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netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
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Since HOS is pretty much an annual thing now I got to visit the event shortly after opening. Despite the rain, I really enjoyed it.

Mazes ranked from worst to first
Zombie Containment Unit - basically suffers from the same issues it had last year. Luckily Tampa pulsed the groups otherwise we'd be stuck in a conga line.

Unearthed - This maze feels kinda pointless without Scarlett. I wish they could bring her back or at least replace the maze. Its still better than Gwazi but compared to most of the other mazes it feels uninspired.

Undead Arena - This is basically Tampa's version of Root of All Evil. There are some really great concepts in here. You walk into the maze and your group is split so you basically do the first portion alone. Plenty of fun little gimmicky scares here and there, but the set pieces are bland and boring. Basically blank grey concrete walls everywhere. This maze feels very last minute, like they didn't have time to actually build set pieces so they just set up walls and a few props and called it a day.

Motel Hell - they switched the pool scene and the garden scene but its still the same maze as last year. The waterboys from Root of All Evil would've been awesome in that pool TBH. I'm still partial to No Vacancy at KD.

Distorted Dimensions - Damn this was a worthy replacement for Zombie Mortuary. Its a mashup of different scares and different scenes but the gimmicks are done so well in each room, plus its a crazy long walkthrough. So many cool visuals, so many cool set pieces, so many creative scares, this is probably one of the best mazes in Tampa.

Dead Water Bayou - I actually liked this version a little more than HHN's maze. While the sets aren't as nice, the maze is easily 3x Dead Water's length and the scares are better. I also got a solo walkthrough so all the actors tried to get me. It was amazing.

Skipped Curse of the Black Spot because it was a two hour wait. I didn't have the patience for that.

Scare zones are executed better than HHN IMO. Tampa gives the actors a lot more area to work with and some of the actors are allowed to roam the park. Like the roaming hoards in Williamsburg a few years ago, there were a few random actors stationed all over the park outside of the designated scare zones. Wish HHN did that with more than just the clowns.

Overall I'm pretty lucky to have two great theme park haunts not far from each other. Even though HOS has the smaller budget, the scares don't really disappoint here.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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I am very glad to hear that about Death Water Bayou. That maze has always been one of my favorites, but with all of the Voodoo mazes now, I wonder if DWB is still king/queen. No other Voodoo house does such a good job at portraying a struggle with other-worldy powers the way DWB does.

Undead Areana sounds like one of their fallback plans. BGT won't go as far as to create a maze with no scenic (Balackout at KD), but it is their MO to default to a chainlink fence and other cheap recycled objects. Zombie Contaiment Unit is a great example of a maze originally built last-minute using similar recycling methods.

Demented Dimensions seems hugely popular. I was skeptical at first about having a maze where the scenes have no connection to each other, but I think that's part of what people like about it. It doesn't have the same thematic restrictions as others. They can also keep switching out scenes in this one to make it last a few seasons.

Anyway, I'm glad you seemed to have a good time, and I always enjoy hearing about things happening at Busch Gardens Tampa.
 
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