busch gardens

Six Flags to buy Seaworld Parks & Entertainment?

Six-Flags-Logo Busch Gardens New Logo

In what is the worst news we’ve heard in a long time, we’ve learned that Six Flags may be interested in buying Seaworld Parks & Entertainment. While Six Flags builds great coasters and thrill rides, they are known for lacking the quality & themed experiences of theme park owners like Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, Disney and Universal. Let’s cross our fingers that this deal doesn’t happen. Read the full article below: Continue reading

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa

We know it’s super early (it’s not even Christmas in July yet!), but Busch Gardens Tampa recently announced a new special event for the upcoming Christmas season. Mimicking the popular Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, the Tampa event will bring the magic of the holidays to the African themed park. More details should be posted soon at the Busch Gardens website. In the meantime, here’s a brief overview: Continue reading

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmastown

Santa’s elves have returned to Busch Gardens and are transforming the world’s most beautiful theme park into a winter wonderland for the holidays. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmastown at Busch Gardens. Christmas Town:  A Busch Gardens Celebration opens Nov. 25 and features more lights, a new walk-through attraction and a new live stage production that reveals the true meaning of Christmas. “More than five million Christmas lights, twice as many as in 2011, adorn nearly every building and tree in the park. Guests can experience the warm glow of twinkling lights while they walk through the park sipping Busch Gardens’ signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate. Many of the park’s favorites have returned as well, including Busch Gardens’ 50-foot, light-dancing Christmas tree; Santa’s Workshop featuring the jolly old elf himself; and Mistletoe Marketplace, a traditional outdoor German market featuring artisan-made crafts.

What’s new at Christmas Town this year

Polar Pathway

Christmas Town just got a whole lot brighter. Polar Pathway turns Escape from Pompeii into breathtaking waterfalls of light. The smell of pine trees wafting through the crisp frosty air welcomes visitors to this winter wonderland.

 The greatest story ever told comes to life as only Busch Gardens can imagine. This all-new production reaches into the audiences’ souls and leaves their hearts singing. An ensemble of the park’s finest musicians and singers shines bright in the Abbey Stone Theatre as the true meaning of Christmas is revealed.
Mäch Tower
Get a Santa-eye view of the five million twinkling lights at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town from the park’s newest thrill ride, Mäch Tower.  Riders are lifted 240 feet above Oktoberfest and dropped at breathtaking speed. Busch Gardens’ holiday celebration has never been so thrilling.


Experience Christmas Town at light speed aboard one of the world’s most intense roller coasters. German villagers have long told stories about a legendary snow beast they call Alpengeist, the ghost of the Alps. After climbing to an Alpine high of 195 feet, riders are hurtled through six staggering inversions at speeds up to 67 miles per hour.
You can visit http://www.christmastown.com/ for the rest of the festive details!

5 Official Theme Park Apps to enhance your trip

One of the best parts of heading out to a theme park is the moment you walk through the front gate and are handed a park map. This is your key to directional support, fun, showtimes and memories. I love reading park maps, and usually have the thing memorized by the end of the day. I read it standing in line, eating and even sometimes in the bathroom. This is all great, but sometimes you’re looking for a little more entertainment in line. Here are a few theme park apps developed by the parks for guests that take the park map to new technological levels. One of the best features in these apps is wait time updates, no more running around to find how long the lines are. After all, that information can’t be printed on paper. The best part is, these apps are just the beginning of the next generation of technology that theme parks are integrating. But that’s a topic for another day.

The Universal Orlando Resort App

This theme park app looks great, unfortunately it’s not available in the Canadian iTunes Store.
The official Universal Orlando® Resort Mobile App version 1.0 is the perfect companion for your visit to our two theme parks and CityWalk entertainment complex! Available as a free download, the app features GPS location tracking, highly visual interactive maps, attraction fun facts and photos, guest services and restaurant information, search functionality and more! Using the app you can also play a check-in game that highlights some of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions and gives you the opportunity to “check-in to win” a savings guide worth up to $150.
App includes three custom GPS-based guides:
•Universal Studios Florida®
•Universal’s Islands of Adventure®
•Universal’s CityWalk®
•Carousel navigation, showing nearest points of interest such as attractions, guest services and more
•Interactive map interface with GPS location tracking so you can easily pinpoint your location
•Attraction information, fun facts and photos
•Dining and reservation information
•Check-in to Facebook and Twitter accounts
•Check-in game featuring opportunity to win a savings guide worth up to $150
•Search tool

Disney Parks Mobile Magic
Play games, check wait times, find your favourite characters. This free app does a great job of all of that, if you’re a Verizon customer running Android. This shuts out millions of people from having the ability to use this amazing app, including us Canadians. Were always left out, aren’t we? The alternative is to visit m.disneyworld.com on your device to explore theme park information and wait times (although not as specific as the app, attractions are noted as “See Now” “High Demand” or “Moderate”. It’s also not as nice to look at, it’s a simple mobile optimized site. Better than nothing I guess.

Busch Gardens Official App

These are in the Canadian iTunes store, so bravo to Busch Entertainment!
Busch Gardens’ first official park app is a must-have for your visit. This app is specially designed for both Busch Gardens parks.
– Includes Florida and Virginia locations.
– True GPS navigation provides a highlighted path to your destination.
– Interactive park map with search. Find nearest restroom, place to eat, ATM and more.
– Up-to-date wait times on rides, plus ride-height requirements.
– Features show times for each park’s spectacular shows.
– Get basic park info, calendar with operating hours, weather forecast and driving directions.
– Stay up-to-date with each park’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.
– In-app camera. Take pictures of your trip without leaving the app.
– Learn about our animals and their conservation status then get directions to connect with them in person.
– Personalize your day with guided tours and more.

Seaworld Official App

SeaWorld’s first OFFICIAL park app – a must-have for your visit. This app is specially designed for all three SeaWorld parks.
Features for iPhone:
– Includes San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando locations.
– True GPS navigation provides a highlighted path to your destination.
– Interactive park map with search. Find nearest restroom, place to eat, ATM and more.
– Up-to-date wait times on rides, plus ride height requirements.
– Displays next show times for each park’s SeaWorld’s spectacular shows.
– Get basic park info, calendar with operating hours, weather forecast and driving directions.
– Stay up-to-date with each park’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.
– In-app camera. Take pictures of your trip without leaving the app.
– Learn about our animals and their conservation status, then get directions to connect with them in person.
– Personalize your day with guided tours and Quick Queue.

Schlitterbahn Waterparks App

Another Canadian friendly app. Not sure what you do with your phone when you head into the water though!
America’s first family of world-class waterpark destinations and resorts, is proud to offer a FREE App that will enhance your trip planning and your next visit to Schlitterbahn. All Schlitterbahn Waterparks offer five-star family amenities including free parking, free use of inner tubes and free life jackets. Guests are also welcome to bring their picnic meals directly into the parks (no glass or alcohol please).
Interactive App features include:
– Family and Friend Finder – keep track of your family and friends throughout the park
– Interactive Park Maps – with locater and “what’s near me” features including attractions, food locations, lockers, restrooms, shopping and additional guest services
– Schlitterbahn Twitter – follow SchlitterTweet’s updates on insider park events and information
– Social Media – send your friends and followers instant updates through Facebook and Twitter
Additional App features include:
– Admission Prices and “purchase your tickets now” feature
– Attraction descriptions, photos, in park locations and safety ratings
– Common Questions
– Driving Directions
– Food locations
– Guest Amenities
– Hours of Operation
– Park Weather and Forecasts
– Phone Numbers
– Shopping

While I think these apps are great, I still love grabbing a park map when I get to the park and reading it over throughout the day. It also makes a great souvenir. Regardless it will be interesting to see the future of how mobile devices and technology enhance the theme park experience. Disney is the leader with its Next Generation technology being installed in their parks, and I’m sure the rest of the industry isn’t too far behind. What are some of your favourite apps to navigate the parks?

Fear Grows at Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Howl-O-Scream returned last weekend to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and is scarier and more popular than ever. As of this writing on Saturday night, the event is sold out for the evening! This is the 13th year of the event and it looks twisted in ways I can’t even imagine! Check out the press release from Busch Gardens for the details, followed by descriptions of all the insane attractions that can be found when you visit.

“We’ve returned to our roots for Howl-O-Scream’s 13th anniversary. Everything has been intensified, including new takes on old favorites,” said Busch Gardens Williamsburg Vice President of Entertainment Scott Gasparich.
Howl-O-Scream’s Dark Side of the Gardens is not for the faint hearted and parental guidance is strongly encouraged. Howl-O-Scream’s evil clowns are back and they have taken over Festa Italia in the Fear Fair haunted house and the Grin and Scare Itscare zone. New haunted houses like Dead Line offer a modern spin on some classic scares while 13: Your Number’s Up,which is returning after a 13-year hiatus, forces guests to face their darkest fears. Fiends also is back in the Festhaus by popular demand. Gasparich and his creative team have breathed new life into Busch Gardens’ classic show that debuted during the first Howl-O-Scream in 1999.
Daring guests can pull back the curtain and get an exclusive look at Howl-O-Scream by participating in one of three behind-the-scenes tours. The tours offer exclusives like reserved seating at select shows and front-of-the-line access to the park’s haunted houses.
Howl-O-Scream begins Sept. 23 and continues every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 30. Howl-O-Scream is not suitable for children after 6 p.m. Parental guidance is strongly encouraged. The park’s younger guests will be treated to Halloween happenings during the day with their favorite characters at Sesame Street Forest of Fun.

Howl-O-Scream Busch Gardens Williamsburg Haunted Houses

Suspicion, darkness and mind-numbing fear surround the “Bitten” house which is set in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s. Full of legends and lore of vampires and the undead that preyed on the innocent, this manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass but few return.

On the dark outskirts of the Fair Grounds near Festa Italia, a traveling carnival is waiting under a stained and tattered big top. Lift the flaps of the tent and discover the macabre—a fantastic collection of freaks, psychotic clowns and other insane oddities that defy human explanation. Will your sides split with laughter? Or will you turn around and run for your life? Either way, you’ll quickly understand why this evil carnival is doomed to wander the Italian countryside … never stopping in the same village twice.
For 13 long years, the dark tower was locked away from the world—existing only in the nightmares of those who had dared to experience Howl-O-Scream’s first and most terrifying maze. But now, on the eve of our 13th anniversary, the seal has been broken. The tower is open once more and on the 13th floor, your darkest phobias and fears lurk in the shadows. Are you brave enough to face them or is your number up?
Through a ruined cemetery filled with statues lies a tunnel that leads to an underground city. Its history is more terrifying than that of France’s worst revolutions. Deep within these tunnels lie mile after mile of bones—the final resting place for those who are buried here. But all is not as quiet as it appears. As guests venture forth into the dank, dripping corridors of rat infested remains, the voices of the dead begin to speak, and some have taken shape.

Howl-O-Scream Busch Gardens Williamsburg Shows

Experience the revamping of a classic – vampires have come to the monster stomp party, and they are dying to have a good time. Witches, skeletons and beasts join them in Busch Gardens’ high-powered musical “rockstravaganza.” This show contains adult themes. Parental supervision is advised.

A party procession of carved creatures and dancing scarecrows invades the village of Ireland to honor Jack-of-the-Lantern. Join Jack as he entertains park guests during this dancing party that will make everyone “boo”-gy.
Scare Zones

Venture deep into the woods of New France, where a solitary logging camp is ensnared by a killer clan of enormous venomous spiders, ready to capture anyone who wanders into their wicked web of terror. The loggers are fighting back with their sharpest blades, but be careful … in the darkness of the woods, they may mistake you for the spiders they’re trying to destroy.

Go ahead. Step right up to the creepiest show on earth. A traveling carnival has just crawled into Festa Italia, and you’ll be one of the very first guests to see what terrible traps these carnies have in store. As they unpack boxes brimming with ghastly tricks, the high-pitched laughter of evil clowns echo from the shadows. At this sinister circus, you won’t be calling for an encore.

The full moon looms. The fog creeps closer. And somewhere in the distance, a creature howls. There are werewolves on the prowl, and they’re coming nearer—hunting for unsuspecting human prey. So listen for the rustle of dry leaves in the bushes, and beware the creepy cry that pierces the darkness. It may be your only warning in this scare zone, where you’ll discover what happens when true fear is Unleashed.

This is the realm of the living dead—a land where zombies and monsters roam and where cold eyes search for unsuspecting new victims. Could you become one of them? In the darkened streets of Germany a demonic doctor is on the loose, frantically gathering the limbs and organs of the living. His purpose: to patch together a new breed of immortal creatures and to build a ferocious force of undead to do his bidding. He’s armed his zombie militia with scissors, needles and thread, and he’s convinced them all it’s Stitchin’ Time. And now, they’re dying to make you a part of their evil empire.

Here's the layout for the attractions

Check out the website by clicking above!

Enter The Dark Side of the Gardens at Howl-O-Scream Tampa 2011

The Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Tampa 2011 event looks better than ever. For 17 nights, fearless thrill seekers can enter The Dark Side of the Gardens. This is the first major weekend of the event, and the crowds will only get bigger as Halloween approaches. Take a look a the preview videos and details below to decide for yourself if your brave enough to step into the world of terror.

This fall, a new type of terror takes root in the Dark Side of the Gardens at Howl-O-Scream 2011. For 17 select nights, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be overgrown with NEW haunted houses, thrilling live shows, the return of Alone – Busch Gardens’ revolutionary idea in how guests experience haunted attractions – and the opportunity to experience Cheetah Hunt, in the dark.

Even the streets themselves aren’t safe… for zombies live here, and insatiable hoards pour forth from every shadow, hungry to show fans the most horrifying Howl-O-Scream yet. It will leave you begging for mercy… and screaming for more.
General admission is $77.99 plus tax. Reduced advance-purchase rates and special offers are available for Busch Gardens Pass members at TheDarkSideOfTheGardens.com. Savings on general admission tickets are available in advance at participating Publix Supermarkets or with promotional codes found on select Pepsi Max and Mountain Dew products and at participating Taco Bell, Applebee’s and Lifestyle Family Fitness locations in Central Florida.
The event runs Thursday through Saturday nights, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29.  Freaky Preview lets those who cannot wait to face the darkness experience the event a week early on Sept. 23-24 for discounted rates as low as $32.99. Operating hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. during Freaky Preview and on Thursday nights. Friday and Saturday hours are 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

From the master of gothic horror to the darkest secrets of a sinister casino, Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Tampa 2011’s new haunted houses are designed to touch every aspect of terror:

NEW!  Nevermore – Beating hearts, swinging pendulums and a raven’s cries haunt the manor of Lenore, creating a demented and twisted nightmare. Step inside to experience the gothic terror that maddens the lord of the house. and feel delusion overcome reality. Find your way out of this horror story before paranoia authors your final chapter.
NEW!  Zombie Mortuary – No one remembers how the epidemic started, but now, zombies live here. The undead that infest this small town funeral home feed on the fresh flesh and brains of mortuary mourners to satisfy their insatiable hunger. Avoid the walking dead or you may find yourself deeper than six feet under.
NEW!  Ultimate Gamble: Vampire Casino – Fanged fiends entice you to test your luck in this sultry hangout straight from Sin City. The seductive games and high-stake thrills at Revivara Casino are sure to get your blood pumping, but will you escape before your luck gets drained? Just stay away from the killer All-THEY-Can-Eat buffet.

Some of the most demented houses ever are back by popular demand with some horrible new twists:

Alone… (A personal experience in horror) – The deranged Master Alexander Daedalus opened Minotaur Storage to house his vast collection of “cultural” remains. But now his sinister obsession with hoarding has expanded to stockpiling people. Escape this lunatic’s labyrinth or you will become part of his collection. Can you make it out ALONE? Note: Alone is a unique, all-alone experience through the haunted house. Admission is $40.00 per reservation, and each reservation can accommodate you and up to 3 additional victims. Pass member discount does not apply.  Not included with any other VIP tour or upgrade product.  Howl-O-Scream admission is required, but not included.
Nightshade Toy Factory – By day, the old Nightshade Toy Factory appears abandoned. But as night falls, the mysterious manufacturing plant glows and hums as it creates the diabolical dolls, terrible teddy bears and possessed playthings of your childhood nightmares.  These twisted toys are alive…and they are coming after the adults who have forgotten them.

Death Row Vengeance: Fear the Dead – The inmates of Grey Echo Penitentiary are slated for execution. But as a zombie plague infests the crumbling cells, those prisoners left alive must decide which is worst: facing the firing squad, death by electric chair or an eternity of torture at the hands of their undead captors.

Deconstruction: The Doctor Is Out of Control – Dr. Edger VonAngst has the skill and technology to make you over…but what will you become?  This mad reconstructive surgeon has fallen one notch deeper into insanity and is putting human parts back together with mechanical pieces, combining flesh, bone and steel in the most hideous ways.

After braving bone-chilling coasters in the dark such as Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Montu, Gwazi and Kumba, you can catch your breath at these twisted live shows:

NEW!  Midnight Hour – The music industry can be a devilish business to break into, especially when your road to fame leads to  the Hellfire Club. Don’t believe the club’s shadowy owner when he promises his panel of sinister celebrity pop-culture coaches will help make you a star!  Performing nightly at the Desert Grill
Fiends – Is there a doctor in the house?  These captivating creatures of the night will infect you with dance fever and keep your pulse pounding with their deranged dance party. But when Dr. Freakenstein’s naughty nurses start operating, the diagnosis is always “code pink.” Performing nightly at the Stanleyville Theater.

Looking for a sick party or the perfect souvenir to round out your evening of evil?

Club Virus – Escape the hordes and head to the transformed Marrakesh Theater to join the killer party at Howl-O-Scream’s exclusive dance club.  This adults-only nighttime playground keeps the energy pumping all night long with non-stop music, premium signature cocktails, drink specials and exclusive appearances by Howl-O-Scream’s most terrifying personalities.
Howl-O-Scream Shop of Horrors – Remember your evening of evil with the perfect Howl-O-Scream souvenir, including toys, tees and other Halloween-themed gifts. Then, smile through the pain and snap the perfect pic at an exclusive Dark Side of the Gardens photo op that’s not for the faint of heart.

Check out the website for Howl-O-Scream above!