Busch Gardens announced details of its fall event lineup and offered a taste of a new event being planned for the 2013 season during a special pass member appreciation breakfast presentation over the weekend at the Williamsburg theme park.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg pass members packed Das Festhaus, the park’s 2,000-seat dining facility, over the weekend to hear from the park’s senior leadership about this year’s Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town events.
Howl-O-Scream begins this Friday, Sept. 14, a week earlier than last year, to accommodate park guests’ seemingly insatiable need for thrills, scares and startles.
This year, park guests can experience the thrill that only comes from being chased by a horde of monsters when visiting the park. With throngs of roaming minions feeding on the fear of the living, Howl-O-Scream visitors will need to keep a watchful eye for these scary followers who might provide too much of a scare for younger park visitors.
“Over the past several years we have increased the intensity level of Howl-O-Scream,” said Busch Gardens’ spokesman Kevin Crossett. “The event this year may be too intense for small children. Parental guidance is strongly suggested.”
The Lady of the Gardens returns this year to show off the Dark Side of the Gardens. Evidence of her decaying green thumb can be seen throughout the park, much to the chagrin of the park’s landscaping team. She had a hand in a special new haunted maze debuting this year called “Root of All Evil,” where the plant life has taken over. This is a new attraction that increases the park’s maze count to six haunted attractions, and is being built in an area near the park’s Oktoberfest village that normally is off-limits to park guests.
Two new Halloween-themed shows are debuting at the park this year. “Dig It Up,” a new musician-based show in Italy, brings old relics to life. “Night Beats” in Das Festhaus celebrates things that go bump in the night and is filled with dancing, singing and a live band that takes guests on a musical journey from the devilish sounds of the roaring ’20s to today’s popular music. “Fiends” has moved from Das Festhaus to Ireland’s Abbey Stone Theatre and features all new twists of terror.
Pass holders also heard about plans for Christmas Town, which will mark its fourth year with a new area of the park called “Retro Lane.” This area will celebrate the sights, sounds and nostalgic good cheer of a vintage Americana Christmas come to life. Retro Lane will reside in Festa Italia and adds another one million Christmas lights to the park’s Christmas light count, bringing the 2012 twinkling light total to more than six million.
Park guests also got a taste of the epicurean delights awaiting them next year with the announcement of an as-yet unnamed Busch Gardens food festival in the works.
While details are still being baked, the park will celebrate what Busch Gardens does best: offering guests a taste of Europe through its in-park menus. The yet-to-be-named food festival will feature special foods and beverages not normally found at Busch Gardens, or at any other theme park for that matter.