On Saturday 8th of October we attended Alton Towers Scarefest to see what they had to offer this year, After coming back with a vengeance last year with the award winning Sub Species we were looking forward to what this year had to offer.
We entered Towers Street to see the wonderful theming on Towers Street, from Pumpkins to Scarecrows and the return of the fabulous Scarefest sign, which was new for last year! At the end of Towers Street we were greeted by the usual Trick or Treat stage where the is a lot of entertainment for those younger guests!
We also enjoyed the Ancestor flash mob on Towers Street that was again, new for last year. They also spent a lot of time in Gloomy Wood where they also do the Flash mob too in case you missed it in the morning!
For those younger guests that would like a bit of a fright, Alton Towers this year has brand new family scare maze, House of Monsters. This is located in the Cloud Cookoo Land of the park and is within the Wobble World building.
This is less of a scare maze and more of an interactive experience with a small scare section at the end. This 20 - 25 minute experience takes you through a house filled with lots of young monsters that live in the house to be protected from the outside world and when a Video Blogger (or Vlogger) breaks in and touches something he shouldn't a spell causes the building to lock with no way out, or is there!
The whole team though this was an incredibly fun attraction and a real winner for Alton Towers, it offers something the park was lacking and hope it becomes a permenant feature for the Scarefest event. It felt so fresh and the story was very well written with laughs for the parents and children alike, for that reason was one of our favourite things for this year!
So... with House of Monsters out the way it was time to check out the Three scare mazes that the park were running this year, The expected Terror of the Towers, The Award Winning Sub Species: The End Games and the new Altonville Mine Tours: The Legend of the Skin Snatchers.
Terror of the Towers
Of course, there couldn't be a Scarefest without this Scare Maze, Now in it's 13th Year From initial conception to current day and 8th year under "What lies within?" it came back with a new route last year and has kept the same route this year. We enjoyed Terror of the Towers but in our words "It was terror of the towers". We know what to expect and we are finding the maze a little stale this year. Don't get me wrong it was a great maze but it just feels over done now.
Sub Species: The End Games
Back for it's Second year, Sub Species is back although a little stripped back, with now only one exit route this time although due to various issues on our visits we never experienced the second route during a maze run through, but have seen it out of operation. Sub Species this year was really good but felt a little safer this year, it didn't take any risks and remained largely unchanged. However we all had a good experience during our run though, including myself who was held in the tunnel section by the legs for around 5 minutes and had to finish the remainder of the maze by myself. Great maze and still as good as ever but we would have loved some changes.
Altonville Tours: The Legend of the Skin Snatchers
New for this year we were invited to attend a Tour through the Altonville Mine where the rumoured Skin Snatchers lived, This maze had some good technology behind it, from the headlamps that the front, middle and back person wear to some of the scenes within the attraction it's a very clever maze but heard some mentions of our group accidentally walking into actor corridors and the end of the maze which is intended to be an impressive finale was apparently missing an actor who set the scene, so without that the scene made very little sense, I think it could be a great maze with some work but it's not a scratch on Sub species. We also love the new entrance to the towers, we think that it suited the location for the entry to the mine.
Alton Towers have two scare mazes this year, Dark Apocalypse and new of this year, Freak Show.
Dark Apocalypse remains pretty much unchanged from last year and my opinions stay the same, It's a fun scare zone but I much prefer the old style scare zones for Towers, as it regulates the direction of guests and allows for more scares. Sometimes I passed through the scare zone without even meeting an actor.
Freak Show was a little bit better, more enclosed so always interacted with an actor but didn't have much of an impact of me, the minimal theming was pretty good and the signage was impressive but there wasn't much too it.
And that is it, we really enjoyed this years Scarefest but didn't seem to have the impact last year had with it's revival. House of Monsters was almost certainly the highlight and the rest of the mazes were at a good standard. In terms of our favourite Scare Maze, it has to be Sub Species, such as brilliant array of tech and scares.