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May 3, 2012
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Hello everyone! This is going to be our first trip going to howl of scream 2017 and i need some advice. What is the best time to go you think to experience not that many crowds BUT the all the attractions are working smoothly and properly? I usually don't enjoy going the first weekend of halloween attractions because usually i find that many of the special effects aren't working properly


We can't go the beginning of October for work reasons, and the 2nd weekend of october 2017 will be too crowded i think. So...we are thinking..the last weekend of September?

Is that a good time? And any advice on how fast pass work?

Also i heard king dominion is good...should we do that on a friday or saturday? Or skip it and focus just on busch gardens? Sorry for the multitude of questions, first time going and we have no clue what's good or what we should do, lol.

Thanks for your help guys!
 
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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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RE: Howl of scream 2017 advice

Based on your schedule, I would recommend the last weekend of September or the second weekend of October.  The first weekend they generally are getting the kinks out.  Looking at the Quick Queue prices, the park clearly anticipates larger crowds throughout October, but I think you still might be OK the second weekend.

Regardless, Fridays and Sundays are always better than Saturdays.

Historically, Quick Queue has gotten you front of the line access to all of the haunted mazes and most of the thrill rides.  They haven't posted this year's information, but my best guess is that you will get all of the houses and the normal rides, which include:

BGW said:
A Quick Queue® pass provides single-time priority access for the following select thrill rides: Alpengeist®, Apollo’s Chariot®, Curse of DarKastle, Escape from Pompeii®, Griffon®, Le Scoot Log Flume, Roman Rapids, and Verbolten®. PLUS receive one BONUS option good at any of the attractions listed above.

There are separate entrances for each of the mazes for QQ.  There will be someone checking your QQ ticket.  They generally feed QQ in close to or at the house entrance.  For me they are essential, especially on Saturdays, because the lines get so long and capacity is so low.

KD's Haunt is as good as or sometimes better than BGW's HOS.  Like HOS, Haunt is easier on Fridays and Sundays.  I would recommend Fright Lane, if you can afford them, as well.  Unlike QQs, they are only for the mazes.  They historically have included exclusive Skeleton Key rooms, however.
 
May 3, 2012
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Thanks for the advice nicole. We can't go on sunday, we have to leave and go to work the next day. It's a 5 hour drive one way.

Which park you think is best to go on a friday last weekend of september? KD'S haunt or BGW'S HOS?

I am thinking since KD'S haunt is along the way to go there friday and check out bgw HOS on saturday and try to cram everything in one day.
 
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Nicole

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I think you may want to consider park hours and what you want to do at each park. The hours that weekend for each:

Kings Dominion
Friday, 7:00 pm - Midnight
Saturday, 10:30 am - Midnight

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Friday, Noon- 10:00 pm
Saturday, 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

So, if you want to focus on the mazes, you can easily do KD on Friday. If, however, you want to spend time on the rides, as well, you will probably need to go to KD on Saturday.
 

Merboy

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That's a solid negative. I'm not even sure I've ever been able to get to all the houses in a single evening let alone hitting up all the roller coasters and any other rides, plus food and shows. Especially on a Saturday and especially the closer to Halloween you get. I definitely recommend getting the Quick Queue if Nicole is saying it can all be done in one Saturday with it! Good luck, and God speed.
 
May 3, 2012
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hmm. Thanks. I wish i knew how much the qq passes are for king dominion and busch gardens so i can make a final decision between going from friday to sunday (with sunday leaving in the morning) last weekend of september or go second weekend of october would probably would be much more crowded, but i can go friday to monday, and have a extra sunday for busch Gardens.
 
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Apr 29, 2011
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kenmasters675 said:
Is it possible to do all the mazes, shows, and rides one day in busch gardens saturday?

Impossible to do without Quick Queue.

The park hits capacity every Saturday during Howl-O-Scream usually by early to mid-afternoon before many of the mazes even open.
 
May 3, 2012
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Thanks. If that's the case, i guess last weekend of september is the best time to avoid the crowd.

My other concern..
I am not sure if this is the right thread asking this since this thread is only for trip planning, but are the mazes even good if it's that crowded? I saw some of the mazes in youtube and i am shock by the lack of special effects. I mean i expect it to be closer to motel bates PA quality then six flags quality. :( I been too many in PA/delaware like shocktoberfest, Fright Factory, Frightland, top notch halloween attractions. Some of these mazes just looks terrible! Are the actual houses, do they have any decent special effects? Or is it closer to six flags standard? (six flags was absolutely terrible)

I am rethinking about going, all this information is helpful too. The decor of the actual park looks amazing though.

Is it worth the 5 hour drive? For reference, i went to christmas town 4 times and it's absolutely amazing and i been to Busch gardens about 13 times.
 

Zachary

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I hate to be a downer, but honestly, Howl-O-Scream and Haunt will both be closer to Six Flags than any of the dedicated events you've been to. I think it is almost a certainty that both will be better than your Fright Fest experience, but if you go in expecting something approaching the production value and scare level of Bates Motel, Fright Factory, Terror Behind the Walls, etc. you will be sorely disappointed.

That said, if I were in your shoes, I'd still make the trip—doing both Haunt and Howl-O-Scream. I think it is fair to say that, as haunt events go, they won't be up to the level you're accustomed to. Why do it regardless? Because it will be entirely different than what you're accustomed to and, honestly, you may find some strong points to the amusement park setting as well. Environmentals, shows, and even just seeing a place you know transformed are, at the very least, neat things.

In the end, if I were in your shoes, given the long trip required and access to far better attractions, Haunt and Howl-O-Scream aren't things I'd do year in and year out. That said, I'd want to experience them at least once—if only as a point of reference.

If you do decide to go, please make sure you report back! I'd love to hear your thoughts!
 
Apr 29, 2011
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kenmasters675 said:
My other concern..

I am not sure if this is the right thread asking this since this thread is only for trip planning, but are the mazes even good if it's that crowded? I saw some of the mazes in youtube and i am shock by the lack of special effects. I mean i expect it to be closer to motel bates PA quality then six flags quality. :( I been too many in PA/delaware like shocktoberfest, Fright Factory, Frightland, top notch halloween attractions. Some of these mazes just looks terrible! Are the actual houses, do they have any decent special effects? Or is it closer to six flags standard? (six flags was absolutely terrible)


The only parks that have mazes and areas on the scare level of Motel Bates, Shocktoberfest, Fright Factory, etc., are Universal Studios (Orlando & Hollywood) and Knotts Scary Farm.  You won't find that at other regional and seasonal parks like BGW, KD and Six Flags.  Knotts is the only one in the Cedar Fair chain that stands out because of the abundance of actors they can hire from the LA area.  This also helps with both Universal Parks.  BGT's Howl-O-Scream is better than BGW's but they have Universal to compete with in Central Florida.


Is it worth the 5 hour drive? For reference, i went to christmas town 4 times and it's absolutely amazing and i been to Busch gardens about 13 times.


If you enjoyed the atmosphere and decor of Christmastown then you'd most likely enjoy it during Howl-O-Scream.  I say give it a try once just so you can experience it for yourself.
 
May 3, 2012
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:( Hearing all of these things are extremely disappointing. I absolutely hated six flags halloween. Thanks for the head up guys. Me and my wife are re-thinking about going now. I expected..like some neat special effects inside the homes..but if it closer to six flags...ehhhhhhhh...:(
 
May 3, 2012
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well..i do have one more question. Sorry for all the questions!

We only have 2 days. Friday and saturday. And friday we will be getting to virgina between 12 and 2 pm.

So..i am wondering. What would be a better trip? Spending 2 days at busch (friday and saturday) and try to relax and see everything or spend friday at king dominions and saturday at busch and get fast passes for both of them and try to do everything in one day?

Thanks
 
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Nicole

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Unless you have to make final decisions now, I would recommend waiting until after the first week.  There will be a lot of feedback on this Forum from our members, which should give you a better idea of how each event is going this year.

If you can't wait, I would personally do both, as they are fairly different events.

I do want to comment on the comparison to Six Flags.  It is true that theme park haunts are structured similarly, and are not like the experiences you have had elsewhere.  And understanding that I have only been to Six Flags America.  My observation is that BGW and KD are more sophisticated and immersive than Six Flags.
 
Apr 25, 2012
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Nicole said:
I think you may want to consider park hours and what you want to do at each park.  The hours that weekend for each:

Kings Dominion
Friday, 7:00 pm - Midnight
Saturday, 10:30 am - Midnight

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Friday, Noon- 10:00 pm
Saturday, 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

So, if you want to focus on the mazes, you can easily do KD on Friday.  If, however, you want to spend time on the rides, as well, you will probably need to go to KD on Saturday.


According to the BGW hours on their website, the park is open until 11:00pm on Fridays and 12:00am on Saturdays in October.

 

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