PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - October is finally here and so is SCREAM-A-GEDDON. With several Tampa Bay haunted attractions canceling plans this year due to COVID-19, the Florida-favorite scare park is now open and safely serving spook-starved guests.
Park officials with SCREAM-A-GEDDON in Pasco County have figured out a way to give you the horrifically haunted time you've been waiting for - safely. SCREAM-A-GEDDON Marketing Manager, Winston McDaniel took time on opening day to give CW44's Andrea Alvarez a preview of the horrors in store.
"It is six haunted attractions, five haunted houses and one zombie paintball assault." Said McDaniel. Tucked back behind acres of farmland in Pasco County, this locally renowned scare park is celebrating their eighth year in business.
"Thousands and thousands of people come out, especially in the October month when everybody is really wanting to get spooked and scared," says McDaniel. And it's not just their way of figuring out how to operate safely during a pandemic that makes them different. "Two of our houses are actually interactive in which you can opt-in to experiencing the story of the house in a way or the actor will interact with you. They'll pull you away from your group, this year in a very socially-distanced way, without direct touching."
McDaniel explains, this year, the park is operating at 50% capacity, so the crowd will be cut down to half, allowing ample room for social distancing. "Our park sits on about 20 plus acres of space. So there's a lot of space outdoors, even a lot of the haunted houses that are 'indoors', a lot of the sections are still outdoors. They're just designed in a way to make it look like it's inside. We can afford to not send people into a large in a large conga line. Essentially, we send you through with just the group that you came with."
Anyone coming into the park is subject to a temperature check. And the same goes for mask requirements. McDaniel describes how they've cleverly integrated safety precautions without detracting from the experience. "We've given all of our monsters and clowns, its characters - themed masks to wear. We have staff members who are disinfecting heavily trafficked areas throughout the night that is their sole responsibility. And after we close for the evening, every single night the park goes through a disinfectant fogging."
Park officials still want to make the trip worth your time, so, new this year, and by popular request is Ravenhill Asylum. McDaniel recounts, "They said, 'we wanted you to put a an asylum into your park' so we said, 'Okay, let's do it'. It is a crazy, crazy time. It's a lot of fun. It's probably the most in depth house we've ever done."
The park is open now through November 1, 2020. Because the park is operating at 50% capacity this year, park staff is asking guests to buy their tickets online prior to arrival. You can find those tickets and park hours on their website.
©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
for more features.