Updated: Nov 5, 2019
The month of October I dedicated to traveling all over Florida to check out all of the fun haunts our state has to offer. I decided this will be an annual blog post for you guys so that you can figure out what haunted attractions are best for you to check out.
This year I checked out 6 haunted attractions: Scream-A-Geddon, Fright Nights, Howl-O-Scream, Sir Henry's Haunted Trail, Halloween Horror Nights and Dark Horizon. I am going to do a breakdown of three categories of each haunted attraction from Creativity/Originality, Scare Factor and Overall Event. These are posted in no particular order.
Scream-A-Geddon is based out of Dade City, Fl and in the back of a hidden forest. So this makes your experience even more spooky. I have been to Scream-A-Geddon a few years and every year it is amazing. This year they had 5 Haunted Houses (Rage 3D, Demon’s Revenge, Blackpool Prison, Deadwoods, Infected: Ground Zero), Monster Midway with Food/Drinks and there newest addition Bonzo's Craft Beer Garden.
Every year Scream-A-Geddon steps up there creativity. This year was no different! The previous years they had a haunted hayride. I was sad to see that go but it was replaced by Zombie paintball which was so much fun! You get to ride in a bus and shoot zombies in the dark! What is more fun then that? I also loved the addition of Bonzo's Craft Beer Garden. On certain nights they allowed free craft beer samples of your choice! They had all the fall favorites beers (pumpkin, Oktoberfest, ciders, etc)
It takes alot to scare me honestly. That is why I love engaging in all Halloween and Haunted events every year. I will say this the house: Infected: Ground Zero honestly got me. They took me away and put me in a body bag and I was not expecting that. Definitely gave me the spooks. Also there Deadwoods house is always a hit because you have to walk through the forest into separate shacks. Up there on the creepy level. I actually loved the Rage 3D clown house and I am terrified of clowns. I took a video below so you can get a sneak peek through the eyes of me going through the house.
Scream-A-Geddon killed it again and hit it out of the park. This will always be one of my favorite haunted attractions and not just in the state of Florida. I highly recommend if you want that outdoor, spine tingling haunted thrill! Also the event is super affordable with tickets starting at $30.
This was my first time at Fright Nights but have heard great things about it. Fright Nights is an annual Halloween event that occurs at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, Florida. The event featured 4 haunted houses (Sunny Shores Hotel, Deadtime Stories, Cuckoos Nest 3, El Orfanato), scare zones, midway rides, food vendors, video games, street performers and live entertainment.
I was super surprised how amazing there houses were. The make-up was some of the best I have ever seen and so were the costumes. I was even able to go behind to the scenes to see all of the characters getting ready before they entered the houses. It was truly an amazing experience. Also there houses had some virtual reality in them which is something I have never experienced before. Very creative and from what I hear they get better every year.
The virtual reality nailed the scace factor in the Cuckoos Nest 3. Towards the end of the house it feels like you are wading through water. You can not see anything around you and out of no where clowns come out of the water and try to attack you. Truly terrifying since it is the unkown. I also loved Deadtime stories...take fair tales and demons mix them together and you have this house. Honestly all of the houses were super creative. I was very impressed.
Fright Nights did an amazing job. I was not expecting it to be as great as it was! Probably only thing I would have changed was have some scare characters out in the midway while people are enjoying food and the rides. Tickets are very affordable as well which is great. Starting from $30 and for an additional $5 you can get RIP (aka VIP) front of the line access to all the houses. The houses were fabulous, makeup/costumes were some of the best I have ever seen and I will definitely be back again next year.
Howl-O-Scream is held every year at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This year was there 20 years of fear! I hadn't been in a few years since I moved to Sarasota, Fl. So I was very excited to check it out. I was invited for there Media/VIP opening party and it did not disappoint. We started off with snacks and cocktails in our own private area for 2 hours before we explored the park. This year was 6 Haunted Houses (The Residence, Death Water Bayou, Insomnia, Motel Hell, The Black Spot, Simon's SlaughterHouse), scare zones, Halloween inspired shows, all of the rides were up and running in Busch Gardens and of course all of the delicious food and drinks to pick from.
I loved the different options for houses this year. Howl-O-Scream is one of the big dog haunts so you expect a great outcome. I thought the houses were better than the years before that I had been. I loved Death Water Bayou it had a great spooky voodoo feel. I also thought Simon's Slaughterhouse was great..they actually pumped the house full of bbq flesh smell so it was quite disturbing.
I didn't find any of the houses to be truly frightful. I did think they were all very creative and all had great themes. I also thought the scare-zones were really well put together! Everyone was in character and helped with the scary atmosphere walking to your next destination.
I thought Howl-O-Scream did a great job. As always it is awesome to have the rides going so you can do that in-between all of the haunted houses. Only con is price but if you are looking at the big picture it is super affordable! The prices range from $29 to $70 depending on what day you go. This includes your entrance into the park and access to all of Busch Gardens. So to me that is a great deal especially if you don't get to go to Busch Gardens alot..you can make a whole night of it!
Sir Henry's Haunted Trail
This was my first year at Sir Henry's Haunted Trail. I was super excited to check them out!
Sir Henry's Haunted Trail is an outdoor haunted trail located in Plant City in the heart of central Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Sir Henry's offers several different experiences for guests to satisfy their Halloween and haunted house cravings. They feature 3 haunted trails (The Harvester, Reaper's Haunting, The Breed), an escape game, laser tag and food/drink vendors.
I loved how this was out in the woods like a few of my other favorite haunts. It helped add to the spookiness which was great. All of the houses were outside and in-between shacks to walk through. There is something about feeling like you are in a real haunt and Sir Henry's Haunted Trail does exactly that.
I loved the The Harvester house! The costumes were awesome and very creative. They had people crawling on top of the houses and cages which was a super scare. Definitely did not expect that. The breed also had a giant gator in the house and a virtual pond that you had to walk through which was so fun! There houses definitely kept you on your toes the whole time.
I thought Sir Henry's did an awesome job! It was definitely spooky and well thought out. Tickets are very affordable and start at $25 and go up to $50 if you want front of the line access to all of the houses. I could tell they put a ton of thought into each house and scare characters. I highly recommend checking them out.
Halloween Horror Nights - Orlando
I have been going to Halloween Horror Nights since 2000 and have never missed a year. That being said I will probably be one of there harshest critics when it comes to the event every year. I was present years before when they had the event held in both parks (island of adventures/universal). If you haven't been in the past it is held at Universal Orlando and ranges from 7 to 9 haunted houses, most rides are open and the regular food/drink vendors with some Halloween specials. They also used to have Bill and Ted's Live Show but that has been replaced with some other shows this year.
I was pretty disappointed this year on the houses. That being said they hit the nail on the head with mirroring certain movies/tv shows which is what Universal is known for. Stranger Things house had actors that looked just like the shows and the sets were great. The Ghostbusters house brought back alot of nostalgia for me and the sets were right on and so were the actors. Same goes for the US house and Killer Clowns house. I wouldn't say they were original or creative since they are based off the actual movies and they had something to guide them with ideas but I did feel they were really well put together.
I feel Universal Halloween Horror Nights has stemmed away of what the event is supposed to be about. Which is horror and scares. I feel that it is more kid friendly than ever before and focusing souly on movies and tv shows which is what we get on a regular day trip to the park at Universal Orlando. Years in the past were Jack The Clown, Horror icons like Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Michael Myers and even highlights of terrifying movies/tv shows like The Purge or The Exorcist. This years event was far from a scare which was disappointing but if you are looking for some nostalgia or feeling like you walked right into a movie or tv show you will love this years event. Just do not expect any creativity or scares.
The biggest problem Halloween Horror Nights is having is the price for what you get. Every year I get a regular admission and fast pass and every year the price goes up a ton. This year for my husband and I to go on a Friday and have fast passes was almost $600. That is ridiculous and I am a pass holder for Universal. If you are unfamiliar about fast passes if you go on a regular busy night to Halloween Horror Nights and do not have a fast pass you will be waiting up to 3 hours or more for entry into a house. With a fast pass your max wait is 30 minutes which means you are able to get everything done in one night. I am hoping Universal wakes up because there are so many competitors and more well open in years to come. It is all about Halloween and fun scares not breaking the bank and being disappointed. Will I go next year? Honestly this year may be my last year. It will all depend on the haunted houses announced and the prices of fast passes because paying $160 a fast pass is ridiculous, especially for the quality you will get in return.
Dark Horizon is one of Orlando's newest haunted attractions! From the minds behind the terrifying Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in California this is now there second location. 3 Haunted Houses (Ghostship, Murder Island, The Glades), the adult-centered Dark Horizon also featured themed bars, stage shows, a DJ dance party, a 4D theater experience and a VIP lounge. There is even a hidden bar that if one of the scare characters hands you a coin you will be able to enter.
Where do I start? I was so surprised on how fun Dark Horizon was! The houses were super creative! There is even a house where they make you walk the plank and that means you get to slide down a fun pirate ship slide! Dark Horizon also utilized virtual reality to make the houses even spookier. Also there were so many fun bars throughout the park that you had plenty of options for delicous drinks. Also reasonably priced and strong! Like I said above there was a hidden bar you could only access with a coin and our bartender was so fun! Everyone did shots together and it was kind of like a secret club! Also I loved the intro into the event. It featured there three main characters from each of the mazes, Bloody Ed Watson, Captain Killigrew and the Voudou Priestess.
They made me jump a few times and if you know me that is hard to do! I loved the eery feel of all the houses. There was no safe zones in Dark Horizon so you had scare characters walking by you at all times! They were all in character and make the experience even more fun.
Dark Horizon nailed it and was such a fun time! The houses were very well put together. Also tickets are super affordable. Prices range from $34 to $39 with options to upgrade to Evil Express for front of the line access. Terrifying pirates and serial killers which makes this haunt stand out in a different category since there is nothing like it in Florida. It also is definitely more aimed for adults with all of the different bar options which was a nice change. This haunt is definitely here to stay and if you love haunted attractions make sure this one is on your list.
It was such much fun traveling around Florida to check out all of the Haunted Attractions and help review them for my followers. If you are a Florida Haunt and I missed you this year..shoot me an email and I will make sure to get you on my schedule for Next years Halloween line-up.
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