Went to the park on Saturday; October 30th, 2021
The park experience was very good. Crowds were definitely a lot heavier, compared to my September visit for Howl-O-Scream. My buddy I, always start off on Verbolten for liability of possible weather that might effect operations. Verbolten's line was of course very busy; but it moved rather smooth. Most of the major rides had about a hour wait. My buddy was so concerned about riding Alpengeist. We must have waited a good hour do to the slow loading times. Then add the Quick Queue riders and it makes the experience a lot slower. Many people waiting got frustrated during one loading sequence where it took fifteen minutes to get a train loaded.
As for maze attractions; I am still not as convinced. I don't mind the long lines; but at least try and scare people. This is the only aspect that upsets me with Howl-O-Scream. The mazes are well themed and have plenty of space. Why are the scare actors so lazy? And I'm not making a biased comparison to an event that requires waivers. I can simply compare it to KD's HAUNT
. It's fair to say that KD's indoor Haunt attractions have less space to work with. But for some reason scare actors seem to get the best of park guest. There were years where I questioned whether or not KD's HAUNT was appropriate for kids. I'd say Bush Garden's Howl-O-Scream is more family friendly than any other park I have been to. That's not a bad thing. Maybe they feel that family is where the money is; so why chase mom, dad, and grandpa out of the park 😄.
Overall, I will say that mazes could be more intense. In what ways, you may ask? Well for me; it's just the basics. For Bush Gardens, this is highly subjected to the maze's location. I am going to list them by name and how I feel each could be improved.
- This particular theme, I feel has a lot of potential. Escape from Pompeii's setting is perfect. But for me, the fun should begin as soon as you exit Pompeii's loading station. That is where the maze attendant should stop and line for the count. Why? I would add an outdoor section of the maze that leads up to the existing entrance. To accompany the new addition, I'd say darken that entire area. A few good jump scares could be executed, to build the adrenaline.
- Once you reach the actual entrance of the building; this is where the fun starts. Once inside, the fenced walkway, should be darkened as well. I'd add strobes
to give the scare actors the element of surprise. Why not make it a 3 beat strobe interval with 8 seconds of darkness.
- As you get deeper in the course; is where the feeling of uncomforted should set in. Do something with the P/A system; if there is one. I'd have some sort of recording that plays a menacing voice cautions guest of the ticking time. "This is not a drill. All emergency protocols will fail. You have 3 minutes to make it out, before you sequence 5 is activated. All exits will be locked, with no chance of escape.
". Lights dim as this recording plays. As you get closer to the end; there is a lot of fog, which negates your chances of speed walking out.
- I like the theme of a plague. However, I feel this attraction would be better if it were Medieval. The castle setting just screams a more intense version of KD's Medieval Macabre. When approaching the old loading station; I feel as if there should be a cold fear of going any further inside. I use the term "NeverMore" as a warning of "Never again should you ever come here". Here is my music if choice for the old loading station: Maze Music
- For this attraction; I'd only let group sizes of 7 inside, with a 60 second gap before the next group can go in. When navigating through this Medieval castle; the feeling of terror should spook everyone in small groups. Not knowing what to encounter around the next is what this maze should have been built for.
- Everything that walks on two feet in a Medieval fairy tale should have been in this maze. And I mean gruesome looking. I'd consider this a jump scare galore if the right medieval style props were added to this maze. I wouldn't even want to tempt any of the castle's inhabitants in a sketchy Medieval setting.
I'll stop for now. Don't want to spam the post with everything.