Fright Nights is back for 2016 and this year celebrates 15 years of the park running the event. New for this year’s event, Platform 15 promises to take you on a new journey down the old Canada Creek railway track and through the old abandoned tunnel of Platform 15 where guests are stuck in a “limbo effect.” Alongside Derren Browns Ghost Train Fright Nights 2016 is set to be the scariest Halloween event yet!
With rides in the dark until 10pm there’s no excuse not to go front row on Stealth and shot into the night. All mazes with the exception of The Blair witch project open at 3pm and close at park close. Whilst Fright Nights was an amazing year for mazes at the park with all of the mazes being amazing, it also appears to be the last year of a few of the mazes, Cabin in the Woods, Blair Witch Project and possibly saw alive. Rumour is that a new IP could be heading to the resort in 2017 for a big Fright Nights shake up.
One thing the park tried to do this year but unfortunately fell through due to lack of demand the and stupidly high price was a zombie boot camp. Where some of the scare actors would train you up and show you how to be a scare actor. Followed by a zombie makeover and a FastTrack into a maze on park.
Along with this review, the TPG team Live blogged from the event which can be seen on the live events page on the website.
Taking a trip down the old Canada Creek railway line you depart from Platform 15 to find an abandoned train where the conductor is strangely missing! Following the dug-up tracks you find the tunnel where the train came from. In other words, a long dark corridor shielding you from the saw ride area. Whilst the maze sounds amazing on paper in reality due to the size of the maze it has a few issues with the number of actors needed to host the attraction. On the press night of the maze it was amazing however, the following few weeks of the attraction left us feeling a little underwhelmed. Hopefully the park will do what they did with the big top this year, take it back to the drawing board and redevelop it.
The Big Top:
Making a big return for 2016 The Big Top has been reimagined following guest feedback from the maze last year. Located in a different area of the park the three tents have been combined into the one and new music has been made for the maze by the company IMAscore. One thing that’s been missing from all of the mazes since The Asylum was taken out was a good strobe maze and this year Thorpe Park haven’t disappointed! During the first section of the maze there’s now a strobe section where there are multiple ways around the labyrinth. We think it’s such an improvement that we would say it’s the best maze Thorpe Park have ever built alongside The Asylum.
Cabin in the Woods:
A firm favourite all around Cabin in the Woods is still the most popular maze on park! Making what sounds like its last debut Cabin in the woods subjects test subjects to long corridors of different monsters. From the pretty sugar plum fairy to mad scientists theres something new around every corner. Based in the old X No Way Out queue line the maze isn't the longest but is a firm favourite in the Lionsgate mazes line up. With two secret rooms throughout the maze and it giving guests the choice of what route to take the maze changed how Thorpe Park run mazes with it being the first you no longer needed to do hands on shoulders throughout the maze.
Blair Witch Project:
Slightly changed and upgraded for 2017 The Blair Witch Project is back thanks to the remake of the old Blair Witch film. Recently released in cinemas across the UK Lionsgate have changed the story very slightly and some of those changes reflect in this maze. Audio clips from the film are played as you walk through the attraction. Although the maze doesn't have any visible theming it works really well when your in a small group and not bunched up. We don't think this maze has long left but hopefully Thorpe Park try the idea of walkthrough mazes again sometime. We think the park has some great potential with walkthrough mazes locations wise. One down by Amity or area down by Nemesis could be ideal!
For the seventh consecutive year, Saw Alive is back for Fright Nights. Although nothing inside the maze has changed during that time the attraction still manages to scare people and remain fresh. The maze remains true to the films and has people “chained up” in the bath tub scene, hanging in the freezer not wearing a great deal and acting out scenarios about being close to death. Although we love the maze, it would be nice to see some changes made to it before next year’s Halloween event. Great acting inside the maze but starting to get very boring.
Containment has made a return for 2016 with a few changes inside. The games and breakout remains the same however how to solve the games has changed slightly to keep guests on their toes. For example, in the second room where you have to find a code to do with different clocks you now have different clocks with time zones on them. Before you used to have to take the clock off of the wall however now you have to work out the difference in time between them all. A very small change but it keeps the attraction fresh. Hopefully the park continues this over the next few years and continues to shake up the breakout maze.
To mark 15 years of Fright Nights the park put it to a vote of what the roaming actors would be this year. Some of the greatest characters from the parks previous mazes where put up to a vote. Some of the people you could vote for ranged from, The Freezer, Hell Gate, The Curse, Experiment 10, Studio 13 and a few others. Whilst it was a nice touch we think it would have been better to have more actors in the scare mazes. Or have a scare zone somewhere, something on the level of Halloween horror nights in the states would be nice to see in the UK.