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Old 9 Apr 16, 02:32 PM  
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Wobbles
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Howling @ the Horror 2015 - Day 4 - Howl-O-Scream (1)

Back to Day 3

Its was one of our "new things" for thie year, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens. I have wanted to go for a couple of years but we had a not so enjoyable visit to Busch back in 2010 and Mr W was not keen. However, with free Busch Gardens tickets with our Discovery Cove package, it was easier to convince him this year...

...(however we didn't take too many pictures, so please bare with me... unexpected trip report syndrome)

The morning started well, we woke up early and spent a lazy morning in and around the pool and the villa.



This is Fergal the Shark, each year I buy Mr W a different pool inflatable to be our "holiday icon", this year its Fergal, in celebration of Sharknado 3 being shot at Universal. I also bought Mr W a waterproof camera for his birthday, he is loving it.

At midday we decided to head to Busch via a Sweet Tomatoes in Tampa, BIG MISTAKE, we got so lost and over two hours later we decided just to head to Busch... we were grumpy with each other and very hungry by then.

We had booked two nights (Flexible -v v important see tomorrow) at the Holiday Inn Express opposite the park. We checked in, chucked our bags in the room and headed for the shuttle to the parks. If you are looking for a room close to Busch Gardens, I would highly recommend this hotel... The shuttle is a little old but regular and gets you there and back.



Once in the Busch, we grabbed a bite of late lunch (*cough - ice cream - cough*) and a drink and felt 100% better and headed out to enjoy the animals. We love zoos, we got married in one and we think they do brilliant work, I know not everyone agrees with us about that.



We spent a long time looking at the little one, he was so cute playing with his family and being generally annoying...



After a while, we went to a talk about elephants, probably my favourite animal and we learnt a few new things about these amazing beasts...



On the back of this, we hot footed it round to the tigers for the final talk of the day, As a cat lover, I love all Big Cats, but tigers are special.



We then headed back towards the entrance to find out what we needed to do about Howl-O-Scream but after watching Falcon's Fury for a while (NO WAY - Seriously you head down face first)



This is when we got a bit of bad advice, we had booked the VIP Ultimate tour (for $219 each we got a private tour guide as a pair, our HoS tickets, free drinks, including alcohol, a meal at the frist Fiends show, front of the line queue for all houses and any rides we wanted to, 20% discount on any murchandise and other bits and pieces too!) as we were only going to do it once, and didn't want to waste time learning the ropes of HoS, it seemed like a very very good deal. The team at the entrance told us to report to a tent outside - just as the heavens opened - you know one of those storms which only happens in Florida, where in minutes you are soaked to the skin and then some.

Well the tent we had been sent to was the wrong place, we had no where to go for ONE HOUR - there were about 10 of us huddled under an eave of a building with no one from Busch about - by the time people turned an hour later we were all "rather annoyed", Mr W especially. I have an auto-immune disorder and getting very wet and cold causes my joints to flare up. By the time they arrived with towels and apolgies, I thought I would have to go home I was bent double with pain... however a quick phone call later we were all being rushed into the park, told to choose a change of clothes from their big store (including our choice of HoS branded Tshirt) and when we came out, there was a wheelchair waiting for me and the hint of the sun.



We were directed back to the Welcome Centre and introduced to our guide (Chloe) and Sarah who was shadowing Chloe for the evening and was going to be responsible for my chair for the evening. Yes - our party of two - had two private guides for the evening



They gave us our "foot of ale" glass, to keep beer on us through the evening,free rucksack to keep things together and our free towel to ensure we stayed dry, found me a hard cider (I love this girl already) and chatted us through the evening. We said good bye to the other parties we had be sheltering with and headed for our first stop - the Fiends diner show.



We were dry, we were happier than just over an hour ago and we were hungry and looking forward to an evening of horror.
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Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2020... or 2021...? or 2022
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Old 9 Apr 16, 03:11 PM  
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Fiends is the Dinner Show which Busch Gardens put on every year, its fun, its adult and it lasts about 30 minutes whilst you eat and drink. As we get free alcoholic drinks, they were delivered to our seats (at the front as we were on a VIP tour), we then went to get our food. I don't know if its because we were tired, wet, slightly cold and had been a little grumpy, but the food tasted amazing, a mixture of meat and veg dishes, Chloe recommended the pulled pork - she was right it was the best thing either of us ate all holiday. This was followed by cakes and dessets with soft drinks and we were feeling happier and chilled.

The show is a little "adult" in nature but its silly fun, our guide told us that before we went in, that it was a little risque as people had been offended before but I had already read up

If you go for the meal, you get front of the access for first two hours after opening and early access to the houses, I think the meal tickets are about $26 when sold seperately so work out very good value. Chloe explained with our package that we would ge the early access as well as front of the line (with no queuing at all) for the whole evening. Now I know some people on this site don't agree with paying for early access or fast pass, but for us its an essential part of the holiday so we budget accordingly.



As we had the Ultimate Tour, there was no set agenda, we had the guides until 1am and could go where and when we wanted. As we had come for the houses, we wanted to concentrate on these, we didn't want to waste time on the rides nor would we want to eat again. Our guide told us the previous week her party was a couple who just wanted to eat their way around the park, some want to do the rides, were there for the houses.

We started with the themed house for the year. Busch's wooden coaster, Gwasi, had recently closed and they decided to incorporate it into the ride, the story was that when exavating underneath it, they had unearthered Scarlett who was after revenge. They had made a couple a youtube clips telling the story of the exavation... It was so well done, they used the wooden framwork of the queuing area into the house and you really felt you were descending into the depths of the park.

What can I say - this and all the other houses were brilliant, slightly lighter than HHN houses you could see the details, we went round all of the houses enjoying the evening more and more... their 3D Clown House was my favourite - it was so scary...



We made regular drink stops, getting into know our two guide and they were great about my chair... at one point we were going through one of their scare zones, a, err, Zombie decided to help with pushing my chair... Mr W was laughing so much, he didn't get any pictures... he was with us for about 10 minutes in total - Thank you unamed Scareactor - you made his evening!



One other house we loved was the interactive Zombie Containment Unit, our Ultimate tickets give us front of the line access to this house too (the only ticket which does), we had fun shotting zombies.

For the duration of the evening we did each house twice and loved all of them, we must have caught the same cast in some of the them because they called out to us the second time as well, in the Basement, one actor shouted to us that Ultimates didn't get out alive (you can tell we were ultimates by what we were wearing!) You don't get this level of interaction with HHN as its so busy.

We finished with a trip to the gift shop, with a grateful tip to our guides, we left at 1230am, our earlier problems forgotten.

Days Spends
Lunch at Busch Gardens - 14.00
Fuel -20.00
Tips for Tour - 20.00
Drinks early evening - 10.00
Murchandise at Busch - 58.44 (including Tshirts and pins)

Total Daily Spend - 122.44
Running Total - 573.65
Average Daily Spend - 131.58

On to Day 5
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Trip Reports
Howling @ the Horror 2015 (Complete)
Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2020... or 2021...? or 2022

Edited at 04:39 PM.
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Old 22 Apr 16, 01:06 PM  
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WifeyB
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What an amazing day, great animal pics

I loved HOS when we went last, the clown house got me too! I'm really hoping we can squeeze in a visit this year.

Glad you was looked after during your tour, well done BG!
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Old 23 Apr 16, 05:12 PM  
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Originally Posted by WifeyB View Post
What an amazing day, great animal pics

I loved HOS when we went last, the clown house got me too! I'm really hoping we can squeeze in a visit this year.

Glad you was looked after during your tour, well done BG!
I think 3D houses have come a lot in the last 10 years or so and they are so much fun now... Not a year to do Halloween Events and be scared of Clowns
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Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
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Old 20 May 16, 09:52 PM  
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Tigers are my favourite big cats too, I feel as though I can see more of domestic cats in them than others and I just want to cuddle them.

Well done to Busch for the recovery after their bad service.
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Old 20 May 16, 10:25 PM  
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orlandolover04
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I'm glad the staff sorted you guys out, the tour sounds great. Love all the pictures of the animals.
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Old 21 May 16, 07:27 PM  
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Originally Posted by collybird View Post
Tigers are my favourite big cats too, I feel as though I can see more of domestic cats in them than others and I just want to cuddle them.

Well done to Busch for the recovery after their bad service.
We did a couple of tiger talks and learnt a lot

Originally Posted by orlandolover04 View Post
I'm glad the staff sorted you guys out, the tour sounds great. Love all the pictures of the animals.
They may not be as organised as HHN - but they made up for it! once they realised what was happening
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Emma and Steven

Trip Reports
Howling @ the Horror 2015 (Complete)
Who knew Toronto was on the Med (Complete)
Now for Something (almost) Completely Different - Coming in 2020... or 2021...? or 2022
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Old 21 May 16, 10:20 PM  
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Seems like a great way to do it.
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