During the season, Thorpe Park Resort offers VIP experiences, ranging from; backstage tours of rides to lift hill climbs in the evening. However, at Halloween, the park offers a few extra ones. Including behind the scenes on the mazes and brave it alone in a maze. With no one else to hide behind, all the action is on just you! “If you wanted a conga line you should have gone to Chessington”
We took advantage of the tours and booked ourselves on a tour of the new maze Platform 15 and refurbished Big Top. Having done the mazes the night before, the whole team were interested to see the mazes from another perspective and to see all of the hidden details. You have the choice between two tours; Tour 1 has a behind the scenes of Platform 15 and The Big Top and Tour 2 has a look at Cabin in the Woods and Saw Alive.
Starting the behind the scenes tour off at Platform 15, our host gave us some history behind the attraction. For example, the idea behind the attraction came from the designer, Emma visiting an event called Scarecon where she noticed the one thing Thorpe Park was missing from its Fright Nights events was a horror attraction like Platform 15.
Another interesting fact, the train used at the bringing of the maze was previously used on the railway line that ran through the station that’s used as the entrance for the maze. Missing a few carriages, the train had to be dragged into place by a tractor. After being sat in the maintenance shed unused for the past few years, all the brakes and engine had seized up over the years. One of the biggest issues the park faced during the planning of the maze was how to get guests through the Saw the Ride restricted area. Over the years, Thorpe Park has been criticized for overusing shipping containers and its solution this time was… a long dark corrector with music playing. Although it sounds like a stupid solution, it really does work!
The second part of the tour was based in The Big Top, where we found more information about the daily running and testing of the maze before it opened to the public. For example, did you know all of the E-Stop buttons have to be tested before the maze can open?
Whilst walking through the maze, it's interesting to see how much hard work has been put into the maze and how much detail you can’t see in the maze when the show lights are on and the actors are running around. Refurbished for 2017, the maze has gone from being 3 separate tents on the beach to going on the courtyard outside the old Crust building. Gone is the walking around outside and flooding tents and in its place a more refined storyline and better theming throughout the maze. Including brand new music inside the maze by the company IMAscore. We can guarantee it will be stuck in your head after going through the maze a few times.
Another VIP experience offered by the park is Brave It Alone, where you pay £20 and you can go around a maze alone. With no one there to hold onto we don’t recommend doing this if you're easily scared. With no restrictions in place for the actors, you WILL be touched, manhandled and possibly licked. One of our team members, James did a brave it alone in Cabin in the Woods and came out with no shoes on… however, it was “the craziest run-through of a maze” he had ever done.
We thoroughly recommend upgrading your day to VIP if you can during Fright Nights. It makes the whole day better, or scarier depending on what you do! Remember the island changes after dark.