Often, blogging throws up some very weird and wonderful experiences - however, last night was one of the best. Ahead of the official press launch on Thursday, myself and another journalist got a look inside the new Walking Dead Mazes at Thorpe Park Resort. Both 'Living Nightmare' and 'Sanctum' take threads of storyline from the popular AMC show, and bring them to life, with terrifying effect!
Last night wasn't all about exploring the mazes. When I arrived I was lead to the Thorpe Park boardroom where Claire Haxell-White of Scareface transformed this mild-mannered blogger into an AMC grade 'Walker' . The process was fascinating, all the layers, and detail added slowly built into a gross result. It felt bizarre having latex stuck to my face, skin hanging off. By the end, I looked like a long dead Zombie. I looked both amazing and disgusting in equal measure.
Once the makeover was complete, we were led to the first of the Walking Dead Mazes at Thorpe Park Resort - the 'Living Nightmare'. It's based inside the back of 'X' where 'Cabin in the Woods' used to live. The maze takes inspiration from the now iconic 'encounter' with Negan, and you go on a mission to escape him and the dreaded 'Lucille'. It's dark, it's intense and it's scary - it truly is a living nightmare. There are walkers at every turn and it's a heart thumping journey. I managed to do this maze twice, once on my own and again with some fellow brave souls - the actors mixed it up a little each time so it wasn't the same.
After a brief break I met Jamie who gave me a masterclass in perfecting the art of acting like a walker. Those of you who've seen The Walking Dead will know that the zombies don't run. This is mirrored in the Walking Dead Mazes too. Jamie gave me a lesson in walking like a Zombie (no dragging feet), and 'talking' like a zombie (sounds on an exhale work well!). Thorpe Park have worked directly with AMC to perfect the Walkers, they've been given the stamp of approval. You really are getting an authentic experience.
Time for the Sanctum!
A radio buzzed with a muffled voice saying the Sanctum was ready for us, so we moved to Stealth Island to see the second of the Walking Dead Mazes. It's hidden away on a bit of the theme park most people will never have seen before. Sanctum is entirely outside and is based upon the 'Sanctuary' seen on the show. It's a maze strewn with abandoned vehicles, and a whole host of live, and dead characters. The theming is done brilliantly well, and it transforms a dark night in Staines, into a REALLY dark night in Atlanta.
Putting my skills to use..
I was able to put my new 'Zombie' skills to use - I was put into a scene in the maze with some of the other actors. I was then tasked with unleashing Zombie hell on a few members of Thorpe Park Staff who were getting their first taste of the maze. It was incredible fun! I even managed to get a quick selfie with the undead too!
If you can - GO!
I've only had a small taste of what Thorpe Park Resort has to offer over Fright Nights in 2017. As well as the Walking Dead Mazes, there is Platform 15, the Big Top and Saw Alive in the line up. As well as the escape room - Containment. I can't wait to go back for the official press launch on Thursday and trying out the other mazes. If you can get there, then go - Fright Nights is running at THORPE PARK Resort until 31st October – to book tickets visit www.thorpepark.com/frightnights
Check out my exclusive first look inside the maze here on YouTube -