ParkFans Logo

Howl-O-Scream 2017

09/22/17 at 10:56am in Howl-O-Scream 2017 (Latest Edit: 09/26/17 at 12:34pm by Zachary.)
Post: #1
*
New thread for Howl-O-Scream 2017 to separate actual thoughts and opinions on the event from the rumors and pre-opening discussion that took place in the Howl-O-Scream 2017 Pre-Opening thread.



Attraction-Specific Discussion Threads

Houses:
Shows:
No Escape Rooms:

Find Me: Twitter | Facebook | Google+
Contact Me: Private Message | Email

Our biggest foe is our inclination towards complacency and willingness to settle for mediocrity.
Thanks given by:  tursiops, luseendesi, ZebraShoes, Connor, Nicole, Lord Robert, Alf33, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/22/17 at 04:25pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #2
*
The thread is now open!

First look at Axe Alley:


Find Me: Twitter | Facebook | Google+
Contact Me: Private Message | Email

Our biggest foe is our inclination towards complacency and willingness to settle for mediocrity.
Thanks given by:  Connor, violetfemme, Lord Robert, Mad Ludwig, Flyer, deacfan31, Alf33, NoStylGia, Merboy, Owls R A Hoot, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/22/17 at 05:40pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #3
*
So THAT'S where the dragon's gronk-nuts went. Tongue

"Not pet. Wingman."
Thanks given by:  RollyCoaster, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/22/17 at 06:14pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #4
*
Frostbite is GREAT possibly the best house the park has ever done.
Thanks given by:  Mad Ludwig, Flyer, deacfan31, Alf33, CastleOSullivan, jornor, SWStevo
Offline
Quote
09/22/17 at 11:32pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #5
*
Loved Frostbite the set design and immersion is the best I've seen from the park in years. Scarlett's did have a redesign with the tunnel section prior to the card icons having been moved towards the middle of the house and By the way the Screens were still up and running in the house. Friends had some minor changes to it this year that will didn't hurt the show it only improved it just a little though I wasn't a fan of Igors costume redesign. Overall from what we experienced we enjoyed ourselves.

"Proud son of Old Virginia"
Thanks given by:  Flyer, deacfan31, Alf33, BGWScream, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 02:07am in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #6
*
I was at the preview night. I go there for the atmosphere change,shows and scarezones and sadly tonight I found myself bored. I loved the shows but the scarezones were <YAWN> very lacking of people and scares. I was not impressed by the new scarezone at all. I unfortunately was not able to go through Italy. I hope it gets better soon.
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 10:25am in Howl-O-Scream 2017 (Latest Edit: 09/23/17 at 10:33am by Nicole.)
Post: #7
*
Recognizing that last night was really a dress rehearsal, and assuming the event will improve over the coming weeks, I nonetheless wanted to share my initial thoughts about HOS.

Here are my house rankings from best to worst. I want to note that my top two were significantly better than the bottom five. Lumberhack and Catacombs had adequate staffing and actors who were working very hard to create a terrifying experience for guests. I am hoping the other houses will improve, because last night felt like a race to the bottom to me.

1. Lumberhack. We actually went through this maze during both the day and at night, and strangely I preferred it with the light. I know it seems counterintuitive, but Lumberhack was brilliant that first time through. The new layout brings the actors closer to the guests, which really intensified the anxiety for me. As I have observed before, the scares are more interactive and situation-based than startle houses, and have always preferred to be stalked than jumped at. The daylight amplified the experience, because I was better able to see the characters and understand what kind of threat they posed to me. The actors were already performing brilliantly, and I can only imagine how terrifying this house could be later in the event.

2. Catacombs. Somehow this house improves every year for me. The new layout and lighting are great. The actors were already really enthusiastic and effective. As in the past, I was scared from begining to end, with my anxiety increasing throughout. Honestly, this is just a well designed house, with consistently excellent maze management and cast.

3. Circo Sinistro. For the first time ever, I was able to experience the entire maze without getting trapped behind someone who had come to a complete halt. Unfortunately, the house felt deserted. I am ranking it first among the mediocre attractions, because the house, itself, was so disorienting and creepy. I simply love the design, the use of fog, the misdirection, the layout, etc. The sets are incredibly disturbing and creative, as well. The mannequin room is, of course, fantastic. Similarly, I love the eyeball paintings and the rocking chair clowns. Walking outside creates a sense of wandering through a dangerous part of a carnival, leaving you feeling vulnerable. Without actors, however, this maze for me cannot graduate from being cleverly designed to creating real fear. There is just so much potential for interactive characters to create real, lasting anxiety, but unless they increase the staff and devote time to training them, it will never be more than the best of the "meh houses" for me.

4. Frostbite. Despite its being Media Day, this house didn't seem complete to me on Friday. At least I hope that is the reason for the holes in the sets and the tripping hazards on the floors. I do think this maze has a ton of potential. It is completely different than anything else I've seen in Virginia. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the 3D funhouse I have loved at other haunts. The sets are clever and I saw some really usual opportunities for creative scares. I particularly loved the ice wall rooms. That said, as with Circo Sinistro, BGW needs to invest in adding and training staff. It lacks cohesion or an obvious storyline. I felt as if I was moving from room to unconnected room with random actors, who didn't seem to pull the individual parts together, or add to any level of anxiety. My hope is that in the coming weeks the pacing improves, and the house gels. Finally, as much as I don't want to say this, I found the preshow cringy. Ultimately, last night, I found myself more entertained by the opportunity to see the DarKastle sets up close, than by any actual scares.

5. Cornered. This house continues to fail to live up to its full potential. I believe it is designed to be disorienting and leave guests felling vulnerable and alone. That is a great set-up, as long as there are actors to take advantage of those anxieties. I think the new layout, if it were staffed, could be an improvement, but for me it just felt interminable and boring. Seemingly endless and empty rows of dead corn are not scary; they are just tedious.

6. Deadline. I know I sound like a broken record, but have always found and fear I will always find this house to be nothing more than a museum, showcasing ideas for gross-out houses. There isn't much to say about this maze, because little has changed, since last year. I continue to hope that if the design were effectively utilized and staffing were increased, it could reach its full potential.

7. Unearthed. Why is this still here? Really? Why? Scarlett is no longer the corporate mascot, and our maze never held a candle to Tampa's anyway. BGW has never bothered to put actors in this house. Unaccountably, it was even empty it's opening day. Last night I literally found myself looking for the exit, because I was so bored. Honestly, I might as well tour some old lady's attic: it would be a similar experience, and take less time.

I'm not sure what to say about the Terror-tories. They ceased being anything that could be considered scare zones at all. I think they had fewer actors than last year, which means almost none. I saw one vampire, who was posing with a guest for a photo. Ripper Row was almost deserted. There were actors in Axe Alley... with sticks... so really Axeless Alley? Demon Street needed needed more fog and staff. I do really like Sideshow Square. The character actors aren't scary per se, but they are really cool and interactive. Overall, I think the park needs to rethink their approach to the path scares.

As ever, I had a lot of fun at HOS, and think it will come together over the next few weeks, and be a great event. I also recommend the frozen hard cider. Oh, and Lumberhack during the day. Try that, too.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  Joe, NoStylGia, Zachary, Lord Robert, Mad Ludwig, phurst, Alf33, CastleOSullivan, MAZ, Merboy, chevyhd17, jornor, Flyer
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 10:53am in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #8
*
From what I have seen and heard from actors and preview night goers, the terror-torries are "full". A few friends of mine wanted to get into them but got mazes instead and were told the paths were fully staffed. I think the park tries to put an emphasis on the mazes to get them as full as possible so that when the break schedule starts, there aren't many holes. That being said it incredibly kills the TT'S staff when breaks start. With just two people missing that usually leaves only 6-8 people to fill the entire village, which can be difficult to do. I think in order to give the park a chance, you could go on a later date and try to catch them later on in the night. It's also unfortunate from the number of people who turned out to audition this year. Some friends from the orientation night said the numbers looked so low, they were surprised they had enough to fill the mazes. I hope to go mid October to see everything. I heard they redid/tweaked my favorite show Night Beats so I am thrilled to see what they did. And Stick Alley? Really?? I wanted to see some savage Vikings with bloody axes screaming in every direction lol kind of kills my hope for that TT
Thanks given by:  Zachary, Nicole, Joe, Lord Robert, Mad Ludwig, Alf33, Merboy, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 12:18pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #9
*
So I managed to go through all houses last night and here is my rankings of them all.
1. Cornered
I LOVED the new layout! The cornfield section had a great feeling to it, like I was being swallowed by the stalks of corn. This house actually gave me the most scares and really seemed one of the more populated maze. I also waited the longest for this maze, but it was much worth the wait because there was no stacking.

2. Catacombs
Surprisingly, Catacombs still seems to deliver after all these years. This maze definitely had the staffing for the night. The new layout really allowed the scareactors to use their sets adaquetly.

3. Lumberhack
I really enjoyed the flip with this house. I feel it really added to the overall mood of the maze. While I'm not sure the maze had full staffing, it was still one of the stronger mazes of the night.

4. Circo Sinistro
I enjoyed this maze. This one is the beginning of the houses that I wasn't too crazy about, but I'm sure that as the season goes on it will get better.

5. Scarlett's Revenge
I enjoyed this one, and it seemed to have the staffing, but I just didn't ge the scares from this one. I was a bit behind the last group but none of the actors seemed to do anything.

6. Deadline
This maze actually had more than 5 people working it last night! There about 10, but this maze just feels stale to me. The sets are quite nice but, I'm no longer a huge fan of this one.

7. Frostbite
Alright, don't hate on me for this one. I was most excited to see this one, but it let me down the most. Frostbite felt like more of a museum to me than Deadline, and I went in at opening. I also didn't really understand the ice hallways, and that one really bright strobe light hallway. There were also quite a few holes in the sets where you could see right through everything. I hope that they're able to build this one up more as the season goes on.

As for the Terror-tories, meh. I'm still sad about the removal of Wendigo. And I wasn't able to experience Ripper Row. I feel like they should've added more to Sideshow square. And I'm fairly certain that there were ZERO actors in Vampire Point, but maybe I just missed them. Hopefully they'll fix that as the season goes on.

Overall rating of the night : 7/10

Find Your November
Thanks given by:  Lord Robert, Nicole, Joe, Zachary, Alf33, BGWScream, Merboy, jornor, Flyer
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 01:02pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017 (Latest Edit: 09/23/17 at 01:03pm by BGWScream.)
Post: #10
*
I plan to go the first weekend of October. Hopefully HOS will get better.

I heard Italy is still Port of Skulls. Were their any scareactors or just decoration?
Thanks given by:  jornor
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 02:17pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #11
*
Yes, it is still pirate themed and they added a new photo op. But I only saw bartenders, no scare actors.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
Thanks given by:  violetfemme, BGWScream, Merboy, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 05:19pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #12
*
(09/22/17 04:25pm)Zachary Wrote:  The thread is now open!

First look at Axe Alley:


Meanwhile that cute park employee tho...

The Lantern Light.com
Thanks given by:  wxfrcaster
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 06:56pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #13
*
Oh Something I forgot to mention I ran into to Paul of IOM Geek and had a short conversation with him about the event.

"Proud son of Old Virginia"
Thanks given by:  BGWScream, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/23/17 at 10:10pm in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #14
*
The "scariest" maze to me is "Lumberhack" I had 2 out of my 3 startles from preview night in there. Scariest moment (I won't name the maze or object) there was a scare actor swinging something, it didn't startle me because the object was being swung at multiple people but I couldn't help but think someone is going to get hit in the head foreal.
Thanks given by:  Nicole, jornor
Offline
Quote
09/24/17 at 08:37am in Howl-O-Scream 2017
Post: #15
*
Did the park hit capacity yesterday?
Thanks given by:  jornor
Offline
Quote

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | ParkFans Network | Return to Top | Lite (Archive) Mode | RSS Syndication | |
Powered By MyBB, © 2002-2018 MyBB Group.