Alton Towers Scarefest 2019 | Review

Alton Towers Scarefest 2019 | Review

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Every year I always make sure to plan a visit to Alton Towers for Scarefest. This year was no exception. You can read my 2017 review here. Scarefest is one of my favourite Halloween events from the Merlin theme parks (excluding Legoland). I love that as soon as you walk through the turnstiles, the view of Towers Street is beautiful. As you gaze below with the Towers straight ahead across the lake. You don’t get a better view than that. Read on for my full Alton Towers Scarefest 2019 review.

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Alton Towers Scarefest as a whole…

Each year, Towers Street is adorned with pumpkins and fantastic photo opportunities. I loved it all. Add in the mix of music and you’re taken away from reality and into the world of Scarefest. When they added in the Scarefest sign at the bottom of Towers Street, I knew this was going to become an ideal spot for photos. But the best new addition? The rollercoaster themed pumpkin heads. My particular faves were Thirteen, Wicker Man and Nemesis.

I could tell there was some effort for the ‘spooky theming’ within Fountain Square by Hex. There was black and white bunting dotted around this area. Plus you had your usual Pumpkin photo spots near X-Sector and Mutiny Bay – ideal for kids. And the famous skeletons in one of gondolas on the Skyride – if you manage to spot it! As for the rest of the park, there was little to no spooky theming at all. Even if you include the lighting around the coasters after dark. Okay, Alton Towers does cover a large amount of space and it would take time to decorate all possible areas. But with a lack of Halloween atmosphere around the park, it can really feel like Scarefest starts and ends on Towers Street. This is a shame!

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I’ve always enjoyed Alton Towers’ scare mazes. Purely because they can be beautifully themed and have the added bonus of using the Towers as space to house 3 of them this year. You’ve got to the pay for the mazes which is a bit of a bummer. Honestly, I don’t think the main 3 scare maze ticket bundle was worth the price. Yes, it wouldn’t be Scarefest without the mazes but the price is expensive – not great if you’re on a budget. Even then, you don’t want to fork out more money to have a re-run in your favourite maze. Hopefully, they can work on this for next season!

Note: there may be some scare maze spoilers from this point.

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ALTONVILLE MINE TOURS

Altonville Mine Tours hasn’t always been my favourite maze at Towers. This year has changed my opinion. I don’t know how I ended up at the front of the group when I exited the maze. During the batching process, I started off towards the back of the group. I guess that’s what makes it more fun. There were so many moments with actors coming at me in all directions. I was stroked and they enjoyed pulling my hair. In such a confined space, who wouldn’t feel exposed and vulnerable. I loved it!

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SUB SPECIES

Sub Species used to be terrifying and I’ve always wondered whether I would come out alive. The last couple of years, it has lost its touch and become tamer than when it first opened in 2015. This year, it seemed to be filled with more dead ends and actors constantly making you go round in circles. This may not be for the faint-hearted but honestly, getting lost adds to the fun. Am I right? The scares might still be lacking but it was still enjoyable. Definitely feel like Sub Species has run its course and could do with being replaced with another maze for next year.

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PROJECT 42

Project 42, I have no words to be honest. Last year, I had a fantastic run through when I was at the back of the group. Actors grabbing me from different angles and giving me some good jump scares. The story didn’t really make much sense in my eyes. It still doesn’t to be fair. The maze felt disjointed and there were no real scares coming from the actors. Whilst zombies are a common scare maze theme, Project 42 just didn’t offer anything at all. Plus it is still VERY loud in the finale. This is coming from a girl who has a hearing disability and I still found it deafening! Project 42 shouldn’t come back next year, even if it is nice to walk through the Nemesis Sub Terra building.

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DARKEST DEPTHS

Darkest Depths was spooky, fun and beautifully themed. You wouldn’t think this whole maze is pretty much set up in shipping containers. I wish I had the chance to experience this maze when it was dark outside. There were a couple of moments where actors popped in and out through the containers, in turn letting the light outside draw in. This ruined the experience for me. I know that couldn’t be helped! Away from that, you truly felt immersed in the story. From smell pods making you feel like you were on the Mutiny ship to the water effects of the Kraken winding its way through the ship. It’s great for a family scare maze and a fantastic new addition to the Scarefest line-up.

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THE ATTIC: TERROR OF THE TOWERS

This was the surprise of the weekend. If I wasn’t pressed for time on Sunday, I would have easily bought another ticket. It was so good. Alton Towers have returned to using the conservatory as space for The Attic queue line. This gave me nostalgic vibes of The Sanctuary back in 2012-2014. The theming of this maze was pretty grand if you ask me. Lots of Victorian vibes from the queue and first scene. It almost felt like we were on a ghostly tour to find the Governess. And you did honestly feel like you were going up into the Attic after the 3/4 flights of stairs.

Jump scares came at me from all angles. Especially considering I was at the back of the group. Actors were running between rooms which freaked me out. You didn’t know where they would be lurking as soon as you turned the corner. The storyline was a little hard to follow within the maze. However, you understood the main jist with the children and the Governess. I don’t know why but scare mazes with ghostly children can be particularly creepy. Do not miss out on this maze when you make a visit to Scarefest this year.

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So if you haven’t already made plans to visit Scarefest this year, don’t wait any longer! Alton Towers Scarefest will be back from 18th October to 3rd November, so grab your maze tickets and experience this spooktacular event for yourself.

What is your favourite maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2019?

Do you think more could be done for Alton Towers Scarefest?

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

Creek Freak Massacre | Best maze at Thorpe Park?

Creek Freak Massacre | Best maze at Thorpe Park?
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Disclaimer: There will be spoilers in this blog post.

Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2019 looks set to to be packed with scary lumberjacks, spooky vampires and terrifying walkers. After visiting on Saturday 28th September for the first day of the event, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with excitement. It felt like one of my first ever visits to Fright Night back in 2004/2005. However I’m not here to talk about the whole event. I’m here to talk about the one standout attraction. The one that has set the bar high for how frigging GOOD scare mazes are. It’s all about Creek Freak Massacre at Thorpe Park.

‘How much wood would a wood chop chop if a wood chop could chop YOU?’Thorpe Park

Creek Freak Massacre. You beauty. You beast. Everyone’s been talking about it since the media event. Even when it was first announced, I knew I had to experience this. I live an hour away so couldn’t resist. There was a lot of hype surrounding this attraction. I wasn’t expecting it to exceed my expectations. Creek Freak Massacre at Thorpe Park has a lot of highlights. Be warned. If you haven’t been inside, there will be some spoilers in this post! I can still smell the chainsaws now…

CREEK WOOD SAWMILL BUILDING

You don’t quite realise how big the Loggers Leap station building is until you take a good look at it from all angles. This was an ingenious use of space. You can tell there has been a lot of thought and planning into the story. From the main sign on the front of the building to the posters and warning signs at the entrance. Welcome to the Creek Wood Saw Mill. You’re all new recruits to join the family in their business. Only… you might not just be chopping up wood. Or so I’ve heard.

Before you enter the building, you get a sense for the general atmosphere of the area. With the awesome soundtrack booming away, composed by Serena Cherry, I was already eager to get inside! There is a lot of detail within the maze itself. From saws hanging on the walls to missing people posters dotted around. Body bags hanging from the ceiling to blood splatters on the walls and floor. It is almost impossible on your first run to take everything in. Even after 4 goes, there’s still so much for me to see!

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CHAINSAWS, SO MANY CHAINSAWS…

If you have a fear of chainsaws, you’ll need to get over that pretty damn fast. In here, you’ll be inundated with them. They may not scare me but having one launched right up towards your face is truly terrifying. Whilst scare mazes don’t have to have chainsaws in them, for Creek Freak Massacre, it works so well. Plus you know for a fact, it ramps up the intensity. I love walking past a scare maze and you hear the faint sound of the chainsaw whirring away. Even better when you see people running out of the exit.

You may believe that the chainsaw is only in the finale corridor… you’re very much mistaken. Last year, Dead Creek Woods and TWD: Do or Die had chainsaws within the maze but more focused towards the middle. Creek Freak Massacre has taken this idea and made it into a more terrifying experience. Imagine a standard corridor that is pretty narrow. Before you reach the middle, a crazy lumberjack appears around the corner and lunges towards you. Chainsaw in tow and you’ve nowhere to hide. And it doesn’t stop there. Enter the strobe maze and you’ll find yourself face to face with yet another bloodthirsty lumberjack with a chainsaw. Only this time the strobes make your route even more disorientating. Finding the way out is even harder.

Oh, and there are dead ends too – all part of the fun right?

THE LUNATIC LUMBERJACK’S

The team for this maze were on fire! I have never known a Thorpe Park scare maze to have contained that many actors. They maintained the energy and enthusiasm throughout the evening. I loved the way the cast interacted with all guests. When you do so many re-runs within the maze, they’ll soon get to know who you are. Towards the final section of the strobe maze on my last run-through of the night, I was forced in the corner. Asked to get on my knees and bark like a dog. I honestly felt like I was doing an EXTREME version of this maze. The team deserve all the credit they can get. I bloody loved them all, and I’ll be back for more.

BRAVING THE MAZE ALONE

In a similar style to Sub Species, you will get split up. Even at the very beginning, the first inhabitant you meet will pick and choose the ‘rotten wood’ of your group. There’s no hiding in the back either! If you are chosen, you’ll face your first challenge, a crawl tunnel. Everyone else in the ‘good wood’ gets to walk through the first corridor. I find splitting up from your group is a perfect opportunity to really enhance your experience in a scare maze. Simply because there’s nowhere to hide. You feel more exposed and have to trust your own instincts when it comes to working through the maze.

If you think you got lucky and are still with your friends, think again. There’s plenty of opportunities to be split up from your friends. Whether that is during the strobe maze section where you are either ‘good wood’ or ‘bad wood’. Every time I was ‘good wood’ so I wonder what it would take for me to be ‘bad wood’? There’s also a secret platform area just after the first section of the maze. Only one person in your group gets chosen. After having 4 run-throughs, I was only chosen once and it doesn’t matter whether you are at the front or back of the group. This platform is a dead end and whilst I didn’t know what was going to happen. I honestly didn’t expect 3/4 actors to get right in my face. You have nowhere to run and escape.

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THORPE’S BEST EVER MAZE: VERDICT?

It’s almost like Sub Species, Chop Shop and Asylum had a baby and Creek Freak Massacre was born. All the best features from the 3 mazes are conjoined into one and fit nicely in Loggers Leap station. So, what’s my verdict? I LOVED IT. It gets a 6 pumpkin rating from me. Each time I went through, it got better and better. I’ve never experienced anything like it. From chainsaws in my face to actors forcing me to bark like a dog. The theming and music inside this attraction worked so well together. The scare factor is off the charts. I wouldn’t deem it Thorpe’s most intense maze. However, if you don’t like being split up from your friends or chased by chainsaws, you’ll find this maze incredibly scary. It gets a 10/10 from me and I look forward to getting back inside the Creek Wood Saw Mill soon.

You can visit Thorpe Park Fright Nights on 3rd to 6th Oct/10th to 13th Oct/17th Oct to 3rd Nov. For more information or to book tickets, please visit their website.

Whilst I would highly recommend this maze if you are planning to visit Fright Nights, still hesitant to try out scare mazes in general or this very maze, feel free to check out my top tips on how to tackle scare mazes.

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

Haunted House Monster Party | Review

Haunted House Monster Party | Review

haunted house monster party

Haunted House Monster Party is now officially open at Legoland Windsor for the 2019 season! Lord Vampyre invites you to his Monster Party where he’ll literally turn the whole house UPSIDE DOWN. On Saturday 12th April, I travelled up to Legoland Windsor to experience the new attraction for myself. My first impressions of the ride were good.

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I will admit that I hadn’t really followed the construction of this ride. However, when I found out it was going to be a Vekoma Madhouse, I knew this was something to keep on my radar. If any of you have experienced Hex at Alton Towers, you’re going to enjoy Haunted House Monster Party. There’s even a few Hex style Easter Eggs inside the attraction. This made my ‘theme park enthusiast’ self internally scream with joy.

Normally I take my annual trip to Legoland Windsor in the summer months. But knowing this was opening in April, I knew I couldn’t wait and had to experience this for myself. Living about an hour or so away from the park, it would be stupid not to make an earlier visit. Even if the weather was very up and down all day! Spoilers ahead from this point on…

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At first glance, the actual façade of the building looks very impressive – depending on what angle you are standing at. You can’t miss the massive black warehouse at the rear though. This houses the ride system for anyone remotely interested in the engineering behind the ride. Granted the park have tried to add some ‘colour’ by painting spooky drawings on to the exterior. For me, it would’ve been nice to have the warehouse hidden by the impressive exterior. Honestly, they’ve done a good job despite all this!

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The cattlepen queue line might look horrific but there are some great interactive elements to keep your children entertained. There’s even a photo opportunity too! Once you’ve been batched, one for each side of the ride, you wait in anticipation for the main doors to open. There’s even a creaky door sound effect to make it feel like the house you’re entering is old and haunted. So spooooooky!

As you step inside there’s an impressive portrait of Lord Vampyre and Spider Lady. Plus you’ll find a few other character portraits as you enter the main pre-show area. The UV lighting made those ordinary portraits extraordinary. Based on the many kids’ reactions, I think they were in awe of the whole thing! For those with disabled guests, there is a lift system that will take you up to the pre-show area. Great to see the park catering for everyone. Fab work Legoland.

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Once inside the pre-show area, my favourite part was the disco balls lighting up the room. It’s almost time to boogie! All the guests (or snacks as Lord Vampyre likes to call us!) wait in anticipation for the main banqueting hall. Firstly, we were greeted by Lord Vampyre as he explains why he loves to party. He also describes how his fang-tastic potion will make the whole house turn upside down. Plenty of lighting effects were used so you were completely immersed in the experience. I couldn’t wait for the main attraction!

Then it was time to step inside the ride. The main banquet table was filled with lego style food and drink. There was a grand fireplace at one side, a massive clock on the other and benches either side as you take your seat. Unlike Hex, each seat is separated for each guest. I assumed this is a new style safety system Vekoma has built for the ride. This did help people to know how many people could be seated per section. As I took my seat, I was in awe at the decoration inside. Yes, I spotted some similarities to Hex!

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Now, the main attraction was… on first impression, I had to take a moment to take it all in. The music was fantastic and so catchy. So much so, I still had it in my head all day. Oh my god, Lord Vampyre was the DJ with a school disco set up… I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at how utterly amazing and unexpected that was. As an adult, I bloody loved it all. This style of ride doesn’t affect me but if you do suffer from motion sickness, then this might not be the best ride for you. However, I think it’s worth it even if just for the music itself. So fab!

You can tell as you exit the ride, the faces on all the kids is enough to show that Legoland are on to a winner with this attraction. So many kids were smiling and laughing, the parents were also joining in! The atmosphere is just perfect – for a Haunted House themed attraction, this provides that upbeat feel without kids feeling too intimidated or scared. It’s perfect and Legoland have done a good job!

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It would be pretty damn cool if Legoland released a lego set so you can create this Haunted House exterior with all the characters. And maaaaaybe a pin badge too for us pin badge collectors? Subtle hint Legoland! I want to return just to re-ride this attraction. And listen to the amazing soundtrack too! Overall, this is the perfect staple attraction for families visiting the park this year – don’t miss out!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey | Review

Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey | Review

room on the broom reviewRoom on the Broom: A Magical Journey is now officially open at Chessington World of Adventures. And so kickstarts the 2019 season for the park! The attraction is based on the children’s book, Room on the Broom, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Some of you may recognise their work from the Gruffalo children’s book. Let’s not forget the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure that opened at the park in 2017.

room on the broom reviewRoom on the Broom: A Magical Journey entrance signroom on the broom entrance to rattractionroom on the broom paintingHaving had the chance to experience Gruffalo last year, I was very excited to see what was in store for Room on the Broom. Since Hocus Pocus Hall closed in September last year, I knew it was about time this needed a fresh new look. It looked tired and in dire need of some love and TLC. Especially with the removal of the 3D glasses. It wasn’t long before Chessington announced that the Hocus Pocus Hall was ‘up for sale’. Everyone was eager to find out who the new buyer was? And so, Room on the Broom: A Magical Journey was born.

Room on the Broom: A Magical Journeyroom on the broom by julia donaldson and axel schefflerRoom on the Broom: A Magical JourneyI was kindly invited by Chessington Buzz to join them at the media event on Saturday 9th March. We would be one of the first to experience the new attraction. I was eager to see the changes that have been made. And slightly curious as to how Merlin Magic Making were going to bring this story come to life. The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure turned into a real success so I knew we’d be in for something special. Spoilers ahead from this point on…

projection mapping on bookcaseRoom on the Broom: A Magical JourneyRoom on the Broom: A Magical JourneyAt first glance to the exterior of the building, you might not notice many changes. To the left of the entrance is the extended queueline that has been specifically made for this new IP. It’s very much needed as the original queue line was tiny! There’s also your standard Picsolve photo opportunity building. A necessity to any attraction, right? The main entrance sign looked very cute. I loved the witch’s broom hanging out of the window above here. As if to suggest that the witch crash landed into the building.

magical bookcase opens up for guestsRoom on the Broom: A Magical JourneyRoom on the Broom: A Magical Journeyjump up and down to find witch's hat in bookFirst thing to note is that this attraction is wheelchair friendly. Everyone can experience the new Room on the Broom attraction which is amazing. Andy Porter from Merlin Magic Making escorted through the attraction. He gave us some great insight into the attraction and how this concept came to life. It’d been completely repainted inside. The paintings were updated with each of the characters in the Room on the Broom story. Then it was on to the main attraction. Before you is a massive open book along with the witch’s cauldron, brewing away. As the show started, the projection mapping in this first scene was fantastic. It’s aligned so well with the props in the room. The splash/smoke effects were in perfect sync with the projection. This really made it come to life.

Room on the Broom: A Magical Journeybird poking head out of hole in treeRoom on the Broom: A Magical JourneyAs you journey through the building, you’re transported into the story, joining the witch on her journey as she meets an array of characters who catch a ride on her broom – only question is, is there room on the broom? Each scene is captured beautifully well and adds in an extra element of interactivity. From jumping up and down to get the witch’s hat to finding the witch’s bow amongst some hay bales. This interaction is perfect for the kids to be immersed in the story – of course, adults can join in too! Each room has the perfect blend of animatronics, AV effects, lighting, smell canisters. Plus with THAT awesome soundtrack, it really transports you into the Room on the Broom story.

Room on the Broom: A Magical Journeyfrog sat on rocks near pond, with flower in handfrog with magic wand in mouthRoom on the Broom: A Magical JourneyAs you venture towards the end of the attraction, you can tell it starts to become darker and more sinister – especially with a massive dragon shooting smoke/mist out of its mouth. If I were a kid, I would be terrified! The mirror maze is still there which I’m very happy about. It was always been a staple piece as part of Hocus Pocus Hall. But that is not where the story ends… The finale of the Room on the Broom is one that I was not expecting at all. It is incredibly impressive to see Merlin Magic Making create the witch’s brand-new broom with seats for everyone! The music in this scene was so magical, it felt like I had just watched a movie at the cinema.

evil dragon with smokeevil dragonRoom on the Broom: A Magical Journeya witchNot only do you have the witch’s broom animatronic, you’ve also got a real mix of 2D, 3D effects and projection mapping. It follows the same pattern as the first scene with the witch’s cauldron bubbling away. The screen shows each character dropping an item into the cauldron. Then you’ve got the added smoke and water effects which really added to the realism. Chessington and MMM have created an impressive attraction for the whole family. Fantastic job, considering I saw an influx of excited families queuing for this attraction on Annual Passholder Day. This looks to be a huge success for the park.

Room on the Broom: A Magical JourneyRoom on the Broom: A Magical Journey finalewitches cauldronRoom on the Broom: A Magical Journey photo spotAs always, there will be Room on the Broom merch including toys and the books on sale in the Adventure Point Shop. I’m hoping there will be a pin badge for us avid collectors – hint hint! Room on the Broom: A Magical Journey was impressive. I’ll definitely revisit this on my next few visits to Chessington. Whilst there are a few things that need finishing including theming and the automation of the shows (which MMM are doing as we speak), I’m sure this will become a staple to any visit to Chessington if you have young children with you.

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

6 things you must do at Chessington

6 things you must do at Chessington

I have been visiting Chessington a lot lately. Despite it being something to do at the weekends, I just have that certain bond with the park. Having almost grown up with the place, with my first visit back in 1998, I still enjoy making a trip here. Having a zoo and theme park in one place, there is plenty of stuff to do for both adults and children alike.

If you are ever in the area or a Merlin Annual Passholder, it is worth a trip! I believe there are 5 things that you must do when visiting the park. Read on to find out more!

 

#1: Visit the Zoo

Not only have you got the theme park, you have a very sizeable zoo to explore. From Trail of the Kings to Wanyama Village to the SeaLife Centre and more! I love visiting the Zoo, even if the park is rammed, it is a perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle and watch the animals. There’s so many you can see including Lions, Tigers, Gorillas, Giraffes, Sealions, Zebras, Meerkats and more. Don’t ever miss out on the Zoo on your visit. It is worth having a nice stroll around.

 

#2: Ride the Vampire

This is a classic at the park and one of my favourite rides here. It may not be the same as it was with the old trains, but it is still fun. The purple trains are fab – don’t diss them – and I love having the feeling of your legs dangling on a suspended coaster. There is also that turn around coming out of the tunnel, still packs a punch! Yes, it may get pretty long queues throughout the day but out of all the rides at the park, this is a MUST.

 

#3: Grab yourself a Nitrogenie

If you are an ice cream fanatic, then you will LOVE Nitrogenie. Simply for the fact that not only it is so deliciously good, it is made with Liquid Nitrogen. The fact you can watch your ice cream being made through the window is fascinating. There’s plenty of flavours to choose from and with the latest addition of making milkshakes, this is like a go-to place for ice cream/milkshakes. Treat yourself everybody!

 

#4: Visit Tiger Rock and Land of the Tigers

Now that the new area has been opened to the public for a couple of months, you’d be daft not to head towards this beautifully, colourful place. Not only that, they have got 4 gorgeous Amur Tigers in the area. The tiger rock feature above the final drop of the log flume is so fab – it’s literally a picturesque hotspot. And the music of the area is so calming that you could just spend the whole day wandering around there – okay, maybe not the whole day!

 

#5: Walk through Lorikeet Lagoon

Now, I’m fully aware that this attraction is open on peak days but this is something you need to tick off your list if you visit Chessington. And it is highly recommended to buy some of the nectar too – you will soon learn how popular you become with the Lorikeets! Plus, some of your money goes towards the Chessington Conservation Fund so it’s for a good cause. I love the interaction with the Lorikeets – not just for the fact that they are bloody gorgeous to look at – it’s a fab experience for both adults and children. Great photo opportunities too so if you want to make some great memories, give this attraction a visit!

 

#6: Try out Not Dogs!

I may be slightly biased and say that this place is so delicious that as I’m writing this, I really want one right now. Seriously, you’d be mad not to try out the Not Dogs – it isn’t just a place specifically for vegetarians and vegans. Read my review here and you might be able to understand why I bloody love the place. Trust me, just do it and grab yourself a quick bite to eat here. You won’t regret it.

Of course, this is only my opinion. There may be things I haven’t even included on here but I honestly feel like these are truly the must do things when visiting Chessington. If I haven’t included anything that needs to be mentioned, leave me a comment below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My early memories of Chessington

My early memories of Chessington
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I’m going to get all nostalgic now for this blog post. I was thinking the other day about how theme parks have changed, most notably the ones that I visited as a child – and what I can still remember to this day, my memory isn’t that great ha!

I first visited the park in 1998 and have been a regular visitor since then – 20 years on! I still enjoy visiting and seeing how the park has expanded and grown over the years. Of course, I do miss the old attractions that are either no longer with us or have been changed, but it’s the perfect chance to reflect on these and how awesome the park was!

Note: I sadly don’t have many photos from back in the day for these relevant attractions featured in this blog post. *crying face*
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The Original Vampire

My earliest memory was walking through the big Vampire door entrance and feeling so nervous about the ride. As a kid, it was pretty terrifying as you look up and see the bat style trains flying over you in Transylvania. As you travelled towards the station, it was so dark you couldn’t see much, with the coffins separating each row, the massive chandeliers and of course, the organist ‘playing’ the haunting theme of the ride. Once I had my chance to ride Vampire, I loved it – and to this day I still do. I just wish I had more chance to experience the old-style trains more. Considering this ride is almost as old as me – not quite though.

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Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks

This ride was the bomb. From the pink building or should I say ‘factory’ to the sweet-smelling station and that fountain strobe finale. There is nothing about this ride that I won’t miss – it was so good. It was mad, it was crazy, it was great. The whole ride experience, as you follow Professor Burp through a tour of his factory, making all sorts of fizzy pop style drinks. It’s a ride I will not forget in a hurry.

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Terror Tomb

I managed to experience Terror Tomb before it changed its name to Forbidden Tomb and what is now known to us all as Tomb Blaster. This ride actually scared me when I first rode it. As a kid back then, I didn’t really understand the whole ‘story’ to the ride with Abdab. Then again, who does concentrate on the story when you’re a kid. Funnily enough, the only real vague memory I have is of the finale with the Singing/Dancing Mummies or ‘Jukebox Duel’. Looking back at the images some people have gathered up on the internet, it is all coming back to me.

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Samurai

Oh Samurai, you beauty! Well, back when you were at Chessington. I absolutely loved Samurai at Chessington, the black and red colour scheme, the lights, the ride cycles, everything! I remember back when the park shut at 9pm for the Summer season and seeing the lights on Samurai through the trees as we left the park for the day. And being one of the taller kids at school, I reached 1.4m relatively early so I could experience it before it moved to Thorpe Park.

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Park Map

You might be thinking, what the hell? Hear me out, I have loved park maps since I was little – that’s why I have so many at home! My favourite version of the park map at Chessington was around the 2000/2001 year mark with the coloured areas. The artwork was great and it just felt like a good visual map that had the right purpose for helping you navigate around the park. Now, obviously I don’t need a map these days cause, being a geek, you don’t need one for navigation – it’s more to add to my massive collection. 😉

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Beanoland

How could I not include Beanoland! It was pretty much like stepping into the Beano comic and everything had come to life. The Dodgems, Billy’s Whizzer, Bash Street Bus, Dennis’ Madhouse – it was a great collection of rides and attractions for kids. You also had the chance to meet the characters, I vaguely remember seeing Dennis and Gnasher. Let’s also not forget the fab Treehouse in the middle of the area which had a show where I also ‘vaguely’ remember Dennis throwing t-shirts at the crowd – if someone can confirm this, that would be great!

I don’t if it comes with age or something, but I do love being nostalgic and remembering the old times of our favourite theme parks. I’m sure there are more memories that I haven’t included in this post – like I said before, I don’t have the best memory and these are the ones that stick out the most for me. Kids these days won’t remember the classic Chessington and its array of ‘crazy’ attractions it had.

If you have any early memories of Chessington, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if I have missed anything!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

What I miss about the Tooley Street London Dungeons…

What I miss about the Tooley Street London Dungeons…

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(Photo Credit: Merlin Entertainments)

I recently visited The London Dungeons on South Bank last Saturday, and didn’t realise that a fairly sizeable section of the attraction had been changed. I can’t really remember the last time I visited the Dungeons before my recent visit, but it was nice to see what had been changed with new shows – especially when it is easy for the London Dungeons to become very stale with the shows being the same.

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(Photo credit: Theme Park Guide)

I was thoroughly impressed with the effects and the show in the New Escape The Great Fire of London show. It was different and the interaction with the guests was fabulous, but maybe that was because of me being the one chosen for the interaction. There was also a change in the plague doctor scene where before you meet the doctor, you enter a ‘pest house’ – in essence it’s a lot of standing around, listening to the noises around you and if you are standing in the wrong place, you may get a little surprise. Thankfully I was okay!

However, I just can shake that feeling that I miss the Tooley Street London Dungeons a lot. Every time I visit the Dungeons, I start looking around and realising how good the old London Dungeons were. Obviously when you have an office building, it is going to be hard to replicate the natural darkness and effects that the old Dungeons had but there was so much more to it. With the help of my partner, Jared and our close mate, James, we wrote down a list of what we missed about the Tooley Street London Dungeons.

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The Atmosphere & Natural Darkness

These two can be linked together as both worked hand in hand to make the old London Dungeons what it was. You didn’t need to paint anything black as the natural darkness did it for you, very similar to that of the Towers and their scare mazes. The atmosphere was very spooky under the railway arches, especially on my first visit when I truly felt like eyes were watching me in the darkness.

The Smells and Sounds

You didn’t need smell pods. The dark and damp nature of the old Dungeons made it feel authentic for the mood of the shows. It would play havoc with your senses as you really felt you were going through the history of London, instead of walking through a busy London tourist attraction. Baring in mind there were railway lines above you, that rumbling sounds of trains going by really got me on edge when I first visited. You couldn’t tell if it was a part of the show or not. Not only that, there were other natural sounds you heard through the railway arches. It echoed all the way through the tunnels so you couldn’t pinpoint where the sounds were coming from. Very creepy!

The Show

Instead of the ‘Fear is a Funny Thing’ tagline that is now part of the current London Dungeons, it was genuinely a scary attraction to visit back in Tooley Street. The actors weren’t trying to make you laugh or stick to a script, they would make you jump (and scream), they would go off script and improvise. That is what made the show so much better in my opinion. No two visits were ever the same when it came to the actors. Yes, the order of the shows were the same, but the script was different each time.

Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell

Hands up, who loved this ride back at Tooley Street? This ride has been permanently ingrained in my head from my first visit. I remember reaching the station area of the ride, knowing full well that I was about to go on a boat ride of some description. It was so dark in the tunnels of this area that you didn’t know which you’d be going. That is what made it creepy to begin with. Then when you start going up the lift hill, that’s when the adrenaline kicks in and the fear starts building. Due to the darkness, you couldn’t see the other boats or know where they went. To be honest, you couldn’t really hear them unless you heard the screams from the drop – but even then, could you really tell if it was them? That’s when the backwards section kicks in and you knew instantly you were going to drop backwards! As they say, what goes up, must come down. As much as the current ‘The Tyrant Boat Ride’ is fun, it isn’t dark enough for you to feel the anticipation of what’s to come. You can pretty much predict what is going to happen next, although I must admit I do like the sideways lift.

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(Photo credit: Theme Park Guide)

Ahhh, you’ve got to love reminiscing about past attractions. I wish I had the chance to visit the Tooley Street London Dungeons more, but alas, I’ll have to settle with the current Dungeons – where I always get picked to be in a cage during the Torturer scene. Every time! I do also enjoy the current Jack the Ripper section in the Ten Bells pub – especially if you are lucky enough to sit down at one of the tables *hint hint*.

I’m sure many other enthusiasts will share the same sentiments I do about the old London Dungeons. Maybe you have other memories that I have not mentioned here, feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you loved or miss from the old London Dungeons.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS