It’s that spooky time of year again, where theme parks prepare the scares and dress up their parks with pumpkins and spooky filled lighting. Thorpe Park is no exception and it was very nice to visit the park for their Fright Nights media event.
This year is different for the park as they have teamed up with AMC to produce 2 new scare attractions to their line-up, The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare and The Walking Dead: Sanctum. Also back this year for Fright Nights is The Big Top – a firm favourite among many enthusiasts, Platform 15 which was new for last year and SAW Alive.
Overall, I must say I was impressed with the whole event. Once the sun goes down, the park really does take on a new atmosphere in the dark. It was nice to see more lighting rigs around the park as well as smoke effects in different areas. It’s even more fun after dark when you interact with the roaming actors. This year, Negan’s Saviours are out in force, looking for their next victims. Will you escape their clutches whilst walking around park?
It is always nice and refreshing having some new additions to the current line-up of scare mazes. As much as I will miss Cabin in the Woods as that was a firm highlight over the last few years at Fright Nights, I was very much looking forward to seeing what Thorpe Park would achieve with The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare
The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare is Thorpe Park’s new scare attraction that is in the old Cabin in The Woods area, at the back of the X building. I thought it was visually stunning, the set pieces are very well constructed. If you have watched The Walking Dead series, you will recognise a lot of scenes from each season and you may bump into Negan and Lucille. There were some good jump scares however there is room for improvement in terms of the actors using the space. It is early days as I’m sure once the actors get into their roles and learn all the different areas to hide, there should be some good scares to come!
The Walking Dead: Sanctum
The Walking Dead: Sanctum is Thorpe Park’s second new scare attraction that is based outdoors. You can find this located on Swarm Island. I found this to be quite short and underwhelming, and I’d recommend doing when it is dark. Granted the actors made good use of the space and interacted with the guests – at one point, I was taken to a bloodied trough and had my head ‘chopped off’. This level of interaction is great in my eyes, makes the scares more personal. Once you travel through the attraction, winding past theming and props, and bumping into the locals, it almost ended as soon as it began which for me left me feeling like I wanted more.
For me, these are two great new additions for Fright Nights. I am looking forward to seeing how these progress throughout the event, hopefully with more scares and interactions.
The Big Top
The Big Top scare maze has by far been one of my favourite mazes, last year was a great year but this year they have really stepped up their game with a new route in the strobe section of the maze and alternate directions. Yes, you may get lost or go around in the circles! It is disorientating but you do eventually find the way out. The mirror maze makes a return which is nice to see, definitely get the sense that they want you to get lost! My favourite part is always the sound of a chainsaw whilst you are walking around. Seeing the fear in other people as they try to figure out when the actor is going to leap out with their chainsaw, I love it! Slowly but surely, I am getting used to chainsaws in mazes and being able to walk past without feeling scared.
As for Platform 15 and SAW Alive, they were pretty much the same as before. There are some improvements made to Platform 15 which really gives the actors more room to scare you. I was very impressed! Yet I still find both these attractions underwhelming. Whether that is down to me becoming used to scare attractions at Thorpe Park and knowing the tricks that actors will use to scare me, or I’m not that scared of scare mazes in general – which probably isn’t the case as I do get very scared of new scare attractions that I have never done before – fear of the unknown and all that jazz.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Thorpe Park Fright Nights and will be returning on my weekends. Purely for the experience of going through the mazes and seeing how different each run-through is in the mazes. Granted there are improvements to be made but I’m sure they’ll come with time.
The event is running from:
6th/7th/8th October | 13th/14th/15th October | 20th to 31st October
So if you haven’t visited, I would definitely suggest you make a trip to Thorpe Park for Fight Nights!
I would like to thank James at Theme Park Guide for allowing me to come along for the Media Event. Check out their review of Fright Nights here: http://themeparkguide.biz/reviews/event/1350
Next stop on my journey for Halloween events is Tulleys Shocktober Fest on Friday 13th November of all days. I am really looking forward to visiting but at the same time, quite nervous as I’m very much aware that the mazes are on a completely different level to the mazes at the Merlin theme parks. Wish me luck, and if I survive, you will find a review of Tulleys coming soon!