scared this Halloween season in Tampa, Florida?  Then you should attend Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens theme park!  Busch Gardens’ after-hours scary Halloween event is a great place to go if you love being terrified.

This event takes place on select nights from Friday, September 8, 2023, through Halloween on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.  In September, the event runs Friday and Saturday.  In October, you can also attend the event on Thursdays through Sunday and then on Monday, October 30th and Tuesday October 31st.  The event runs from 7:00 PM to park close.

So now you know the dates and times.  But we want to go over everything else you need to know for the upcoming event.  This includes all the haunted houses, scare zones, rides, and shows.  But it also includes information on upgrades and tickets – including how to save money on tickets!

Haunted Houses

Howl-O-Scream has some great haunted houses.  They essentially work as haunted mazes.

There are multiple haunted houses, and it may be hard to fit every haunted house into one night along with other activities you’ll want to do.  If you’re worried about getting everything done in one night, consider buying a Front Line Fear Pass.  This gets you to the front of the line at each haunted house one time.

Stranglewood Estate

Stranglewood Estate is back at Howl-O-Scream.  The story behind this haunted house is that Stranglewood Estate used to be a nice, lively home full of laughter and lavish parties.  But gone is the laughter and fun.  It has been replaced with darkness and the spirit of evil.  This year there is even new scares and new special effects.

D.H. Baggum’s Circus of Fear

In this brand-new haunted house, D.H. Baggum won’t be giving you the greatest show on earth so much as the most terrifying show on earth!

The Forgotten: Uprising

The Forgotten is another haunted house that is back at Howl-O-Scream.  Victims are drawn into a hidden world in this haunted house.  And as you get beyond a hidden gutter entrance, you learn about a legend of human uprising.  Yes, a group of starving vampires are there, plotting their revenge.  Will you be able to get back to the world of the living or are you destined to become a new vampire?

Witch of the Woods

Witch of the Woods is a returning haunted house at Howl-O-Scream.

Travelers may enter this dark forest.  But only dying screams make their way out.  That is because the forest is full of demonic disciples hunting wandering intruders through an abandoned village.  They need human sacrifices to be placed at the witch’s altar.  So you need to find a way out!

The Residence: Home for the Holidays

This is a returning haunted house.  The premise behind this haunted house is that the merry holiday spirit at a suburban family home has been replaced with murder.  The holidays come early for you at this haunted house, as there are all-new horrors waiting to be unwrapped.

Scare Zones

Scare zones are outside areas of the park that are marked as scare zones.  You might think it’s just part of the park you can walk through to get to the next attraction.  But actors dressed as scary creatures and monsters can jump out at any turn.

This can get quite scary, which is a big part of the fun for most guests.  But if you don’t want people coming up to you to scare you, consider getting a Noo Boo Necklace.  How it works is that you wear the necklace and then the monsters will know not to scare you.  I’ve found this mostly works, though a few times an actor might mess up and scare you.  But for the most part, this is a good purchase if you want to be able to walk through the park without lots of actors jumping in your face.  You can get the No Boo Necklace here.

But if you like getting scared, then keep reading so you can know what the themes of this year’s scare zones are!

Big Ed’s Demolition Derby

This brand new haunted house has pulled together some of the roughest and toughest villains from all over Howl-O-Scream.  They’re here to compete – and there is room in this automotive nightmare for special guests, too.

Raven’s Mill

Raven’s Mill is a returning scare zone at Howl-O-Scream.  You may think you are entering a standard corn field.  But that is before you encounter the scarecrows of Raven’s Mill…

Beyond the Veil

This returning scare zone is along the Nairobi Path.  Watch out for fairies and orcs as you stroll through this forest.

The Junkyard

You may have entered the junkyard to look for spare parts.  But you’ll leave just trying to not be devoured by the haunted rubble!

Sin City Zombies

On the outskirts of the Las Vegas Strip is a small hotel.  Some of the best entertainers ever live here.  The only problem?  It is, unfortunately, overrun by zombies.

The Shortcut

Everyone likes a good shortcut.  So it makes sense to cut through the cemetery, right?  Well….maybe not when the corpses rise from the ground with the intention to drag you back into their graves with them…


Have you ever done a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay ride at night?  It brings a totally different experience from when you ride it during the day.  Just look at how much different Cheetah Hunt looks.

Cheetah Hunt is one of the rides you can do at night during Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, Florida

Front Line Fear Extreme Pass

If you want to be able to do all these rides and the haunted houses, then consider buying a Front Line Fear Extreme Pass.  Like the Front Line Fear Pass, it gets you single-use front-of-the-line access to the five haunted houses.  But it also gets you single-use front-of-the-line access to some of the rides, too!

Rides included in the Front Line Fear Extreme Pass are:

  • Serengeti Flye
  • Cheetah Hunt
  • SheiKra
  • Cobra’s Curse
  • Falcon’s Fury
  • Kumba
  • Tigris
  • Montu
  • Cobra’s Curse
  • Iron Gwazi


Howl-O-Scream also has some scary shows for guests, too.

Rock The Grave

Rock The Grave is a brand new high-energy show located on the Festival Field that mixes alternative music, classic rock, and pop hits into an unforgettable experience.

Cirque X-Scream

See aerial performances, trampoline tricks, and more at Cirque X-Scream.

The Rolling Bones

Head over to the Dragon Fire Grill where you enjoy live music from the Rolling Bones.  This skeleton band performs covers of classic rock anthems.


Grab the mic and take your turn singing at the all-new “Scare-E-Oke” experience at Gwazi Plaza.  You can choose the song – and go home with a memorable photo of this experience.

Bars & Bites

It wouldn’t be Busch Gardens without a good drink, right?  Well, luckily, there will be themed bars throughout the bar that you may need just for the liquid courage alone!

There’s an all-new Raveyard at the Coke Canopy where you can dance the night away.  Other bars include the Christmas Bar at Pantopia, the Blood Bar at Stanleyville, and the Stranglewood Bar at the Moroccan Palace.


Howl-O-Scream fans will want to check out the tours available to guests.  They cost extra, but provide an amazing experience.

Ultimate VIP Tour

This tour gets you a really amazing night.

Buying an Ultimate VIP Tour pass gets you:

  • Admission to Howl-O-Scream
  • A customizable private tour
  • Unlimited front-of-the line access to haunted houses
  • Unlimited front-of-the-line access to most thrill rides
  • A private lounge as well as select bars where you can get free beer, wine, water and soft-drinks
  • Complimentary dinner at Dragon Fire Grill
  • Free preferred parking (subject to availability)

Click here to purchase a ticket to the Ultimate VIP Tour.

Behind The Scenes Tour

Ever wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes at Howl-O-Scream?  Well, now is your chance to learn!

In this tour, you learn just that.  You also get to see one of the iconic Busch Gardens houses in a new light – with a rare photo opportunity.

The tour also gets you a one-time, one-house priority access at night during the event.

Please note theme park admission is required to do this tour.  You can click here to purchase a daily admission to Busch Gardens.

And you can click here to purchase a behind-the-scenes tour ticket.

Discounted Tickets

Now, unlike other Busch Gardens Tampa holiday events (like Christmas Town and Mardi Gras), you need a separate ticket to get into Howl-O-Scream.  But luckily, here at Green Vacation Deals, we know of several ways to save money on these tickets.

First and foremost, you need to buy your ticket early.  Because tickets are cheaper the earlier you buy them.

Now, if you only want to visit on one day, then pick a specific date that is cheaper.  You can pay less if you go on a less popular day, like a Thursday in October or a Sunday in September.  And as of right now, you can save up to 50% on your ticket.  Click here to buy this ticket.

You can also buy an any-day ticket if you’re not sure which day you’re going to go, and it’s a good idea to do that now because they are currently on sale for up to 50% off.  Click here to purchase this ticket.

if you’d like to visit Howl-O-Scream more than once, then you save money by buying an Unlimited Ticket.  Especially if you do that now since they are on sale.  Click here to purchase this ticket option.

You can also buy a joint day and night ticket if you want to visit Busch Gardens during the day.  Click here to purchase this ticket option, which is also currently on sale.

There are also discounted ticket options available if you want to visit Howl-O-Scream in Tampa and Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando (check out our guide for this event here).  You can either purchase a ticket to visit each event one time.  Or you can buy a ticket to get you unlimited visits to both parks (great for a long trip or someone who lives close to both theme parks).  Click here to purchase this ticket option.