For 2012 the dreaded arrived for Fright Nights… The paid attraction. Hot on the heels of Alton Towers charging for the main two attractions Thorpe Park follow suit even with the near £50 entrance. That aside lets have a look at the event for 2012 with the new attraction The Passing replacing the old space occupied by Hellgate at the back of X:/ No Way Out.
Attractions returning were The Curse, Asylum and Experiment 10 which was lasts years top maze across many parks. With the Passing adding to the line up there was going to be something new at the park with both Seven and the 4D Cinema show (had been Barry and Stuart) not returning for this year.
So the theme? There wasn’t one but this isn’t unusual for the park, a themed entrance and a small display of crosses on the inside of the park was about all they went to but non of this would matter if the mazes were up to scratch!
Last year Experiment 10 and the Asylum shined as two of the best mazes in the country and we were looking forward to the improvements made this year before we ventured onto the Passing. For the Curse which we started with please read the review from previous years, once again there was no change to the maze.
Next was the Asylum which had always been a favourite of mine, but had it changed? Yes but not in a positive spin. The best parts of the Asylum was the dark strobe light only effect that you were subjected too through out the whole maze, meaning you couldn’t see people coming and the image of “Now there, now gone” was missing. What seemed as extra lights were now on with the effect of the once disorientating Asylum missing. scenery restricted with more fences allowing full view of the maze the lighting makes the attraction and there was just too much of it. Disappointing.
Experiment 10 which was simply amazing last year was next and I was really looking forward to this one. The introduction was much of the same as last year before you were thrown into one of the rooms and locked in. So far so good however last year I was placed into a room with other people whilst this year I was alone in the room. Now I’m not easily scared but the attraction can be made up by having others panic in the room with you! Not the end of the world but the claustrophobic feel of last year was missing. I was then let out the room and headed down the corridor. It seemed the same as last year on the scenery but nothing happened? In one of the rooms I was run over by the patient in the wheelchair but this was the only person I saw. No finale, no jumps, no actors. After last year maybe I was expecting to much although the friend I went with was just as gutted by the outcome. Fingers crossed only a few tweaks needed to get it back on form next year.
Now the Passing, we had to pre-book times for this online as opted for 7.45pm. Once arrived there was an hour queue? Yeap an hour queue for a time slot. How was this possible? Well we at first thought maybe anyone was going in but no they had tickets, then we saw they were still selling tickets on the entrance to the attraction. Not only this there was yet ANOTHER queue for the ultimate Fastrack (the 60 odd pound one) which allowed people straight on. Now I’m sorry but you buy a time slot and you expect to get on really within 10 minutes, Alton have this perfectly set-up there is just no excuse for over selling these days, we were extremely upset that we had to wait an hour and miss ride time.
Now the maze! We finally got inside where they set up nicely a little story as to what you were going to enter along with the bag being placed on your head. No I’m no expert but the idea of the bag is surely so you can’t see? You’d be wrong you can see right through it which deemed that pointless to begin with. (Tulley’s Farm the first to introduce the bag in 2011 for Hellements you can’t see, have a CLEAN bag every time too) This was not the case with Thorpe Park in what just seemed to be rushed.
Onto the maze once inside you are sent into a tunnel on your hands and knees as you crawl through to the main part of the maze. I have to say this was the best part of the maze especially when it started to dip and you slide down with it, the big issue was catching up with people who you can’t see can become frightening when they are not moving. Once you finally exit the tunnel you walk through the maze with the scenery and actors, this was very much Hellgate with some paint and there was nothing stand out to report.
Once you exit the maze you hand over your bag and get your certificate to say you survived the maze, a nice touch we thought it was over as we headed in the final room with a bunch of screaming girls. After a light display the room door finally opens and you enter a string of rubber black curtains before the exit.
There seemed to be some major floors, for a start in the black curtains we ended up going out the fire exit after one of the girls fell over and got trampled on there was just no direction of where to go. In addition maybe someone could answer but when you are in a dark tunnel, with people as the timings haven’t been done correctly on letting people in where is the emergency exit? Where are safety lights or indeed a quick escape? Yes I know its supposed to be scary but a few more directions on what to do in a emergency would be good, we all know in other mazes you exit through the fire exit.
Some work to be done for The Passing it did seem really rushed, with no justification as to the charge when it was oversold with a longer queue than Asylum.
Fright Nights came for 2012 but didn’t conquer like in 2011, the highlight was easily The Swarm which simply looks amazing at night, but bigger more definite improvements are needed for 2013.