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!

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

A Tigerrific Event at Chessington

A Tigerrific Event at Chessington

 

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Apologies for the long delay on writing this!

On Saturday 28thApril, I was very kindly invited to the Media Event for Land of the Tiger/Tiger Rock at Chessington World of Adventures alongside Chessington Buzz – go give them a follow on social media, links will be below! Honestly… I was impressed.

The whole area has been transformed into a completely new land with four new additions to the area, Amur Tigers. If you think this is just a glorified retheme, you are very much mistaken. It has been done very well and exactly what was needed for an area that was looking extremely tired and somewhat dated.

 

As you enter the Land of the Tiger, the first vantage point is the new ‘Land of the Tiger’ entrance where you might get a chance to see the Amur Tigers in their new home. There is a bridge for them to cross right above you as you walk under! Great for taking photos of the four gorgeous Amur Tigers, Tsar, Kyra, Olga and Kalinka.

Once you have walked under the bridge, you are met with Tiger Rock’s final drop and the impressive new tiger face rock structure. It looks amazing at first viewing! Compared with what used to be Dragon Falls, it is very much a fab improvement – especially when the Buddha heads rockwork at each side of the drop was removed in 2014.

One thing you might notice from this area is the fact the pathway that used to run from Mystic East towards Tomb Blaster and past Peeking Heights is gone. It is now part of an enclosure for the Tigers. In a way, it is a shame that this path has been removed as it was a good access point to the area from Forbidden Kingdom. However, I feel they have made good use of the space for an enclosure.

 

The enclosures are very sizeable for the area with plenty of space for the Tigers to roam around. We noticed during the event and from the Zoo team that the Tigers are following the boats as they go past certain parts of the enclosures – in particular the section where you come out from the tunnel after the first drop towards the second lift hill. Since this event was the first time guests have been on the ride, the Tigers are fascinated by people going past in the boats. It was very cute watching them!

The main path around and towards the entrance to the ride is very much the same. The ‘famous’ Buddha still stands which in some ways fits in with the area, but I did find it looked a bit tired. As you head down towards the Food and Beverages units in this area, the original signs are still in view – hopefully these will be changed to fit in with the new theme as it is only a reminder of the old Mystic East area. I guess this is dependent on whether these outlets are going to be opened. I personally feel the area should be completely transformed, including all signs allowing guests to be completely immersed in the area.

 

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Walking past the Buddha area, you’ll get a chance to see the ‘new’ tunnel. You wouldn’t think the Dragon was here! On the surface, it is nothing special… until you go on the ride and see some pretty impressive features and effects – but I’ll get to that later. Some people might think the Dragon was more impressive than the tunnel and, in some ways, I agree. I was expecting more from the tunnel but you need to remember that we are now within Land of the Tiger. You don’t want to saturate the area with too many ‘Tiger statues’ etc. Of course, it is down to personal preference how the area should look.

As you edge closer towards the entrance plaza, the buildings in this area have been repainted in vibrant colours. My main worry… How long will this paint last before it becomes faded and tired? I hope it will last in order to keep the area looking fresh and colourful. Another thing worth noting is the fence as you head towards the entrance plaza, past the tunnel has also been given a lick of paint – bright orange!

The actual entrance of the ride still holds the same framework but with a fresh lick of paint and the added addition of a 3D style Tiger Rock logo, it is looking great! The orange and black tiger stripes adds to the whole entrance. In some ways, you don’t need a big fancy pants entrance to be impressive. The best part is still to come!

 

The station is quite simply… AMAZING! I didn’t know what to expect or what Chessington was going to come up with. I am extremely impressed! The mural on the onload side of the station is simply sublime. The purple UV style lighting, the cutouts of the tigers and bonzai style trees… the whole thing was mesmerising. I couldn’t stop looking at it, it was that beautiful. Plus, as you venture up the stairs and work your way round the top part of the station, you’ll notice a geometric style tiger head at the end as riders pass under to start their journey on the ride.

Want to know another great thing about the station? There is a lighting show within the station that is shown every 5 minutes, perfect for the busier days when you are waiting in the station. Keep an eye out! *wink wink*

Despite the ride layout being the same, there are some cool effects within the ‘basic’ tunnel. At first glance as you enter the tunnel, there is nothing but darkness. As you weave through the ‘s-bend’, there are impressive murals to your left which show off some tiger heads in UV paint. In essence you are to become one with the ‘Spirit of the Tiger.’ Might not sound impressive until you turn the final corner and see a mighty tiger head shaped boulder with lights and smoke effects. Truly a ‘WOW’ moment for all guests and fans alike!

 

What can I say, I enjoyed my experience within the new area and a massive thank you once again to Chessington for putting together a fab event. Land of the Tiger and Tiger Rock open to the public this Saturday 5thMay so why not go ahead and pop down to Chessington World of Adventures.

Follow Chessington Buzz on their social media channels below:

Facebook: @ChessingtonBuzz

Twitter: @ChessingtonBuzz

Instagram: @chessingtonbuzz

That’s all for now…

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Nemesis Inferno is just as good as Nemesis

Nemesis Inferno is just as good as Nemesis
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Ooooh, controversial post time. Well, it’s not going to be too controversial but I’m sure there are a few geeks in the theme park community who might say I’m wrong for thinking this. Before I begin, I rate Nemesis much higher than Inferno, however I think it’s very underrated out of the 2 B&M invert’s in the UK.

Personally, I love riding Nemesis Inferno and I don’t see why people should knock it down just because part of its name is shared with pretty much the UK’s top coaster, Nemesis. I love the ride experience of Inferno, that first drop into the volcano was the main draw for me when I first went on the ride in 2003. The smoke, the red lighting, that B&M roar echoing inside the tunnel, what’s not to love about that!

The volcano makes a great theming element to the ride – okay, it’s looking a little worse for wear now but back in 2003, it looked great. I was so excited to have a B&M invert at one of the Southern parks, saves me a long and sometimes tedious 3-and-a-half-hour drive to Alton Towers for Nemesis!

 

 

 

The queue line doesn’t really have much to be desired but in some ways, you can imagine yourself walking in the jungles, whilst you see the ride in its glory above you. The great thing about the landscaping of the queue line is the parts of the ride that you can’t really see – adding to the anticipation of what is to come, especially with the final helix before the brake run.

Back to the ride experience, I have already explained how good the first drop from the station into the volcano is. Most other B&M inverts have your standard exit from the station into the lift hill – Nemesis Inferno does it differently. Once you reach the lift hill after you wind through the volcano tunnel, your adrenaline really kicks in.

 

 

 

The whole ride experience is great, the loop, the zero-G roll, the intertwined corkscrews and that final helix. It’s nothing too thrilling compared to other coasters in the UK but it can certainly be up there with the ‘big boys’ of the UK coaster collection. One of my all time favourite ride experiences on Nemesis Inferno was during Fright Nights in 2012/13 (I can’t really remember the exact year!) and it had been running all day whilst raining, honestly… IT WAS BRILLIANT!

I always find that coasters, each ride experience is different because it all depends on the weather, how long the ride had been running for etc. Trust me, Nemesis Inferno pretty much showed me that evening that it could pack a punch and be up there with it’s older counterpart, Nemesis. Perhaps that is why I do enjoy the ride, and the fact is a B&M (B&M fangirl right here!)

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Let me know what you guys think of Nemesis Inferno. Do you like it or do you loathe it? Feel free to leave a comment below! You can find Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park – open season is here so why not go and give it some love!

Thorpe Park, fancy giving it a fresh lick of paint… *wink*

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS