As Halloween fast approaches Thorpe Park Resort begins changing after dark, ready for Fright Nights! We were lucky enough to be invited up to the resort for the media night to experience their new and updated horror mazes for the 2017 season. What follows is our review of the event, it is completely honest and details will include good and bad comments.
Are you ready to experience the Island Like No Other that Changes After Dark?
Thorpe Park Resort announced a couple of weeks before Fright Nights that The Walking Dead would be joining the line up for this year with two new mazes, Living Nightmare & Sanctum. These were of course the first two mazes that we had to try!
The Living Nightmare is based where Cabin In The Woods used to be, behind X, so we expected the layout to be the same. We were wrong to assume this, the resort have completely overhauled the inside and the theming for the maze is incredibly realistic. From the second you step through the door you feel like you are actually in The Walking Dead by being confronted by Negan holding Lucille. You are demanded to get onto your knees while Negan decides which unfortunate guest gets “smashed” with Lucille. After the pre-show, you are led through an abandoned hospital where the iconic “Don’t Enter” doors are, zombie like hands reaching out from inside trying to grab you make you feel very confined. The highlight of the maze has to be the fenced area with the school bus; flashing strobe lights and loud siren sound effects make your heart race as you try to escape from the zombies that are screaming and smashing into the fences. Overall for a first year maze Thorpe Park Resort have done very well with the Living Nightmare, solid theming with added special effects creates an apocalyptic atmosphere throughout.
The second of the two Walking Dead mazes is Sanctum; an outdoor horror maze based behind The Swarm. With large shipping containers making up the outside facade of the maze your expectation begin high. Speakers across the site proclaim “Those who arrive survive” build up an atmosphere of almost comfort. In the back of your head though you know that this is a horror maze and it isn’t going to be a safe. You enter the maze and are immediately separated out down two sides, both themed roughly the same and both end up in the same place. Actors covered in blood and with crazed looks surround you and make you feel really unsafe, the cook lifting up your bags and hair as if inspecting you before eating you. Personal space goes out the window at this point and this makes you feel very unsafe all of a sudden. You are then led through a camping area where zombies have clearly taken over, a body is strewn across a car as a zombie devours it’s insides. The intensity of the maze increases the deeper you go. We won’t describe the rest as we wouldn’t want to spoil the best bit! All we can say is you might get sightly wet in the last bit…
Along with the two new mazes being added this year, classic’s such as Saw: Alive, Platform 15 (new for 2016), Containment and The Big Top were also part of this year’s line up of horror mazes.
Our favourite maze this year has to be The Big Top! It’s been around since 2015 and has now had a couple of years to develop into a masterpiece and crown jewel of Thorpe Park Resort’s Fright Nights. Themed around the circus it is of course full of clowns, one of the things most people are scared of. The resort have now perfected every area inside including the pre-show, mirror maze and strobe arena. We would recommend that you go to this maze first and wait up to two hours for it because it truly is worth it. You can watch our experience below.
Onto Platform 15, which started it’s life as a very boring maze; it was expected though as with most first year’s of mazes, including The Big Top, it hasn’t been tested or had time to be improved yet. The resort have clearly spent alot of money on improving it this year though as we would happily queue for an hour for the 10 minute experience. The maze includes a fully built village with houses and everything this year. The only downside to this maze is it does still include “Tunnel No.5” which makes up most of the maze. You walk for ages with hardly any sort of theming in the pitch black trying not to trip up on the person infront. The maze then all of a sudden just ends, it’s very unexpected and not had alot of work done to it since last year.
Saw: Alive hasn’t changed at all but still is a great maze worth queuing for.
We unfortunately didn’t get time to experience Containment but on another visit this year we might be able to.
Along with the mazes you can of course experience Thorpe Park Resorts iconic roller coasters in the dark which over look a well themed and creepily lit park. The resort also have a Fright Nights version of their theme music playing which really helps to build a scary atmosphere. Overall we would highly recommend a visit to the resort this Halloween!
You can watch all our video’s from the Media Event over on YouTube: Fright Nights 2017 | Thorpe Park Resort Playlist