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Last week Miss A and me were invited down to the ‘Island like no other’ – Thorpe Park for their Press Launch of their Halloween event Fright Nights 2015, given magical queue jumping press wristbands which gave fast-track access to all the mazes, as well as a select handful of rides that were open until 10pm.

The Big Top before the sun goes down
The Big Top before the sun goes down

New to Fright Nights 2015 is ‘The Big Top’ a Circus / Carnival themed maze that sprawls across the ‘Amity Beach’ area of the park – with this being the newest maze, everyone seemed to want to try it first. Rather than wanting to hang around we merrily made our way over to the ‘Saw : Alive’ Maze, built inside the old ‘Thorpe Belle’ boat, after negotiating our way around the ‘barbed wire’ queue, we were at the door and ready to go in!

Getting ready to face 'Saw : Alive!'
Getting ready to face ‘Saw : Alive!’

Miss A had never experienced a horror maze before, and being as easily scared as she can be, I was intrigued to find out how she’d get on, we were led inside for the ‘briefing’ and then in we went! The maze felt full on, there were a LOT of actors inside, perhaps TOO many, but there were scares and thrills aplenty and even the toughest looking scream like little bitches (me included!). Miss A seemed to enjoy it too, and was suitably shaken, but not terrified – perfect!




With daylight fading we grabbed a quick spin on Colossus, which is like an ageing relative, you go to it with a bit of trepidation, it’s a bit shaky, but you finish with a bit of a headache, but generally happy you went. It was nice to hear they’d got some ‘Big Top’ style audio for the ride, it was nice to see some joined up thinking across the park!

With the night upon us, it seemed like a good time to try ‘The Blair Witch Project’ – a maze that takes you down the old Thorpe Park Railway track for an adventure in a similar vein to the film. I LOVE this maze, and it was improved this year with you being led through more vegetation and a feeling of being ‘lost’ in a forest. The trees provide excellent cover for the actors, and it’s a LOT of fun – although they did seem to be a bit more up close and personal in this maze than they were in the others – I liked that – Miss A didn’t!

Stealth at Sunset
Stealth at Sunset

After a blast on Stealth, which is one of my favourite rides to try in the dark, it was time to brave ‘Cabin in the Woods’, which, for some reason was VERY quiet – we walked straight on with a group of three. I didn’t have much memory of this from last time, aside from being cornered by four actors dressed at clowns who wouldn’t let me continue until I told them a joke (I just screamed and sobbed – that worked). Cabin in the Woods is possibly the weakest of all the mazes, there weren’t enough actors around, and the ‘terror’ element was missing – it’s good, but it could be better.

queuing for Thorpe Park's The Big Top
Queing for Thorpe Park’s The Big Top
The scary woman is bound to make you jump!
The scary lady is bound to make you jump!

It was time to try the ‘biggy’ – ‘The Big Top’ – we joined the fast-track queue with Big Brother’s Nikki Grahame who spent the queue time watching videos of herself on YouTube, debating what was healthier, Burger King or KFC (The winner was KFC as they sell Corn on the Cob) and whether to have 4 ‘fat’ chips or 10 ‘skinny’ chips (I’m not sure what she chose). The maze is split into three tents – I won’t spoil the surprises, but I think the third tent is probably the best part and provided the most scares! It could do with some refinements here and there, but ‘The Big Top’ is a great addition to the line up.

We’d been given a time slot to try the other new Maze ‘Containment’ but sadly, it wasn’t going to be open – we’ve been promised a trip back to try it – so hopefully I’ll be able to update this with a few words!

Containment - I've heard it's amazing.. I'll have to wait and see!
Containment – I’ve heard it’s amazing.. I’ll have to wait and see!

The last maze on the roster is ‘My Bloody Valentine’ – which is tucked away by Vortex, it seemed to be having a few technical difficulties as we queued, but those were quickly resolved and we went inside with another group of three young girls, and two older women. This was probably the ‘meanest’ maze as they split us up – Miss A was left to tackle it on her own, and I was stuck with the five women. It is a bit more of a ‘physical’ maze than the others with a low tunnel you have to crawl through, it could have done with a few more actors in it, but it was a giggle – although having to told the hand of a hysterical stranger was a weird experience! Thankfully Miss A was safe and sound outside the maze!

The Thorpe Park Fright Nights are fantastic fun, and I’d recommend it – I think it’s best to try and do each maze more than once, as the experiences are never the same twice. It’s made better (or worse) by the group you’re sent in with – the screaming girls in My Bloody Valentine made it fun, the chavvy 12 year olds behind us in our second Blair Witch run RUINED it. Fright Nights are definitely not for those who are faint of heart – BUT – it’s perfectly safe and FUN, you’re never in any risk or danger and it’s the safest way to be terrified into a screaming mess! For all the information you could need on Thorpe Park Fright Nights, check out my post HERE

Thorpe Park Skyline at night!
Thorpe Park Skyline at night!

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  1. Michael Fairall 23/08/2016

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