2015 Howl-O-Scream

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Apr 30, 2015
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Nicole said:
I'm not sure it is fair to criticize them to spending money on marketing, when we spend so much time criticizing them for failing to market their attractions and events.

Honestly, I don't think the problem is their using HOS money to get people interested in the event.  The problem is that in the past they have spent their event money on what are arguably the wrong things, like that bizarre face paint last year.
This is a true statement as well. Not one i thought of personally sometimes one can get blinded by the single thought and not see the bigger picture. Now is this the first year they have marketed it this way? I personally love any step of creativity. Maybe this new thing will show a different path they are taking as a result of the changes they(the park) have made in staff this past year.
 

Nicole

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They did a similar social media thing last year, actually.  I have no idea, if it created buzz to be honest.

In my opinion, they need to decide what kind of event they want (children's, party, or haunt), and then focus their resources there.  Regardless, they need to spend more time and money on personnel and training.
 
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True, until they are able to decide on what they really want to accomplish it will be extremely difficult to pull off a cohesive theme(s). They may already do this but if they wanted to aim something toward the children they could possibly do something in FoF, but then youd have alot of children in other areas of the park that would then cause complaints "Someone scared my child." The party theme i think is a little bit outrageous because it becomes nothing but a club with costumes(and the annoying as crap drunk ppl) and i actually hate going to clubs. So it takes away from any fun to be had IMO.
 
Mar 15, 2015
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angelicurrr said:
From the AURA 'official' website:

"The website you have been looking at is fictional and forms part of the world of Howl-O-Scream by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. All rights are reserved.

Find out more about Howl-O-Scream by accessing one of the links below"

I laughed so hard reading that. It's a pretty nice looking website, does anyone know the cost associated with creating and keeping a domain, and all the site design/graphics? If it's more than a couple hundred bucks, I'd MUCH rather they used it for decor in the park ;)
all 3 parks are using the same site and the same theme, its a shared cost and probly nominal in the grand scheme
 
Aug 15, 2013
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Hampton
I honestly wish they would allow peak season employees to work Howl-o-Scream again. I'm not really sure of the reasons why they stopped, but HoS lost a lot of well-seasoned actors, some of them in the 7-10 year range, because they were already currently working in the park last year when the policy changed.

The result is that they have fewer auditions and bring in a lot of brand new people, many of them minors. Not that I'm saying 16/17-year-olds can't scare, but Deadline last year was full of them. And minors have to be placed in "closed in" hiding places such as behind walls as per safety policy. When I went through Deadline I could tell how many of them were young and new, and had a lot of trouble scaring effectively because they weren't allowed to get anywhere near the guests. A lot of those "behind the wall" places in Deadline (such as the electricity room) would tire them out easily because 1. it's their first job and 2. that door is hard to pull open and shut at an effective rate. You'd be lucky to see that scare maybe once if you walked through the maze several times. After the first year or so new people learn to handle the heat, running makeup, and constant mockery from the guests, but when you have a lot of new people at once and minimal training, well. You get what you get.
 
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ghosty said:
I honestly wish they would allow peak season employees to work Howl-o-Scream again. I'm not really sure of the reasons why they stopped
its about the seasonal vs variable. most are variable and they cant switch to seasonal without a six month separation
 
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bgbackdoor said:
its about the seasonal vs variable. most are variable and they cant switch to seasonal without a six month separation
Is that a Busch policy or a state policy? A lot of the information of this policy has been unclear even to many of its employees (which I am not, just a disclaimer). At any rate it's very recent (as I'm sure you already know), and the scare actor flow was better before the change.
 
Aug 21, 2012
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ghosty said:
The result is that they have fewer auditions and bring in a lot of brand new people, many of them minors. Not that I'm saying 16/17-year-olds can't scare
I could be wrong, (someone please correct me if I am) but I am almost positive you have to be at least 18 to work on the scare squad. That being said, there is a bit of lack luster coming from a good chunk of the scare squad in recent years. As for the rumor of the train, I sure hope it's true. Several years ago when I went to a HOS event we were told during the Q&A they (BG) could not bring the train back due to liability issues. However, I can still hold out hope. :)
 
Apr 30, 2015
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Cawgy said:
ghosty said:
The result is that they have fewer auditions and bring in a lot of brand new people, many of them minors. Not that I'm saying 16/17-year-olds can't scare
I could be wrong, (someone please correct me if I am) but I am almost positive you have to be at least 18 to work on the scare squad. That being said, there is a bit of lack luster coming from a good chunk of the scare squad in recent years.
This im sure could be due to a few different factors, these are only my opinion of course. But heres what i think 1) new actors dont have a chance to get familiarity with the setup and such, meaning a person who has been doing HOS as a scare actor for numerous years has had time to develop and learn what makes more effective scares. They learn what the crowd can be like and how much they can push a guest(not physically of course) to get under their skin. Someone who has only done it one year wont have that knowledge and if they constantly keep bringing in new ppl (which im not sure that is the case just following off what others have said here) this will result in some green staff that might not really have the complete skills to be scary. 2) We dont really know for sure how much the scare squad is ALLOWED to do in reference to scares. If the park has a set of procedures in line to keep guests and staff safe and their scare training is in accordance with those procedures it might simply limit them to "Boo". Not cool but unfortunately corporations have to be careful of lawsuits and some ppl will sue for anything. It just might be trying to keep ppl safe that limits it soo much. 3) its possible that if you have an 18 yo who sees it as quick easy money might not be willing to go the extra mile. Would it be nice to see better scares of course it would. But who knows they could be making the best out of what they have. (Y)
 
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Cawgy said:
I could be wrong, (someone please correct me if I am) but I am almost positive you have to be at least 18 to work on the scare squad. That being said, there is a bit of lack luster coming from a good chunk of the scare squad in recent years.
Since 2013 minors 16 and up have been able to be part of scare squad (I can verify this 100%). It's actually really upsetting knowing how the guests treat the actors sometimes, and to think about babby folk getting hit and groped...I shudder. Believe me though, the actors as a whole are trying their best with the resources they have. They're under a lot of pressure, and the ones that don't quit after the first weekend sometimes don't give their best performance due to the frustration. Then again, I'm only speaking from personal experience so naturally I'm defensive of haunt actors in general. I've been scaring since I was 18 and it's by far the most exhausting, anxiety-inducing, repetitive job I've taken despite being fun. I'm looking forward to giving a non-sugarcoated review of the acting when I go though, I won't hold any punches.

Edit: Peej knows exactly what I'm talking about! Though a note: the first thing they tell you in training is not to say "boo", it's kind of become a running joke haha. And a lot of the scare tactics in previous years have been put on the do-not-do list despite being safe or effective. If a corporate person doesn't personally like a scare, they'll say to the SM "don't do that" and then the actor will have to come up with something different and possibly less effective. This happens often.
 
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according to the application, you must be at least 16 to be scaresquad

age limit has been changed back and forth from 16 to 18 over the years.
 
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ghosty said:
Since 2013 minors 16 and up have been able to be part of scare squad (I can verify this 100%). It's actually really upsetting knowing how the guests treat the actors sometimes, and to think about babby folk getting hit and groped...I shudder.
Im the sixteen years i worked the haunt in my community, ive only been hit twice. And those were just times i couldnt just get out of the way fast enough. While we didnt have alot of training as far as scares go and our actors were kids getting community service from twelve up, we did try to teach them to duck and kinda keep an eye on how ppl react so you know who the people who get violent when they are scared.
ghosty said:
Edit: Peej knows exactly what I'm talking about! Though a note: the first thing they tell you in training is not to say "boo", it's kind of become a running joke haha. And a lot of the scare tactics in previous years have been put on the do-not-do list despite being safe or effective. If a corporate person doesn't personally like a scare, they'll say to the SM "don't do that" and then the actor will have to come up with something different and possibly less effective. This happens often.
That is sad :( i really think a haunt is only as good as its actors and designers, limiting them because of safety i understand. For example our haunt takes place in the woods on a trail, we had kids who wanted to jump out of trees, while it would be a good scare it was just too much of a hazard for the actor. Also we didnt let any one under the age of 18 operate the chainsaws, because even though there is no blade if they bump into a person right with them it can hurt. But to just nix a scare because of personal preference is just dumb lol . I mean i Loathe clowns, i would fall over dead if one even got close to me but if i see them in a haunted house done well then awesome.Because i would have officially gotten what i paid for. Because what i might find scary someone else may not and vice versa. You limit yourself and your crew so much when you go for personal preference, but to each his own i guess.:-/
 
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Feb 9, 2013
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I feel like that area had been discussed as being used for a haunted house before. I assume this is what is going to replace Root. I wonder if that's what the stakes were for in Festhaus park that we saw earlier this year?
 
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Nicole

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Peej1212 said:
ghosty said:
Since 2013 minors 16 and up have been able to be part of scare squad (I can verify this 100%). It's actually really upsetting knowing how the guests treat the actors sometimes, and to think about babby folk getting hit and groped...I shudder.
Im the sixteen years i worked the haunt in my community, ive only been hit twice. And those were just times i couldnt just get out of the way fast enough. While we didnt have alot of training as far as scares go and our actors were kids getting community service from twelve up, we did try to teach them to duck and kinda keep an eye on how ppl react so you know who the people who get violent when they are scared.
Unfortunately, it isn't just fear that leads to violence at HOS. There are always incidents with drunk guests.
 

Nicole

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With regards to the new maze, I guess the location makes sense with the Unearthed theme. Regardless, it sounds as if it could be very cool.
 
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That permit is interesting. I honestly dont really know what or how im supposed to be reading it lol. For some reason i cant place where that area is... Damn.
 

Zimmy

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the placement of Root always seemed weird. I always felt like it was just sort of plopped down with no real defined path leading up to it.
 
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Aug 15, 2013
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Wait, they're building this in the woods behind Drachen Fire? Did I read that right? There's a gravel path that winds around Bitten and what used to be Hunted that leads to Festhaus Park, but I don't quite understand where they would put a maze besides the old Hunted building, which is currently used as a green room for Bitten.
 
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