15 years of Fright Nights at Thorpe Park has now taken place, with some classic mazes returning with a new one and an enhanced one. On the menu for 2016 was 5 mazes included in the price along with an additional pay attraction.
The mazes on offer include some from the Lionsgate franchise, Cabin in the Woods, Saw Alive and The Blair Witch Project. These were joined by Thorpe Parks own Big Top and new for 2016, Platform 15.
Over the past 15 years of Fright Nights Thorpe have had many mazes with many levels of scares, from the original Freezer to the upgraded version in the Asylum the park have always been known for scares and experience, with 2016 looking to build on previous success.
The Mazes for 2016
Saw Alive – A lot has been said in our reviews on Saw Alive over the past 6 years since its first debut at the park, as a full time attraction in 2010. Though these days the attraction is only available on Fright Nights it holds much more presence at the park than the other/previous Lionsgate mazes. Located in the old Thorpe Bell the maze is based on the Saw films, whilst they may not be new Saw films it is the most successful horror film franchise ever and remains popular to this day. The maze itself is a solid experience, the scenery and theme is easily the best of any maze at the park and more on rival with some seen on the independent circuit.
Dark, smoke and strobes fill the maze throughout as you walk through some iconic style sets from the movie franchise. In groups of 8-10 hands on shoulders guide you through the dark, encountering the classic bathroom scene, freezer scene, swinging axe scene and the gun carousel among others. But you won’t be alone, you will see many actors along the way in plain view and hidden including the notorious Pig face. Over the years Saw Alive has had mixed reviews but as a general rule never fails to impress. 2016 is no different , the combination of dark and jumps will have you peering round every corner so be prepared for a Fright!
Cabin in the Woods
Since its introduction a few years ago, Cabin in the Woods won awards for its imaginative design, layout and intensity with the maze staying near enough the same ever since. Once inside the maze you have a choice of four doors to take, into the garden for 2 of them or into the house on the other 2. Multiple rooms and scares then are presented to you, including the bedroom and wall of faces. When comparing it to Saw Alive the sets aren’t as solid or noticeable to the movie version, however doesn’t stop the maze from providing scares. The small rooms can be very dark and intense and with the maze being a free flow maze (no hands on shoulders) you find that even those in the middle of the group are more on edge as normal.
Once though the rooms groups will join together again for the path out of the maze, meeting various monsters from the film along the way, dark tunnels, corridors and hidden areas line your path as red lights lead you to the exit. 2016 has seen thins maze perhaps reaching the end of its cycle, with very little changing in the maze it is starting to look worse for wear. Whilst for some the maze does provide scares and jumps the small rooms yet large corridors don’t provide the scares they used to, especially with mazes developing over the past few years.
Blair Witch Project
The third returning Lionsgate maze is the walk through the woods in the Bair Witch Project, updated for 2016 with the release of the recent film, a few new sets have graced the wooded paths along the back of Thorpe Park. Experience in the dark the Bair Witch opens slightly later than the other mazes and it a very simple concept. Take a walk along the wooded area across the back of the park, into the “wooded area” of Blair Witch, encounter some of the films characters along the way, in addition to the hut at the end to provide some extra scares. This is not the most scary maze of the evening, in fact can be quite fun. It is something different in being completely outdoors and can get very dark in places. The main issue with the maze is the light bleeding from some of the other attractions, the maze could be enclosed a little more but it’s still good fun.
The Big Top
New for 2015 the Big Top was located on Amity Beach and for the first time provided a circus style maze for Thorpe Park. Last year split into a couple of tents the maze was received with mixed reactions, for 2016, the maze was relocated by Zodiac (previous site of My Bloody valentine) the maze was now located in just one tent, it was very different from the previous year.
Once entered, the start is actually the only thing nearly the same, the crystal ball psychic tells you of your fait before you walk into the maze, once inside and through the first corridor come an amazing strobe light section. A long section at that which is very disorientating and usually full of actors which you won’t see coming. Should you find your way out you will enter the rest of the maze, with clown rooms, stalls, makeup, hanging bags and props rooms to look forward to the detail in the maze is excellent and close to that of Saw Alive. Don’t take a wrong turning at the end though, the chase has only just begun…
Hot on the heels of the Ghost Train in 2016, Thorpe Parks new maze keeps the train theme going as you take a walk on the parks longest maze to date, around the back of Loggers Leap on the search for the last conductor of Platform 15.
That is what you are looking for, the conductor of last train to leave Platform 15 hasn’t been seen in years. Once you leave the station you are explained about the last train to leave and the last whereabouts of the conductor, from here you come face to face with the last train (the old Canada Creek Railway Train) which has some dead bodies and live actors to greet you. From this you carry on walking around to the graveyard, again with some actors to interact with you along the way.
Approaching the tunnel, you are stopped and taken through the tunnel as they try and summon the conductor. After a very long walk you reach the conductor at the end before exiting the attraction. I would like to say there was to the maze than this but there really wasn’t. It’s a shame with such a huge area to play with that the maze didn’t quite click together. Some huge open spaces of nothing, and a tunnel that just didn’t build enough suspense. I’m sure we will be seeing Platform 15 in 2017 and it will be interesting in the changes it brings.
The prepaid escape room also returned for 2016, with a new set of clues to help you get out. You can’t go into to much detail, 3 rooms, 10 minutes to escape the maze to win. Some great actors inside looking to put you off from breaking the codes in each room.