It's your Adventure
Possibly the best known Halloween event in the UK Tulley’s have been thrilling people for many years with 2017 adding 2 new attractions to the stable line up the event already has. Located on a farm, Tulley’s has events going all year round with this one being their biggest and driving the most people. 8 mazes make up the biggest lineup possible although early in the event a 3D Cinema was present which was removed for reasons unknown. Many of the attractions we have witnessed before and have been thoroughly entertaining their is no doubt the expectation on Tulley’s is higher than any other Halloween event we visit, but did it live up to the hype?
Creepy Cottage is always a great starting point tucked behind the other attractions and with the exception of the Hayride is meant to be the least scary of the main attractions. Set in a cottage style this maze is all about sudden jumps and effects to try and scare you, minor detail is added each year and we were lucky when you start here to walk through with just two of us so you really do get the best out of the maze. Sharp corners, strobes and actors all make up what is really a good looking maze. A great starting point and real fun.
VIXI formally Helliments is the parks hooded maze and one of the “new” attractions for 2017. We aren’t a huge fan of hooded mazes generally we don’t find them scary however, Hoodoo Voodoo really set the bar high for this attraction. After a brief introduction all still mentioning Helliments, including signage what had changed on the maze was certainly not apparent when entering the attraction. Following the rope sounds and air/fire effects is what mainly makes up the attraction, this is accompanied by a gravel section outdoors all of which felt very much the same to previous years.
At the end we removed or hoods to find a new walk through section including barrels and strobe lights, lasting about 30 seconds it sadly didn’t enhance the attraction at all and can’t really fit it in with the maze itself. This has needed an upgrade for a couple of seasons with hoods you can see through especially on the outdoor sections and no physical scares we are more hopeful this maze will make room or be enhanced for 2018.
The Chop Shop is a fun and intense experience and one of the more popular mazes at the park. Entering what you think is a car chop shop you are taken through some amazing scenes of broken down garages before the real purpose of the maze begins. Once through the curtain the walls turn white and to blood and the real purpose of the chop shop comes to life. Chainsaws after chainsaws after chainsaws greet you as you tackle in and out of buildings trying to escape. There are a lot of chainsaws in the end of this maze chasing and coming at you making it a real intense experience not to be missed.
Twisted Clowns 3D takes a new look on the clown maze, with 3D glasses and paint being used inside the attraction. Fairly standard Clown maze red and white drapes filled with clowns make the maze very difficult to navigate and see what is behind the next corner. Ducking a diving through you will come across a fast moving spinning tunnel as you try to stay on your feet, floors are uneven and the finale with the car is very simple but also very effective. A real fun and entertaining maze full of laughs and the odd sudden jump, one of the best Clown mazes out there.
The Cellar is one of the parks most stable attractions and has graced the event for many years without to many changes, for us who didn’t visit last year the big change was the robot much like the hounds at the start of the maze. Deep and dark this maze feels like you are walking through a house full of halls and rooms, kitchens and other familiar scenes are enhance by outdoor sections and actors ready to pounce. It does still look amazing inside the attraction and provides a more intense experience and upgrade from the Creepy Cottage, but is certainly not the most thrilling maze at the event which perhaps it used to be. Great fun.
The Coven of 13 was new in 2016 and we had heard a lot about the maze. Based on witches the mazes takes you deep into the Coven through forest and outdoors. Starting with possibly the biggest leg killer in the world a long section of inflatable sides, around you empty smoke filled areas covered by laser lights as people pop out from no where. From here the scenes become more personal as you enter inside various wood buildings and come face to face with the witches. The finale is a witch strung up screaming as you walk around her. We have to say we didn’t get this maze at all and for us provided nothing in the way of scares or entertainment but more on that at the end.
The Horrorwood Hayride is another fantastic stable of the park, for those we have seen comments questioning what its about its about film scenes and entertainment. Nothing super scary this is possibly the best one out of the 8. Actor engagement it at its highest as you climb on board the tractor and head out into the fields. Scenes you will recognise as actors jump onto the trailer and provide entertainment at each set, that is not to say there aren’t some jumpy moments, fire, smoke, loud bangs and of course up and close chainsaw can set the heart pumping. We love this and long live the format!
The Colony was saved until last as this maze or the variation of it has provided us with some of the best thrills in the past however even this has been toned down for this year. Entering the Colony a long set of walk ways as you head to encounter the people that survived the end of the world. In groups they hunt and you are the pray as you encounter the weird and wonderful. It has some fantastic sets and a lot of the maze is located outside with fires and other effects used to keep you in the moment. That doesn’t mean you can see whats going on, people are still hiding behind scenes, ready to jump and of course a chainsaw ending means you need to run out of the maze.
So what is the problem?
This year was the worst year for Tulley’s we have experience, we have been going for 7 years with the exception of last year and the reason we didn’t go last year was we thought it has got stale. We still feel the same. Take nothing away from the great actors and staff but it feels the need for more has taken away from the core experience of the scares and here is why.
Most of the mazes have an outdoor section, in principle is okay however rules out starting them early (and the park gets very busy) It completely ruins the Chop Shop strobe section as even at night strobes can’t work with ambient light around. Most frustrating is the 100 foot booster ride located above several of the mazes in particular the Colony. There is nothing more distracting that green lights swinging in front of you when you are supposed to be “In the moment” inside a scare maze, it doesn’t work. Outdoor sections of Coven were poor and to open, light bleed on VIXI could be seen through the hood and it really distracts from the scare maze.
Now we appropriate this event is generally well received by its demo graph but doesn’t make it right, no card machines, over batching the event has got so popular it needs to be reviewed. Extra dates without a doubt need to be added, better line control with fastrack, attractions enclosed or set well away from distractions which is difficult with a 100 foot monster ride (turn the lights off?) and given what we have experienced even at the sister park of the Howl a review is needed. Its not all about 5 star ratings on Facebook its about making the event and every single maze a distraction free experience which only one or two of them achieved.
We have loved Tulley’s in the past but in 2017, Xtreme and Burton left them at the start line. Check out our Vlog below for the full details.