SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream made it to it’s 3rd year. With 5 mazes, 5 scare zones, 2 performances and 5 vignettes; this season’s offerings actually sound like a lot on paper but felt a bit scaled back when present in person. Continue reading if you dare to find out how exactly the fear reawakened this time around.
Howl-O-Scream 2023 Review: Scare Zones
The scare zones this year are: Clown Gauntlet, Carnival of Chaos, Deadly Toys, The Graveyard and Sea of Souls. We should point out that if you are following the map on the app and trying to find Deadly Toys; then you’ll only walk in circles until you reach a dead end or 2. The map from the website or posted on-site is the accurate one. The first three scare zones could easily be confused for one another. We found that the make-up to be similar and some of the clowns looked doll-like and some of the dolls/toys looked clown-like. We also found the talent to be lacking in numbers and was very sparse compared to last seasons. The best approach really is to just keep on walking; eventually you’ll walk-through a scare zone before you know it.
Howl-O-Scream 2023 Review: Mazes
The same mazes returned from last year: Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou and Simon’s Slaughterhouse, Circus of the Damned and Area 64: Alien Outbreak . We felt that all the mazes were even more simplified than the previous year all across the board. Which means that it was even shorter compared to its inaugural season in 2021. Our top 2 this year were Circus of the Damned and Death Water Bayou. Circus of the Damned can hardly get it wrong since the title is obvious and plus you get 3-D glasses for a more enhanced visual experience. Death Water Bayou felt complete especially with a drunk woman blurting out not so nice things on Bourbon street.
Howl-O-Scream 2023 Review: Other Activities
There are 2 shows which were happening at their own respective times. The Opening SCAREmoney was at the beginning of the event and Call of the Siren had multiple showtimes posted.
New this year are also 5 Vile Vignettes. These were small little pop-up shows that took place throughout the evening and were placed throughout the park. There was no big performance or show inside the Nautilus Amphitheatre this year. Therefore, we can assume that these 5 smaller shows were created to take its place.
Howl-O-Scream 2023 Review: Conclusion
It feels like there’s a Benjamin Button aging backwards effect going on at Howl-O-Scream. We felt that the first year was better than the second, and the second was better than the third. We quite enjoyed the Deadly Toys and Curse of LaLlorona scare zones last year; the talent was plenty and they all had conviction. In the first year, there was the Vampire Circus show which is now currently on tour. Therefore, there was no “wow” factor for this year’s haunt. At times it felt like it was their first year doing this. The props inside the mazes also seemed like they were the same from before. With that said, we still couldn’t knock the value you get for a haunt inside of a theme park, because with ticket prices under $50; most won’t need to think twice before buying a ticket.
1 – Avoid
2 – Not All Bad
3 – Recommended
4 – Highly Recommended
5 – Must See
SeaWorld: Howl-O-Scream is a good starting ground for someone easily scared or unsure whether they like Halloween haunts. Without very many scare actors present and most of the attractions being short, it is ideal for the novice haunt-goer who may be unable to tolerate a higher dosage of scares. Nonetheless, you do get quite a few things for the admission price.
Howl-O-Scream continues at SeaWorld until Halloween Night. The address is 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109. Tickets start at 39.99 and Front of Line starts at 39.99. For more information, visit: https://seaworld.com/san-diego/events/howl-o-scream/