Halloween is becoming big business for theme parks and we have photo reports from two such Halloween events this week. SummerInFL brings us photos from Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Then we visit Universal Studios Hollywood with MiceChatter Coaster Matt and get a look at their Halloween Horror Nights event.

We continue our Beautiful Baltic adventure with Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams this week. Our destination is Helsinki, Finland.

Did you ever wonder what a weekend of pampering might be like at one of those tony SoCal beach resorts? CaptPhoebus shares his luxury weekend at the St. Regis Monarch Beach with us in a very unique photo essay.

We wind up this week's Weekend Update with some fun images of vintage Halloween postcard images.

Thanks for visiting the Weekend Update!

Howl O Scream
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Every year we try and attend Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL and this year was no exception. This years theme was of course "vampires".

The story behind this year's theme is a woman named Ms. Vayne who uses her job as a fashion designer as a means to eat her audience at fashion shows.

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Ms. Vayne

After the blood starts flying...

They have a new house based on a sorority house gone wrong, its called DeD. Cute huh?

I thought I would pledge, it went well I think!

One of the many scare zones.

This one was themed after werewolves.

"The Messengers return to claim another 13 victims. This year they are out to feast on human flesh."

"Evil pollutes the walls of a house that can let go of its horrible history."

You can also get your photo taken with the vampires as well, it was the end of the night and I was not in the picture taking mood but they were happy to accommodate a photo.

We managed to hit all 7 houses and got home and into bed around 1:30 a.m. If you are ever in the Tampa Bay area this time of year I highly recommend this event, that is, if you have the courage for it.

Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Hollywood

MiceChatter CoasterMatt made multiple trips to Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights this year and shares these photos with the Weekend Update.

Halloween Horror Nights is renowned for its elaborate stage shows:

Bill & Ted Party On!!!!

Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute

And here are some random photos from this special event:

Lest anyone think that this is a relatively tame event, you should know that I edited out most of the more gruesome photos (think blood).

Looking for up-to-date reports from Disneyland
including photos, gossip, park schedules and more?

Visit these MiceChat columns each week:

Andy Castro's Dateline Disneyland

David DarkBeer Michael's In the Parks

Helsinki, Finland

We're coming to the end of our Beautiful Baltic adventure. We have just a few stops left. This week we visit Helsinki, Finland.

Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the southern part of Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, by the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is 579,016, making it the most populous municipality in Finland by a wide margin.

Helsinki, along with the neighbouring cities of Vantaa (Vanda), Espoo (Esbo), and Kauniainen (Grankulla), constitutes what is known as the capital region, with over 1,000,000 inhabitants. The Greater Helsinki area contains 12 municipalities and has a population of over 1,300,000.

Helsinki is Finland's capital for business, education, research, culture, and government. Greater Helsinki has eight universities and six technology parks. Some 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region. The immigration of rural residents has made it one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Europe.

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St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
Orange County, California

CaptPhoebus allows us to join him on a luxurious weekend at the St. Regis Resort.

This week, I'm taking a little break from the usual theme park and unique attractions reporting to bring you a more relaxing type of article. Located only 26 miles away from Disneyland Resort, the St. Regis Monarch Beach is a hidden oasis in the suburban jungle that is Orange County. Here are a few pics I took at a recent visit to this lavish resort, which don't even begin to show justice to this resort, in terms of style and service.

Monarch Beach is an Orange Coast community in Orange County, California located within Dana Point. Its distinction is the St. Regis and the Ritz Carlton-Laguna Niguel which are beachside resorts located within the town of Monarch Beach. It consists of many residences, but is also a tourist attraction for the rich and famous travelers.
Monarch Beach is named after its most prominent Geological feature "Monarch Bay" aptly named as its rolling hiils of Sagebrush and Manzanita were once a breeding ground for the Monarch Butterfly. The Butterflies are no longer seen there in the once large masses as their habitat has been replaced by a largely urban landscape.
Monarch beach was also the location of the famed Nixon Interviews.

Captivating by nature, The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort stands along the pristine shores of the majestic Pacific Ocean. Experience the only California resort crowned with the Mobil Five-Star, Five-Diamond Award. This award-winning coastal retreat features an 18-hole golf course, 30,000-square foot Spa Gaucin and six ocean-view restaurants including celebrated chef Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern. The address is the experience. The destination is beyond expectation.

Fountain at Entrance


Lobby and Lounge Area

Grand Staircase

Walking around the Resort

View from the Sunset Terrace

Resort at Night

Botanical Gardens

Room Amenities

View from one of the Rooms

Private Beach


And that brings us to the end of another week. Our photographers have just enough time to reload their cameras before we see you all again next weekend. Thank you to all of our wonderful readers, and as always, a huge thank you to our amazing team of global photographers, spies, and gossips:

Denise nbodyhome Preskitt (mousesteps.com)
sir clinksalot
Ian Parkinson and Richard Williams
Abominable Snowman
Jack Hollywood 1939 Wixom

Special thanks to guest photographer CoasterMatt.

Your Editor - Rixter

Where have YOU been recently? We invite you to share your photos of theme parks or any other destination that may be of interest to our readers. Please feel free to contact me via MiceChat Private Message (screen name Rixter)
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