SeaWorld San Diego Howl-O-Scream 2023 Guide

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Here’s some good news.  Howl-O-Scream is back at SeaWorld San Diego.  It will be running from September 29, 2023, through October 31, 2023, on select nights.

Now here’s some even better news.  This year, it is bigger and better than ever!

There are even more haunted houses, where you try to work your way out of mazes while avoiding scary creatures.  You also have to fend off scary creatures at certain parts of the parks, otherwise known as scare zones and scAREAs.  Then there is also dance parties, performers, pop-up bars, and rides that are even more thrilling at night.

We’re going to tell you about all the attractions.  We’ll tell you how to make your experience better with some upgrades.  And we’ll tell you about how to save money on tickets.

Haunted Houses

Area 64: Alien Outbreak

Area 64: Alien Outbreak is an all-new haunted house, and the haunted house I am most excited for.  The premise of this haunted house is that you have snuck into Area 64.  And now you have to avoid lethal security, mad scientists, and (what else?) aliens!  If you want to believe, this is the haunted house for you!

Circus of the Damned

The premise of this haunted house is that an evil ringmaster wants to restore his cursed Circus of the Damned to its former glory.  So now he is looking for new performers – and you don’t want one of those new performers to be you!

And in 2023 there will be a new twist to this popular haunted house – there will be 3D elements!  So grab those special 3D glasses to do this haunted house!

Death Water Bayou

Your mission in this haunted house is to get out of the black, murky waters of Death Water Bayou.  Because if you don’t, you could fall under the curse of the evil Swamp Witch!

Nightmare Experiment

Bad news: a crazed doctor is doing a secret, experimental project on a human.  Worse news: you are that human!  So your goal is to find a way out!

Scare Zones

Carnival of Chaos

Even if you somehow survive Circus of the Damned, the scares aren’t over there.  Angry carnies and sideshow clowns will be roaming the Carnival of Chaos scare zone, and you will definitely want to avoid them.

Sea of Souls

You’ll want to avoid the creatures you find here, too, in this terrifying scare zone.

Deadly Toys

Not all toys are fun and playful like Woody and Buzz Lightyear.  Some toys are downright frightening.  And that is exactly what you’ll find at this scare zone.


Don’t you just hate it when someone who is evil refuses to stay buried?  Well, if you do, you might want to stay away from some evil beings who are no longer buried – and would love to meet you!

Simon’s Meat Market

Simon’s Meat Market is a brand new scare zone for 2023.  This scare zone involves you visiting an abandoned meat-packing plant with a sinister history.  What could possibly go wrong?


Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls is a brand show at Howl-O-Scream San Diego.  It is a chilling and suspenseful theatrical show with performers, percussionists, and even battles between good and evil.

Other Entertainment

There are party zones and zombie DJs for guests who like a dance break between haunted houses.

Rides in the Dark

You love the SeaWorld thrill rides during the day.  But how about trying them at night?  Trying them at night gives the rides a whole new feel.  And at Howl-O-Scream, you can ride Electric Eel, Emperor, and Journey to Atlantis in the dark!

Cocktail Bars

Avoiding all those evil clowns, aliens, vampires, toys, and other evil creatures can make you quite thirsty.  And unless you’ve been turned into a vampire and are thirsty for blood, I’m sure you’ll be thirsty for a good cocktail.  Luckily, there are pop-up cocktail bars throughout the park during the event:

  • Big Top Drinks
  • Toys ‘N’ Tonic
  • Dutchman’s Abyss
  • AmBARlance
  • LaBARatory
  • The Lonely Pumpkin


There are a lot of upgrades you can get at Howl-O-Scream that can make your experience even better.

You can purchase these upgrades here.

Front Line Fear

This gets you one-time front-of-the-line access to 5 haunted houses

Front Line Extreme

This gets you one-time front-of-the-line access at 5 haunted houses plus one-time front-of-the-line access to three thrill rides

Front Line Fear Unlimited

This gets you unlimited front-of-the-line access to five haunted houses and three thrill rides

No Boo Necklace

Don’t want actors scaring you when you happen to watch through the scare zones?  Get a No Boo Necklace and the actors should avoid you.

Howl-O-Scream Tickets: How to Save Money

Now other festivals at SeaWorld San Diego (like their Halloween Spooktacular) take place during the day.  When that happens, admission to the event is included in the price of admission.

But this festival takes place after the park closes for the day.  So it requires a separate ticket.  So even if you have an annual pass, you need to purchase a ticket for Howl-O-Scream.

But here is some more good news.  You can save a lot of money on your ticket to Howl-O-Scream by buying your ticket online here.  In fact, you can save up to $74.99.  There are multiple ticket options available, including single-day tickets, combo tickets with a day at SeaWorld, and even unlimited admission for the entire event so you can visit multiple days.  Just in each case, buy your ticket here to save money!

The other way you can save money, too, is by the day you visit.  Certain dates are more expensive than others (like the Saturday before Halloween) and certain dates are cheaper (like Fridays and Sundays in September).  So if you have a flexible schedule, consider visiting on a day when the tickets are cheaper.