At the weekend, Amber and I were joined by Tim from ScareTour and all of us visited Thorpe Park to experience their Fright Nights event. After the media event on Thursday, we’ve been trying to stay spoiler free so we could go into the event not knowing much. I won’t lie, I was nervous about the event as we did it last year and we felt let down by the event, so we went into this years event a bit dubious and nervous. We did everything except the Screamplexx. This review contains spoilers which some people may want to avoid, so only read on if you want to know!Let’s start with Containment.
Containment is the escape room and I hadn’t done this since I did it in its first year. There are four rooms in total with this. The intro was brilliant. It also contains a reference to a previous maze that brought us so much joy! Most escape rooms start of with an easy puzzle first and end with their hardest, but we felt that Containment did it in reverse. Their first room is the hardest and each room after gets easier. Each four rooms is themed around a particular fear. Numbers, Holes, dentist and blood. Room one is a small room with numbers all over the walls and a ultraviolet torch. The room literally makes no sense and we failed this room.
Room two is the hole room. You have to put your arms into holes to find a code and then slowly unlock the holes to reveal more codes. Each code unlocks a hole. We only just failed this one by seconds. The dentist room has a dentist chair, a thing with needles and loads of other medical equipment. The actor in here talks about teeth and colours. We solved this room with at least a minute spare. The last room was probably the easiest room for us. There isn’t much in the way of red herrings in this room which is what makes it easy. It did however take us a few minutes to in put the code as the lighting in this room is annoying 😂 but overall Containment is a fun way of helping people get used to the level of intensity that the Fright Nights mazes have. It has a great range of diverse puzzles and you feel that you actually accomplish something every time you solve a room. The actors in this attraction were brilliant!
Terror at Amity High
The other non maze attraction at the park that we experienced was Terror at Amity High. These fun roaming vampires inspired by a 1940/50s American high school really brought the fun. Their guest interaction and general personalities really helped cement this last year and this year, it’s just as good, but with added choreography. The flash mob dance routine is super energetic with a great story and soundtrack. Again, the actors/dancers/performers were incredible and stayed in character, plus those dance skills were stunning! And we also need to thank Brad for introducing us to Red, Amber, Green 😂😂
The Walking Dead Living Nightmare
Let’s talk mazes shall we and let’s start with what we considered to be the weakest of the five, The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, this maze isn’t bad. It’s highly themed and you can tell this maze has always had high attention to detail with its sets. It’s new forest like ending also adds to attraction making it far more intense than last year, but we can’t help but always feel a little sad when we go through it. This is because we’ve seen this maze at what we consider it’s peak when it was Living Nightmare Extreme during the year of the zombie event. We understand that Thorpe will never be able to make that maze like that again for many different reasons, but because we experienced it, it’s always felt a bit tamer in our runs since. But it doesn’t mean it’s a bad maze. The actors in here, as always, go 100% and are fantastic. We just wish and pray there would be more!
Pretty much revamped this year, it’s 1000 times better than last year. We did two runs on this, an early evening one and a in the dark run. It’s amazing how different each run was. The early evening run gave us the ability to see everything. It’s very overgrown in a good way. The fact you actually have to move branches out of the way or duck under them really adds to the experience. The scares early evening were tamer but that was because you could see them. Our late night run however was scary. You couldn’t see the actors until they were making you scream. They used the areas well and hid in all the perfect spots. It really built up the atmosphere. The finale is simplistic, but great! It’s worth experiencing twice if you can do you can see the drastic change as night falls as it spectacular. The actors in here really used the unknown to their advantage and provided some great scares (and yes Amber jumped at the bushes)
This maze has been part of the Fright Nights line up for a little while now but instead of going the way of most mazes, it just keeps getting better. We did multiple runs on this over the day and night and each one go better and better. We always do a day time run as the setting for this maze is glorious, but this maze truly comes to life when it’s dark. The story always has small changes year after year and that really adds to why this maze deserves to keep coming back. During our runs, Amber seemed to have developed a new reaction that we’ve never seen before. Every time the vibrating wall went off, she basically ended up doing the thriller move in mid air. It was strangely hilarious. The route is identical to previous years but this year it has a new ending. I can’t quite work out of it was a station or a different building that you arrive at at the end of the tunnel now, but either way, the ending rocks. The actor talks about the building and finishes the story and then you see the conductor. Your told to leave and as you exit through the first door, the conductor lunges at you while strobes are going off. It’s a simple yet effective scare. We will admit, the ending changed throughout the night. Our first run, the conductor stayed behind the glass in the first room, but we feel the lunging works very well and adds an extra layer to an already great ending. The actors in here, be it the tour guides, the passengers or the tunnel dwellers all have their all and provided some great scares and each provided them in a different way. We must give special mention to two. The first goes to the lady on the train. Amber got targeted because on a previous run she told her she didn’t know where her baby was. The actor literally ran at her and shouted in her face about the baby again. The second goes to the actor on the bridge with the buggy. She was by far the creepiest, but everyone in this maze are amazing and I dip my train cap to you.
The Walking Dead: Do or Die
I will openly admit, this was the one I wasn’t looking forward too as last year I found it so dire and boring that I didn’t think I would ever change my mind on it, so I went into this expecting the same and I hold my hands up. I WAS WRONG! This maze blew my away this year. The amount of work that has been put in has made this go from second worst to second best in the space of a year. The first thing you will notice when you go in is how spacious this maze is. It really is quite spacious, but at the same time it feels less spacious than last year. You journey through more containers this year and with tighter spots, isolation chambers, and more weapons than ever, this attraction really has upped its intensity. The actors are amazing. They all bring a cannibal/zombie charm that really works well and the interaction with guests is fabulous. We also liked the shrine to the daddy of scare, Michael Bolton. This year also sees more of a finale. The smoke filled room really makes it difficult to see the actors and therefore you get some proper unexpected scares. The highlight for me was seeing Amber put in a car. It was hilarious and caused us to be distracted enough that actors came and scared the shot out of us. As the night went on this maze only got stronger as the actors really started to go for it.
Creek Freak Massacre
Jesus H Fuck! This maze is insane! Tight corridors, intense actors, loads of chainsaws, strobes, wood and active bears! Never before have I been so happy to be referred to as bad wood. We did so many runs on this maze and each one just kept getting better and better. Everything about this maze works for us. The theming and setting works really well with the Old Town area of Thorpe Park, and with it using the old Loggers Leap queue line it only makes sense for it to be a sawmill themed maze. From the minute you enter you are attacked visually by the sheer amount of detail of the sets as well as the intensity of the actors. After an intro, you get separated good wood and bad wood. Bad wood goes on through the crawl tunnel which features a tricky hill. After the crawl tunnel/walk through corridor, you go through a squeeze turner and it’s then an onslaught of actors, a giant saw killing someone and then comes chainsaw 1. Narrow corridor plus chainsaw wielding maniac = terror! After that you twist and turn through more corridors and through some body bags hanging to corridor two where 1 person will get picked on and pulled through a small gap to be shown off to his brothers and sisters. I like this touch in the maze as it brings a bit of added terror. You then reach the entrance to the strobe maze where you will get chosen to either go good wood or bad wood. We always got bad wood, no surprise. The strobe maze is horrendous. The strobes are set to high and mixed with dead ends and an actor creeping with a chainsaw it’s literally petrifying. After the strobe maze is the last chainsaw chase exit. Overall this maze is just mental and dare I say it, The best maze Thorpe Park have done in many years. It’s an original theme as I don’t think saw mill has been done before. Yes, the hillbilly’s have, but I don’t think it’s been done on a saw mill before. The scares in this maze we’re all over the place. There were jump scares, subtle scares and one that genuinely made us go wtf! Never before have we had people appear from the walls like that. It scared the shit out of us. We cannot praise this attraction enough. We’ve genuinely found it amazing! A huge thank you to team inside as you really went for it. Also I’d like to mention a special thank you to the hosts, queue staff and security that were down at the attraction. They are awesome and so lovely.
So yeah. Thorpe Park Fright Nights was so good. It’s such a vast improvement on last year and we are so happy about it. Thank you to everyone involved with the event for getting the it back on track. It really was incredible! Also, side note, thank you for hiring attractive actors. It makes it even more enjoyable 😜
(Logo images credit to Thorpe Park)