Find the biggest, best, and scariest haunted hayrides in FLORIDA. Florida has some of the biggest and best Hayrides some of which feature other attractions such as haunted houses. Most attractions which feature a hayride often times have other attraction that aren't scary especially if the attraction is a pumpkin patch. A Halloween family friendly attraction would probably feature a non-scary hayride and also might include corn mazes, pony rides, pick your own pumpkins and much more. There are two very different types of hayrides the scary and the non-scary. A scary haunted hayride will almost always feature other attractions from a haunted forest, haunted houses, to all sorts of scary zones meant to make people SCREAM! The big haunted hayrides almost always feature tons of live actors, amazing detail, sets, special fx, some feature pyro and much more. Make sure when you search for a haunted hayride you are specific in your search. There are also new types of haunted hayrides called Zombie Paintball hayrides which are interactive where guests shoot and kill Zombies from hayrides.Look in our Pick Your Own Pumpkin or Corn Maze directory to find the non-scary hayrides. But if you want non-stop thrills and edge of your seat chills look here on these pages or within our haunted house directory to find big over the top haunted hayrides.
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Busch Gardens Tampa Bays’ Howl-O-Scream:
Face Your Fear
Howl-O-Scream, presented at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, wins, in my opinion, being an overall top notch Halloween event. Every single detail was in place and I was not disappointed by anything that I saw there. This was the first year that I attended this event and I wasn’t expecting much, due to the fact that 99% of the people that I talk to here in Central Florida about Halloween always bring up Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. This event presented several live shows and six mazes. Each and every maze was extremely well done with attention to detail from the sets, lighting, costumes and sound. I was truly blown away with each and every maze.
The first maze, and one of the best I have been through, was Escape From Insanity. Our trip through “Sunny Meadows Asylum” begins in the reception room, where we are told by the head nurse, with her Tammy Faye makeup job, that we have been “expected”. We then travel outside of the asylum to see several inmates wondering around the dumpster and a hospital guard that has obviously had a bit too much coffee. We then enter the Asylum through a back door and are assaulted immediately with smells, sounds, and sets that are incredible. No detail was missed. Each and every scare was well thought out, coming from every direction. I noticed that the actors in all of the mazes at Howl-O-Scream are extremely well trained, as I never noticed one actor out of place, out of character, or simply just chatting with one another. Everything was very theatrical. We work our way though the kitchen, electrical rooms, medical wards and even the bathrooms as the crazed inmates and staff constantly assaulted us. Eventually, we hear that there is an escape attempt and that the facility has gone into lockdown. The atmosphere gets tenser and we see that the inmates have broken through a wall and are now roaming free outside amongst broken pipes and debris. We ourselves finally escape through a giant sewer pipe back into the safety of the park. This attraction, as well as all of the others had a COMPLETE story line that they stuck to and that you were able to follow throughout the entire maze. The ONLY complaint I have here at this maze was towards the end, when all of the inmates are supposedly going into lockdown, and the atmosphere is getting more tense, there were several dead spots where nothing much was happening. It needed just a little more “beef” towards the end to make it really climatic.
Ripper Row was another great example of story telling in a maze. We are transported back in time to the age of Jack the Ripper, as he is slashing his way through the alleyways of London. Again, sets, lighting, costumes and sound were all well implemented. Each and every time we saw Jack, he was accompanied by the sound of a church bell that gonged loudly, marking his presence. It was an excellent little touch that carried throughout the maze. The bar scene with the bartender sprawled out on top of the bar was a great scene, not because it was necessarily scary, but that it was very theatrical. The bartender, whom we presume is dead, makes a quick reach out to us as we pass by. As he is reaching up at us, Jack appears from behind the bar, shows us his knife, then proceeds to slash the bartenders throat at the same time that we hear his famous bell toll. Incredible timing on the part of the actors and the whole scene takes about four seconds. It doesn’t frighten, but it just adds that class and theatricality that I believe is important in an attraction.
The Mortuary was the next stop visiting The Reaper and Grimm Funeral Parlor and unfortunately, they haven’t been doing a good job of keeping the bodies in the ground. Again, the sets, costumes, lighting and sound were all excellent. The scares in here were probably the most thought out, and well executed. Actors dressed as flower pedestals, hiding in the Pipe Organ pipes, underneath piles of ashes, inside of staircases and hidden amongst the plethora of hanging corpses. You had no idea where any of it was going to come from. The ending was well done as we exit the Mortuary and end up in a cemetery, where a “preacher” is telling us HIS “gospel”. As we walk along the stacked up coffins, we keep our eyes on him, listening and watching, which is a great distraction for the five or six scareactors hidden amongst all the coffins and debris to give us one last startle before we exit.
The Scare Zones in this park were also well done, ranging from “Cursed” which had Witchdoctors, lepers, omens and superstitions abound, to the “Grisly Gardens” with monster plants and statues that if you pay attention, will move as you walk past. Very theatrical again, and the actors here did a great job. Whoever did the actor training for all of the mazes and the scare zones should win an award, for as I mentioned earlier, not one actor was out of place, or out of character.
The only complaint I have overall for Howl-O-Scream was the marketing. It was barely mentioned at all here in Central Florida, and if they want the numbers that they are expecting, they are going to have to get their name out there, and entice people to the park. They have an awesome product with Howl-O-Scream, and a lot of people don’t even know that it’s there, which is a shame. It’s a great event, and it needs to be publicized better.