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Opinion: Howl-O-Scream Orlando is a perfect Halloween date night

by Tharin White

There are a lot of options for Halloween fans in Central Florida. There are the large-scale events, like Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. There are smaller haunts and scares. There are local bars and restaurants that do themed food. So, why do I think that SeaWorld Orlando’s Howl-O-Scream is the perfect date night?

Howl-O-Scream overview image with shows, scare zones and rides.

Before I get attacked by the super-fans of Disney or Halloween Horror Nights, do know I love them both. Each major Orlando Halloween event is great in its own way. But, for a couple looking for night of fun, scares, food, and drink, I think SeaWorld Orlando’s Howl-O-Scream offers a really enticing package.

Pricing

When it comes to price, SeaWorld has Universal and Disney beat. Disney’s event, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, had tickets ranging from $109 to $199, per person, per night (they are now entirely sold out of their 2022 year). Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights has season passes and single day tickets, these range from $80 to $325. Whereas SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream offers season passes and single day tickets, ranging from $40 to $170. From those numbers alone, you can see why pricing can be a major sway in SeaWorld’s direction.

Now, there are other local haunts, bars, restaurants and dinner shows that also offer a date night offering at a similar price. But, that is where we get to the experience portion.

Howl-O-Scream 2022 park map.
Click the map for a larger image you can save

Experience

SeaWorld Orlando’s Howl-O-Scream holds the price of smaller haunts and dinner experiences, but offers a wide array of options to fill your night with. This year, Howl-O-Scream Orlando offers seven scare zones, five haunted houses, three shows, four rides and a multitude of food and beverage options. Even if you aren’t a Halloween fan, $40 for some of SeaWorld’s best rides, as well as access to the three shows, would be warranted enough for the price.

As a major thrill-ride enthusiast myself, being able to take on Mako, Manta and Ice Breaker, all while in the dark, is such an exhilarating experience. I have already visited the event this year, and wait times were minimal, certainly shorter than they are during most weekend days.


NEW Blood Beckoning Haunted House at Howl-O-Scream SeaWorld Orlando

Haunted Houses

What is a good scare event without some haunted houses? This year’s event bring backs some fan-favorites, as well as a new house, Blood Beckoning. Five haunted houses, each spread throughout the park, allow you to go from scream-to-scream as you enjoy your exploration around the park. Howl-O-Scream Orlando also sends guests in groups. While a group may stay together, you will not experience as much of a conga-line as you may have gotten at other events. This lets you get scared more often, and allows scareactors to make it more personal.


Eating Bugs At Howl-O-Scream SeaWorld Orlando #Shorts

Food and Drinks

I will be honest, I have now been to six different Halloween events in Orlando, each of them have offered good food or drink options. SeaWorld doesn’t go beyond anyone else in this aspect, but they do offer themed food and drink options you can enjoy. Unique this year, bug-covered food items. I myself will never order this, but perhaps you have always wanted to try bug options, or you like the scare challenge.

For drinks, it is pretty well known that SeaWorld doesn’t back away from alcohol options. Themed bars, like my favorite the Poison Grotto, have entertainment, food and haunt-specific drink options. There are a lot of bars, as well as roaming SeaWorld Ambassadors, offering drinks on the go.


Siren's Song Show Highlights Howl-O-Scream Orlando

Shows

There are three shows, each located in a different area of the park. The “Sirens Song and Monster Stomp” show are back, and appear to be the exact same show as last year. New this year is “Lurking in the Depths: An Adventurer’s Tale.” During my visit, I was a bit confused with this show, as it was a single-performer act that was mostly dialogue. But again, everyone has different opinions for shows. My personal favorite is “Monster Stomp: Slasher Alley,” as I enjoy the live singing, the theatrics as well as a place to sit down and rest in the AC.


Cargo Carnage Scare Zone at Howl-O-Scream Orlando at SeaWorld Orlando

Scare Zones

Seven scares zones, each with their own set pieces and theme. These areas allow you to walk through the fog. Whether you want to stay around for a spook is up to you. These scareactors won’t touch you, but they do get close. And beware, some of them slide on the ground, which tends to get a lot of screams from unprepared victims. These zones are fun to hang out in as well. You can watch the scareactors make their horrific magic as you enjoy a snack or drink.


Why choose SeaWorld Orlando’s Howl-O-Scream?

Ultimately, I think this event is great for casual Halloween or theme park fans. I won’t trick you and say this event is superior to the Disney magic of parades and fireworks shows, or that it can beat Universal’s absolutely massive horror event. But, I honestly believe that if you are looking for a fun night out, that includes scares, rides, drinks, food, and fun, that SeaWorld offers one of the best options you can find in Central Florida.

A couple can both visit Howl-O-Scream Orlando for the price of a single ticket at the other big options. This event is only two years old, so massive crowds and fans have not yet discovered and fallen in love with this option. That means more rides for you, better spots at the shows and shorter waits for the houses. The drink options are plentiful, and the food is all around the park. Parking is relatively easy, with a short walk to the entrance (parking fees do still apply). And, you can usually get this entire event done in a single night.

If you were on the fence about going to any Halloween events this year, or haven’t been to SeaWorld in a while, head to their website and see ticket options that may work for you. And, for those wondering, no we weren’t paid to do this article. But, it is categorized as an opinion article because it is simply that, an opinion. And one I hope you are able to use and discern your next date night with. Happy haunts!

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