It was late September and time for an earlier than usual start to the Halloween season for 2018. Our first seasonal scare event for the year took us to a children's all-weather adventure park in Melton Mowbray, it is time for a night of Xtreme Screams…
Xtreme Scream Park is one of our favourites and we always seem to kick off the scare season with this event. We have been visiting Xtreme Scream Park for the past four years and has never disappointed so we were Xtremely looking forward to seeing what this year had to offer (see what we did there).
This year there were no changes to the lineup with all the mazes appearing at the event the previous year, however, Xtreme Scream Park stated prior to the event that this would be the last year of Curtains Chaos, the clown/circus maze that has been at the event since its initial conception.
The event may have had no changes to the maze lineup but we knew from previous experience that the hard working Xtreme team always change and improve the mazes whenever the mazes return from previous years so we were excited to see what had changed from 2017.
As we approached the car park and walked to the entrance, we were hit with a sense of familiarity as the music blasted out around the plaza, we were back! After we passed the turnstiles and posed for a photo we made our way to the main plaza and headed to our first maze of the evening, it was time to say goodbye to Curtains Chaos.
Curtains Chaos - The Final Curtain:
You may have seen from our previous reviews that we have never been overwhelmed by Curtains Chaos, it has always been a decent Clown themed maze but that theme of maze has never scared us particularly, mainly because they play for more comedic scares and unless you are scared of Clowns, they never have much impact. That being said, we feel sentimental about Curtains Chaos as it has been a staple of Xtreme Scream Park and we have enjoyed seeing it change and evolve throughout the years.
When we made our way to the entrance were approached by The Ringmaster and let into the circus in our groups. Due to this being the last year of the maze we were not expecting much change in terms of set design and we were correct in that aspect, the maze layout was essentially the same as previous years, but the actors were on top form, interacting with us heavily throughout our run-through and providing lots of laughs which made the experience fantastic as always, it was clear that the actors wanted to put on a good show and send this maze off with a bang.
After surviving our carnival charades in Curtain Chaos, it was time to head to the Jungle and meet the Shamans in Hoodoo Voodoo.
As we made our way underneath the shadow of the Tiki heads we were reminiscing about our previous journey into Hoodoo Voodoo, the hooded maze that debuted at the event in 2017. We have said before that this is one of our favourite hooded mazes that we have ever been in, the hooded maze style has never really appealed to us, however, Xtremes second attempt at a hooded maze (the first being The Hunted in 2015) featured several unique elements that makes the hooded sections interesting and exciting which we expected would be present again this year and of course, we were not wrong!
As we entered the maze we were handed our hoods and plunged into darkness. Our rope holding adventure took us past sheepskin walls, bouncy floors and occasional sprays in the face! After around 10 minutes of clambering around in the dark, the hoods were yanked off our heads and we walked into the unhooded section of the maze featuring UV lit rooms, Laser filled hallways and eventually stumbled into the new and improved outdoor section.
This year the outdoor section has been converted into a graveyard full of tombstones, shrines and coffins, it was a great improvement on last year's and made the previous iteration feel empty.
Although there weren’t a lot of scares within Hoodoo Voodoo we were extremely impressed with the changes made and Xtreme have improved on an already great experience which we would love to see return next year.
The Pie Factory:
Melton Mowbray prides itself of some of the best pork pies in the entire country and is made from the finest meats around, fresh from the source, however, at this factory it seems that there is more than pork in these pies… The Pie Factory is one of the oldest mazes at the event, with its first appearance being back in 2012 and is the only maze from that year that still has the same name since its initial conception.
As we entered the maze we were greeted by Momma Hog, who assessed us and determined that we would be the perfect portion of protein to go into the pies and were sent into the factory via the paddocks. After waving to three (maybe more) little piggies outside we headed into the living quarters and noticed the first of many changes within The Pie Factory. The park has heavily invested in animatronics this year and within this one section, there was at least five animatronics in various shapes and sizes which gave this usually quiet section some excitement and certainly took us by surprise.
We were then subjected to all the fun and scares that The Pie Factory is notorious for, a non-stop 15-minute journey with additional animatronics throughout and fantastic scares, this was the best run through we have experienced through The Pie Factory since our first visit in 2014.
Stilton Hall Hotel and Hell Spa:
Stilton Hall Hotel and Hell Spa is Melton Mowbray’s finest country mansion whose goal is to change and beautify every guest that steps through the front door. As you walk through the hallowed halls you will experience relaxation beyond your worst nightmares.
Stilton Hall Hotel and Hell Spa is a custom built building created specifically for the scare maze and opened for the first time at the event in 2014. Consisting of 50 rooms this scare maze is a sight to behold with details around every corner, it is one of the most intricately themed mazes that we have ever been in.
This year the hotel features more hosts, including a certain “lady of the night” in her "red" room and like most of the other mazes, new animatronics. Stilton Hall Hotel was great as always, with great interactions from the actors who seemed to all be having a great time, we adore this maze and look forward to what they add next!
Ash Hell Penitentiary:
Ash Hell Penitentiary is a maximum security prison designed in 1609 to hold and rehabilitate the criminally insane in particular those with cannibalistic tendencies. The prison deemed it acceptable a year later to bring victims in from various sources to feed to bloodthirsty inmates and it seems that the tradition is still continued to this very day.
Ash Hell Penitentiary is, in our opinion the most intense maze at Xtreme Scream Park since it made its debut at the event in 2016 featuring extremely “handsy” actors as well as some rather provoking language and this year is no exception.
During our run through we were subjected to a lot of grabbing and swearing as we made our way around the prison which personally we feel fits the theme of crazy cannibal prisoners. It was clear that the actors were very much into their roles and were getting very up close and personal which put a lot of our group on edge.
The theming of Ash Hell Penitentiary is the same, with additions of new animatronics much like a large majority of the mazes this year at Xtreme. As this attraction stays up throughout the year it means the theming was initially created at a high level and the detail of course, still remains.
Ash Hell Penitentiary is one of our favourite scare mazes and really packs a punch in terms of intensity and scares, no other maze really compares, personally.
Welcome to The Village, The Home of World Organisation Projects to Eliminate Agricultural Pests where Professor Crowe has created genetically modified scarecrows to help sustain the human race.
When we visited The Village for the first time in 2017 we were incredibly impressed with the level of theming and use of impressive animatronics and scares and as announced at ScareCon, The Village won the award for Best Halloween Attraction for 2017 so we clearly weren’t the only ones impressed!
So after that, we were incredibly looking forward to entering The Village again and the time had finally arrived.
We were let into The Village and once again was incredibly impressed by the level of detail and theming and we went through the villagers' houses, some of which were less than happy with our visit telling us to leave as quick as possible. As we continued through the houses we met some of Professor Crowe’s interesting experiments, one of which is a giant chicken and eventually we escaped back into the outside world… but the story didn’t end there!
We then progressed through several other buildings, garages, schools and Professor Crowe’s lab where we met the illusive man himself who wasn’t particularly impressed with our attire!
Around 10 minutes later we reached the finale of The Village, we were about to praise the harvest! The impressive church opened its doors to reveal a full sermon with pews completely filled with “people”. As we cautiously stepped inside we realised all was not what it seems…
The preacher spoke his words of wisdom to the clergy and then all hell broke loose, scarecrows leapt from the pews and started to attack our group, it turns out that we ourself was the harvest. We increase our speed incrementally until it turned into a full sprint and we made it out just in time.
The Village was as fantastic as previous years, with several areas improved thanks to the inclusive of animatronics, we hope that this maze remains at the park for years to come.
Street Theatre and Live Entertainment
Now that we experienced all of the mazes it was time to experience the rest that Xtreme Scream Park had to offer and this was in the form of the roaming entertainment and live entertainment in the two entertainment areas.
Throughout all areas of the event, the street theatre was in abundance, with various characters including Mr Blobby and Little Miss Muffet to name a few. This was great as always and adds to the atmosphere of the event providing scares when you least expect it.
As well as the Street Theatre, Xtreme Scream Park offers live entertainment in two venues, the indoor venue has dancers performing frequently to popular music whereas the outdoor venue has fire breathers performing throughout the evening as well as live bands on a separate stage accompanied by roaring campfires you can sit by whilst enjoying the entertainment. Both of the venues had food outlets nearby allowing you to enjoy a show whilst eating a snack from one of the events many food trucks/stalls.
Another addition to the outside hub area is a huge new Pumpkin King animatronic next to the bar, initially doesn’t look too terrifying until all of a sudden it grows in size and towers over you whilst letting out a bellowing laugh. It is a great addition to the hub area.
In conclusion, Xtreme Scream Park was on to another winner this year, with every maze seeing improvements, meaning the event offered surprises for first-timers and those who have braved the haunts before. Xtreme is getting better year after year and we cannot wait till 2019 so we can visit this event again.