Screamland 2018 halloween review

We attended the third night of this year’s Screamland… The annual scare event at Dreamland Margate. 

The park has seen a large investment in several new rides which opened in the Summer, and it was great to experience all of these, especially in the dark, as their lighting packages look stunning.

The park advertises 7 scare mazes for this year, though unfortunately we feel like this should be more like 6. The Tunnels of Terror is a continuation of Dead and Breakfast which creates one full length maze, and we believe it should be advertised as such.

DEAD AND BREAKFAST / TUNNELS OF TERROR

This attraction started off so well but unfortunately failed to live up to what the attraction was in previous years when it was housed inside their existing buildings instead of a marquee. The introduction from the receptionist set the story brilliantly whilst adding some well received humour and we were sent on our way to find our room whilst avoiding the residents who we might disturb. Whilst these scenes had a great level of themeing and created some scare opportunities, before we knew it we realised we were out the hotel and into the tunnels…  

DEAD AND BREAKFAST / TUNNELS OF TERROR CONTINUED…

Based on the name, we were hoping for some crawling spaces, or at least claustrophobic sections which it only succeeded with the squeeze cushions between Dead And Breakfast and Tunnels of Terror. The rest of the maze provided a very eerie feel with the sound of air raid sirens and lots of gas masks which worked effectively, but was over too quick and struggled to provide any major scares.

Combined, the two mazes work well together to create a whole experience and have some well themed sections with engaging actors that will get some screams out of you.

Scare: 5/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 5/10 – Actors: 6/10 – Overall: 16/30

THE UPSIDE DOWN

This is another questionable ‘attraction’. Whilst the concept is great, in reality it is just their existing Mirror Maze albeit with a Halloween overlay including a handful of actors, some smoke and flashing lights which are thrown in for good measure. We believe this would be much better suited as a side attraction with unlimited access rather than ticketed, as it is an enjoyable experience with a few scares, but is very short and not on the same scale or level as the other scare attractions. we did like the nod to Stranger Things though, and the red eyes certainly creeped us out.

Scare: 3/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 3/10 – Actors: 3/10 – Overall: 9/30

DREAMLAND SLEEP EXPERIMENT

After being greeted by a brilliantly sarcastic receptionist we were briefed and checked in to explore the facility. We loved the dialogue inside from a doctor who set the scene perfectly. Once sent further on our way things went a bit awol and provided some nice intense and scary moments with actors blending into dark corners and other spaces.

Scare: 6/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 7/10 – Actors: 7/10 – Overall: 20/30

PUNCH AND JUDY HORROR SHOW

Featuring a great interactive introduction by the creepy puppeteer the group is split up into smaller numbers and sent into the life size horror show. The attraction was a bit of fun coming face to face with many real life puppets, but seemed to be over too quick with too few scares. Think we may have some nightmares from the ‘giant head’ actors though.

Scare: 5/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 5/10 – Actors: 4/10 – Overall: 14/30

MARY DECOMPOSED

We were highly impressed with the level of detail in this attraction, and the clever lighting throughout which created the underwater feel. The introduction stop scene was a nice touch and featured a bit of humour before being sent on our way to tour the ship. There wasn’t that many scares throughout and a lot of actors were more static with theatrical speeches rather than going for the jump scare. The only negative would be it felt a little short, and some of the scenes felt far too spacious and could have been utilised better, but Screamland have created a very solid attraction overall.

Scare: 6/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 9/10 – Actors: 6/10 – Overall: 21/30

FESTINOS FUNHOUSE

We’ve previously experienced this popular attraction when it was housed in a building rather than a marquee, so was apprehensive to how it would affect the storyline and experience. Besides the ending in its previous form which was one of the largest scale endings we’ve experienced, which obviously couldn’t be matched this year, the rest of the attraction really surprised us and were impressed with the variety of unique scenes we haven’t seen in a clown maze before. Featuring a ball pit, crawling and other fun-filled environments, alongside the clowns being on top form, no part of the maze felt wasted and made us want to experience it again!

Scare: 6/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 7/10 – Actors: 8/10 – Overall: 21/30

Overall we had a great time at Dreamland Margate for Screamland. The park is looking the best we’ve seen it and the atmosphere was lively with plenty of roaming actors and some catchy Halloween tunes playing around different parts of the park. Whilst the mazes were not the highest quality, they are all still enjoyable and followed engaging storylines. Mary Decomposed & Festinos Funhouse were definitely our favourite attractions.

So if you’re after some fun over this Halloween be sure to check them out on one of their 4 remaining dates… Standard tickets give you unlimited rides and one access to each of the scare attractions so it’s great value for money. Ride only ‘scaredy cat’ tickets are also available.

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