Ghost Train is back at Thorpe Park Resort and the ride is totally unrecognisable!
A breath of fresh air has been pumped into the attraction. Reinvented with a new storyline and new set pieces Ghost Train will get your blood pumping, give you Goosebumps and make you feel part of the action.
Once we go signed into the event we were walked down to Ghost Train by staff passing Thorpe Rail staff outside the dome who said the station is this way.
Outside Ghost Train there were two different groups of actors roaming around the outside. One group was the CC Ghost Tours youtubers who where documenting the evening for their YouTube channel (we’re big fans) and the others were “Believers” handing out leaflets with the word “Chapel Station Believe And Live Again” and “Credo, MORS NON EST FINIS BELIVE” written on them. Or maybe you should “JOIN THE EXODUS OF THOSE WHO BELIVE AND LIVE AGAIN ALIGHT AT CHAPEL STATION”
Your journey beings in the queue line where you walk past posters of past and present. Old posters previously used to advertise Thorpe Park have been used in the queue line for the attraction along with some new “Train Times” board which warn you about not visiting Chapel Station with the name crossed out. Posters within the queue line warn you NOT to touch the actors and give glimpses at sections of the story for the attraction such as “MORS NON EST FINIS” and “JOIN US CHAPEL STATION” and where it says services at suspended being crossed out. From the second you enter the queue line the experience begins with music setting the scene and tension building up.
Reading beyond here will contain spoilers of the attraction! Thorpe Rail have warned you…
Your experience on Ghost Train begins in the train waiting room where you're told not to take photos and videos of your journey into the unknown. Doing so may result in your devices not working! A new preshow has been built in the same room as before however, this new show contains new effects such as closing windows, time train boards clicking away whilst the room loads with passengers and a spot for an actor to interact with guests and state the rules of the attraction.
The pre-show beings with Delivies Mortous talking about how 5 witches started a seance and all “beautifully died” during the process. How does he know? Because he was their in spirit… The pre-show also sets the story for the whole attraction talking about the “Believers” Who are a group within the attraction that…….
Towards the end of the pre-show, the Delivies Mortous gives you a chance to leave, however before anyone gets the chance to ask for forgiveness and leave the windows slam shut and you are stuck on the “last train”
Making your way out of the “waiting room” your walk up the stairs past the lost property where there are some Derren Brown’s Ghost Train easter eggs and a TV with the latest departures from Platform 13. You might recognise some of these station names as easter eggs from around Thorpe Park. There is also another TV where you watch the weather of Thorpe as a TV presenter entertains guests if there is a hold-up before boarding the train. We feel like certain situations have been thought of in this version of Ghost Train, if there’s a delay a script has been thought of and prepared.
Opening the door into the main part of Ghost Train we were shocked at the changes inside, the room with the floating train carriage has changed completely. The room has been transformed into a train platform. Platform 13 awaits you and your friends. New theming has been installed in the room with the mirrors removed, train tracked installed below, a platform 13 sign installed and other bits of new theming. Your group is divided into two, half of you enter via the left doors and the others via the right doors. When you board the train you're told to sit down, bags on laps and keep your feet behind the yellow line.
The trains have received a major makeover over the past few months, the clean appearance of the trains is gone. The trains are now very dark and grungy with the lights replaced with colour-changing lights installed. These come into use more later in the journey! Posters seen within the queue line can be seen on the ceilings. The TVs and Virtual Reality headsets have also been removed.
Before you know it, your train is moving to an unknown destination. Capel Station looks like it might be the next stop!? Our experience began with two actors on opposite sides of the train, one checking for tickets before being interrupted by the other shouting “You don’t need tickets” This is where our journey took a turn. Both actors have microphones which transmit audio throughout the train so everyone can hear what’s going on. A big improvement! Actors can be seen walking up and down the train during the journey contouring themselves as if they are possessed. Before the journey ends one asks the other where the train is stopping and they say “Chapel Station” before being irrupted by the other saying no that station is closed.
However, the train doesn’t listen and stops at… Chapel Station! One of the actors begs you not to get off at Chapel Station.
The offload platform has received a minor facelift during the rethemed with new signs installed and the offload platform darkened. This is also our first look at the trains themselves which have also been painted darker and distressed.
Walking into “scene 2” as it's called you enter the caves of the “Believers” with Skelton heads on the walls around you. You walk through a little maze with wraiths located throughout the maze. You don’t know what’s real and what’s not.
Entering the crypt you are told a story about Devin who even Queen Elizabeth didn’t like. The story builds up until one of your hosts gets taken over by the spirits of the dead and starts talking through their body. The believers tried to raise the spirits of the dead however they went too far and raised death himself. “Death is not the end” This is where the tour takes an evil turn, things in the room start to light up, statues start to rotate and a demon fly’s over your head. The lights go out and the wraiths from the queue line appear behind and in-front of your group. Trying to reach out and bring the living back with them!
In the nick of time, the doors open and you're rushed back onto the train, this is the last train.
Sit down, bags on laps and feet behind the yellow line. This journey might get bumpy…
As soon as the doors close and you start moving you can tell all is not well on Thorpe Rail. You pray for the bus replacement as your journey takes a dark and sinister turn. An announcement comes over the tannoy saying this is a Thorpe Rail announcement but before it can finish it gets interrupted by one of the actors shouting “cease”. “Why go into the crypt” For some reason all of the staff call the passengers on the train typrus. “End of the line typrus”
“What does the station master want?” what he always wants… their souls!
This is where the main character Delivies Mortous appears on the train in voice form saying “I Delivies Mortous demand the spirits to rise up” followed by heavy breathing the lights flickering off and on and then sudden darkness followed by heavy breathing. When the carriage goes dark you wonder what’s about to happen.
Suddenly two more actors dressed up as nuns appear out of nowhere. When we first boarded the train we noticed that at both ends the train has been shortened and a fake wall has been installed. The perfect place for two nuns to camp out. Scaring and interacting with guests they make their way down the train carriage taking no prisoners. They can taste fear! During this UV lights on the train activate UV paint with drawings on the train. With words such as “We’re watching you” and “Believers” to name a few. We’ve even been told the Wicker Man logo can be seen on the train during this section.
“It’s only the curious like yourselves that take the last train”
The room then returns back to normal with an announcement going off saying “If you see something that doesn’t feel right report it to our staff. See it. Say it. Sort it” Definitely not a copy of what they would say on real trains. End of the line… all change!
Walking off the train you return to where you started, the station of Platform 13. End of the line, your safe now? Wrong…
Entering the Ghost Train Shop you see all of the merchandise from the attraction along with prints of the posters from the queue line. However, there’s unfortunately been a spillage on the stairs and you have to stay in the shop and you will have to stay a little longer and look around the shop “See if you can see your photo on the screens”
A call from IT comes through to try to fix the photos not working when the attendant behind the desk shouts “I believe” and disappears in a flash. The room then goes dark and comes alive, with things around the shop moving on their own. Everything then goes dark and the attendant that was behind the desk appears in the middle of the room on a platform processed trying to grab members of the audience. “This is no photo redemption this is soul redemption.” The room then returns to normal for a split second before one last round of chaos with nuns on the wall being processed by spirits screaming.
You can now escape! Your journey is over. Exiting through the new Ghost Train Shop you can now legitly buy items of merchandise and if you need something strong you can get a coffee from The Last Call Café. Or if you need something stronger to sit down and work out what just happened the Camden Bar is always across the road.
The merchandise for Ghost Train is very clever because if you’ve not ridden the attraction yet you won't know who the believers are. The items of merchandise remain very simple with embroidered logos on some items, but contain hints of some characters within the attraction.
Overall we were really impressed by Ghost Train. We were never big fans of Derren Browns Ghost Train and this revamp and overhaul of the attraction has given us faith in the attraction's future. When we heard the attraction still relied on actors we were a bit concerned but the quality of acting being performed throughout the attraction was outstanding. The actors were moving and contouring themselves in shapes and ways we’ve never seen at Thorpe Park Resort. The removal of Virtual Reality headsets was the correct decision! This not only speeds up the throughput of the attraction but will almost defiantly improve people's views and experiences of the attraction. Sometimes you would come off hearing people going that was rubbish because their headset didn’t work. We said a few years ago we wouldn’t mind if the attraction became a Dungeons-style attraction and we feel like although the attraction is different to visiting the London Dungeons the storytelling and acting is very similar. Another great change is the fact the staff you start the journey with remain with you at all times.
Although there are sections we would change and make darker and maybe install some more effects and music we really enjoyed our visit down the train tracks on the last train leaving Thorpe Junction.
We would like to take a second and say a big well done and congratulations to those involved in reimagining the Ghost Train. It’s a big hit and we cant wait to see how guests react to the attraction.
It’s worth noting that the attraction opens at 12pm each day and no longer requires a timed entry ticket.