Chessington Howl'o'ween 2020 Review

Chessington World of Adventure’s annual Halloween event is back for 2020 with an adjusted lineup and the relevant COVID secure measures in place, yet they still manage to make it one of the best years yet!

Howl’o’ween sees only one live horror maze this year with Creepy Caves returning as ‘Resurgance’. The family walkthrough attraction, now called The Forgotten Forest contains no actors. However, multiple theme park attractions have seen the addition of live actors in their queue lines; this really makes for an immersive interactive experience, with some scares thrown in for good measure.

All actors must wear a face covering, and guests should also be wearing a face covering in indoor spaces and on most rides & attractions. Social distancing is generally adhered to, with markers in queue lines for guests. Actors however can get within 1m of you, and even with the additional safety measures it feels safe and does not detract from the experiences.

The Forgotten Forest replaces Trick or Treat Wood this year, and is a young-child friendly experience. No actors are used however due to COVID, you are still required to queue and be batched into the attraction with your bubble. As you wander through the forest, there are lots of themeing sections with photo opportunities to take a snap yourself. Projections are also used to bring to life the windows of the log cabins you pass by. At the end, which seems to hold up the attraction is a smoke bubble feature which only goes off every 90 seconds, and only one actual ‘bubble’ can wait by and experience it; you can ask to (socially distance) squeeze through and exit the attraction if you don’t wish to queue at the end.

Vampire, Tomb Blaster, Rattlesnake, SEA Life & The Rainforest area all come Aliiive during Howl’o’ween this year. From midday to park close, multiple characters can be found in the queue lines for these rides, and create some great interaction whilst bringing the ride story to life. A character can be found part way through the SEA LIFE attraction, and some witches have their own little setup just next to The Rainforest area. Some characters also gave out treats. Be warned, the actors in the Vampire & Rattlesnake queue line could be a little more spooky than the rest, with one in the Rattlesnake queue even giving us a fright!

Rides in the dark are always a highlight at Chessington, and they do not disappoint once again, with the ride queue lines closing at 7pm, you have the chance to experience the attractions in the dark. Some in particular are lit up spectacularly; Vampire is a real highlight.

Creepy Caves: Resurgence

‘The award-winning scare attraction returns for another year, with a terrifying new ‘root’ for 2020. Brave Creepy Caves: Resurgence and journey deeper into the dark caverns to experience the twisted next chapter of what lies beneath. But be warned, only the most fearless adventurers should enter…’

Creepy Caves is back, but certainly not as you know it. During the Resurgence, rioters have taken over the facility and you are sent in as security reinforcement to bring back control. A new route is used for the maze, though some scenes may look familiar, and others may be completely unrecognisable. Whilst we are saddened at the loss of the fantastic original Creepy Caves storyline with the theatrical and show scenes, this new update feels like a completely new attraction and is probably the most intense one yet. You’re sent in with your own bubble (2-6 people) and do not meet other guests during the experience, this really makes you feel exposed and increases the scares. The actors were fantastic with them appearing from everywhere, really creating the chaotic scenes with their high energy. The maze features pumping soundtracks, plenty of scares and even pyrotechnics. An incredible attraction for what is supposed to be a family Halloween event!

Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 9/10 – Overall: 25/30

Overall Chessington have managed to put on a brilliant event, even during these challenging times, with the perfect spooky atmosphere, and the option for big scares in Creepy Caves: Resurgence.

Howl’o’ween runs on selected dates until 1st November. Entry to the theme park must be pre-booked, and Creepy Caves requires an additional ticket at £5 per person.

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