While Alton Towers and Thorpe Park fight over whose doing the Fright Nights and Fireworks, Chessington remains unchanged in there approach for 2004, in fact, they have got even better! Running for the whole of October, Halloween Hocus Pocus brings Ghostly goings on for Chessington, with a complete make over for the park, extra shows, and in 2004 the Chance to meet Scooby Doo!

So much effort goes into making the park that extra bit special, although unlike Thorpe there are no extra attractions, but for the children there doesn’t need to be, and the overall effort in the end, has always seemed more satisfying than Fright Nights.

And in my view Fright Nights is going to have a lot to make up for. Chessington looks great. Simple as that! Every effort, for every corner of the park, to every small detail has been looked at, added a bit of theme, in some cases music, and its looks better than ever! Obviously the first thing you are going to notice is the entrance area, with the new panel over the entrance, and the extra theme around the ticket machine area.

Then once inside the park there’s not one small stone that has been left unturned, and the first thing you will notice is the Mystery Machine just inside the entrance. Now for some this may not be a big deal. But for me and my 2 children this was the smartest move Chessington have ever made, and maybe should have been advertised a little earlier in the year, as Scooby Doo being there was the highlight for many children’s and families, with out a doubt. Also around the Mystery Machine you will see the usual Chessington theme, with some added Pumpkins, and some Hay bails, and banners hung over the walkways. It simply looks great.

Once now inside the park, which ever way you walk, you’ll see Hocus Pocus Hall (Burnt Stubb Mansion) in all its glory. It was done the same last year, but still it shows the extras that the park will go to make the event stand out. Aside from the decoration, there are smoke effects, and a massive Cauldron sitting out the front, with the opportunity to have you photo taken inside, great piece to look at, and a really nice touch. Also moved outside the front was the advertising car from the entrance.

Onto Market Square where most of the Halloween action takes place, again there are a lot of little bits of theme on the way round and into the Square, and then you will see the main Hocus Pocus Stage. This is where shows and events take place, Trick or Treat doors gets children up for either a treat, or a trick from the witches! Also in the after noon (4.30) there is a fancy dress competition held on stage.

Next to that stage, there’s the chance to meet Scooby Doo. As said earlier this is the best move the park has made. Very popular cartoon character for many children, or even adults (for those forgetting he dates back to the 60’s) to view and have a laugh over. And for my 6 year old, it seemed a very touching moment, and was with out a doubt the best part of the day. Possible a shame that maybe they didn’t go all out and get all characters involved some how, but it was still a very nice touch.

Also in the same area is the Chessington shop, which has again been done up very nicely with plenty of theme, lights for the shows, and the smoking Pumpkin!

Obviously there were other areas that got some attention. This includes little things, like pumpkins around Frazzle (or what ever the dragon is called!) Tome Blaster, on the waters in Toy Town. To the larger add-ons which includes a lot of work in Transylvania, extra Bats appearing, more cobwebs and spiders. Extras in Land of the dragons, corn themed around supports, to more pumpkins and hay stacks at the entrance. Right the way down to the music change on Tome Blaster and loads of other bits! The only areas that really had nothing added, was Mystic East, and Beanoland! The old Photo statue from last year is now located in Land of the Dragons.

Also there is plenty of Characters coming out for the event, apart from the normal Dennis and Spike, There’s plenty of other’s going around the park! Pumpkin man, Witches on scooter broomsticks, Horror lookers and more! Apart from all the festivities, there’s also the chance to ride the attractions in the Dark! Even with the park only open until 7pm, by 6pm on a quieter evening most of the rides are walk on, or very close to it! Here are the highlights of rides in the dark.

Pictures from the event