News 28/09/2019

Fright Nights 2019 Review

Posted By Josh

Last night, we attended the preview event for Fright Nights - with the addition of two new attractions and promises of returning mazes being rejuvenated, how does the event stand?

Creek Freak Massacre
The event’s big new addition, and billed as the park’s most intense maze ever, Creek Freak Massacre is clearly vying to be the park’s headline maze, not only for this year, but for years to come.

Guests are invited to the Creeks Wood Sawmill for an interview with the owners, the Buckwheat family. However, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary job, and that it’s more than wood that’s chopped up here...

The maze makes very good use of the old Loggers Leap station and queue, features multiple routes, a variety of special effects and is fantastically - and gorily - themed! Actors are lively and make a good use of the available space too. And, of course, there’s chainsaws (plural!) and an intense strobe maze section too.

The maze and actors still need a little more time to adjust we think (as with any new maze), and we hope that the chainsaws will be a constant feature, as we understand that these can sometimes be temperamental, and ventilation can be an issue. These, however, are small niggles. We understand that the creative team at Merlin Magic Making have been involved in the experience (which hasn’t happened since the days of Tussauds and Asylum!), as well as input from Alton Towers and the team behind Sub Species as well.

For the first time in many years, Thorpe have introduced a new maze and got it bang on first time round, and Creek Freak Massacre is definitely a worthy of being the park’s headline attraction for Fright Nights!

Terror at Amity High
Terror at Amity High: High School Sucks features a flash mob-style dance every 20 minutes in the Stealth plaza from 3pm. This is a well-choreographed routine, with a good soundtrack to a variety of pop songs. The show itself isn’t scary, but gives a nice break to the day and has really helped diversify the line up at Fright Nights.

Between dances, the actors will sometimes be found roaming the Stealth plaza area, transforming that area into a small scare zone. It is here where they may try to suck your blood, if you’re unlucky…

We’re really glad to see something a little different this year with Amity High. This helps create a wider atmosphere across the resort and makes things a bit more fun and lively. Definitely do not miss this!

The Walking Dead: Do or Die
Back for its second year, Do or Die has seen some changes. These include a longer layout, more use of the shipping containers within the maze and a more obvious entrance. This year features a particularly intense sequence within one of the containers which makes use of Experiment 10’s old isolation cells in some capacity, which was nice to see.

The outdoor sections of the maze still suffer somewhat, with much of the route formed by fencing covered with sheets, which doesn’t quite hit the spot. There are also abandoned vehicles throughout, but these make little sense in context and are easily passed by.

These section are salvaged thanks to lively actors and you exploring these parts in small groups. And the indoor sections have nice theming which works well within the story and has hints to the show, which is great to see.

The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare
Now in its third year, Living Nightmare is a staple attraction for Fright Nights now. Once again, it has seen a new ending, which features characters from Season 9 of the TV show. Unfortunately these characters may well be lost to the those who haven’t seen the show, and they’re role in the story of the maze doesn’t make sense. Despite this, due to the sheer number of actors we encountered here, it is probably the best ending the maze has had.

The rest of the maze remains the same, and featured some strong acting within the middle section of the maze!

Blair Witch
Now the longest-serving Fright Nights attraction, Blair Witch has undergone yet another makeover with a slightly different story, The route uses a bit more space than last year, but feels significantly longer due to a cleverly designed layout which sees you tackle dense shrubbery and go back and forth on yourself plenty of times.

In fact, it’s probably fair to say the only thing that has remained the same this year is the ending, which is suitably chaotic for the maze!

Platform 15
In its 4th year now, Platform 15 is still be far the longest maze at the resort. The park have changed the storyline slightly from last year, and have included some small new theming throughout the maze to match this. However, the big thing for this year is that the park have included a brand new ending, which takes places outside of the tunnel section of the maze.

The ending is in a similar spirit to the other endings the park have tried for the maze, but has been done much better than previous attempts, and feels a bit more polished.

For the first time, Containment has seen significant changes. Two rooms have been modified, with the second room in particular being completely different. The core concept of the experience remains the same, and of course features a strong cast, making something well worth the uncharge!

The Final Verdict

Last year, the park had one of its weakest Fright Nights events, with a focus on quantity of mazes, and some questionable maze choices. This year, the park have learnt from many of their mistakes, and created great new experiences and improved upon their returning experiences. There’s some theming and Fright Nights audio around the park, with hopefully more to come too.

2019 is certainly up there with one of the best Fright Nights events in recent years, and we hope it will be a huge success for the park!


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