Halloween Hocus Pocus returned at Chessington for 2005, and that also includes the hugely popular Scooby Doo! Held again for the month of October, there were close days this year, however they did extend the opening times during half term till 8pm, which, for anyone who went last year, knows was needed.
Like every year, the park put events on, all for the children; this included a new show in the Market Square, the Hocus Pocus Trick or Treat stage, which had been moved to Beanoland. A spot the Ghouls competition, with Chessington giving prizes away for whoever spotted the three ghouls, and of course, the chance to meet Scooby Doo!
All these went down very well with the family, visibly Chessington more so than any other year had attracted the families to the event, and while unlike Thorpe Park, there are no mazes or extra attractions that the park put on.
But it did have a few problems. The decoration this year was the same as last year, which although last years was good, this year it looks very worn, the entrance, with scratches and marks over it, the web effects in Transylvania, either not there, or dirty and un-effective, and a few less pumpkin patches around.
On the plus side there were more plastic pumpkins about or there seemed to be, meaning they not only don’t rot, but stop the kids wanting to throw them. Also a few extra effects added around the park, like the graves in Vampire queue looking marginally better.
The worst part of the event, was the planning around Scooby Doo, While he is an excellent idea, having him only out between the hours of 12.30 and 4.30 when the parks open between 10 – 8, created queues that rivaled, if not worse than the mazes at Thorpe Park, after an hour queue, I gave up as we were nowhere near the front still. But also in addition to the Hocus Pocus event, Again a chance to ride the rides in the dark, including the excellent Dragon’s Fury and the on form Rameses Revenge!