Howl-O-Scream 2020 – The Fear Is In Your Eyes

Howl-O-Scream 2020 continued the Halloween event tradition in a modified format for the season, with only outdoor scare zones and no regular walk-through haunted houses. The popular Fiends show also returned but was performed on a new stage.

Scare Zones

  • The Junkyard (New)
  • The Shortcut (New)
  • Lycan Landing (New)
  • The Escape (New)
  • Dia de los Muertos [Day of the Dead]
  • Maniac Midway
  • Deadly Toys
  • Hell on Wheels
  • Little Nightmares
  • First Fear


  • Fiends


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Event Details

With limited capacity, physical distancing, and required face coverings for all, Howl-O-Scream continued in 2020 on select nights from late September until just after Halloween. The park advertised a number of significant safety guidelines and health measures to reassure guests a safe & memorable experience.


The tagline for Howl-O-Scream 2020 was “The Fear Is In Your Eyes.” Since all guests were required to wear face coverings over their mouth and nose while attending, it’s rather fitting. Like the previous several seasons, there was no main theme for the event.

The event was originally scheduled to run a total of 18 nights each Friday through Sunday evening from September 25 through November 1, 2020. Hours on Friday & Saturday nights are 7 p.m. until midnight and 7 to 11 p.m. on Sundays. In mid-October, the event added a 19th night to the schedule on Thursday, October 29 with hours from 7 to 11 p.m.

Howl-O-Scream 2020 featured a total of 10 outdoor scare zones, four of them being new for the season. Two of those new zones were one-way walkthroughs, giving a sort of outdoor haunted house experience.


In addition to the scare zones, Fiends moved to the Festival Field stage to allow for outdoor, socially distant seating.

The gate price for Howl-O-Scream 2020 was $89.99. When tickets were first offered, advance purchase discounts of up to $60 dollars were available on the event’s website, with tickets for the first Sunday on sale for $29.99 and prices ranging up to $49.99 on the Saturdays leading up to Halloween. Those prices climbed closer to event dates. Annual pass members and Fun Card holders received an additional $5 off the advanced purchase price. All tickets allowed guests entry into the park beginning at 5 p.m. on the night of the event.

In mid-October, a new offer for pass members rolled out for Sundays October 18 & 25. Pass members could buy four or more tickets for either of those dates for $25 each.

Multi-night tickets or Frequent Fear season passes were not offered for Howl-O-Scream 2020. There was also no “Freaky Preview” to kick off the event, meaning Florida Platinum pass members did not receive free entry on the first weekend.

The only Evil Upgrade initially available was Front Line Fear for Quick Queue access to the major attractions.

By the second weekend of the event, a VIP Seating Package was offered for Fiends, combining a spot in one of the first few rows and a voucher for a beverage (choice of cocktail, soda, or bottled water) from the Fiends Bar.

An overnight vacation package combining a hotel stay and tickets for Howl-O-Scream was also offered. Different from the “Wicked Weekend” packages of years past that offered multiple days & nights of Busch Gardens & Howl-O-Scream admission, the overnight package only included one night of Howl-O-Scream admission (with a separate free reservation for the chosen night required).


Remaining quiet for longer than normal, the Howl-O-Scream social media accounts sprung back to life on August 11, 2020, announcing the event would continue in a modified format for the season. As detailed above, those changes include only having outdoor scare zones, no haunted houses, and the Fiends moving to the Gwazi Field stage to allow the show to continue in the open air.

The park also confirmed through the event’s social media accounts early on that Florida Platinum pass members would not receive free admission on the first weekend. At the time, the park replied to guests inquiring that a different reward for those pass members would be offered for opening weekend.

More specifics on what the event would offer came nearly a month later on September 10, 2020, with the announcement of 10 scare zones – four of them new – plus the return of Fiends.


Two days later on September 12, 2020, the park announced the new reward for Florida Platinum pass members who chose to purchase a ticket and visit on the first weekend of Howl-O-Scream. Those pass members could pick up an “exclusive” complimentary face covering from Xcursions on those nights.


Twitter – @howloscream | Aug 11 2020 – accessed 8/11/2020
Howl-O-Scream | Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – accessed 8/12/2020
Reserve Your Spot for Howl-O-Scream – accessed 8/12/2020
Twitter – @howloscream | Aug 26 2020 – accessed 8/26/2020
Twitter – @howloscream | Aug 26 2020 – accessed 8/26/2020
Reservations for Hotel Packages – accessed 9/6/2020
Map – Howl-O-Scream 2020 (Digital) – Author’s Collection
Twitter – @howloscream | Sep 10 2020 – accessed 9/10/2020
Twitter – @howloscream | Sep 12 2020 – accessed 9/12/2020
Twitter – @howloscream | Oct 3 2020 – accessed 10/4/2020
Howl-O-Scream | Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – accessed 10/18/2020
Twitter – @howloscream | Oct 21 2020 – accessed 10/23/2020
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Oct 15 2020 – accessed 10/15/2020



Last updated: 10/26/2020