One-Day Guide

We’ve provided a few tips to experience the best of Busch Gardens ® Williamsburg during the fall, in only one day. With fall fun during the day and Halloween scares at night, there is plenty for the entire family to do. If you can’t do everything on this list in one day/night, look into our Fall Fun Card, it is the best value and allows you to pay for a day and come back all fall.

Fun By Day

Monster Stomp™ on Ripper Row®

Our Halloween-themed shows are performed during the day and at night. If you want to be sure to see the shows and experience the frights of the haunted houses, catch the shows during daytime or reserve a seat for your favorite show. You won’t want to miss Fiends, Night Beats  or Monster Stomp ™ on Ripper Row ®.

Starfright Orchestra and Night Beats are our most family-friendly shows. Please use parental discretion when taking younger kids to Fiends or Monster Stomp on Ripper Row.

Experience the fall decor at Busch Gardens® Williamsburg

The fall décor at Busch Gardens is topnotch. Check out the pumpkins, take a load off on a hay bale and snap a selfie with a scarecrow during your stroll around the park during the day.

Alpengiest® in the fall

The World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park is even better during fall. The leaves changeover around the end of October in Virginia and Busch Gardens becomes even more breathtaking. This part of the country is known for beautiful fall colors of maroon, orange, yellow, and red. Take a ride on a roller coaster through the fall leaves; you won’t be sorry you did.

Some of our spooky decorations are visible during the day, but our scare actors, dim lighting and fog will not start until 6 p.m.

The Count's Halloween Spooktacular

Looking for a fun family activity during the day? Get ready to dance and move each Saturday and Sunday in October, at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular (NEW for 2017). Kids nine and younger are invited to wear their favorite Halloween costume and participate in activities throughout the day, plus a parade with all of your favorite furry friends at 4:30 p.m. before the scares start at 6 p.m.

During those warm fall days, an ice cream treat will keep you amped up for a fun day and fright-filled night at the park. Try Mr. Karver’s favorite sundae* at Josephine’s Creamery De Chocolat to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Taste the latest pumpkin ales from local craft breweries

Taste the latest pumpkin ales from local craft breweries in Brauhaus Craft Bier Room. Special Oktoberfest brews* are available in this beer room located in Das Festhaus ®, along with a pretzel and a cheese plate* if you feel so inclined.

No Escape: Case of Mr. Karver

Think you can outwit the scare squad? No Escape*, a Busch Gardens escape room experience, is a new daytime and nighttime extra that challenges guests to think strategically to solve the case and escape the scare. Choose between the Case of Mr. Karver (with new tricks and riddles to solve) or the Case of the Haunted Hotel (NEW for 2017) located in Germany.


All eight world-class roller coasters, including the new wooden coaster InvadR , and other thrill attractions are operating during the fall months. Take a ride on Apollo’s Chariot ® or brave the Black Forest on Verbolten ® during the day for more fright at night.

Land of the Dragons® at Busch Gardens® Williamsburg

Sesame Street ® Forest of Fun  and Land of the Dragons ® are open for families with younger children (this includes all kid-friendly rides, like Grover’s Alpine Express) during the day. These play areas will close at 5 p.m. during Howl-O-Scream.

Beware, we advise anyone not ready for a scary experience to leave by 5:30 p.m. because the Howl-O-Scream haunts start at 6 p.m. and the exit in England becomes a scare zone (Ripper Row).

Although adults can’t wear a costume to the park, you can still transform into a spooky ghoul with special Halloween face painting* located at different kiosks around the park.

Learn how to survive Howl-O-Scream® at night

Don't like to be frightened? Check out our Scaredy-Cat's Guide to Howl-O-Scream. We'll share our tips on how to survive a whole night of scares.

Fright By Night

We have five immersive scare zones

There are five immersive scare zones (we refer to them as Terror-tories ™) located throughout the park. Each one is based on a different concept or theme and takes over an entire village of Busch Gardens. You never know what might be lurking in a corner. There are no lines to experience these, but lots of startles and scares as you pass through to the next Howl-O-Scream ® adventure.

Ripper Row ®
England area & park entrance/exit

Demon Street 
France area

Axe Alley 
New France area

Vampire Point 
Oktoberfest area

Sideshow Square 
Festa Italia area

There are seven themed haunted houses with scares and intricate storylines. All houses open at 6 p.m., except for Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge (so do that one first, around 5:30 p.m.).

We have seven themed haunted houses

Get Quick Queue® Unlimited* online or at the park for all-day unlimited priority access to select rides and all seven haunted houses. Enjoy early access to our newest attraction, FrostBite, plus receive other extras. See details for more information.

Here’s the best order to experience the haunted houses (in our opinion) without a Quick Queue:

Opens at 5:30 p.m. and entrance is near Eagle Ridge. You can go to this indoor house during daylight.

Fun fact: The scares in the hall of horrors, near the end of the house, were selected by our fans in 2015.

Entrance located near Coffee & Crepes in France (or Demon Street™). You can go to this indoor house during daylight.

Looking for the most unexpected haunts? Each time you visit this house, you’ll get a different experience because you never know where the scares will be.

Entrance located near the bridge from Germany to Oktoberfest. Catch this outdoor house when the sun goes down.

Beware of the mirror maze and try to navigate the corn stalks before it’s too late.

Entrance located at the exit of Cornered. Catch this outdoor house when the sun goes down.

This is the only house placed in the woods, with lots of sparks and loud noises (chainsaws).

Entrance located at the Curse of DarKastle building, across from Bloodhaus. You can go to this indoor house during daylight.

Those who date to walk through this fortress are exposed to a harrowing array of chilling elements. The cold is not the only bone-chilling resident of the castle, however. For the ice has teeth ... And this frost ... Bites.

Entrance located in the back of Festa Italia. Catch this outdoor house when the sun goes down.

Fun fact: One of the rooms in the house was chosen by our fans, Room Roulette. Thanks for the idea!

Entrance located at Escape from Pompeii. You can go to this indoor house during daylight.

The theming of this house is very complex; notice the wet mops, dripping ceilings and shaking ground.

Our Demon DJ will have a dance party on Demon Street each and every night. If you need a break from the scares and fun place to hang with friends, stop by and get your swerve on.

During Howl-O-Scream, we add a few bars to our everyday selection of beverages. Open CASKe t™, Pirate Baarrrgh ™, Inoculation Station, Demon Drinks & No Escape Bar all provide specialty drinks* to enjoy during your night of fright. There are trash cans placed throughout the queue lines, so grab a beverage and a snack to enjoy during your wait at a haunted house.

Never underestimate an evening coaster ride

Never underestimate an evening coaster ride. During Howl-O-Scream, there’s more variety within the park and lines for the coasters tend to be shorter. Happy riding.

* Additional fee is required. Guests must be 21 years or older to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.