Sea World San Diego is hosting is first ever Halloween event next month and I did a virtual interview with Sea World San Diego Vice President of Entertainment Randolph Borden to get all the details of this super exciting new event!
- Are you excited to be hosting your first ever Halloween event?
“We are extremely excited to be hosting Howl-O-Scream, our first ever nighttime Halloween event! This event complements our existing family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular event which takes place during the day offering trick-or-treating and other fun activities for younger guests. Then at night, the park will be transformed into the intense, horror-filled haunt that is Howl-O-Scream. We’re eager to now offer Halloween-themed fun for guests of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a special family event to celebrate with the kids or a terrifying party for mature audiences only, we now cater to both.”
- How will this event separate itself from the rest? How will it be unique?
“This Halloween event is the only one of its kind in San Diego as it offers guests all the terror of your typical Halloween event along with the thrilling rides and high-quality entertainment of a theme park. Guests will brave through our petrifying haunted houses and scare zones, and no one is safe with our eerie roaming haunts moving throughout the park. However, even amid so much horrifying mayhem, guests can enjoy nighttime rides on Electric Eel, Manta and Journey to Atlantis, amazing shows, dance parties with live DJs, and themed bars. ”
- Will there be live entertainment?
“In addition to the immersive scare zones, roaming haunts, haunted houses and rides,Howl-O-Scream will feature Vampire Circus, a high-energy, suspenseful live show that will leave guests in awe. In addition, our underground, steam-punk themed dance club, with its heart-pounding dance beats will become the ultimate hang and party zone, you’ll also find themed haunted bars throughout the park for spirited libations.”
- Will it be similar to the other Howl-O-Scream events at other SeaWorld entertainment parks?
“SeaWorld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream will be set-up similar to other Howl-O-Scream events at our sister parks, however we are offering unique themes at our park.
- How many mazes and scarezones will there be?
“We will have a total of three haunted houses, six scare zones and four roaming haunts that will wander throughout the park. Our three featured haunted houses include Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou and Simon’s Slaughterhouse. Each are guaranteed to give guests will a bone-chilling experience as they go face-to-face with our scare actors. Be sure to follow along on social at @HowlOScreamSD or #HowlOScreamSD to stay up to date on all the terror.”
- How much will tickets be?
“Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event for mature audiences with tickets now available for purchase on our website at http://www.howloscream.com/CA.”
- How long will the event run?
“The event will run from September 17 through October 31 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and select Thursdays.“
- Are you still hiring scare actors?
“Yes, we are still hiring for a variety of positions including scare squad performers, make-up artist, technicians and stage managers! For a limited time, the park is providing a $500 hiring bonus for applicants that secure a position for Howl-O-Scream and a $100 referral fee for employees that refer a friend or foe to join the Halloween crew. Seasonal positions are posted online at https://careers.seaworldparks.com.”
- What’s it like to design a maze? What is the thought process behind choosing each maze theme?
“Designing a maze, or in our case a haunted house, is an incredibly fun process, however it does require well thought-out planning. You must map out the way you want your guests to move through the house and devise ways to distract them so your scare actors can perform the best scare possible. We achieve that by placing a prop, installation or another scare actor to create the atmospheric scare. That said, you also must incorporate little nooks and areas where your scare actors can hide to execute the classic startle scare. For reference, the atmospheric scare is the scare that sets up the guest for the startle scare. Think of the atmospheric scare as the distraction, the person that will draw the guest’s attention away from the real scare, the person rocking in the corner, the creepy eye contact that a scare performer makes to pull the guests attention. The startle scare is just the opposite, it’s the scare that the guest doesn’t see coming or expect, the scare performer behind a drop door, or the one lurking in the bushes waiting for the right time to jump out. We chose the Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou and Simon’s Slaughterhouse themes for our haunted houses because we are playing on classic horror themes such as the gory slasher films, the mystery and supernatural nature of voodoo and the frightening mad scientist/doctor persona. These are classic haunt themes, genre’s that everyone will be familiar with, but we are putting our own spin on them so that there are unexpected surprises around every corner. All of our haunted attractions are designed by experts in the industry and some of the biggest haunt enthusiasts you’ll ever meet. We deliberately set out to create haunts that we ourselves would want to walk through! We’re really excited to welcome our fellow Halloween and haunt fans to what will surely become a yearly, must-experience event!
- Lastly, will the rides and attractions be open during the event?
“Yes! Our roller coasters Electric Eel, Manta and Journey to Atlantis will be open during the event.”