Howl-O-Scream Event

Frequently Asked Questions About Howl-O-Scream

Have questions about our Halloween event? Take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions about Howl-O-Scream.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Howl-O-Scream

What is Howl-O-Scream?

Howl-O-Scream is our annual top-rated Halloween nightly event, held at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. This adult-targeted event transforms Busch Gardens into a late-night party with haunted houses, scare zones, live shows, and more. This event is included with admission to Busch Gardens.

When is Howl-O-Scream?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg will be open select dates from September 8 – October 31. Howl-O-Scream starts each evening at 6:00 pm. Be aware that when Howl-O-Scream starts, the park becomes a seriously scary place and may not be suitable for young children. Please use discretion when bringing children into the park at this time.

Is Howl-O-Scream all day?

No, Busch Gardens has all of the family-friendly and fun features that it normally has during the day. You can experience the thrilling rides and attractions before the scares come to life at 6:00pm. In addition, you can visit one of our face-painting booths to get transformed into a favorite Halloween character, and your little ones will enjoy taking a Halloween-themed photo with their favorite Sesame Street™ friends.


• On days that Busch Gardens opens at 5 p.m. for Howl-O-Scream, Land of DragonsSesame Street Forest of Fun and other Kid-Friendly rides will be closed.

• Re-entry to Howl-O-Scream is not permitted after 8 p.m.

Is this event suitable for children?

Howl-O-Scream contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood and is not intended for children.

Are kids allowed?

This year’s event contains amplified scares not recommended for children. While everyone is welcome to participate, parental discretion is advised.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg also offers silly, not-too-spooky family fun during this time of year at Halloween Spooktacular. 

Will the rides and attractions be open?

Yes, many of Busch Gardens’ most popular rides will be open during Howl-O-Scream.

How can I purchase my Howl-O-Scream ticket?

The easiest way to purchase your tickets to Busch Gardens during Howl-O-Scream is online.

If I purchase a daytime park ticket to Busch Gardens, will it include Howl-O-Scream?

Yes. Howl-O-Scream is included with regular admission to Busch Gardens.

Can I wear a costume to Howl-O-Scream?

No, for the safety of our costumed performers and other visitors to the event, guests in costumes will not be permitted.


How late is the park open?

For park hours during Howl-O-Scream, please see our operating hours calendar.

Please note, re-entry to Howl-O-Scream is not permitted after 8 p.m.

Can I experience all of Howl-O-Scream in one night?

If you only have one night to experience all of Howl-O-Scream, you may want to consider one of our Quick Queue options, which gives you priority access to haunted houses and select rides on the date selected. Learn more here.

Is alcohol sold at Busch Gardens during Howl-O-Scream?

Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at several locations throughout the park. You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. Positive proof of age is required and there is a limit of one drink, per ID, per transaction. Please drink responsibly.

What is a Terror-tory?

Sections of our park have been transformed into haunted villages. These highly immersive attractions include dramatic theming and scare squad actors behind every corner. You won’t have to wait in line to go through these Terror-tories ™ because they are a part of the park itself, including themed shopping and dining experiences in each section.

What items aren't allowed in the haunted houses?

For your safety and the safety of our team members, Busch Gardens' loose article policy applies in all of the haunted houses. We ask that larger loose articles such as umbrellas, stuffed animals, bags and selfie sticks are not brought into haunted houses. Ask a Busch Gardens ® team member about your item if you are unsure whether it falls within the park’s loose article policy.

No Bag Policy

Are bags permitted inside Howl-O-Scream?

Effective September 8, no bags will be permitted after 4pm. Wristlets and fanny packs measuring less than 8”x 5” are permitted and subject to security inspection.

Why did Busch Gardens adopt this policy?

In conjunction with our existing use of metal detection, this proactive measure will expedite the security screening process and provide enhanced safety measures for all guests.

What happens if I show up at the gate with a bag?

Guests carrying bags will be turned away from the security checkpoint and asked to return them to their vehicle.

If I have certain items that I need to bring in for medical reasons, what do I do?

Exceptions to this policy may be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection. Any item required for medical reasons that will be screened is to be carried in a bag not to exceed the size of 12” x 6” x 12”. Guests arriving with a bag not meeting those standards will be asked to return to their vehicle.

What about diaper bags?

Diapers can be carried in a bag not to exceed the size of 12” x 6” x 12”.

I see other guests in the event with bags, how did they get in?

The Howl-O-Scream bag policy applies to guest arriving after 4pm. This policy is not in effect for Busch Gardens Williamsburg guests who arrive from park opening until 4pm. Guests who arrive prior to 4pm with a bag may remain in the park with their bag for the duration of the day.

Guest Code of Conduct

For the safety of our guests and ambassadors, be advised:

Disruptive Behavior


Gathering in groups that block pathways

Harassing other guests or ambassadors

Line Cutting

Will Not Be Tolerated And will result in expulsion from park

Violators may be criminally prosecuted at the discretion of park management Under Virginia Criminal Code