You know it's time for Scarefest when you walk down Towers Street and with a sudden blast of music, a quiet Towers Street turns into an Alton Ancestors flash mob! Scarefest is back for another season and this year we have a new family attraction called Trick O Treat Town, located in the old Charlie and The Chocolate Factory building.
With a new permanent stage located on the lawns of Towers Street, the park has developed it's daytime entertainment and for Scarefest the stage has almost got constant entertainment. From live singers to dancers and Patches Trick O Treat show on the Towers Street stage. More spooky Halloween entertainment can be found in CBeebies Land, next to the lawns where there are extra special shows for Halloween.
Back for another year of dancing around Towers Street, the Alton Ancestors now seem to be split into two groups with double the flash mobs happening on Towers Street during the first hour of the day! Dancing to a new set of songs, with new choreography, the ancestors are always a huge hit with family and the crowd. As much as we love the Alton Ancestors, we would love to see more park-wide roamers such as the old scarezones come back and possibly some new characters down Towers Street. The costumes and makeup of the characters remain amazing and the interactions between the staff and guests is great to see.
New for 2021, Alton Towers has a new family attraction located in some of the old Charlie and the Chocolate Factory building. Trick O Treat Town is aimed towards families with younger guests, where adults pay for the ticket then 2 kids go free! You wander around a cute village where the residents hand out candy and sometimes trick you. Knocking on the doors in the village, you will meet fabulous creatures along the way, some doors open and some don’t. We really enjoyed Trick O Treat Town with us not being the target audience, we went in with an open mind and we were blown away by the high level of theming of the temporary attraction and the costumes some of the actors were wearing. With it aimed at younger guests, the area doesn’t have any loud music or sudden noises so no to spook anyone. Our only negative point about the attraction was the number of sweets given. When your pay £10 to go through you should be coming up with more than 50p worth of sweets and unfortunately, if you don’t eat sweets there’s no other alternative. We would also have loved for photos to be taken in this area as there were beautiful photo points throughout! Amazing theming, great music and costumes, we just wish it was lower in price and more variety of sweets and chocolate.
Darkest Depths returns to the Seven Seas for another year of sailing, this year the attraction has had its age limit changed from advised 12+ to 15+. With the age change, this meant that the actors were freer to do jump scares and up the intensity of the attraction, obviously when a group of adults go through it will be scarier than if a family still chose to go through the attraction. The maze remains the same as previous years but with a slight change at the ending and a lack of mermaids this year? Unless we hit the maze during a cast change or break. We really enjoyed Darkest Depths but with the maze being permanently set up it means the layout remains the same each year. We would love to see the park shake up the mazes and change the layout of theming each year.
Toxic Junkyard was a maze designed for social distancing in 2020 but this year with the restrictions lifted the mazes is more confined, windy and more enclosed to make it darker during the day. The biggest change is that half of the maze is now undercover with some sections towards the end even raised up on the floor to stop it from becoming waterlogged in the rain. The theming remains the same as last year with a few changes through the experience, we had two run-throughs of the attraction during the first two days of Scarefest our first felt a little disappointing due to the group size however the actors on chainsaws at the end really worked the space, making sure everyone in the group had some interaction. At one point we had a chainsaw in front of our faces! Our second run-through of Toxic Junkyard was incredible, walking through as a group of 3 you get every jump scare and interaction, it did feel like there was more staff on the Saturday than compared to the Friday. Overall again a solid maze but it could be longer, with very cool costumes and makeup used throughout.
The residents of the Alton Ville Mine have returned for another year, this maze is now one of the longest-serving in the Scarefest lineup. Little has been done to change it throughout the years. During the 2020 season, the helmets were removed along with the blow-up dummies in the attraction deflated to stop touchpoints. This year the helmets are still missing but the attraction is back to being dark and with the dummies re-blown up, creating tight corridors and great interactions. You never know who is real and whos not! As much as we love this maze we would love to see the space reused for something else for next years event. Great costumes and actors throughout but this maze feels very old now.
Returning to this year's lineup, The Attic: Terror Of The Towers remains a strong maze. Due to batch sizes and the position of us in our group, we felt like the maze was lacking in actor numbers this year. When chatting to friends about the maze we all said the same thing, where was the demon? A big part of the storyline is that you're getting chased by an evil demon towards the end and when you don't see him you miss a big part of the story. We have always said this maze can be hit and miss, this year the maze still remains that. The set pieces are amazing and we did spot. some changes such as the evil dolls having red eyes.
Explore the magical gardens of Alton Towers at night with hundreds of multicoloured lights everywhere. Not all of the gardens are open as part of this experience but we think you get to see just the right amount without getting bored. And it's free! In the future, we would love this to expand and go all the way down to the pagoda. It's hard to think of Scarefest without this now.
Sit down on the Towers Street lawns and enjoy the Sin Bin shows, Sin Bin Seven and Sin Bin Evolution, two different singing shows showcasing two sets of music and dance. From classic Halloween tracks like Things That Go Bump in the Night to music from Muse, there's music for everyone.
For more family entertainment Patches Trick O Treat show runs multiple times in the day. Full of all of the Scarefest characters the show runs for 30 minutes.
It's great to have Scarefest back for another year but we feel like the event needs a big shakeup. With some of the attractions starting to feel a bit dated now. Audio and lighting remains great around the park but we would love to see more theming around the park. With the park being so big it would be hard to add more theming but we feel like the event just has some mazes bolted onto it rather than a completely immersive event like you get at Chessington. A good year for Scarefest but feels very dated.
Fingers crossed 2022 is a big year for Scarefest at Alton Towers!