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Hair-Raising Haunts at Howl-o-Scream! Awards, Thoughts, and More!

The thermometer disagrees with me, but it’s starting to feel like Halloween out at SeaWorld San Antonio!

Geek News Now was invited back on “Press Night” at the park to check out their new haunted maze, the themed drinks, entertainment, and new merchandise the company had to offer. Overall, it was a successful opening night but let’s break down what’s new this year along with some tips for families of all ages before handing out our awards.

First, what’s new? There is a “Fog Skull Lanyard” you can purchase and wear. It will not only light up, but also has an interactive feature. When you enter nine different parts of the park, a pretty good puff of “smoke” will come out of the eyes. It’s a $35 buy for the skull that measures 4 inches tall by 5 inches deep. PLEASE NOTE this is different from the “No Boo” necklaces that will be a signal to the “creatures” to leave you (or your children) alone. ALSO NOTE if anyone wears the “No Boo” necklace, it does not apply when you walk in a haunted maze.

If you REALLY want to max out your time in the haunts? Grab a fear pass or go for the gusto and snag the Ultimate Pass. Believe me, you’ll be wishing for one when you get close to October 31st.

 

Speaking of the kiddos, you can have a “family” Halloween event from 11:15am until 6:00pm. Children can go trick-or-treating at the Bay of Play, visit Spookley the Square Pumpkin, and enjoy a Sesame Street Halloween Parade. After 6pm, you can drop the kids off at Spook-Camp-ular where they can do arts, crafts, play games and visit animals while the adults hit the scarier side of the park. You have to sign up online during specific dates. 

Updates! This year the drink specials include “Screamsicle”, “Blood Bags”, “Blood Sucker Rum Shot”, “Transfusion”, “Corpse Reviver Gelatin Shot”, among others. Prices vary from $10.99 to $15.99. And yes, even for the undead, they do ask for an ID. The Midway area has been transformed into a new “terror-tory” complete with creepy clowns, carnival games, and more. There is also a new pathway show near the Atlantis ride called “Siren’s Song”.

A new haunt this year is called “Bunny Bradley’s Ice Cream Shoppe”. We will get to that in our awards section later on.

Some additional drink options. Don’t worry, fearless reader, I let SeaWorld leadership know they misspelled “Wookiee”.

Wait, we will get to it now!

“Pump Down The Volume” Award: DIS-Assembly Line – You might want to bring some earplugs for this one. Not only does this haunt feature a strongly shaking floor that has been “electrified” but it has a very loud “shocking” sound. Throw in some shrieking “creatures” in narrow hallways and you come out scared, excited, and wondering if your eardrums are intact.

“Safety First” Award: SeaWorld Itself – We spoke to SeaWorld Public Relations who told us that each and every haunt has a hydration station for all costumed employees. Each full-time employee gets a 30 minute break while part-timers can get a 10 minute break to rest and cool off, but more breaks are allowed as needed. There are also a number of SAPD and Sheriff’s Deputies on duty in addition to SeaWorld Security personnel.

Pictured here are seven members of law enforcement with two members of SeaWorld Security. There’s more where they came from to keep everyone safe.

 

“Chilled to the Bone” Award: Bunny Bradley – This was the absolute best haunt of the night but it came with an added bonus. This is South Texas and that doesn’t mean we enjoy frigid temps. The weather dips into the 70s at Thanksgiving and a White Christmas is just a song to us. But when you get deep into the Bunny Bradley maze, you get blasted with the sweetest thing since Wemby was drafted. Gorgeous, delicious, cold air that was so wonderful we all wanted to go back for another dose.

“Darker Than the Heart of Your Ex” Award: The Swamp at Blackwater Bayou – This was a pretty sweet haunt, all things considered. But about halfway through things get dark and close…seriously dark and seriously close. You zigzag through some tight walls in nearly pitch black, yearning to find any light source while the lack of creatures and visual effects only played on your paranoia even more.

“So Scary It’s Fun” Award: Nightmare Midway – Clowns, stilt-walkers, creepy dolls, oh my. With incredibly creative costumes, wonderful ambiance, and plenty of people around, this was the most fun part of the park. The creatures were having fun, the game attendants were having fun, this whole side of the park was just plain…you get the idea. Stop by Colleen’s Dollhouse and tell them Dave sent ya.

“Gimme a break” Award: Sindustry District – Located in the very, very, VERY back of the park back by the penguins, this is the perfect stop to grab a drink, rest your feet, and check out the entertainment. You have a DJ, people doing flips on trampolines engaging the crowd, and acrobats spinning around. Trying to take this all in meant we had to pull ourselves away to complete the night.

There is certainly room for improvement as not all of the decorations or creatures were ready for opening night. The GNN crew did agree that this event is an absolute must-see and we’re looking forward to going back. Please note that while we were invited to this as a member of the press, we were not given any monetary compensation for this (or any) coverage we provided. Any updates we provide will be strictly on us and not due to any direction from SeaWorld leadership.

Drop a comment about your FAVORITE Halloween experience and then check out our lineup of YouTube shows!

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