Monday, September 7, 2015

Howl-O-Scream 2015 : Construction Update #1

With the opening weekend (Freaky Preview) of Howl-O-Scream 2015 less than three weeks away, crews at Busch Gardens Tampa have been hard at work putting together the many aspects and attractions that come together to form Howl-O-Scream. In our first Howl-O-Scream update, we'll be giving you an in-depth look at the park wide construction that no other site can provide. For the latest update, be sure to check out our article in the area below.

Themed Areas
"Unearthed" Front Gate Experience - If you've been following the story on the official Howl-O-Scream website, I'm sure your aware of this year's "Unearthed" theme and this years event icon, Scarlett. Located at the front of the park, the "Unearthed" front gate experience will introduce Howl-O-Scream guests to this years menacing icon. Props for the front gate experience are currently located to the right of Guest Services when standing outside of the park. We could clearly see the props resemble Scarlett's house in addition to a small "Unearthed" logo prop that will stand before the house. As noted in the commercials, the house is full of surprises, and so is this one... Stay tuned for more information!
Nairobi Walkway - During last year's Howl-O-Scream event, this area of the park was transformed into a themed area using props from the former Nightshade Toys house. While this wasn't a true textbook definition Scare Zone, several of the parks' roaming hordes would inhabit this themed area and scare guests. At other points in the night, the area remained silent. From what we've spotted at the park, lighting rigs have been erected in the same locations and sources tell us the Nightshade Toys props are being stored nearby behind the scenes. From what we've heard and seen, it looks like this could be a plausible speculation. 
Howl-O-Scream 2014 - Props In Walkway

Haunted Houses
Unearthed : Scarlett's Revenge - The only new house coming to this year's Howl-O-Scream event, the Unearthed house will occupy the former Gwazi queue area. For those who may not know, Gwazi, Busch Gardens Tampa's classic dueling wooden coaster closed earlier this year. Sources tell us guests will walk through the archaeological dig site shown in the official Howl-O-Scream Commercials & Field Reports in order to enter the actual house. This house is very hard to photograph, as it's hidden behind the massive coaster itself. Lucky for us, the park was holding a special Labor Day Fireworks Finale that granted us access to the Gwazi Park walkway which enabled us to snap a picture of what looked to be part of the Unearthed house. In other news, lighting equipment and speakers could be seen near the former exit of Gwazi.
Circus Of Superstition 3D : The Last Laugh - The Circus Of Superstition tent has been erected and is now visible. At the time of our visit, the entrance to the house was walled off and a temporary concession stand was set up for the Labor Day crowds.
The Basement - No exterior work on The Basement house has begun quite yet. The haunted house itself lies behind the scenes in a former storage warehouse and beyond a wooden fence. As opening night approaches, signage and lighting will be installed for the entrance of the house. To give you an overview of the area beyond the fence, check out some pictures we took last year.
Howl-O-Scream 2013 - Props On Site

Dead Fall - The Dead Fall house and the surrounding Tanganyika Tidal Wave attraction are both currently behind construction walls. Throughout the year, the existing fa├žade of the Dead Fall house has remained the same, which leads us to believe most of the construction & renovations are being done inside of the house.
Zombie Mortuary - The Zombie Mortuary house lies behind the scenes near the Pantopia Theater & Sand Serpent coaster. At the time of our visit, only one small prop was visible.
Zombie Containment Unit 15 (ZCU 15) - Moving to a new location, the ZCU 15 house has now been relocated to the former Clydesdale Barn & former Blood Asylum house during Howl-O-Scream. Work has begun inside the house with the "ZCU 15" logo being painted on the main entry wall. In addition, lighting rigs have been installed overhead.
Death Water Bayou - No visible work has been spotted for Death Water Bayou. Stay tuned for more information.  

Jungala Area Closure During Howl-O-Scream - A few years back, the pathway connecting Stanleyville to Pantopia was walled off, forcing guests to move through the Jungala area of the park in order to reach their destination. A reputable source has just informed us that the Jungala area of the park will now be closing during Howl-O-Scream, and the direct pathway between Stanleyville and Pantopia will be reopened.

Nairobi Pavilion Photo Op - It has been confirmed by the park that there will be no haunted house occupying the Nairobi Pavilion during this years Howl-O-Scream event. However, construction walls were recently put up around the pavilion signifying the start of some type of construction. Recently, the park held an online contest to see which former Howl-O-Scream icon would return to the event for a special photo op in the Nairobi area of the park. Putting the pieces together, it seems as though the pavilion would be a fitting place to have the photo op. With the recent opening of the Zagora Market, the existing Howl-O-Scream photo op location was demolished in the process, meaning a new location in Nairobi is very likely.  

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2015 Howl-O-Scream Shop Of Horrors Opens At Busch Gardens Tampa

Earlier this week, the Howl-O-Scream Shop Of Horrors has once again opened its doors, but now in a brand new location. Moving from its former home in the Sahara Trading Company gift shop, the Shop Of Horrors has now relocated to the adjacent Marrakesh Market gift shop for the duration of the Howl-O-Scream season. The Shop Of Horrors is the only place to find all of this years specialty "Unearthed" merchandise in addition to many items from Howl-O-Scream years past. For a complete look around the store with over 20 photos, be sure to check out our article in the area below.

With this years Howl-O-Scream theme being "Unearthed", the Shop Of Horrors has been themed to the realm of an AURA dig site from the outside. Lots of AURA posters and props can be seen adorning the displays in the outdoor portion of the shop.
Moving inside, the Shop Of Horrors has been themed to the realm of Scarlett, this years Howl-O-Scream icon. The inside of the shop features many hidden gems that can be "Unearthed" so to say by true Howl-O-Scream fans. The merchandise currently available will expand as opening night of Howl-O-Scream approaches, with new t-shirt designs and more "Unearthed" themed items arriving.
In addition to the wide selection of apparel, the Shop Of Horrors also features accessories including hats and blankets, as well as Halloween themed items for the home.
Brand new this year to Howl-O-Scream and the Shop Of Horrors, an event themed trading card series can now be found inside the Shop Of Horrors. Trading Card packs cost $5.95 and contain various Howl-O-Scream event icons and significant figures.
Remember, this is only the first stage of the items that will be available at the Howl-O-Scream Shop Of Horrors. As opening night approaches, more merchandise will become available.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Busch Gardens Tampa Project 2016 : Construction Update # 8

2016 Attraction Progresses Despite Frequent Inclement Weather!

We're back with construction update number eight in our continued coverage of Busch Gardens Tampa's 2016 attraction, Cobra's Curse. Since our last update two weeks ago, much has changed at the construction site of the attraction, and we're here to report the latest findings! To find out more, be sure to check out our latest construction update featuring over 10 new pictures and lots of new information.

With the seemingly constant presence of rain and inclement weather throughout the Tampa Bay area within the past few weeks, construction crews at the site of Cobra's Curse have been faced with the task of pumping excess water from the construction site using several generators. Construction crews have mainly been focusing on the area near the trench that the Serengeti Railway crosses over. On the day of our visit, crews could be seen removing water earlier in the morning, only to find a seemingly identical situation later in the evening.
On the far side of the construction site near the Montu rollercoaster, several of the existing Egyptian themed rockwork pieces have been transported to this area of the construction site. While we're still waiting on official word of what's to happen, it appears as though these rockwork pieces may eventually be repurposed once the Cobra's Curse attraction opens. 
Most obviously, large amounts of dirt have been excavated from the center of the construction site and moved to the perimeters in order to give crews optimum access to the projects they're currently working on underground. From what we've seen, it appears as though several large stacks of cement pipes can be spotted on the far side of the construction site which will likely tie into this underground work. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!
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