We were excited to be invited to the media night for SeaWorld Orlando’s first separate-ticketed, nighttime Halloween event – Howl-O-Scream. Aimed at a decidedly older audience than the typical family fare that is attracted to the daytime Spooktacular, the screams and scares come at you fast once the sun goes down.
We sent our intrepid youth reporter, Indigo, out to experience Howl-O-Scream for himself, then to come back and rank the scare zones and houses based from scariest to least scariest.
Before we get into the scare zones and haunted houses, Indigo wanted us to know that the new show “Monster Stomp” is a must-see. While not exactly high on the scare-factor, it is full of thrilling dance around a loosely based Jack the Ripper story. It’s got a solid rock soundtrack and show stopping percussion section. Keep your eyes open for the gravediggers and prepare to be entertained.
Haunted House Scare Rankings:
- Beneath the Ice. Probably the house with the most tight spaces and theming of all, Beneath the Ice is dark and has a lot of spaces to get scared from by multiple angles. Every single time I went through this house I got scared at least 6 times and that made it so much fun to go on again!
- Captain’s revenge. This house got me good with its many turns and scare actors that kept me waiting in anticipation at every corner only to be scared from the other side. A very nice house to go through even though this was probably the most disconnected from the main story theme of the year.
- Dead vines. This house was definitely a nice one to go through again and again, however I definitely didn’t get scared too much due to the fact that there was so much stuff hanging down from the ceiling that you had to walk through, I could barely see what was going on. I would’ve ranked this one higher if it weren’t for that issue. Good theming however, if only you could see it.
- Water’s Edge Inn. This is the lowest on my list. The house had good theming, looking like the different parts of a tavern but it missed the scare factor for me due to a few reasons. The house was very lit up and there weren’t many, if any at all, dark spaces for scares to happen leading me to almost see where they were before they popped out. This was definitely the shortest house out of the four and was almost too short in my opinion. I would’ve liked a little more length and for the house to be much darker than it was.
Ranking the Scare Zones:
- Frozen terror. On the night I went, there were many times where I would be walking through this scare zone almost alone. The scare actors in this zone had metal objects in their hands that they could bang against several scenery objects within the zone. Objects they could also be hiding behind. I got scared almost every single time I went through this zone, whether it be from someone walking around or popping out from behind a tank of water or generator.
- Deadly ambush. This scare zone is the most detached from the event’s theme but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great scare zone! There were many curtains and great small stories as well as a LOT of fog that helped elevate this scare zone and get me quite a few times.
- Witchcraft bayou. The moment I entered this scare zone, someone immediately scared me. The actors inside were having so much fun with their props and characters but there was an issue with a lot of space to maneuver around the actors. They would pursue you often and I almost never got scared after that first time due to how little people were there.
- Sea Of Souls. I’m ranking this scare zone last due to a few reasons. None of which are the scare actors. They were all amazing and scared me quite a bit. However, the zone was in a very strange and very open area. Situated at the very end of the event’s path, you enter into the scare zone and meet a dead end. There are no haunted houses over there and a lot of open ground. The fog in the area was so enveloping that I almost walked into someone while traveling through the scare zone. I wish that they could have added something else over here or made the space a little smaller by adding some props in the middle of the path to give people more to do. I ended up walking through it only twice and after the second time did not see a reason to return to that area.
Howl-O-Scream joins SeaWorld Orlando’s already impressive fall line-up of events including the family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular, which is included with park admission and boasts daytime trick or treating for kids of all ages.
While we recommend you attend Howl-O-Scream with the intent of being scared multiple times throughout the night, you can buy a glowing skull necklace that let’s you opt out of being scared, assuming the scare actors see it in time, that is.
Spooky fun for the entire family with Spooktacular during the day and terrifying thrills by night at Howl-O-Scream make SeaWorld Orlando the place to be this Halloween season.
Howl-O-Scream takes place select nights Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Sunday, October 31 from 7 p.m. to as late as 2 a.m.