Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Holy Land! - Page 114
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
I Guess Donkeys Are Okay
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Gender: None specified

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby mavman » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:31 am

Really entertaining read and photos, but I do have one comment. You make alot of comparisons with the other Wonderworks and I have to wonder if it was a cheesy rip off because you had already done it before as that seems to be your main complaint.

While you make a great case for avoiding it altogether, would someone that has an afternoon to kill and $25 blowing a hole in their pocket have that lousy a time here if they had never done it?

Just my two cents and you got me to join just to comment! Loved the pics and humour though and look forward to more adventures!

He's kind of sad and pathetic
User avatar
 
Posts: 4526
Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Gender: Male
Age: 45

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby BarryH » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:49 pm

IMHO, there are a lot of small things to do at Orlando for $25 other than WonderWorks. I would do the Titantic Exhibit over WonderWorks. Even go to Gatorland!

Permanent Tourist
User avatar
 
Posts: 1863
Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Location: Orlando
Gender: Male
Age: 47

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Electerik » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:41 am

mavman wrote:Really entertaining read and photos, but I do have one comment. You make alot of comparisons with the other Wonderworks and I have to wonder if it was a cheesy rip off because you had already done it before as that seems to be your main complaint.


Yeah, possibly. I was hoping that at least some of the exhibits would be different, but they weren't. And then there were fewer of them, and they were (mostly) less good. So, yes, someone else who had never been to the other one might certainly like it. But while I made the choice early on to provide my own biased opinions along with the photos, I'd like to think that people could still use the photos to come to a different conclusion.

Actually, if you look back at some of the earlier updates in the other thread, you'll see more of an effort on my part to be neutral and "unbiased." But that got boring pretty quickly.

In any case, I feel honored that you signed up to TPR just to comment in our little thread!
Erik Allen Elness

Image

Permanent Tourist
User avatar
 
Posts: 1863
Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Location: Orlando
Gender: Male
Age: 47

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Electerik » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:42 am

It can't really be said that I am a Halloween-event enthusiast. I'm not into horror movies at all, I'm the exact opposite of jumpy, I'm not in my mid-twenties, and I don't particularly like being drunk. So when I do attend these things, I'm more interested in the scenic and architectural aspects of it--the theming, if you will--and the way the park puts it together, than in being scared or grossed-out. Over the years, I've been to Knott's Scary Farm, and both USH's and UO's Halloween Horror Nights, but this was my first visit to Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream.

Comparing one event to another seems rather pointless to me, though, as they're all (at least, in my view) far more similar than different. Having said that, I will be reviewing each of the houses and scare zones, pointing out what I liked and what I thought could have been better.

01P9250650.jpg
The Nairobi Gate is used, for a few hours, to let in Howl-O-Scream guests while the regular day guests exit out. Once all the day guests are out, Howl-O-Scream attendees then enter in through the main gate. Or at least I think that's what was going on. If you're visiting Busch Gardens during the day and attending Howl-O-Scream, you are given a wrist band so that you won't be swept out with the other day guests at 5:00pm.


02P9250651.jpg
This year's event theme is some band I've never heard of called My X (or, possibly, Sylvie My X). Honestly, I'm still only about 90% sure that this *is* a real band outside of Howl-O-Scream, but whatever. The point is that references to this not-particularly-evil-seeming rock band are everywhere. Which is good, really, as it did give the event a bit more cohesion than I was expecting.


03P9250653.JPG
VIP Check-In


04P9250654.JPG
The main gate. I'm guessing they just use the same Howl-O-Scream sign every year, so no reiteration of the theme here.


08P9250685.JPG
Smisty shows off the park/event map. I guess that's Sylvie on there, leader of the possibly-real rock band, My X.


10P9250657.JPG
The old label store, which I think was selling stuffed animals and the like of late, has been transformed into a Howl-O-Scream store, which is open all day. Seems like a good idea to me; Event goers get their own store, and it's basically advertising for the event during the day.


12P9250658.JPG
This store may be too intense for some shoppers. No nurse is present. Shop at your own risk!


13IMGP7302.JPG
The inside.


14P9250659.JPG
You know what would have been a better band to theme this event around? Dio. (Actually, I'm sure there are lots of better choices, but Dio is clearly the best one.)


22P9250666.JPG
"Buy some crap left over from last year, or this guy will bite his own arm!"


26P9250668.JPG
Teddy Scares. Yeah....


30P9250671.JPG
Now which way?


40IMGP7316.JPG
These guys sat up on the second floor landing of the Katonga building and told bad jokes and insulted people. Which might have been cool if it were live. But it was, instead, obviously just a recording. "Hey, check out that guy in the red shirt. He's so ugly, he got robbed, and the robbers made him wear the mask!"


42P9250751.JPG
While I can't say I was terribly impressed with any of the scare zones, this was the stupidest one I've ever seen. "Light of Doom." It consisted of white and blue statues of non-scary things, light, a bit of fog, and slow-moving, non-verbal scare-actors in easy-to-see white robes. Hey, BGT, you know what's scarier than statues of cows and non-threatening humans that I can see? ANYTHING.


48P9250749.jpg
This house was called "Death Row Vengeance No Escape." Honestly, it was pretty standard. The best part was a short trip through the cell block near the end, which had me wondering why we didn't do a lot more of that, instead of traipsing around through the prison kitchen and such. There was also a nice electric chair scene, which I expected to be a dummy, but instead was a live actor who mimed being electrocuted, and then jumped out of the chair and chased people.


49P9250735.JPG
This scare zone is called "Crazed Love," and was also very odd thematically.


50P9250738.JPG
Yes, marriage can be terrifying. Especially if you're still young.


51IMGP7379.JPG
See, it's scary because his head's come off.


52P9250747.jpg
And then some droogs slide at you. Actually, these guys were pretty cool. They've gotta be sore as hell by the end of the night, though.


55P9250732.JPG
Oh-we-oh, Oooo-oh.


54P9250755.JPG
Hey look, a Schwarzkopf!


56P9250756.JPG
Games of (s)Kill, get it? Same games as during the day, but harder because of fog.


58P9250725.JPG
I think this is my favorite photo in this update, as Sesame Street is transformed into "Trapped In The Walls: Ghostchasers" via the changing of a sign.


60IMGP7361.jpg
In this house, you're chased by a wild mouse. (Actually, that would be really cool.)


61P9250729.JPG
An interesting thing that seemed to occur at multiple houses, was that if there was a cool-looking facade, it was probably the exit.


62P9250757.JPG
As for the house itself, it was okay, but I think they really missed an opportunity here. It's supposed to be like one of those ghost hunter shows (which are retarded, by the way), and it starts out very clean and scientific. But then, instead of being something modern and unsettling, it quickly degenerates into darkness, scream masks, and funhouse mirrors.


64P9250715.JPG
Note to self: Must return here later. [*Spoiler* We never do. Still kicking myself.]


65P9250716.JPG
"DEDer: Extreme Rush" is located back behind Tanganyika Tidal Wave, in what my friend Robert informs me was once Orchid Canyon.


67P9250774.JPG
This house was themed to evil sorority girls, yet was somehow not that good. I guess they had kidnapped some frat boys and were torturing them or something? I don't know, they sort of lost me when one of the actors shouted, "Help me, they're twisting my nipples!"


70P9250761.JPG
This was the best scare zone of a rather weak foursome: "Road Trip."


72P9250766.JPG
This one was interesting because there were actual victims asking for our help. Which is a cool idea, although there was nothing you could really do except feel bad for walking away. This also quickly became tiresome as it then started popping up everywhere. "Help me, don't leave me here!" Well, okay, what would you like me to do? :p It honestly just became annoying after a while. But it was kind of cool the first time.


73P9250760.JPG
Decor near the Bengal Bistro.


75P9250765e.jpg
I have spliced two photos together here in order to save Robb & Elissa some bandwidth. The top shows the (mostly) re-themed Bengal Bistro menu; The bottom shows the "cups of worms."


76P9250759.JPG
"Taste of Blood: A Different Vein" was about vampires in the subway. The first two-thirds were fairly standard, but the last third or so was really good! I think the key to a good "scare" is misdirection. People know there are going to be scary things, so they expect them. So what you need to do is to get them focused on the wrong thing, and then come in from the side. For example, in this house they had a really cool floating 'master of ceremonies' type vampire. And while you were staring at him, trying to figure out how they were making him float, some of his previous victims, who were strewn around on the ground, under his feet, popped up at you.


78P9250781.jpg
Our last scare zone is "Spiders & Snakes," and boy is it lame.


79P9250782.JPG
This guy's big line was, "I'm a web designer." Really.


80P9250783.JPG
There's not much more terrifying than obviously-rubber snakes.


81P9250784.JPG
"Hey honey. You wanna get freaky with me and my snake? Five dollars." Okay, she didn't really say that. Instead, the actors here said things like, "Help, there's a snake on me!"


82P9250796.JPG
Though the midways often seemed very crowded, we were able to do all the houses, with time to spare, and never waited more than about 20 minutes or so. The one house we didn't do was "Alone," as it was a $35 upcharge. Why? Well, because you go through it alone. Which sounds okay, I guess. Although, aren't these things really more about the shared experience? Or is that just me? (Also, 'Minotaur Storage' is, like, the stupidest name for anything ever.)


83P9250785.JPG
I suppose this was the marquee house, "My X: Revenge Rocks." Along the queue, there were fuddy-duddy actors protesting the band, giving this house a themed queue! Of course, I assumed the band itself would be playing here in Gwazi field, but instead they were set up on a little stage in the midway. So maybe they're not that big, after all.


85P9250794.JPG
As for the house itself, it had some different sort of sets and some interesting ideas. My favorite was a make-up mirror that revealed a scare-actor behind it. But it was too far away to really be scary. Still, a ghost trapped in a mirror would have been awesome for "Trapped in the Walls." There was also an actor that swung a sandbag over our heads. But, again, that probably would have been more effective if you couldn't see the actor, and the sandbag just came out of nowhere. This house also had a soundtrack, which was the music of My X. Thankfully, it was audible, but not earsplitting. Lots to admire about this one, just not very scary.


88P9250797.JPG
Club X was basically just a nightclub. No charge, but you do have to be 21 or older to get in.


89P9250801.JPG
Inside, there's a bar, a dance floor, and a stage with some goth types dancing on it.


91P9250805.JPG
"Nightshade Toys: Son of Nightshade" was our favorite house of the night.


92P9250806.JPG
It's a creepy toy factory! Little dolls pee on you, walls are lined with teddy bears, scare-actors say effed-up things like, "Don't tell daddy," and it ends with a spinning tunnel. Awesomeness.


90P9250803.JPG
Nearby--and, really, in the wrong area--is this photo op with girls from the DEDer house. Amusingly enough, the extremely drunk dudes in this photo were reluctant to get their picture taken with the sorority girls because they were afraid it would make them look gay. Well, there's drunk logic for you.


94P9250807.JPG
"Deconstruction" was probably my least favorite house, and due to all the construction in the area, the hardest to get to. I guess the theme is, like, a doctor who does horrific surgery or something? It seemed to be mostly a gore house. Which brings me to this: Most of the "monsters" in all of these houses said really stupid things. (With the exception of Nightshade Toys, where it was kind of cool.) "Where's your ticket?" is not scary. The mad doctor wandering around confused saying, "Where are my tools?" is not scary. Just yell and make incoherent noises! The worst was monsters in almost every house saying, "Keep moving." I mean, isn't that the opposite of what a monster should want me to do? Anyway....


95P9250808.jpg
I did like this advertisement in the queue. (Which was really just Akbar's queue.)


97P9250819.JPG
Yes, it's the terror of not being able to get back in once you leave. (And Robert finally makes his first Oddventure appearance.)


99P9250823.jpg
Goodbye, Howl-O-Scream. Despite the lameness of your scare zones, and the drunken idiots that naturally go along with these types of things, we had fun. Lines were manageable, and the houses were pretty good. Plus, the band thing was actually a nice idea. (Except, you know, it should have been more Gwar and less Avril Lavigne.) We look forward to seeing what you come up with next year!
Last edited by Electerik on Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:56 pm.
Erik Allen Elness

Image

TPR's Hairstylist to the Stars!
User avatar
 
Posts: 1646
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Location: On the wagon...
Gender: Male
Age: 34

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby piers » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:05 am

Howl O Scream is so amusing, I like that they add little words to the houses each year and reuse them as if they are new..
Speaking of which, when you mentioned a lot of the exits looked great, thats because after they have repeated the houses for a number of years they make you go through backwards to make you think it is something new, therefore the exit was originally the entrance!

I'm a know-it-all about donkeys!
User avatar
 
Posts: 205
Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Location: Coventry UK
Gender: Male
Age: 48

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby mousch » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:13 pm

Great Report, as for the band i have to agree Dio is an excellent choice!
Image

Donkeys give me orgiastic scream!
User avatar
 
Posts: 119
Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Gender: Male
Age: 38

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby beyondthepalace » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:19 pm

We went on opening night since a few of my family have the Platinum pass (they got in free) and I had a nice discount ticket waiting for me. As mentioned before, not long lines made the evening. Also mentioned before is the fact they recycle a lot of their houses year to year. We now try to go every other year so with a a few exceptions, we get new experiences.

I've gone pantless!
User avatar
 
Posts: 33048
Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Location: In the lair of the Huge Hummel Boy (which is conveniently located near Williamsburg, Va.)
Gender: Male
Age: 57

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby cfc » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:51 pm

piers wrote:Howl O Scream is so amusing, I like that they add little words to the houses each year and reuse them as if they are new..
Speaking of which, when you mentioned a lot of the exits looked great, thats because after they have repeated the houses for a number of years they make you go through backwards to make you think it is something new, therefore the exit was originally the entrance!


BGW does this, too. They've swapped the entrances and exits of three of their mazes over the last few years. I give BGT credit for trying to come up with a new "icon" each year.
Image
Image

I Guess Donkeys Are Okay
 
Posts: 13
Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Gender: Male
Age: 44

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby bradw73 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:47 pm

I think you get a shirt if you make it out of "Alone" alone.

Macaroni and Donkey
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Gender: None specified

Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Gambit » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:53 pm

Has anyone out there done 'Alone'? I would love to hear about it and how it's different from other mazes. Also,l I think you have the option of going in with 3 friends. But, wow, $35 is STEEP!!!!

PreviousNext

Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.

cron