Can you believe it? 2018 season is coming to an end this weekend. Halloween is over for another year and now I have to entertain myself for the closed season. It has been one hell of a season and for October, I have done a wide range of scare attractions and mazes – 51 to be exact. There have been highs and lows but it’s been a truly wonderful way to finish off the season (yes, I will be at the Alton Towers Fireworks but you know what I mean!)
So let’s crack on with all the events that I had the pleasure of visiting this 2018 season!
From the press event at the beginning of the month to my annual Halloween trip, there’s been plenty of laughs and scares along the way with Fright Nights. The fact that there were 7 mazes to choose from was incredible but at the same time, quality was lacking at times. Vulcan Peak and Living Nightmare were the weakest of the bunch whilst the highlight was The Walking Dead: Do or Die – nothing quite like having a chainsaw in the middle of the maze than as the finale. Atmosphere was incredibly lacking around the park unless you bumped into the roaming actors (The Big Top Showtime were my all-time favourite cast and I hope they all return next year!) In general, Fright Nights was one of the weaker events over the last few years. Hopefully things will pick up next year as it is a staple as part of my Halloween season.
After having a fantastic first visit to Tulley’s last year, I knew I had to return this year. I was kindly invited to their press event and it was still Tulley’s at its best. Not only are there 8 scare mazes to choose from, they are very solid mazes that provide plenty of jump scares. Considering you have a maze filled with chainsaws, that’s more than enough to cure your phobia of chainsaws. I have found my favourite mazes at Tulley’s have changed from last year – The Cellar was insane and very creepy! The roaming actors are always a right laugh and provide some great entertainment around the park. This is one event not to miss every Halloween season.
Now, I have heard some really good reviews of this place so I was really looking forward to trying out the mazes here. Unfortunately, I was left feeling truly disappointed and wondering if I had visited the same event as everyone else. I had a really good runthrough of Phobia Rebrith, purely down to the fact that a pitch black section of maze is enough to make me feel nervous, plus the most unique start to a maze I have seen with a coffin (only 2 people per coffin!) The rest of the mazes were weak in my opinion and I felt like I was missing all the jump scares or the actors were resetting for the next group. There wasn’t much of an atmosphere around the park – the fire show was great and the Freddie Mercury lookalike clown was bloody hilarious “I’m his good-looking brother!’ Unfortunately, it was a sold out night which meant long queues and I wish I purchased the fastrack. I would like to revisit here in the hopes that I will see the potential Fear at Avon Valley has but for now, this is one of the weakest scare events I have visited.
Chessington is one of my favourite theme parks, I grew up with the place and I have a true soft spot for the place. It was a given that I check out the Howl-O-Ween event for this year, especially after experiencing how awesome Creepy Caves Unearthed was. Chessington is always known for having some fantastic lighting around the park which means the photographer in me was grinning from ear to ear. It’s so amazing how each area is lit with a multitude of colours – no floodlighting rubbish! Creepy Caves Unearthed was incredibly intense, how this is at a childrens theme park, I’ll never know. I would personally say this is better than any of the mazes at Thorpe Park! The strobe maze and smoke is enough to throw you off course and into a wall… It was great and I hope this comes back next year! Curse of the Lost Tomb and Trick or Treat Wood were also solid additions to the line-up. I also have to make a huge mention to the Howl-O-Ween show and how incredibly fantastic it was – the songs, the dancing, the lead singers & cast, the costumes, it was everything you could possibly need in one 25 minute show. Certainly one of the highlights of this Halloween season.
I said it on my review here but I will say it again, ‘Oh boy, where do I even begin with Dr Frights? One word, brilliant. I am so glad I had the chance to experience Dr Frights this year. It may only be a small event but I can assure you, it has some incredible scare mazes! Most notably Shock Therapy and Killer Clowns vs. Cannibal Hillbillies. One of my favourite parts was the batching of groups here. Basically, whatever size your group are, this is your group for the maze. No going in with strangers or massive groups of 15! It made it more creepy and the jump scares all packed a punch. The sets within each maze were fantastic – some were more open and you could suss out the whereabouts where as others were confined and tight. It was a good mix of attractions and you wouldn’t think you were inside marquees – one of the perks of this event is it is all indoors so never fear about the rain! See you next year Dr Frights!
That was part one of my Halloween roundup, keep an eye out for part 2 this weekend for a look into the rest of my Halloween line-up including The Howl, Scarefest and Fear Island.
That’s all for now!