Thorpe Park’s infamous Halloween event is back once again, but rebranded for 2020 as Fright Nights Fearstival!
The event has likely been adapted due to the current pandemic, offering only 2 scare mazes this year, both which are largely outdoors and require an additional ticket to experience. What the event has lost in scare mazes, it has gained with a large number of scare zones meaning almost nowhere is safe in the park! 5 scare zones, a Cinema experience and an entourage of roaming actors complete the scare lineup, along with the thrilling rides the park is known for.
Covid measures include the enforcement of masks on most rides, scare mazes and within the scare zones themselves, there’s also social distancing markers and reminders to keep your space from other groups; the actors will get within approx 1m of you, they are also wearing masks, and they will not touch you. The scare attractions operate from 3pm. In line with the government curfew you can expect queue lines for rides to close as soon as 8pm to allow the rides and park to be cleared in time.
Platform 15 – Scare Maze
‘Depart on a one-way ticket and trek along the overgrown railway line, the last known route of the vanished locomotive – the notorious Sleeper Express. Don’t lose your tracks and risk disturbing the haunted souls that were once aboard, or you may just experience the same chilling fate. Can you outrun what lies at the end of the line or will your journey terminate here, at Platform 15?’
Scare: 5/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 7/10 – Actors: 6/10 – Overall: 18/30
Roots of Evil – Scare Maze
‘Unearth the horrors that lurk within a forsaken forest and prepare to meet the terrifying abominations that dwell within. Move discreetly through the dark undergrowth and pray your presence goes unnoticed, or risk becoming one of the forgotten forever.’
It’s quite obvious this maze has replaced Blair Witch from previous years, with a similar route in the woods and some key features the same. However they have definitely improved upon it with the new intro scene taking you into the Jungle Escape building, and the ‘Forest’ definitely felt more overgrown than before, with fantastic lighting. The storyline was delivered well with different actors throughout trying to prevent the roots from taking over including a watchtower scene which we liked. The ending creates some good final scares, but overall it’s nothing terrifying.
Scare: 6/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 7/10 – Overall: 21/30
Creak Freak Unchained – Scare Zone
‘NEW for 2020! How much wood would a wood chop chop if a wood chop could chop YOU? The Freaks of the Creek have hacked their way out of the Creek Woods Saw Mill and are wreaking havoc on the town. Tread carefully past the deranged family of lumberjacks lest you find yourself chugging gasoline fumes on the wrong end of a chainsaw! Brace yourself and prepare for the gruesome worst as you take on the chainsaw massacre madness of Creek Freaks Unchained.’
It’s such a shame that Creek Freak Massacre couldn’t return this year, but the park were clearly determined to allow the residents to bring their crazy antics to the old town area. This is a one way walkthrough scare zone which heads through the old town area, additional themeing has been added to give the Creek Freak vibes. There was plenty of great interaction with the residents taunting and ‘attacking’ you with various weapons including chainsaws of course!
The Fearstival Arena – Scare Zone
‘NEW for 2020! A mysterious menagerie has rolled into the heart of the Island, but is it all just smoke and mirrors? Step into the dusty and dilapidated FEARSTIVAL Arena and witness the notorious Compère and their freakish cast astonish and disturb their willing spectators. This cabaret of carnage may sound fun, but will you leave shaking in FEAR or grinning in awe? ‘
The Swarm: Invasion – Scare Zone
‘NEW for 2020 – Enter the dystopian wasteland after dark as THE SWARM has invaded, leaving a path of carnage and desolation in its wake. Head with caution as you pass through this alien infested landscape and pray you aren’t abducted by these other-worldly extra-terrestrials. THE SWARM: INVASION – the end is now.’
The Howling Of Lyncanthorpe High – Scare Zone
‘Chill out in the twilight with the students of LycanThorpe High but keep your wits about you and pray the moon isn’t full – these creatures can be a more than a little boisterous. NEW for 2020 you’re invited to The Howling of LycanThorpe High and they’re on the hunt for new recruits – but be warned, their bite is worse than their bark!’
Terror At Amity High: High School Sucks – Scare Zone
‘It’s Prom Night at Amity High and the teens of Amity Cove invite you to join their bloodthirsty festivities up at Make-Out Point behind the old Speedway. But these are no ordinary high schoolers – they’re always on the lookout for fresh young blood to join their gang. Stay calm, try to blend in and hopefully you’ll survive the night…’
The Crows – Roaming Actors
‘Near The Crows nobody goes, are they watching? Nobody knows. Myths passed down from generation. Did that just move, or was it your imagination? They roam and they creep in the dead of night, but blink and they’re gone, out of sight. Near The Crows, nobody goes. Are they watching? Nobody knows.’
These frightening characters roam around the park appearing in mystery locations causing plenty of scares to people passing by. They use their surroundings in the park well trying to blend in. The crows move slow, but it adds to the eerie atmosphere the creepy entourage bring to the areas of the park that they pass through.
Overall we found this to be one of the most enjoyable years of Fright Nights we’ve experienced. Whilst there’s an evident lack of mazes and big scares, the atmosphere in the park with the multiple scare zones and roaming actors was nothing short of incredible, and has definitely left us wanting to return!
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