September Holiday | Trip Lowlights

September Holiday | Trip Lowlights

So I may have written about my highlights to my September road trip last month, which you can read here. I don’t want to put a downer on what was a fab holiday. I feel the need to write down my thoughts on the disappointments during my trip. We visited some brilliant parks. Some of which were new to me and have been on my list of MUST VISIT parks. I was left feeling somewhat disappointed and wanting more from them. Just thinking about it makes me want to groan. So let’s crack on to my September Holiday trip lowlights below.

Movie Park Germany

I didn’t have high expectations for this park. I thought I was going to have a decent day out here at least. Sadly, the weekend we visited the park it was also the Nickelodeon Slime Fest event. This meant the Crazy Cops Stunt Show was not running. GUTTED! I don’t really understand how a park that should have some standout rides (except for Van Helsing’s Factory & maybe Star Trek to some extent), can have some truly bad rides.

Yes, I’m talking about Bandit. It was SO bad and it’s been re-tracked. Dear god, I dread to think how bad it was before. I’ve never done a woodie that makes you rattle out of your seat so much. This made the woodies in Blackpool seem smooth. The John Cleese dark ride was laughably bad and insanely rough. High Fall, I’ll write about below. The general theming around the park looked great. We were lucky enough to see their Halloween theming too! I was left feeling marginally disappointed. I’m not in any real rush to return unless a decent cred is built in the near future.

movie park germany slc mp express

Spiteful SLC

MP Express at Movie Park Germany. CLOSED. Okay, this may be out of the park’s control. However, I have to include this in my lowlights. Any avid cred counting enthusiast knows being spited by a cred is not great, especially during a road trip abroad. I didn’t know whether to feel relieved or annoyed being spited by an SLC. On the one hand, I wanted to tick off all creds at the park. On the other hand, I’ve heard MP Express is one of the worst SLC’s out there. Maybe with the exception of Condor at Walibi Holland. I suppose this gives me a reason to return to the park for their Halloween event. Hopefully, I won’t get spited!

Bobbejaanland

The park was bland. It had bland rides, except maybe Fury. Honestly, it felt odd and uneventful. That is the best way for me to describe Bobbejaanland. I spent a total of 4 hours here. That was to tick off the 8 creds and experience some of the attractions around the park including Indiana River. It’s an Intamin log flume so just expect you WILL get wet. I don’t really have much to say about this park. There’s a pretty lake in the middle of the park and the new Land of Legends area looks pretty damn sweet theming wise. Other than that, it’s a basic park that reminds me of a creation I would make in RCT. If I had to rank the parks in order of my favourites, this would be at the bottom.

high fall movie park germany

High Fall, Movie Park Germany

Before I begin, I want to say that as I’m writing this (Saturday 21st September), my arse/tailbone is still sore from this monstrosity of a ride. I’ve had people tell me this wasn’t a nice drop tower. I bloody hate the things anyway. So why did I do this?! I always give new drop towers I haven’t done before a one time ride. BIG REGRET. High Fall shouldn’t exist, at all. For a stand-up style drop tower, this hurts. The forces as you lift from your seat during the descent, before you slam back into the hard plastic seat from the late brakes, makes you question how it’s still running. Whilst you get some fab views of Movie Park Germany and surrounding areas, I don’t think this was worth it. If you are visiting, don’t do it.

Loud school children

I know I have a low tolerance for children at the best of times. Why do school children on the continent feel the need to SHOUT to all their friends, everywhere they go. I’ve experienced school groups here in the UK. They are not nearly as loud. I understand that kids are super excited to go to theme parks for their school trips. Believe me, I loved the end of school year theme park trips I did! However, kids don’t need to shout across a ride station. Especially when their friends are literally feet away from them. It annoyed me slightly since I wanted to enjoy listening to the music of Fenix‘s station, and I couldn’t with the station being filled with kids from all directions. Maybe I’m just destined not to like kids at all ha!

These are only the main lowlights as all in all. The holiday was fantastic and I wouldn’t change it for the world. However, not all holidays are perfect. Sometimes your expectations get soured due to park availability or painful rides. Or SPITE. Sometimes you gotta let the bad things pass and focus on all the positives.

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

 

June Road Trip | Best New Coasters

June Road Trip | Best New Coasters

I had quite a short hiatus on my blog during the summer. However, I went over to Germany in June to explore some new parks as well as visit some old favourites. It was a fun trip, to say the least. It provided some incredible views across the German Bavaria area. I cannot get over how gorgeous Germany is as a country. These road trips that we plan are one of the reasons I love travelling. You really get a chance to explore more than just the theme parks. I have major wanderlust! I wanted to reflect on some of the best new coasters that I got to experience on this trip. Also highlighting some of my old favourites that I couldn’t wait to re-ride.

FREISCHÜTZ | BAYERN PARK

In a weird way, I really enjoyed this coaster at Bayern Park. The park itself was a surprise in terms of how beautiful the surroundings were. There were lots of unique and gorgeous German details that you don’t tend to get with the mainstream parks in the UK, for obvious reasons. Not only was this coaster my 350th cred. I also enjoyed this ride even if it is the biggest coaster in the whole park. This Maurer X-Car Flying Launch coaster provides some great elements of hangtime and a fairly punchy launch. Okay, the X-Car designs aren’t the most comfortable or easiest to get into. Despite all that, this is by far the best coaster at the park!

FEUERDRACHE | LEGOLAND DEUTSCHLAND

What, one of the best coasters I did was at a Legoland? Yep, this is by far my favourite of the Dragon coasters I’ve ridden. Out of Windsor, Billund & Deutschland. Being a Zierer coaster, I was sceptical over how good this ride would be. What ticked the box for me was that fun little drop before the lift hill, after the indoor dark ride section. I’ve never seen a POV of this ride. Of course, this means I didn’t expect the unexpected. This then took you into the fun coaster you can see from the park. If you are heading off to a Legoland park abroad, make sure to visit Legoland Deutschland and experience this coaster for yourself.

EUROSAT CAN CAN COASTER | EUROPA PARK

Okay, you could say I’m cheating by saying that this is a new coaster. Especially as the layout is exactly the same. The experience is completely different, and I am living for this new style. I was nervous when the retheme was announced. Boy, I didn’t need to be. The Can-Can retheme fits perfectly with the France area. I love how the Mack’s continue to surprise us all. The homage to the original EuroSat coaster around the queue line, the original theme in the lift hill music, this left me with a huge smile on my face. It may be a complete re-track but it’s still the same fun coaster we all remember and love. Minus the crazy brakes at the end – BRAAAAAAAAAKES!

Honourable mentions need to go to some of my old favourites that I was super excited to get back on including:

blue fire megacoaster europa parkBlue Fire @ Europa Park

expedition geforce holiday parkExpedition GeForce @ Holiday Park

karacho coaster tripsdrillKaracho @ Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

wodan timbur coaster europa parkWodan @ Europa Park

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

September Holiday | Trip Highlights

September Holiday | Trip Highlights

Well, last week flew by! I’ve returned to work today and already getting this blog post written up. I had a bloody good time visiting some fab theme parks across Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. And I gained a total of 48 new creds. Not bad for a week long road trip. It is refreshing to visit new parks and see how different they are to my home parks. Believe me, our UK parks could learn a thing or two about throughputs and theming. I’m definitely suffering from the ol’ post holiday blues right now. So let’s boost my mood with a reflection of my September holiday trip highlights, here on Lottie Travels.

HANSA PARK

I did no research for Hansa Park before I visited last Tuesday. I should do this more often because the park exceeded my expectations! Obviously, I knew about Kärnan and what the ride did. That wasn’t much of a surprise. Although I must say that sensation on the lift hill was incredibly unique. I’ve never felt so scared before getting on a rollercoaster in all my life. Except for when I was a small kid.

It was more about how beautiful the park was. Some areas were more picturesque, with great theming compared to other areas. I think I was expecting more of an amusement park vibe. It has a very deceiving entrance. Plus, the fact the car park is across the road and you need to cross a bridge to get to the park. I’ll definitely return for their next big investment. It’s a park I highly recommend visiting if you are in the Hamburg area. It’s only an hour drive away!

FLUCH VON NOVGOROD @ HANSA PARK

Where do I begin with this ride? I had no clue about this ride at all. I haven’t seen any pictures, although the park are very strict on the no photo policy of their rides. They definitely have a sense of secrecy and mystery. Which I’m all for to be honest. The queue line is understated with some theming elements here and there. However as soon as you enter the station building, this is where the theming comes alive. It felt like you were entering a scare attraction so I definitely got those Halloween vibes!

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Gerstlauer Eurofighters. I get Gerstache regardless so I was slightly apprehensive as to whether I would enjoy this ride or not. In all fairness, this is possibly my favourite Eurofighter I have done. There’s pre-show scenes before you enter the launch – and that is one hell of a snappy launch! – before you take on the outdoor section which is visible in the park. Then it’s the vertical lift hill with more thematic scenes. Before long you’re completing the layout with what seems like very steep overbank, before you enter the station again. I loved this ride despite the slight Gerstache I got. I wish SAW The Ride at Thorpe Park was like this!

AVALON & FENIX @ TOVERLAND

I couldn’t help looking at the pictures of this area as soon as it opened. Honestly pictures won’t ever do it justice. Toverland is a truly magical place that needs to be seen through your very own eyes. The theming is so beautiful. And let’s take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Fenix is as a coaster. Yes, I’m a B&M fangirl but honestly, it is truly a beautiful sight to behold – as it sweeps over Merlin’s Quest and around the area.

I loved how many photo opportunities there were in this area alone. It’s almost as if Toverland planned this and I WISH MORE PARKS DID THIS! I love photography and there are some unique angles you can get. Fenix is one hell of an awesome Wing coaster – my favourite of the 3 I have ridden. Sorry The Swarm! I was not expecting to get that much airtime from the airtime hill after the first drop! All the inversions and elements on this ride blend together to create a truly fun experience for the whole family. I definitely preferred the back row to the front.

FLUG DER DÄMONEN @ HEIDE PARK

Okay, this one is more sitting under the B&M fangirl part of me but who cares, I loved Flug der Dämonen at Heide Park. I’m amazed at how well it fits into that compact space in the Transylvania area. I love the music by IMAscore. I love all their music to be fair, so call me a fangirl again! The trains are the same as The Swarm, just with fangs instead of guns. Honestly I loved this ride more.

The ride experience itself certainly packs some great inversions and elements. Not as many near miss elements as I would’ve liked but it’s still a great coaster. My 2nd favourite wing coaster after Fenix. My one gripe is the lack of places to take photos of this ride. With it being a quiet few days on park last week, I couldn’t take advantage of taking photos within the queue line. A bit of a bummer but couldn’t be helped! Still, Flug Der Damonen is a solid coaster at Heide Park.

UNTAMED @ WALIBI HOLLAND

My new number 2 coaster, Untamed was a beast. No POV will ever do justice as to how much frigging airtime you get on this coaster. Seriously, get yourself down to Walibi Holland and ride Untamed before making judgement from a POV. And yes, your thighs will hurt after several goes with your hands up. Seriously, who keeps their hands down on an RMC? I may not have gained massive bruises. But after 6 goes, I honestly felt like my thighs were going to fall off.

My favourite moment was the double up section and barrel roll towards the end of the ride. I’ve never experienced a coaster where that much airtime made me cry with laughter. It’s so fab and I’m glad this coaster isn’t too far away from me travel wise. It didn’t quite beat Wildfire at Kolmården for me. Wildfire didn’t make my thighs hurt so Untamed loses points in that respect. The station was pretty cool looking with all the foliage. I think I spent more time looking at the trains – they’re so pretty!

VAN HELSING’S FACTORY @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY

I’ve wanted to get myself to Movie Park Germany for a good 7 years now. That time finally came last week. I love the Van Helsing genre and film, so I was incredibly excited to try this out for myself. With it being an indoor coaster, POVs doesn’t give too much away. So you can’t really work out what happens. It may only be a Gerstlauer bobsled coaster but honestly, the theming in this ride is so damn cool.

They even sell some epic Van Helsing merch in the gift shop at the exit, including an axe! The coaster might be somewhat mediocre on its own if you stripped it of it’s theming but as a whole package, it’s one hell of a fun ride. I almost found it hard to keep an eye on all the theming as you rush by, and those mouse turns with the sneaky dip in between was unexpected – quite a nifty little trick there! I would go back to this park just for this ride alone.

excalibur rapids movie park germanySource

EXCALIBUR RAPIDS @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY

Going along the same theme, I didn’t do much research into these rapids at Movie Park Germany. Again, I’m glad I didn’t. The only thing I knew was that the station was indoors. The rest of the ride I had no clue what to expect. The theming was incredibly impressive right down to the finale scene. Add in the cute and magical music from IMAscore and you’ve got yourself a ride to be proud of.

You really cannot see much of this ride from the exterior at all. Even the warehouse building is hidden by trees and foliage as you walk to the entrance. This really gives us ‘new visitors’ a chance to build up the anticipation when riding. The rapids themselves, manufactured by Intamin, were pretty fun too. It might not be a soaker like River Quest at Phantasialand but they’re incredibly fast. Perfectly enjoyable for the whole family! Don’t miss out on Excalibur. Make sure to head towards Nickelodeon Land and they’re right at the back near the new Paw Patrol area!

Looking back now, I have a lot of memories to take away from this holiday. Hopefully this has given you some insight into the parks & coasters. Thanks for reading my September holiday trip highlights on my blog, Lottie Travels. More holiday content will be written up in due course!

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.

haunted house monster partyhaunted house monster party

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…

haunted house monster partyhaunted house monster party entrance signhaunted house monster party

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!

haunted house monster partyhaunted house monster party queue line and buntinghaunted house monster party photo opportunity

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.

haunted house monster partyspider lady and vampyre plaques in legohaunted house monster party

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!

haunted house monster partyboo! haunt ya later gravestone lego modelhaunted house monster party

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!

you're invited to a spooktacular monster party vampire xoxo letterhaunted house monster partylego spider modelhaunted house monster party

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

2018 Halloween Season Roundup | Part Two

2018 Halloween Season Roundup | Part Two

Congrats! You’ve made it this far after reading Part One of my Halloween season roundup. Part Two has plenty more to discuss with a wide selection of scare attractions from around the UK. Some were fab, some were mediocre and others were downright awful. It goes to show that everyone has a completely different experience when visiting, from how the scare mazes are portrayed to whether the amount of actors makes a difference to increasing the intensity. I’ll let you decide if you agree with my reviews. Let’s get on with this!

Continue reading “2018 Halloween Season Roundup | Part Two”

2018 Halloween Season Roundup | Part One

2018 Halloween Season Roundup | Part One

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!)

Continue reading “2018 Halloween Season Roundup | Part One”

Burton Screamfest 2018 | Review

Burton Screamfest 2018 | Review

There’s been many times I have driven on the way to Towers, even stayed at a Travelodge near Burton Upon Trent and never made an attempt to visit Burton Screamfest. I was eager to get myself here and experience the wonder that is in store. I’ve heard so many good reviews and I was gagging to try out their mazes. Now that I have finally experienced Burton Screamfest for the first time, I am undecided as to how I feel about it all.

Don’t get me wrong, each maze were solid with plenty of jump scares. I’m not sure whether I felt disappointed as I had high expectations of this event being fantastic or whether due to the busyness of the evening (it was a Saturday night), that it ruined the flow of the evening. Yes, I did pay a bit extra for Fastrack and to be honest, I do not regret that at all. Each maze had massive groups going through at a time which then led to a stopping/starting motion throughout. Actors were trying to give us those jump scares, and it just wasn’t happening – we could see what was going to happen.

There were plenty of places to buy food and merch – this isn’t a massive event by any means – but what they had was good. All mazes are in close proximity of each other which is good in some ways but maybe I prefer a more spread out event? Who knows. As I said above, I’m undecided as to how I truly feel about it all. That doesn’t mean to say I wouldn’t return to this event as there is plenty of potential here. Now let’s crack on with the mazes, there were a couple of favourites of the night.

FreakOutBurtonScreamfest

Another clown maze, what a surprise. As with any of the other clown mazes I have done, this one was pretty much the same style. A few red and white flaps with a clown jumping out every few seconds. It’s become such a cliché that it has next to no effect on me – just a chuckle or two. The one thing I did like was the splitting of groups towards the beginning with two doors – one for Girls and one for Boys. I actually like mazes that have different choices as it creates a unique experience with your friends. For this, I actually enjoyed the experience.

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DiaDeLosMuertosBurtonScreamfest

I honestly had no clue as to what this maize would entail. Get it? Maize… Anyway, you start off on a short tractor ride with a friendly Mexican lady – make-up was on-point, huge praise for the make-up team here! – and some very jovial Mexican style music. For us it was Despacito which certainly heightens the mood and lets your guard down. Next thing you know, you’ve arrived at the start of the maze which is in a corn/maize field. Following this through, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems. There are chainsaws in this maze… quite a few chainsaws in fact. Nothing too terrifying apart from one who decided to make the walls shake. This was my favourite of the night, purely for how long and enjoyable the experience was, very unique.

DemonicaBurtonScreamfest

Darkness. That’s all I can really say about this maze. It had some great potential jump scares within it and I liked the four doors at the very beginning – splitting groups at a time. After seeing how small the marquee was for this, I was intrigued as to how much space would be used in here or how tight the corridors were going to be. Not going to lie, this was pretty tight in places and extremely dark. Perfect for those jump scares to occur, with demon like creatures around, it was certainly freaky. As much as this did play on my fears, it was a bit lacklustre for me. I didn’t feel like the actors were going for me – yes, I know I don’t flinch too much – but I want to feel somewhat spooked.

LoveHurtsBurtonScreamfest

The first port of call being a nightclub toilet, I was incredibly intrigued by how this maze was going to turn out. I was pleasantly surprised and had some great jump scares. As you wander through, you encounter many of the rejects that Professor Heart has taken in his pub, Diced Heart Pub. The theming within here is insane. Disgusting nightclub toilets, tunnels of dampness, plenty of smellpods about (I smelt Terror of the Towers in here!) and add a chainsaw in, just for good measure. The only thing that I feel should have been different is the splitting of groups at the beginning of the maze. Our group was split in half and then we were both let out at the same time. This then made for a massive group as we wandered through the maze. This led to certain jump scares being missed – thankfully I was near the front so got plenty of good scares in. It was a good solid attraction, but batching of groups could have been better executed.

InsomniaBurtonScreamfest

Final maze of the night was Insomnia. After experiencing a mixed bag of mazes for the night, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Insomnia. Was it going to be a strong maze or a weak maze of the night? Thankfully, I was impressed with the set in here. It was great to walk into a child’s nightmare – very Nightmare on Elm Street-esque – and follow it through. It seemed quite terrifying at times however it was another case of big massive group and lots of stopping throughout the maze. Actors were trying their best to make us jump but we had spent enough time sussing out where they were going to appear. This is something that could be improved upon, especially on a busy night like tonight at Burton Screamfest.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Xtreme Scream Park 2018 | Review

Xtreme Scream Park 2018 | Review

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Last year was a disappointment, just going to put that out there. I feel like I went on an off night as there were barely any actors about and the atmosphere at the park wasn’t great. So to come back this year, I was nervous as I find that everyone raves about Xtreme Scream Park and all I wanted was to experience that for myself.

Overall, it was a much better event than last year, by a long shot. However, the atmosphere on park was still missing, very similar to last year. It wasn’t buzzing compared to the likes of The Howl and Tulley’s, a lot of dead spots here and there. It was very much segregated to each of the mazes. The middle plaza area with the food vans and bar just felt empty and lifeless. It’s a shame as I really wanted it to be better, considering it was a Friday night so was expecting a lot more people to be around this area. Another bugbear of mine were the lack of photo opportunities around the park, especially near the entrance where it is very dark!

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The main reason for the visit is the scare mazes, of course! Xtreme Scream Park have some very beautifully themed mazes and is what made the evening so enjoyable. Whether I will make this an annual visit is still yet to be decided. You cannot fault the detail and each maze is unique. So, let’s crack on with the maze reviews.

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TheVillageXtreme

First maze of the night was The Village – mainly because we wanted to beat the crowds and start with the mazes at the back end of the park. The theming here in incredible. Essentially, you are walking through the village and might meet a few inhabitants along the way, including scarecrows. The actors were on fire and really chose the best spots to get guests. The one thing lacking for me were the lack of scares. It almost felt like a nice wander through a maze than a scary maze. It’s such a shame as it’s so beautifully themed and I wanted this to be one of the best mazes of the night.

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PieFactoryXtreme

Next stop was Pie Factory. For a maze that was sadly short-staffed, it did not disappoint. There were some changes within the maze that made it very disorientating, including pitch black corridors! The smell in this attraction is putrefying and creepy. Pig people following your every move and why not start a maze with a stamp on your hand – I was ‘fresh meat’.  This could give a hint as to whether the actors really wanted to go for you. There were plenty of tight spaces which can be enough to scare anybody. And no factory tour is complete without a chainsaw ending. For me, one chainsaw isn’t terrifying but seeing people run out of the exit makes it all worthwhile. It’s a solid maze at Xtreme Scream Park.

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AshHellXtreme

OH MY GOD! This maze was creepy, intimidating and bloody terrifying. It is a long maze so expect a good 10 mins or so of scares. The best part about this maze is the lighting. Yes, it is dark in places for this maze, but the strobe effect lights mean there are plenty of moments for actors to creep up on you and scare you shitless. It’s intimidating when inmates call you ‘my bitch’, ‘sweetcheeks’ or ‘will you my baby?’, it is a mix of psychological scares and physical touches – I can’t even tell you how many times I was poked, prodded, stroked during the maze. Not only that, there were animatronics that created loud noises echoing through the attraction – a real attack on the senses. It was fantastic and is certainly one of my favourite mazes of the night.

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StiltonHotelSpaXtreme

This wasn’t as strong of a maze as it was last year. Potentially due to the amount of people being sent through at one time meant there were moments we were still, waiting for people to keep on moving. This made the experience less enjoyable and the actors couldn’t really give us the jump scares with an impact. As you wander through, you can’t deny that the theming once again is fantastic. Each room is beautifully themed and tells the story of Stilton really well. Not as strong as other mazes I have been in but a good maze to the line-up at Xtreme Scream Park.

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FinalCurtainXtreme

The weakest maze of the night for me. As with any clown maze, it’s become a cliché at any scream park, to the point that I have become immune to them. Clowns don’t scare me, in fact, they make me chuckle more than anything. This maze can be disorientating but there wasn’t much going for it the whole way round. Compared with other clown mazes I have done, this was one of the weakest. Maybe it is time for this maze to go and a new one to take its place?

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HoodooVoodooXtreme

Now, when it comes to bag style mazes, they can either be a massive hit or a big fat flop. Hoodoo Voodoo did not disappoint at all. The actors in here were working the room non-stop and getting very up close and personal. So much so that I have couldn’t count how many times my face was stroked, leg was grabbed, arm was prodded. It was an attack on the senses, especially when you only have a rope to guide you in this fun-house. But it doesn’t stop there! Your bag mask is forcefully pulled from your face which is enough to make you jump. Then you walk through the Hoodoo Voodoo ritual areas – death is upon you! – and one of the greatest scares I have ever witnessed, a massive Voodoo doll actor. I screamed, a lot! After this experience, this has become one, if not, my all-time favourite maze.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Dr Fright’s Halloween Nights 2018 | Review

Dr Fright’s Halloween Nights 2018 | Review

Oh boy, where do I even begin with Dr Frights? One word, brilliant.

The atmosphere was fun and the low lighting within each attraction and queue line added to the suspense and anticipation, making you feel uneasy at times, not really knowing what to expect from each of the mazes.

Some pros of the night included the batching of groups. Forget these crazy batching levels of up to 15 people – it is the number of people in your group. So, if you are a group of 2, that is your group size. This is a big perk for me as the actors can really get plenty of jump scares in. Plus, there’s a simple traffic light system at the start of each attraction – ‘wait for the green light’ – which is your cue to begin your journey into each of the mazes. This was great as it meant you had a good enough gap between groups – I wish this was a system used at scare mazes at the Merlin parks.

Not only are there scare mazes, there is a bar area within the marquee area that you can venture to. However, the biggest thing to note is that you MUST complete ALL FOUR MAZES before you can enter this area. I really like this idea as it helps to keep those who can get really drunk and spoil the mazes. It provides some peace of mind that the actors aren’t going to be at risk with drunken people. Great idea Dr. Frights, I feel this worked really well to keep the event fun and enjoyable for everyone.

So let’s crack on with the reason for visiting Dr Frights, and talk about my thoughts on the mazes.

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‘Karloff’s Movie Theatre’ welcomes you to step inside scenes from your favourite scary movies. Come face to face with the most feared characters in horror, including Freddy, Jason and Michael plus many more. This a brand new version of the constant fan favourite!

First maze of the night and it definitely set the scene for what was going to be an epic night. Essentially you walk through some of the famous Halloween horror films including Freddy Krueger, Pennywise and Michael Myers. The set pieces in this maze were impressive, it really felt like you were a part of the films – and as someone who isn’t a huge fan of horror films – I really enjoyed this maze. The actors made good use of the space to really get those jump scares in. Definitely a good starting point if you are new to the event!

WhatTheHell

Do you like human sacrifices? Blood rituals? Banging tunes? Axe wielding bunnymen? Then you’ll love the ‘5 Point Temple’. An abandoned chapel converted into a twisted satanic nightclub by a bizzare and deadly cult. This maze doesn’t get it’s name for nothing. It will mess you up!

After a good start to the maze line-up, I was expecting the same level of jump scares as Hollywood Horror 3. The title says it all really, WHAT THE HELL? In my opinion, this was the weakest maze of the night for me personally however that is more down to my personal preference of a maze having a storyline or contingency within. The randomness did make me chuckle a lot, especially with the likes of seeing Santa halfway through, what the hell was that about? The actors were on top form and really added to the experience. There were moments I caught up with the group ahead of me therefore I could tell where the scares were – one of the good things I found were some of the actors making the most of the area they had including following me at various points.

ShockTherapy

Step inside the haunted corridors of ‘Heavensgate Hospital’. Escape a psychopathic doctor and his legion of nightmare nurses that stalk the building. This is an extremely intense, adrenaline fuelled experience like no other. You have been warned!

Now. If there’s one thing I have a soft spot for is hospital style mazes, especially with the likes of Asylum at Thorpe Park many years ago! I didn’t know what to expect, but it really did impress me thoroughly. There were plenty of moments where the actors really got me, especially in the first scene with the bed and one patient grabbed my ankle as I walked past! I wasn’t expecting it at all but it’s those moments that make a maze for me. Of course, with any sort of hospital style maze, there’s going to be a strobe maze. Say hello to Asylum’s baby brother/sister. It was trippy. It was disorientating. And the actors knew exactly how to get you, I had two actors with me at the end of the maze singing Ring a Roses in my ear! Fantastic work and best maze of the night for me.

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KillerClownsvsCannibalHillbillies

The carnival has come to town and has set up shop on ‘Mumma Beef’s Farm’! Witness a blood soaked showdown like no other as killer clowns take on cannibal hillbillies in a twisted game of murder and mayhem. The rules are simple, whichever team kills the most carnival goers (that’s you) wins! Let the game commence!

I knew there was going to be a chainsaw in one maze at Dr Frights. And I was not disappointed. This maze was fantastic and I loved walking in to see the majority of the maze – almost like giving you a false sense of security. Each section is split between clowns and hillbillies. I really liked this as you didn’t know who to expect around each corner. As I only really noticed at different points in the maze, you will get split up from your group. I was held up at one point but once another group came along, I was allowed to ‘leave’ so to speak. I have dealt with mazes where you are split up, Sub Species, I’m looking at you, and it doesn’t phase me. Basically, ‘meet you at the exit’ is said among my group. As you wind around the maze, you can hear (and smell) the chainsaws as you approach the end of the maze. I have certainly gained a sense of bravery towards chainsaws now so they don’t phase me too much. HOWEVER, when there’s two quite literally on my arse and feeling the heat on my hand, that’s enough to send me running out of the maze. It has to be up there as one of my favourite mazes I have done this year alongside Shock Therapy.

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Overall, I had a truly fantastic experience at Dr Frights. The maze line-up was strong and there were plenty of scares along the way – something that has been lacking at different scare events I have done. If you have time to visit Dr Frights, do it. You seriously won’t regret it. You can still book tickets for the event this year, both online or on the door (cash only). The event has several nights available, from 25th October to 31st October (closed on 29th October.) Based at White Nurseries, right next to the A45 near Northampton, it is easily accessible via car with plenty of free parking right outside the event. The venue is all indoors so come rain or shine, you can still enjoy all the attractions. There is a food van and bar area where you will be able to purchase food and drink as well as toilet facilities. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS