Frequently Asked Questions About 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.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg will be open select dates from September 9 – 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.
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 Dragons, Sesame 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.
Howl-O-Scream contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood and is not intended for children. Our silly, not-too-spooky children's Halloween event, The Count's Spooktacular, ends at 5pm, giving guests with young ones plenty of time before the scares start at 6:00pm.
While this event is intended for adults only, children under 18 can attend the event.
Yes, many of Busch Gardens’ most popular rides will be open during Howl-O-Scream.
The easiest way to purchase your tickets to Busch Gardens during Howl-O-Scream is online.
Yes. Howl-O-Scream is included with regular admission to Busch Gardens.
No, for the safety of our costumed performers and other visitors to the event, guests in costumes will not be permitted.
For park hours during Howl-O-Scream, please see view our operating hours calendar.
Please note, re-entry to Howl-O-Scream is not permitted after 8 p.m.
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. See More Details on the product for additional information. Tours are also a great way to experience for even more fun to experience.
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.
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.
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
Effective September 9, no bags will be permitted after 4pm. Wristlets and fanny packs measuring less than 8”x 5” are permitted and subject to security inspection.
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.
Guests carrying bags will be turned away from the security checkpoint and asked to return them to their vehicle.
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.
Diapers can be carried in a bag not to exceed the size of 12” x 6” x 12”.
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:
Gathering in groups that block pathways
Harassing other guests or ambassadors
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