Review – Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018

Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018
  • Overall
4

Summary

Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 boast that ‘This year, nowhere is safe’ and they are right. They’ve gone all out in trying to make a massive Fright Nights event. On the whole, it works – it’s excellent value for money too. However it’s lacking a proper ‘headline’ maze. It’s a great day and night out!

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Last Thursday, the cool kids at Thorpe Park resort invited us to the Press Launch of Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018. As the celebrities sauntered down the red carpet, Vicki and I grabbed a quick drink at Fin’s Bar and Grill and then made our way on park to see if that nowhere was safe this year. Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 is made up of – EIGHT Scare Mazes – TWO Scare Zones – TWO Horror Attractions and ONE Escape Room. It’s a VERY Packed line-up this year – is it all quantity and no quality? Grab a brew and I’ll go through it all with you..




The atmosphere at Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 is really something special.

I genuinely love the atmosphere that Thorpe Park Fright Nights always have, the lighting, music and sounds are always spot on. This year they’ve enlisted the help of Nick Hutson (he composed the music for my vlogs) to create a new soundtrack to the Island for Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018. It’s really something special, for the first time ever there’s a brand new ‘WWTP Radio’ sequence, with ‘Big Bob’ returning to take some rather chilling calls hinting at the horror taking over the Island.

As well as park wide audio, some of the key rides have got some Halloween themed audio. The highlight of which is a rather twisted launch countdown for Stealth. It’s positive to see the Thorpe Park have tried to improve the atmosphere on park. Nick is a VERY clever chap, and his audio really adds a real frisson to the park. There’s a great interview with Nick Hutson here about how he created the audio for Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018.

The sun sets on the start of Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018.

The sun sets on the start of Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018.

Part of the atmosphere comes from the TWO Scare Zones

There are two Scare Zones at the Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018. The first is Big Top : Showtime which has some of the twisted ‘Big Top’ characters ‘breaking out’ into the park. There’s a some creepy clowns and entertainers patrolling the island, as well as a Big Top themed show within the Dome. The cast of Big Top : Showtime were out in full force around the park Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 Press Launch. We were ambushed several times by them and their demented ways. whilst it’s nice to have this – I miss the Big Top. More on that later.

Knocking around the Amity Speedway (Stealth) are the inhabitants of Terror at Amity High. These teenage terrors have a taste for blood, and are keen to expand their undead army. These creepy cheerleaders and meat-head American Football players were a lot of fun. It’s a theme that is fairly ‘in keeping’ with the Amity area of the park. It’s good to have some roaming actors on park as a permanent part of Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018

Let’s look at the Scare Mazes at Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018

I’ll take you through each scare maze at Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018. The line-up sees old favourites return, new mazes appear, and some disappear. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, so hold tight..

Blair Witch
I enjoyed the original iteration of the Blair Witch Maze. The 2018 edition starts next to the ‘I’m a Celebrity’ building (which is Vulcan Peak at the moment). The new version is nothing short of fantastic. There are very defined scenes, and you’re not left wandering through a vast nothingness of shrubbery. I loved how this maze looked, and how good the actors were, it was an incredible way to start the evening. Blair Witch is back with a vengeance for Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018.

Dead Creek Wood
Dead Creek Wood runs along the same sort of path that the old Blair Witch maze took (it’s where the summer ‘Zombie Hunt’ was) and it starts next to the Timber Tug Boat queue. I did enjoy Dead Creek Wood, but felt it was lacking in scares. There were several long pieces of dialogue from different actors along the way. These, I assume, hold you in an area of the maze for a period of time so you don’t walk into the group ahead of you. However, it seems to just slow things down. There were some areas where nothing was happening, you’re tense waiting for something to happen, but it doesn’t. I admire the way they are trying to tell a story in Dead Creek Wood, however it just needs a few more scares.

Will you Do.... Or Die?

Will you Do…. Or Die?

The Walking Dead : Do or Die!
The entrance to this is located near Vortex – and it occupies the space where the Big Top was last year. The Walking Dead : Do or Die has a similar feel to last year’s TWD – Sanctum maze. There’s a bevvy of Zombies and some very angry inhabitants of the Sanctuary too. Thorpe Park have clearly put a lot more effort into the make-up of the actors this year, and it’s evident in The Walking Dead : Do or Die. There are lot of different scenes here, one of my favourites is the first on the Bus. There was apparently meant to be a chainsaw scare in this maze, however it wasn’t present on our run through. I did enjoy Do or Die, however it needed a bit more of a finale. It just sort of ended, with all the effort elsewhere, if fell flat at the last hurdle.

Platform 15
This is Platform 15’s third year and it sits proudly on the Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 roster. It was average in the first year, and amazing last year – this year it’s excellent, but it’s not really different to the 2017 version. That’s fine, because it was very good – however I feel it needs some new scares. If you’ve never done Platform 15 before, you’ll love it, however, if you have done it before, then you’ll probably know what’s coming!

Wellllll… I suppose it has a nice sign..?!

Vulcan Peak
This new maze is in the I’m a Celebrity building. There’s a back story of being explorers making their way through the jungle to reach the top of Vulcan Peak. The video intro with Ant and Dec is gone, and there’s a new one explaining that it’s a hooded maze, and you must keep the hood on at all times. With that, you’re sent into the maze, wearing the hood. You shuffle around the building, holding on the guide rope, and well..

NOTHING HAPPENS.

You fear that someone will jump out, or something will touch you.

Nope.

I honestly don’t understand the point of Vulcan Peak – it’s a jungle themed maze, in a jungle themed building, however you don’t see any jungle because you’re wearing a bloody hood! I’m not alone in my disappointment for Vulcan Peak. Perhaps it could be improved somehow? I just don’t know if it can.. It’s a very big dent in the Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 armour!

Saw : Alive
I don’t have much to say about Saw : Alive – it’s pretty much as it always was.. However it’s a fun maze with actors that REALLY go for it. I like Saw : Alive and I’ll miss it when the Saw licence goes! Don’t expect anything different, but it’s a short, sharp, and LOUD shock to the senses.

The Walking Dead – Living Nightmare
Mrs Hakes and I actually managed to do this maze alone, which was a lot of fun. There have been a few subtle changes to this maze since last year, however it remains largely the same. The sets are great, the actors are fab, and along with the improved make-up this year it’s a great maze to go through. This is definetely one of my favourite mazes and it captures the essence of The Walking Dead very very well.

What we didn’t do…

We didn’t get around to completing ‘Containment’ – the Escape Room that returns for Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018. From what I’ve heard, it’s not really any different from previous years. I did enjoy Containment when I sampled it before, although Vicki didn’t like being picked on by ‘The Dentist’.

Fanta (the fizzy orange people) are running ‘Fanta’s Twisted Carnival’ this year – it wasn’t finished for the Press Launch, so I can’t really tell you much!

‘Screamplexx Cinema 4D’ these are some short (4D) horror films being shown in the Angry Birds 4D Theatre.

Overall

I really enjoyed Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 – without question. They’ve thrown a lot into Fright Nights this year, and on the whole it’s very successful. I feel the mazes that have been on the line-up for a few years need some changes to keep them fresh. Vulcan Peak is a resounding disappointment – I don’t mind a hooded maze, but I like it when stuff actually happens! The changes to the park-wide audio for Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 are spot on, and really boost the atmosphere. You can hear the ‘Thorpe Park theme’ cleverly entwined too, which is very smart.

I think my issue with Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 is the lack of the Big Top. It’s been improving year on year, and for it to just go feels a little.. well – crap. There are LOTS of mazes this year, I just don’t feel there’s one strong enough to be a ‘headliner’. It’s cool to have some Scare Zones, but I don’t think it should be at the expense of the Big Top. I feel that Thorpe Park have got VERY close to having a perfect line-up, but it’s not QUITE there.

It’s good that the mazes are included in the price of entry (although you can buy Fastrack to jump the queue). So, from a value for money perspective, you get a load of rides, AND scare mazes too – it’s excellent.

Go, do it all, and have an amazing time. Just don’t do Vulcan Peak – it’s bobbins.

You can check out the vlog of our night at the Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 Press Launch below –

You can book tickets to Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2018 here!

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