Where have the Ten years gone!? Thorpe Park are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Fright Nights this year and not only do some of the favourite mazes return for another year, but they are also joined by a new maze, Experiment 10.
Being the tenth year, lets cover all of the mazes in detail, but first what did the park do for some scenery? Well over the past few years I have been critical of what the park have done to celebrate the event in terms of theme, with very little around the park of recent years. Why? Well looking at Chessington and mainly Alton Towers (as scares are on the same level if not higher) the parks do there best to get you into the spirit with pumpkins, displays and other items which may be included. Alas this year nothing really again. Which is a shame as Thorpe used to push the displays early on in the ten years but have calmed down in recent years (may be because of the audience they worry about damage, although Alton have the same) The themed entrance area and a few barrels and hanging rope is all we can hope for this year so does the mazes make up for it… In a word, yes!
Saw Alive is resident at Thorpe Park all year round and with no Saw coming alive in 2011, was Saw Alive having any extra added? To cut it short no, It’s never a maze where I have stood back and gone WOW but does Serve a purpose. Heading into the maze you go through Saw themed rooms (although I never remember the electric shock) Bathroom, Shock, Cool room, Chain room, Swinging Axe and the turning Shot Gun. All rooms have some good spots, but nothing that stands out.
The Curse has always been my least favourite of the mazes, mainly because of the use of more “cheap effects” than the other mazes. What I mean is the laser guided noises, lighting and smoke. However that being said it does make The Curse very jumpy, and indeed quite frightening at points. The attraction is based on a crime scene ship where you are invited to enter at your own risk, with some very disturbing outcomes. Good length with some very dark features, along with great actors and although the effects are fairly cheap, they are very effective.
Seven I have always found to be less of the jumpy, and more of the disgusting when it comes to mazes. It’s not about people jumping out, its about the atmosphere. Some may find this more frightening than others, I don’t find it that bad but I do appreciate what it’s trying to do. Entering Seven you are going to experience the Seven deadly sins in room form, with each room divided. The scare comes from what you think about the scenery and smells. Disturbing? Yes on occasions, disgusting? Again yes most the time, Frightening? No but a truly immerse experience.
Widely regarded as the most terrifying experience in the park, The Asylum does exactly what it says on the tin. You enter an Asylum full of inmates who are roaming free in the corridors, hold on tight, look ahead, but also watch your back. Chain fences, constant strobe lighting along with sirens noises is all you need to know about what to expect. You can look out but you won’t see the inmates coming, and defiantly in for a scare at the end…
With the end of Hellgate there was still something new for 2011, and this was no ordinary maze. Experiment 10 allows you to enter a government testing lab, which has many twisted victims… First thing you will notice is that you don’t hold the shoulders of the person in front, in fact, you walk freely through the maze. This is a first for the park, but works very well.Once entered, you are spoken to by one of the scientists, who tells you a story about the Lab, you WILL be split into groups and placed into very small rooms (groups of 3/4, 10 go in) the room is dark, tight, and you are left in there for a period of time which leaves you wondering how to get out.
Then don’t look behind, as a plastic elastic screen with someone trying to burst through at you will scare, before you are let out and told to move through. Dark it is, scary it is, different it is. As you are taken through the Lab, tables, beds and some very freaky body hands hanging from the walls. Just as you see the door and the light, there is one final scare in store. The maze is something very different, and is an excellent addition to the park, easily making it number one.
A nice addition to the park this year was the scare clowns going around the park. Some were for more comedy, and some were dame right freaky and played the part very well. Out from 4 pm, they were pushing around a rather nasty body part cake come night time!
So overall what is any good? Yes, defiantly with Experiment 10 being a massive highlight of the 2011 calender. The park cut the stupid music, and had fright night music playing through out the park along with the extra clowns adding to the value of the event. Could it have more scenery, yes 100%, and the stand from the park should be strong on cases of damage. But the mazes were good, with back up mazes and two outstanding experiences, great year for the park, Barry and Stuart were once again a great addition to the line up!