Thorpe Park prides itself on being the Merlin Attraction with the most thrills – aimed at the teenage and above market, and this is more apparent than ever when it comes to Halloween! Their scare nights branded Fright Nights are not for the faint-hearted (the pregnant, claustrophobic, epileptic, asthmatic, those with a heart-condition – and probably a lot more which you are advised about before you enter any of the mazes). In my role as a Thorpe Park Blog Ambassador I went along to the Media Launch for 2017 with my Teen so that I can share with you my top tips for Fright Nights at Thorpe Park 2017.
- Fright Nights are not for Children
Fright Nights begin at 3pm and the mazes are only recommended for those ages 13 and over. Also, whilst youngsters are not kicked out of the park, parents do need to consider that there will be scary music and zombies walking around as a very minimum. It will be very dark and it would be easy for small children to get lost (as well as very scared).
- Plan your Visit
Make the most of your day by arriving early and leaving as late as you can. Better still, stopover in the Shark Hotel – especially as the park tends to get quieter at 9pm. As well as an overnight stay you get your 2nd day free with Unlimited Fastrack until 11am, free parking, Maze Fastracks and FREE access to CONTAINMENT. It also means that you can visit Fin’s Bar and Grill for a drink and not worry about having to drive home (please drink responsibly and consider how much you have/what time you need to drive the next day). My advice would be to mix up the rides with the Mazes utilizing the map so that you are not just walking backwards and forwards around the park. We learnt this the hard way by forgetting the map in the Shark Hotel and missing out on so many of the mazes that we were actually walking past in the dark and not noticing!) Do think about where you want to stand as you go around the mazes – at the front you get the best experience and most likely to be surprised by hiding actors, at the back you are more likely to be followed and have a zombie/clown etc attached to you – or get lost! Or maybe you would rather stay in the middle where it feels safer. Mazes open at 3pm – get there 15 minutes early and you are more likely to get to experience them first. The mazes are all different so think about which ones will most likely work best for you.
Living Nightmare amc THE WALKING DEAD
Hands up I have NEVER watched it and had not got a clue what was going on. I have heard that it was really like the series and well done. I can say that my teen was scared and I did not think we would do another maze (it was our first). I was actually too frightened to walk past at one point as I feared I would be (accidentally) hit with the bat (they mistook this for bravery!) .I had seen a spoiler video leaked on Facebook before press night and it was so accurate that nothing really came as a surprise to me. It was rather gory and there is flashing lights (but nothing like The Big Top). This is classed as an INTENSE scare maze. It was quite intimidating and I certainly did not feel like not doing as I was told.
Sanctum: WALKING DEAD amc
Right at the back of THE SWARM we completely missed this outdoor maze. In the day it didn’t look like anything much from what we could see but I have heard that it is really good with amazing actors. Again I am not sure if seeing the Walking Dead series would have helped. You can actually do this at The Final Cut Cinema (usually 4D Angry Birds). Sanctum is a Gory Maze.
Saw Alive the Action Horror Maze
This intense attraction is an escape room, where in groups of 10 you are placed inside one of four haunted rooms. We love escape rooms so it is a shame that we never got around to trying this one out.
Platform No 15
Apparently there’s been improvements to last year and this was the scariest of the three mazes my son and I did. A walk outdoors through the woods along a forgotten railway line – guided by actors. I LOVED the actors and think that they really shone in this one. I especially loved the girl by the track singing the song from Nightmare on Elm Street (can’t believe that not even my 20-year-old has seen those films!) and just the perfect timing of their movements. There was some really gory props that actually made me loudly go errrr and the finale of the LONG DARK TUNNEL is all anyone could talk about in Fin’s at the end of the night. I certainly couldn’t wait for it to be over and my heart was pounding!!
The Big Top
This is also an intense maze and the one most people consider the scariest. Definitely going to be frightening for those who do not like clowns. Luckily we did not get lost as we stuck with the group but do know that you can spend ages wandering around in there! There is a good variety of things happening in The Big Top – with a strobe in the dark, lots of clowns – including one with a chainsaw. I did like the reference to the Walking Dead where it says, “Don’t Clown Open Inside.”
We didn’t do Derren Brown’s Ghost Train as we figured it was no different to any other time, but loved Stealth, Colossus and Nemesis in the dark (as well as the already mentioned SAW). I have to say it was an experience riding them at night and one I would recommend.
- Remember it is not real
The actors may touch you but will never hurt you. This is something I kept in mind with a clown with a chainsaw coming at me! Also they are actually really nice people. I was walking around with this empty cup (not being able to find a bin), and staying in character one of the actors took it away for me! Mind some of the sound effects are really good and they can be rather scary.
- Consider Fast Tracks to beat the queues
I have heard that Fright Nights are the busiest time of year for Thorpe Park so it is well worth considering Fast Tracks.
- One Shot (one coaster OR one maze) £8
- Full throttle: THE SWARM, SAW: The Ride, Stealth, Colossus & Nemesis Inferno £40
- The Feared Five (all mazes except Containment) £44
- Fright Nights Ultimate – Unlimited FastTrack on all mazes and rides £125
There is also the option of the VIP Lounge
- VIP hospitality package
- Private lounge access with fully licensed bar
- Unlimited soft drinks
- Devilishly delicious snacks
- 2 x Oneshot fast tracks
- £75+ VAT pp.
- Get into the spirit of things
You can 100% dress up and apparently it is encouraged (but no masks allowed) but seriously when we went the only people dressed up were the actors! You can however, purchase souvenirs, clothing, gifts, plus Derren Brown and Fright Nights (The Walking Dead) merchandise. As well as photo memories.
I was invited to the Media Launch of Fright Nights at Thorpe Park 2017 as part of the Blogger Ambassador Scheme. All opinions are honest and my own.