The awesome folks at Thorpe Park Resort invited me down to be one of the first members of the public to brave their new attraction for 2015 – the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze and then mingle with some famouses for some after dark ride time too.
Rocking up for 12pm at Thorpe was a little odd for me, I’m there when the gates open, and keen to get in – it felt a little alien mosing in so late, and as it was a school day – the usually bustling entrance was dead. I met with the lovely Alice and Vicki to begin our weird and wonderful day at the Island of Fun.
First off was a bit of ‘admin’ getting some bulging Goodie bags, stuffed full of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze goodies – I think I’m going to pass on the ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ Sweets though (ants in lollies don’t appeal!). We also got given our special wristbands for the evenings festivities too – gotta love a VIP Wristband!
We had a bit of time on park before the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze would be ready for us, so we were asked what we wanted to go on first.. Me being the over excitable and theme park nut I am instantly chirped up – “QUANTUM FIRST! It’s the rules”. Then having to spend a few minutes explaining to the group and polite PR people about my “Thorpe Park Rules” there are only two of them.
1. Quantum first.
2. Rush second.
I was admittedly looked at like an overly obsessive compulsive idiot – but everyone was polite enough to indulge me.
After ‘the rules’ were obeyed we trekked over to The Swarm for a ride on that – unfortunately though we were hit by a rainstorm of Jungle proportions and had to take shelter in a nearby shop. It was a bit late though, we all look liked drowned rats (me especially for some reason!). The rain was so bad it actually meant The Swarm had to temporarily close as going through rain at speed really does sting! After the heavens had closed, it was actually time to head over to the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze to be the first members of the public through it! On our way across the hoardings for the secretive attraction coming in 2016 had JUST gone up – there are clues in the signs apparently (I think they look a bit London Undergroundy *winks*)
We were really lucky to have a quick chat with some of the team that worked on developing and designing the attraction – they were keen to hear our feedback so things could be ‘tweaked’ for when the Maze had its official opening the next day.
We were led in and the fun started..
You enter the maze in groups of ten or so – it’s designed in a similar style to the London Dungeons, whereby each group can be ‘held’ for a few moments by the actors inside before entering the next scene (Bush Tucker Trial). We were told they are hoping to have around 500 guests per hour going through the Jungle which should hopefully keep queues down! We were also told that there are no live animals in the attraction, which alleviated Alice’s fear of snakes (a little!)
In the first scene you enter ‘Base Camp’ with a pre-recorded briefing from Ant and Dec, and they give you a little insight into what the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze has in store for you.
You take a trek through the Vile Vineyard to arrive at Croc Creek’s rickety bridge. At the other end they will walk through the Catacombs of Doom to reach the first Bush Tucker Trial ‘Holey-Moley’ – where you are challenged to place your hands in crevices in a rock face to try and find the buttons to light up the stars to open a corridor to the next area.
Up next are the ‘Chamber of Horrors’ where you’re loaded into individual chambers and given some questions on ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!’ – those who answer incorrectly or not quick enough will have a load of nasties dumped onto their heads. Poor old Alice took the brunt and was finding freeze-dried meal worms about her person for the rest of the day!
It’s then onwards into the Calamity Caves – this bit really isn’t for those of a claustrophobic nature – it’s a bit of a tight squeeze in places, and the last part is what I can only describe is like being given birth to (I assume!) You’re then led to the last few scenes in readiness for the last trial ‘Celebrity Cyclone’ where you have to climb uphill under some scramble nets whilst being blasted by 56mph winds. It’s then down the slide to leave the Maze, ready to be crowned King or Queen of the Jungle at the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze throne!
We all had fun going through the Maze, I think my only quibble was that the music track was a little too loud, and downed the voice of the actors inside. Considering it was one of the first run through to the public, the actors inside were good (dodgy Aussie accents aside) and made everything fun. For a new attraction it’s actually been turned around really swiftly – in just under six months – it’s been themed really well by the Design Magicians at Merlin and looked brilliant. Hopefully there’s some scope to turn it into an ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze – After Dark’ for Halloween as it’s using the space occupied by ‘The Asylum’/’Studio 13’.
I’ve been sent a few of the concept art images from the drawing board of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze for geeks like me –
After our trials within the maze we were treated to lunch in the refurbished ‘Fins Bar and Grill’ – they certainly make a stonking Veggie Burger – would definitely recommend it, and a swift beer settled the nerves after the Maze!
We were then left to our own devices to enjoy an hour on the park, before the evening event started – most of the park was open for the evening event, and as the main focus was at the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Maze the park was EMPTY! It was incredible for a geek like me to see the place so quiet, and even have a couple of rides to ourselves. It was a lot of fun, and probably something I’ll never get to repeat, so I really do have to thank Thorpe Park for an amazing opportunity!
Don’t forget if you want to go to Thorpe Park, then you can save up to half price on the gate prices by booking online.