Fright Nights have returned to Thorpe Park! Running between 8th October, and the 31st October this is the longest Fright Nights so far, with opening times from 10 am to either 8 pm or 10 pm (depending on day)
This year’s line up again includes 3 mazes, from the Hellgate house full of frights and hidden people, to Se7en as you walk through rooms of the seven deadly sins. Also returning is the very popular Ranger County Asylum, “The Asylum” as you enter the freaks house and prepare to be scared from every angle through the smoke and strobe lights. The mazes open at 4 pm, also there’s the chance to ride the rides in the dark with rides opening into the night!
Welcome to Fright Nights 2007! The parks number one event of the year, with perhaps less going on than last year and the event starting early, it’s was really up to the park to make the effort to get the event going, that started on one of the quietest days of the season the 8th of October.
On offer this year, early on was just the 3 mazes, The Asylum, Hellgate and Se7en.
Se7en was the first stop of the day; something that I was a little disappointed with last year is the walk through from the seven deadly sins, taking you through different themed rooms with many disturbing images. Last year I went in with the theory that this was supposed to be a scary maze, when I’m not sure it is, as there’s something very different about being scared and being disturbed. So going back in this year having a look around the rooms closely, it’s the disturbing part that will stick out in your memory, not the fact that the actors aren’t really trying to scare you but there to add to the theme of the attraction. That in mind Seven is a much more enjoyable attraction, well enjoyable in the sense that you’re not so disappointed. Attention to detail is excellent and needs to be with every room lit up, not in such low light as some of the other walk through’s and you will find yourself picking up on some really nasty scenes which is one of the main reasons why people find this the worst of the 3, if your stomach turns you’ll feel the same.
The next stop was Hellgate, this is perhaps the maze that has seen the least change in 2007, more like walking through a house Hellgate is all about the actors, watch out for hiding places, enclosed areas, because they are out to fright you. Hellgate is much more about the bright colours, formally the Freakshow 3D its now the lighter of the two scary mazes, with much more of a chance to see what’s coming. It is also now the more tame of the two, and would be a good starting point for the Asylum which has improved over the years. On the same hand for a maze that is meant to be exceptionally scary, what was once fresh is now becoming very stale.
The final maze is the Asylum which was the most frightening of the three, never fails to impress. The Ranger County Asylum is what is suggests with this one being wild, with you inside, strobe lights and smoke as you walk through cages it comes at you from every corner. The actors very much come alive, jumping out, climbing over fences this one will scare you or at least make you jump. It’s also the longest of the mazes and this year should not disappoint with the surprises that are in store!
In addition, it’s also nice to see what the park do for theme during Halloween, this year many were expecting a transformation of the park, but sadly again this hasn’t really happened. There is a themed entrance which makes a change and does look really nice and helps with the atmosphere. Around the park nearly every ride has the cobweb effect, which has never really been there most years, and the music is as always excellent after dark when it all kicks in, again really adds to the atmosphere. However this is about it, where other years the park have used pumpkin displays, and themes around the grasses, bar one area in Canada Creek it does feel that they could do better, especially when compared to the efforts Alton Towers and even Chessington go to. But don’t be put off, this is as always the best event of the year and if you can visit on a quiet day, will be your best visit of the year. However if you visit on a busy day, plan your day and possibly get fastrack for the mazes.