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JoshuaA

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Blog Entries posted by JoshuaA

  1. JoshuaA
    After a boozy evening sailing down the rhine the night before, it was finally time to visit Phantasialand. A park I have heard so much about.
    Now Phantasialand seems to really draw very different reactions from people, some people think its the best park in the world. Some people think its great with flaws, and then you have those who think it is shockingly over-rated. Anyways, once into the park. Something really made me think, I knew this would be a paragraph-worthy rant, so lets jump in.
     
    (for your information, I didn't take many pictures due to time constraints. Tut Mir Leid)
     
    The Entrance:
    When you think of a park entrance, you think of Europa Park's main street, you think of Gatekeeper towering over Cedar Point's gates, you think of Towers Street. Most of these entrances really leave a great first impression. Now, Phantasialand has easily the worst entrance of any major park I have been to. It feels so underwhelming, its next to River Quest and Mystery Castle. And it just looks, kinda amateur. Its just awkward, and really I was questioning whether I was visiting a major theme park.
    People rave so much about Phantasialand's theming, and sure they have some brilliant themed rides, but they can't even have a half-decent park entrance?
    It feels like a staff side entrance, never mind the main entrance. I know space is a issue here, but I really think the park should completely reform the entrance at some point if they can. It would really help.
     
    Taron

     
    So after entering, I couldn't help myself. Taron had a big queue, but I did not care. This was going to my first ride.
     

     
    My only other experience with a blitz-coaster is Maverick, which is my #2. I adore its transitions, its launch, and its laterals. Now Taron seems to be heavily touted as great due to its theming. Though there has been a ever-growing group of people who have labelled it over-rated or slow. Is it the great ride everybody says it is? Yes, in my opinion, yes.
    Taron is simply not as intense as a coaster like Maverick, but it makes up for it in having brilliant theming and interactions throughout the entire ride. It also has much better restraints. The ride is a spectacle, on ride and off ride, in the front row it is surreal. Now launch wise, I find the first one to be fun, its not too intense but it was more forceful than I was expecting. The second rolling launch is brilliant, it feels like you are being catapulted forward. Now element wise, the ride is basically just a bunch of turns. But if you've ridden Maverick, you know those transitions can be incredibly fun and give pops of sideways airtime. Sadly besides a pop or two from the turns, Taron lacks on the airtime front. It has two hills toward the end, but those are ruined by trims. I rode in the back, the front, and the middle. In all seats the airtime on those hills were pretty non existent. 
     
    Despite the lack of airtime, Taron is a outstanding coaster. Its long, its well themed, it has a lot of interaction with Klugheim, its fun, and it is re-rideable. I rank it at #2 pushing Maverick down to #3. I ended up getting 4 rides in, which proved hard as Taron is not a reliable coaster! Intamin strike again!
     

     
    Feng Ju Palace
    I kinda rode this by accident. I didn't know what it was going in. Its a fun madhouse, nowhere near as good as Hex but its fair.
     
    Tikal
    This was fun. Very long cycle, good views. Very fun family drop tower.
     
    Colorado Adventure

     
    I have ridden my fair share of mine trains. From the original at Over Texas, to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, to Cedar Creek at Cedar Point. Colorado Adventure blows them all out of the water. It is long, well themed, has a brilliant indoor section, interactions with Chiapas, and is lowkey intense at points. I really wish I was able to ride this more than once, as it was a brilliant family coaster. Oustanding.
     
    Crazy Bats (Temple of The Nighthawk)
    I'll give it some credit. This ride made me laugh, but for all the wrong reasons. The exterior for one looks like a B&Q DIY job, and the queue line has enough black walls to rival The Dungeons. Once you get to the ride, its a meandering boring mess in a black box with darkness to hide the lack of theming. I like long rides, but Crazy Bats just goes on and on. I hope this is the next ride to be axed, as its one of the worst coasters I have ridden.
     
    Winjas

     
    I only rode one side, I can't remember which one. But they look fairly similar.
    Winjas is a top tier spinning coaster, its quirky, its weird, and its fun. I love the elevator style lift, I love the tilt track finale, and I love just how weird the ride is.
    I would say I still prefer Dragon's Fury as its more intense, but Winjas is still a brilliant spinning coaster and a fun supporting coaster in the lineup.
     
    Maus au chocolat
    What a lush dark ride. Maus Au Chocolat is very cutesy, the queue line is adorable in itself, and the smell pods are strong and sweet. 
    The ride itself is akin to the Toy Story Mania, and its a fun experience. But I do think its a smidge too long. I like how Phantasialand have long rides, but in this case it just gets a bit repetitive. But that aside, its a very charming dark ride that is just great fun. I would rank it as one of my favourite dark rides for sure.
     
    Raik
    Raik is a fine Vekoma Boomerang. Honestly its amazing how they fit this in. It has beautiful surroundings, and its a very solid supporting coaster.
     
    Mystery Castle

     
    So props to Phantasialand. This ride looks very cool. The queue is even more cool. The ride itself is very fun, its a intamin drop tower, though its bounces more like a S&S. I like the theming elements during the ride, though honestly its not as forceful as other Intamin drop towers out there. Though due to it being enclosed, and well themed, its probably one of the better drop towers out there. I only rank Detonator and Hurakan Condor higher. I do wish the cycles were longer though, the ride had no queue and it could of really gone on for longer.
     
    Chiapas:

     
    Everybody raves about Chiapas. And they have good reason, this is the future of log flumes. The disco room, the backwards section, and the finale are just brilliant.
    Its a long flume, it has fast lift hills, it really is what log flumes should aspire to be in the future. Overall a brilliant supporting ride, it was a shame it was so cold as I would of gotten more rides in! The theming and interaction with Colorado Adventure is another huge positive.
     
    Black Mamba

     

     
    Black Mamba is a very interesting invert. It starts off pretty normal. Drop, loop, zero g roll. But then it has a Jr immelmann. The ride is a very compact invert, and it does a lot of diving into tunnels. The inversions are really the only moments where the ride pops up above ground level. Its really cool!
    I found the ride to be much better later in the day, in the back row it is very whippy! I also love the finale, I know a lot of people find it slow. But I like the constant turning in and out of tunnels. Its very disorientating. The break run is also very cool, being in utter darkness.
    Overall Black Mamba is a ride that I still am working out where I rank it, I think I prefer it over Inferno, Raptor, and Batman. Though I'm still deciding about if I prefer it over Nemesis. In the end I got 4 rides on it all on different rows. The back row was my favourite. Overall I liked Black Mamba much more than I was expecting. I feel it gets a bit overshadowed by Taron now, but by itself its a very unique and fun invert.
     
    Shows:
    So during my day I saw the parks Ice Show. This show was fun, had a lot of fun elements to it. Though it certainly is on a lot smaller scale than the Ice Show at Europa Park. 
    It definitely reflects how Phantasialand is a lot more of a smaller and intimate park.
     
    Food:
    I had one meal here, it was wurst and fries. And honestly I don't think I can judge the food off this one meal, but it was good. It wasn't anything mindblowing or amazing, but it was fine. And I'm sure there is more unique and interesting options in the park, and if I came back I might have a more fully-formed opinion.
     
    Operations:
    Phantasialand had mostly good operations on my visit. Taron had good dispatches, Black Mamba had good dispatches, and most of the other coasters were pretty fast. My main gripe with the park had to be 1 train operations on Black Mamba for the second half of the day. I know the queue wasn't very long, but it just felt a bit annoying. Especially compared to the consistent operations down in Europa Park. Even when its quiet.
    I would say the park has probably the third best operations I've seen. Behind Cedar Point and Europa, certainly one of the better parks, but not quite the best.
     
    Rides were also very reliable, the only rides that had downtime was Taron and Raik. Overall I found the downtime to be minimal, which is a positive.
    Staff were very polite and efficient, overall I was very impressed.
     
    Covid:
    Phantasialand really is a difficult park for social distancing. It is small, has tight pathways, ect. So with that social distancing was a bit impossible at points. Though masks were worn at basically all times by everyone. And the park did a good job of enforcing the masks. 

     
     
    Final Thoughts:
    Phantasialand is a great park. I really enjoyed it. Though I don't think its a perfect park whatsoever. I feel the newer areas/rides are really the standouts here, Chiapas, Chocolat, Klugheim. Though some of the older rides like Temple Of The CrapHawk and China really show the more dated part of the park. 
    I also found the park to not be the prettiest to be honest either. Most areas are well themed, but its not quite scenic and full of flowers like Europa Park for example. The theming is brilliant, but most areas of the park aren't really as serene or quite as magical as Europa. Klugheim is very close though, and the way the Taron dives in and around the area is absolutely amazing. I would probably rank Phantasialand as my #3 park. Though once F.L.Y opens and Crazy Bats is bulldozed, then I could see it easily jumping to #2. I don't believe it can overtake Europa Park though. 
     
    Phantasialand is brilliant, though the sheer size and scale of Europa Park really can't be beaten. Though Phantasialand definitely packs a lot of greatness into a fairly modest sized park, and for that, you have to admit it kicks a lot of ass.
     
     
     
     
  2. JoshuaA
    This trip has been in the making since the beginning of this year. Long before lockdown, long before any of the crazy crap went down. If I'm being honest, I was sceptical about this trip for months. With covid being such a heavy force, I did not believe I would make it to Germany. Even over the past few weeks, so many countries have been thrown on and off the quarantine list, I was scared about Germany being thrown on last minute. I got very lucky that it wasn't.
     
    Friday the 28th of August:
    Now I had a afternoon flight to Cologne. This usually would be very easy for me, living in Crawley, I am a few miles south and a 5 minute bus ride from Gatwick Airport.
    Though when looking for flights to Cologne-Bonn, I could only find options from Heathrow. This meant I had to trek down to Heathrow, which is a shame. Considering I am literally down the road from one of the biggest airports in the country. Oh well, first world problems eh? Anyway the M25 wasn't too bad, and gotta love a sunny afternoon flight right?
     

     
    Kinda wish I was going here ngl.. 


     
    I was pretty excited to see my plane had Europa Park on it. I will be back to you Europa, I promise.
     
    That evening was mostly just checking in, walking around, and a schnitzel. Because schnitzels are the best thing about Germany and Austria and you know it. Who cares about culture, landmarks, or anything else?

     
    Saturday:
    Saturday was my sightseeing day. Now the most iconic thing in Cologne is the biggest, and the only thing to survive the war.


    The Cathedral is huge. A impressive sight. It can be seen from most of the city, and overall its just cool.
    The Old Town around it is even nicer. Tons of cobbled streets, many restaurants, and overall a lot of charm and quirkiness.
    Cologne may not be the prettiest city in Germany, but it definitely has charm. Though my highlight had to be their chocolate Museum..

     

     
     
     

     

     
    As a hungry bast***, I approve of this museum. Perfect for those who love to get their cavities refilled like myself.

     



     
    Its a shame 2020 sucks tbh.
     

     

     
    You can even get your own creation done at the Chocolate museum for 5 euros. I got a bar of white with a bunch of nuts in it. Cos I like nuts, get over it.
     

     
    This day was finished by a river cruise down the rhine. Because it would be rude not too. Sorry for the bad photography, I was drinking beers left and right.
     

     

     
    Overall a very quirky city. its not the most beautiful, or the most historical, but its a fun place that has its quirks.
    Anyway next blog I will deep dive into Phantasialand. Prepare folks, its going to be a long one..

  3. JoshuaA
    So I had this review all edited and ready back in October, though I forgot about it for some reason. So better late than never?
     
    So I have been visiting Fright Nights since 2012, I very vividly remember walking into the white marquee which housed The Curse as a scared 10 year old.
    I remember the heavy smoke and the abundance of actor holes allowing for a ton of jump scares, it was scary but 10 year old me craved that fear and ever since I have been back nearly every year.
    Sadly 2018 was that one year that I didn't find time to go. I honestly kinda missed Fright Night, even if the maze quality was low it triggers a bit of nostalgia for me and I'm so glad to have had experienced it again.
     
    The event since 2012 has evolved and the lineup has changed a bit from 2017, so how did the lineup stackup?
     
    Containment
    Containment feels incredibly refined and polished in comparison to how it was in 2016/2017.
    The pre-show is now actually fun and not a bore, the first two rooms are actually interesting now, and the actors seem to know exactly when to help and when to meddle with the group.
    I loved some of the actor interaction in here and I liked how it didn't take itself too seriously. Containment is a ton of fun and honestly I would recommend it.
    Its not really scary but I would say it was my second favourite attraction on offer this year.
     
    Living Nightmare:
    My last run through of this maze was amazing- actors a plenty, intense, well themed.. Sadly this year missed the mark.
    The sets are still beautiful but I felt this maze really lacked actors this year and honestly I didn't get a single jump scare.
    The maze is also really short which doesn't help whatsoever... I also feel like this maze needs more actor holes for jump scares, actors at times felt kinda trapped within groups and it kinda made the maze feel more empty than anything..
     
    Platform 15
    Platform in 2017 was one of my favourite mazes, period. I only experienced this maze in the day this year though I honestly think it wouldn't of been much better in the dark TBH..
    Platform 15 this year simply didn't have enough actors. When you have a maze that big you need a decent sized cast to back it up, sadly Platform felt very uneventful.
    The ending tunnel also felt so drab, in 2017 it had a lot of atmosphere and actors. This year it was just as boring as it was in 2016..
    Platform overall reminds me of its 2016 state- boring and long, well at least the village section is still good!
     
    Creek Freak:
    In a sea of mediocrity lies something that is actually pretty great.
    Creek Freak really has everything- brilliant actors, brilliant set, length, crawl sections, chainsaws, intensity...
    Its not quite as intense as Asylum or quite as fun as Big Top, but this easily is the best attraction of Fright Nights this year and probably one of the best mazes to ever exist at the event.
    Both run throughs left me laughing and running in equal measure, I found the maze was swarming with actors in places and the multi-route sections combined with creative actors make every run through different. 
     
    I loved how Thorpe tackled a mini Sub Species style section with various points where you can be split up, I felt Thorpe really integrated this in well and it added a extra layer of dread while walking through.
    Overall a solid addition to Fright Night this year and easily the most fun I had all night.
     
    Do Or Die:
    This was hard for me. The actors inside were really going for it! They really are a brilliant cast and it really pains me to be so negative about this maze..
    Despite top tier acting, everything else about Do Or Die is terrible. The lighting is awful, the outside sections feel bare, and the containers mostly feel empty.
    I have heard they have isolation chambers in the first container which is a great idea but on my run throughs they were not used at all.. I honestly think the heavy popularity of the event makes using that technique hard, unless you go all out like E10 did..
    Do or Die is surely interesting but overall as a attraction it falls flat, the actors do redeem it a little though.
     
    Blair Witch:
    Solid maze- has some issues with it being quite a open space at times though actors generally were rocking it.
    Nothing special, but its a fine maze.
     
    Atmosphere:
    I like this event, though I have to admit it really lacks a soul and a atmosphere. Outside of the mazes, it is easy to forget you are at a Halloween event. I hope in future years they try and make roaming actors and park-wide decoration more of a prominent part of the event.
     
    Overall:
    Overall a mixed year for Fright Nights. They introduced a brilliant maze in Creek Freak, though everything else is either okay, or terrible.
    I hope the event continues to add mazes like Creek Freak, as that maze does really give me hope for future mazes to come at the event.
    I do think also shifting some focus to the event as a whole could really make this event much better than it currently is. A event is so much more than its mazes.
     
     
     
     
     
  4. JoshuaA
    Scare attractions are usually very formulaic, a bunch of corridors with actors in them, a chainsaw finale, a strobe maze. Though there is some attractions that I have been through that are just plain weird. Today I'm gonna be counting down the top 10 most weird mazes I have experienced. Now I have not been to every event, so this won't be include every weird maze out there sadly, but if you do have any mazes you think are bloody strange leave em in the comments.
     
    Here is a few mazes that were close to making the cut, but ultimately failed to make the top 10.
     
    Twisted Clowns 3D: The bungee chord is unique in the UK, the vortex tunnel, and the heavy use of 3D and UV make this maze worth mentioning. I decided I was a tad biased towards it, so I decided to not include it. Though it does have a good case as it is quite unique. Its flooring is also quite brutal.
     
    Altonville Mine Tours: It is quite a interesting maze. It does have that mine lift scene which is pretty cool, and the finale in 2017 was pretty unique and cheeky. Though I did not think it was quite enough to make it worthy of this list.
     
    The Cabin In The Woods: 
    Good use of multi routes, and the control room make this maze unique IMO.
     
     
     
    10. Sub Species: The End Games- Alton Towers Scarefest (2015-present)
    Now despite not being the first to utilise this concept (Mazes at Thorpe had been doing separation and multi-routed mazes since 2011), Sub Species I feel like takes it to the extreme. The separation in Creek Freak/My Bloody Valentine feels like child play compared to the sheer brutality that is Sub Species. In the Thorpe mazes separation is a threat, but the mazes usually only have a few multi-routed sections and actors tend to not have the power to properly separate and isolate people within groups like Sub Species does. I think the real benefit this maze has is that it feels designed specifically for separation in sections, the room with the opening doors is a great example of the maze basically just double downing on splitting as many groups up as possible. The heavy amount of multi route sections and very hands-on actors really compliment this. Actors are not afraid to get hands on, and it really adds to the intensity and make a experience that is unlike any other maze. I experienced Sub Species in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and each time I found myself alone at some point. This is a real testament to how effective the maze is at splitting up the fairly big groups they batch through. And this is why it makes the list, no maze takes the multi route and separation concept as brutally as Sub Species. Not any I have experienced anyway.
     
    9. Studio 13- Thorpe Park Fright Nights (2014)
    This maze was kind of a shock on its debut. Taking over fan favourite and the very traditional 'Asylum', Studio 13 had a lot of weight on its shoulders.
    Though looking back, this maze was nothing like The Asylum, and something very unique and interesting.
    To begin with Studio 13 was a free flow attraction, this at the time was unique and different. The maze also had some weird actor placements at times, it seemed there was a point or two where actors could just swarm you. The theme in itself was interesting, having a maze themed to a horror film studio proved to be interesting and also went along with the park's other mazes that year. 
     
    In hindsight Studio 13 I think was a maze that really didn't get enough attention, I think a lot of people forget about it due to Asylum kinda overshadowing it.
     
    8. The Sanctuary- Alton Towers Scarefest(2012-2014)
    Now the only reason this maze is not higher is due to its finale, which to be frank, is pretty run of the mil.
    Though everything else about this maze is weird. The queue line plays tranquil and happy music, for a moment you can easily forget it is a scare maze.
    The first few rooms are pretty huge for a maze, the maze in its first half is completely eerie more than actually scary.
    The lack of traditional scares or typical scare maze stuff just is bizarre, and I think it is the main reason people like this maze.
     
    This peaks in the Marmalisation Room. This room makes this maze worthy of this list alone. Its foggy, weird, slightly hypnotising, and very creepy in a strange way. This room honestly feels like an acid trip in the middle of a gothic ruins in the middle of Staffordshire, its strange.
     
    7. Vampire: Haunting In The Hallows- Chessington (2012-2013)
    Before we got Creepy Caves, Chessington had a pretty scary maze in its lineup a few years back.
    Haunting In The Hallows in a way kinda reminds me of a dungeons style attraction, with proper scripted scenes and effects to compliment the script. 
    The maze really told a story, and each scene built up the atmosphere and the narrative.
    Haunting In The Hallows really was a unique maze in that only its finale was really a true scare maze. Every other part of the maze is scripted and more theatrical, and it made this maze stick out from the many scary mazes at Fright Nights.
     
    6. The Volt- Tulleys Farm Shocktoberfest (2015)
    I have talked about this attraction a fair amount now, so I think you guys get the picture.
    Pitch black maze with a intentionally jank-y layout to force people to touch the walls, the walls have panels that can give you a mild electric shock. This in itself is just odd, and really enough to make it worthy of this list. Though there is one maze that used this gimmick and made it even more weird..
     
     
    5. Scary Tales- Alton Towers Scarefest (2014)
    2014 was a controversial year for Scarefest. Carnival Of Screams was axed and Scarefest were down a proper maze, though we what got in its place was true-ly interesting and unique.
    Scary Tales was a 'scare zone', it had a constant flow of people, but had a clear path with a entrance and exit and at points felt like a maze. 
    The attraction had tons of actors, so even with no grouping actors still seemed to be able to interact and give good scares to as many people as possible.
    The maze had a brilliant cast full of different fairy tales characters that gave some laughs (Hansel and Gretel) and good scares (the three piglets and their ugly masks).
    Scary Tales makes this list as it really straddled the line between scare maze and scare zone, the theme was also pretty strange by itself. I really hope Alton bring back this type of 'scare zone' again as Scary Tales was a brilliant attraction
     
    4. Festino's Forgotten Funhouse- Screamland Margate (2016)
    Screamland Margate really nailed making their clown maze unique back in 2016.
    The most standout part of this maze was its use of props and costumes, many times in this maze would you walk through a room for a camouflaged actor to jump out from absolutely nowhere! 
    The maze also had a brilliant use of large props (the skeleton hands being absolutely a highlight).
     
    After about 5-10 minutes of a normal maze the attraction began to adopt a Dungeons-esque flow with scripted scenes from a knife thrower, and the Bearded Lady. 
    This was particularly odd, the maze was slightly odd up to this point, these scripted scenes later on in the maze just escalated the quirkiness of this maze.
     
    3. The Paradise Foundation- Screamland Margate (2016)
    This maze makes this list as it really focuses on its concept and the macabre nature of its theme. In any other maze, the actors not doing jump scares at all and screaming for "help" would be boring and not scary. The Paradise Foundation flips this and the actors crying for help in their disgusting costumes only make you feel even more uneasy and grossed out.
    Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of actors in here. But a lot of them were playing victim over aggressor, which for a scare maze, is unique. Well unique in that it actually worked.
    I didn't get many (if any) jump scares in here, but I felt uncomfortable during the experience and for all the right reasons. Like Festino this maze does have a few scripted scenes at the beginning of the maze which further separates this from other scare mazes. 
     
    I felt Screamland really nailed this attraction, the theme is pretty gory, and they didn't hold back with theming and costumes, as well as building up backstory and finer details (roaming actors who are 'ex-victims' of the foundation, and some scripted scenes to explain the narrative).
    The maze is currently defunct from Screamland, though you can find its spiritual successor at Scare Kingdom up north, so it still lives on today.
     
     
    2. The Legend Of Crank Jack- Screamland Margate (2017)
    Screamland are the king of odd mazes. But Crank Jack takes the cake for being the strangest concept for a maze.
    The maze's exterior is literally just a white marquee, though the intro room is very themed. What?
    After the intro video you are a ushered through a foggy entrance to a crawl space, this crawl space is unlike other any crawl space you have experienced.
    Its long, it has plenty of zigzags, and there is even sections where actors have crawl height holes to deliver scares. Even weirder, there was some parts of the crawl maze where actors could deliver scares right above you! This crawl space went on for a eternity, but after you start to stand up, it honestly just got weirder.
    The next section was a bunch of confusing corridors with the exit being kinda hard to find, I got lost in this section on both run throughs.
    Actors were equipped with loud horns which made getting lost even more annoying.
     
    The use of crawl space really makes this maze worthy of this list. This is by far the most elaborate and largest crawl space in any maze to date.
     
     
     
    1. The Dark- Tulleys The Howl (2015)
    Now I have spoken about The Volt at Tulleys Shock a couple of times now. Though honestly its sister attraction that existed at The Howl was even more weird.  If being shocked by wall panels wasn't unique enough, The Dark had even more weird crap to throw at you. The floor being one, the floor seemed to change a few times. Sometimes it felt like you were walking on sand, next you were walking on straw. The floor was elevated at points too, which just added to the oddness of the maze.
    The actors were mostly dressed in werewolf costumes, this gave great scares with torches which was a shock to the eye of after extended darkness.
    The lack of traditional jump scares, the shock gimmick, and the weird floor in this maze really made it a standout experience.
    Unlike The Volt this maze really worked in a weird way, and it is a shame it only lasted a year.
     
    The Dark's shock gimmick combined with some of the best use of the floor in a maze makes this maze easily one of the most odd mazes to grace the earth.
     
     
     
    Hope you enjoyed folks. If you have any other mazes that you think deserve to be on this list then let me know!
     
     
  5. JoshuaA
    So due to the corona virus, I thought I would actually post on this blog (for my own amusement as well as others)
    This blog today will rank every Tulleys Maze ever to exist (bar a few that I did not sadly get to experience)
    Here is the few attractions excluded from this list:
     
    Field Of Screams- this was a maze in the park's former cornfield (where The Wreckoning currently is)
    I sadly didn't get to experience this or some of the future reincarnations
     
    Dr Plagues Trail of Terror- This is the 2012 successor to Field Of Screams
    Woodshock: Rottin since 69'- Another Field Of Screams incarnation I sadly did not get to experience
    ItsCurtains- This is one I really regret not being to able to walk through. This was the original Clown Maze that debuted back in 2009. This maze apparently was incredibly confusing with the classic curtain maze being the staple of this attraction. This is now Twisted Clowns 3D.
     
    Anyway, onto every haunt I have been through!
    Ranked from worst to bet, this was hard list!
     
    The Wreckoning: (present)
    Tulleys have done quite high quality attractions throughout the years, this makes finding a 'worst' maze hard.
    The Wreckoning sadly falls short compared to other Tulleys attractions. It just doesn't quite work.
     
    It certainly brought some interesting ideas though, and I think with some extensive tweaks this could be a great maze. Coven wasn't my favourite in its opening year and look at that maze now. If they give this the coven treatment next year I could see this being a highlight attraction for the park, I think this year though it just got a bit upstaged by another new maze..
     
    Pandemonium's 3D Carnival: (2016)
    The clown maze at Tulleys has always been chopping and changing. Back in 2016 they debuted the 3D element, this element is incredibly cool though the maze only had its second half in 3D, which meant you had a awkward pause in the maze and the pacing kinda didn't work because of that.

    Silver Scream Drive In Scare Zone: (2014)
    I think this one gets forgotten about really easily. Silver Scream was located next to the entrance of Twisted (before Chop Shop and The Colony were there) and it was a lot of fun. This scare zone is where the 'popcorn girls' originated from, the girls who walk around with their disgusting flavoured popcorn. 
    It is not higher due to the fact it was pretty short and small, but it still has a left a mark on the park today with the popcorn girls still coming out every now and then.
     
    The Tunnel (2014)
    Before The Colony was the incredibly suspenseful and long, The Tunnel.
    This maze's first half was just long dark tunnels with short spaces and extended pitch black darkness. The maze at points made you feel the walls to find the way which was unnerving for 10 minutes at a time! The second half was a long Wastelands style strobe maze, it was long and incredibly confusing to the eyes after the stupid amount of darkness. The maze was very fun though I have ranked it this low due to the first half having little to no actors. But when its so dark and claustrophobic, I'm kinda glad they didn't have actors in that first half.
     
    The Volt (2015)
    2015 was a huge year for Tulleys. With Nightshade, The Colony, Chop Shop, and this maze debuting, it was a big year for them.
    Unlike the huge highly themed Colony or Chop Shop, The Volt was a very minimalist attraction in comparison, the theming was really not all that good.
    The maze didn't really focus on theming though, it was a 5 minute pitch black maze meant to create anxiety with the electric shock gimmick.
    The maze was all about the idea of the shocks with the actors being somewhat of a afterthought, overall The Volt was unique and certainly was a interesting concept.
    I do think The Dark at The Howl (2015) did this concept better and I can see why the concept was not brought back after the initial year. 
    The reason it isn't lower as it actually was quite scary, like the shock element was very psychological and it meant actors had a very easy job of scaring.
     
    Chop Shop (Present)
     
    Chop Shop is such a hard maze to rank as on its opening year it was amongst my favourite mazes ever, but sadly over the years it has kinda ran out of steam.
    I decided in the end to rank it by its current incarnation which isn't bad, it has such great theming in the first half and the maze certainly is enjoyable. 
     
    Creepy Cottage/Haunted House (present) 
    The Creepy Cottage was my first haunt at Tulleys and I always have had a soft spot for it. 
    Its tight corridors, amazing theming, and good use of a small cast really makes this maze for me.
    Its not the scariest, its a bit cheesy, but its such a classic that makes me smile every year. It can also pack quite a punch depending on the cast!
     
     
    The Cellar: (Present)
    Arguably the signature maze from about 2009 to 2012, The Cellar has spanned a very long time at the event. The maze has seen an extension and a cage section since opening, but besides that it is completely the same as it was in 2009.
    The Cellar remains a long jump scare focused assault, with some theming here and then to compliment the experience.
     
    The reason it isn't higher is that I think the event has really grown a lot since 2009, and Cellar in a way has became a little dated. It still is a brilliant maze though that certainly is a classic. 
     
    VIXI (Present)
    This is gonna piss some people off, but I like VIXI.
    I think it was a trailblazer for the industry and its something completely different to any other maze at Tulleys.
    When you have so many haunts like Tulleys it is so important to have a maze that is so different, Vixi really impressed me last year.
    The experience seemed to have a good amount of actors and the maze actually made me want to go again!
    I think Vixi gets a bit over-hated if I'm being honest.
     
    Twisted Maze: (2012-2014)
    Twisted Maze was honestly such a fun time back in 2014. It didn't focus on scares but it had a lot of funhouse elements including a section where you walk through a slanted corridor, a huge check room with actors in matching costumes (this room was a lot bigger than the current check room), many elevation changes, darkness, and a bunch of curtains. This maze was not very scary but it was buckets of fun and honestly it was my fav maze when I visited in 2014 (that is very nostalgia flavoured though..)
    Though I do admit its future incarnations are superior (barring Pandemonium)
     
    Nightshade Circus (2015) 
    This maze was really a push up from Twisted. The maze had severe layout changes along with a new entrance with a themed facade (it is Tulleys after all!)
    The Nightshade Circus introduced a lot of UV lights into the clown maze as well as refining the classic Tulleys Clown Maze formula with a brilliant layout and a curtain maze or two!
     
    The Nightshade Circus also had some new music as well as a really fun finale which is now sadly absent.
     
    Twisted Clowns 3D (Present)
    Very close with Nightshade but ultimately Clowns 3D is probably the best edition of the park's clown maze.
    The Bungee scare really lights up the first half of the maze and the 3D element being consistent throughout most of the maze makes it very trippy and fun.
    This is very biased though considering I've worked in here for the past two years 😉
     
    The Colony (2015-2018)
    The Colony was utterly epic compared to The Tunnel.
    The maze has so much theming and it never seemed to end. It was easily the most impressive maze back in 2015.
    I think this maze certainly is missed, it was a absolute monster of a attraction.
     
    Coven Of 13 (present)
    I was incredibly harsh on Coven upon its debut back in 2016. Let me just pull up that review to show just how harsh I was..
    Every year since the maze has got progressively stronger for me. In 2017 I lukewarmly liked it, and my run through in 2019 with the new finale honestly blew me away.
    The maze really feels complete now. It is long, has a great finale, great scares, and a nice variety of inside and outdoor sets.
    This now makes Coven a maze that I think will be a staple in the lineup for many years, it also is quite unique with its all female cast.
     
    Haunted Hayride (present)
    The heart, the soul, and the lungs of Shocktoberfest. 
    The hayride never seems to get old, even with some of the scenes like the billboard being the same since its debut..
    It is just such a brilliant attraction that sums up everything that Tulleys is about. The Hayride is here to stay and easily the most iconic attraction at Shocktoberfest.
     
    Wastelands (present)
    Probably one of my favourite mazes to ever grace the earth, I adore Wastelands.
    Its not even the maze, its the area around it, the queue, and the show. Its more than a new maze, its a immersive scare zone, show, and a brilliant maze.
    Wastelands to this date is probably the most epic, the most immersive, and the best attraction to grace Shocktoberfest.
     
    Anyway hope you enjoyed this list. Make sure to stay safe everyone!
     
     

     
  6. JoshuaA
    When going to Chicago the nearest park worth giving a sh** about is certainly Six Flags Great America (unless you're willing to drive to Cedar Point).
    They have been rapidly expanding in the past ten years or so with coasters being added left and right, heck Great America have probably got the best deal out of any Six Flags park in the past ten years.
    They received a kiddie woodie (wasn't too fussed on getting that cred), a B&M Wing, a RMC, a freespin, and recently a S&S launch.
     
    This park really gave me Thorpe Park vibes. The park is fairly compact with a lot of the rides being kinda on top of each other.
    Whizzer is right next to Maxx Force and Maxx Force gets quite close to Raging Bull and Raging Bull is next to Demon and Demon goes up right close to X Flight, ect, ect.
    Just like Thorpe a lot of the rides are very packed in to the space and walking around is fairly easy with that in mind.
     
    Goliath:

     
    Goliath is the park's groundup RMC woodie and despite not being anywhere near the level of Steel Vengeance the ride is pretty insane.
    The ride's first drop is certainly the highlight with a very steep angle and the signature ejector RMC's are known for.
    Other than the drop the ride has one more airtime moment before the dive loop which also gives great ejector.
     
    On the inversion front the dive loop is good fun and the zero g stall is orgasmic.
    Sadly the ride is kinda neutered by its shortness but I would still rank it in my top 10 because it still kicks ass.
     
    I think if this thing was longer and had more airtime I would like it more, though Zadra will probably show us what a longer Goliath would ride like anyway.
    Overall my favourite ride in the park but its short length makes it worse than New Texas Giant and Steel Vengeance IMO.
     
    V2:
    I have to admit I really was a fan of Wicked Twister, I really enjoyed the powerful launches and the spikes were brilliant fun.
    Vertical Velocity managed to wow me even more due to one of the spikes actually being just plain straight which gave the ride a brilliant drop if you were in the back!
     
    The ride like Wicked Twister is just a lot of fun and not anything mind-blowing, but V2's tight footprint and fun launches give it a pretty pivotal position in the Great America lineup.
     
     
    The Joker:

     
    S&S Freespins.. A incredibly divisive coaster model that due to the mass cloning seems to be fairly disliked,
    people seem to hate these things and honestly I don't know why.
     
    I loved The Joker, I actually preferred it over a B&M Hyper, don't @ me..
    Why do I like this ride and model? Let me explain.
     
    The Joker is a incredibly unpredictable and re-ridable coaster that always left me wanting to get back in line for.
    Its a short ride but it packs a punch and you never quite know how your cycle is going to treat you, it might be a fairly tame cycle or you might get brutally spun for the duration, you never know.
    I know some people hate this coaster because of this but I liked it, I thought it made the coaster more re-ridable as every ride is vastly different from the other.
     
    When the ride does give you brutal cycles its utter insanity, heck this is the only coaster that me feel flat out scream, you feel so out of control on this thing.
    I think for its footprint The Joker is brilliant for this park and I would love this ride at a park like Thorpe Park.
     
     
     
    Batman: (no pics cos idgaf)
    Batman at Great America is the first of the Batman clones (and the first invert)  and overall its a fun ride.
    I certainly prefer Raptor and Nemesis but its a solid invert with good intensity.
     
    The one thing that made me a little annoyed with this ride was pi** poor operations and stacking which made my Europa Fanboy heart break.
    Despite the Six Flags operations the ride was a solid invert that blows Inferno out of the water.
     
     
    American Eagle:
    American Eagle is the parks huge racing woodie built by Intamin. The ride overall was incredibly fun though it certainly shows its age.
    The ride has some brilliant airtime moments and a brutal turn-around, overall I found the bunny hills toward the end to be a particular highlight.
    The operations on this ride were honestly pretty shocking to be honest though- lengthy stacking, only one side operating for most of the 3 days despite a lengthy queue!
    Sure Gemini only runs one side a lot of the time but Gemini never had a queue and its throughput is still pretty great with just one side.
    The queue with one side operating on American Eagle was literally painful to watch.. 
     
    Overall a great classic woodie though I would like GCI to perhaps re-track some of this ride as it certainly shows its age! 
    I would also like Six Flags to be less like Six Flags.
     
     
    Viper:

     
    Viper.. Despite a unoriginal layout, what a brilliant wooden coaster.
    This ride is just plain fun with great airtime and overall just a complete classic that certainly stills remains a gem in the lineup.
    The ride is rough enough to have character but is smooth enough to be enjoyable, it really is what a wooden coaster should be.
    Unlike other rides in the park Viper had a really good crew running it and the theming was also pretty decent for Six Flags.
    Overall a complete classic that deserves to stay in the park for years to come.
     
    Raging Bull:

     
    I wasn't expecting much going in, what I got was booooorrrrrinnnnnng.
    If you think Silver Star isn't all that great you'll fall asleep on Raging Bull, Silver Star at least has a great second half and is actually interesting!
    Raging Bull is nicknamed by many as 'Raging Dull' and honestly it lives up to the name, the ride is just a bunch of forceless turns with a few airtime moments that give no airtime.
    I actually prefer Titan at Six Flags Over Texas, that ride was kinda boring but the helixes after the mid course made me grey out every time, Raging Bull was literally forceless.
     
    Don't get me wrong this isn't a bad coaster, but its certainly one of the worst if not the worst B&M Hyper.
    I get why it has a twister layout due to space but they could at least could of made this more.. Interesting?
    On the upside the crew on this were hauling with operations, they ran two trains and managed to dispatch trains before the other train even made it to the final breaks! That is pretty amazing for Six Flags! 
     
    Dark Knight:
    Dark Knight is a pretty fun enclosed wild mouse, It certainly doesn't have the most intricate theme, but its fine.
    Nothing less, nothing more. I think having a indoor coaster is good for the park though.
     
    Superman:
    This ride was kind of a tragedy to me. Let me explain.
    Superman is a great B&M flyer that completely blows Air out of the water, easily one of the top rides at the park and something you'll wanna ride a fair amount.
     
    Then you remember this is Six Flags. It takes YEARS for trains to dispatch (like 4 minute+) and this ride team seemed especially unmotivated and miserable.
    What could of been a 10 minute queue was 30 minutes, and the staff seemed about as cheerful as someone at funeral.
     
    Its a shame cos Superman is probably my favourite B&M at the park and maybe even the best B&M of the trip.
    It really sucks that the operations are god awful and so dreary, hopefully the team in other years are nowhere near as bad as this years.
    Sure a bit of stacking would be okay as flying coasters aren't the easiest rides to load but Superman was just stupid with stacking trains on sitting on the brake run for what seems like eternity.
     
    Overall an amazing B&M ruined by really depressing operations. That pretzel loop is sexy though.
     
     
     
    Demon
    Demon was a fun arrow coaster, I probably wouldn't rank it above Corkscrew though due to Corkscrew's really fun airtime hill.
    Unlike Corkscrew, Demon had some cool theming throughout its layout and it interacts with X Flight towards the end which is cool.
    All in all, a fun ride but nothing to shout at.
     
    Whizzer

     
    Whizzer was a fun family coaster but I wouldn't say its anything to scream about.
    Its got a cool lift hill and a fun tree hugging layout, like for a family coaster its cool.
    The operations were truly awful though- stacking was nearly as bad as Superman and it made a 5 minute queue at Europa into a 40 minute queue as staff just stood like statues in the station.
     
    Not the best Schwarzkopf (Shockwave is the sh**), though Whizzer is a fun family coaster.
     
    X Flight
     

     
    X flight as a whole just reminds me of Swarm.
    They both have a similar-ish layout, similar stats, and just overall I would rank them about the same.
    X flight feels a smidge bit longer and the layout doesn't have that awkward turn around like Swarm does so I think I give X Flight a slight lead, though honestly they are about the same in my rankings.
    If you have ridden Swarm you know its a very graceful ride (perhaps a little too graceful) and the ride overall is all about the wing sensation, these wing coasters aren't really built for high forces or crazy elements.
     
    Overall X Flight pretty much rode how I thought it would, its a fine coaster and its something different in the lineup.
     
     

     
     
    Operations:
    After such great operations at Cedar Point and Europa I think Six Flags was a bit of a shock. Cedar Point and Europa are incredibly efficient with operations and Six Flags Great America just weren't.. These ops were probably the second worst I have ever seen at a major park, only behind Portaventura. If you haven't guessed from this review, I value operations quite high when I visit parks so this kinda got on my nerves.
     
     
    Overall: 
    Six Flags Great America overall is a park with a great lineup of coasters (especially now they have Maxx Force) which is certainly a fun time for credit whores.
    I do think when it comes to operations and beauty Great America really is very lacking which means this park is really about the rides and nothing else.
    On the upside the food is pretty decent and Six Flags is pretty reasonably priced, so in terms of cost its a pretty good deal.
     
    I think Great America is a park that you should do at least once if you have the opportunity, I don't think its a park I would visit again unless they added another big coaster but its a good park nevertheless. I'm certainly not itching to go back like Cedar Point but its certainly a good park.
     
    Anyway hope you enjoyed,
    peace.
     
     
     
     

  7. JoshuaA
    Ever since I was young I always have dreamed of visiting Cedar Point.
    Sure it doesn't have as many coasters as Magic Mountain but I feel like Cedar Point has undeniably the better lineup in terms of quality over quantity.
    The park also a lot more history than Magic Mountain and is very popular with enthusiasts from around the planet.
    Very recently I had the pleasure of visiting for 4 days from Chicago which is a trip I will never forget.
     
    Anyway I'm gonna start off reviewing the coasters as that is really what Cedar Point is known for.
     
    Blue Streak:
    (View of Valravn while in line for Blue Streak)

     
    After entering the park it rained heavily resulting to many rides being down.
    One of the rides that was open and near the front was Blue Streak, the parks classic out and back woodie.
    The ride pleasantly surprised me with its fairly smooth ride experience with some great airtime moments. 
    The ride isn’t too long in length but it’s a fun ride that families and enthusiasts will enjoy.
     
    I would certainly compare this to something like Big Dipper at BPB, classic but very fun.
    It never really gets much of a queue too so its pretty easy to get a bunch of rides on this thing.
     
    Rougarou:
    (Taken on another day hence the sun)

     
    After Blue Streak I was pretty set on doing Raptor/Valravn but getting on either of them was a futile effort.. After realising this I walked over to around Millenium Force to see Rougarou, completely walk on.
    I literally walked right into the station and right onto the train which was midway through loading, it was crazy!
     
    My overall thoughts of the ride is that it’s pretty good!
    It’s nowhere near as painful as Dragons Khan and I really enjoy the more twisty approach the layout of the ride has instead of inversion after inversion.
    The ride certainly has a rattle but by no means is it rough!
    I wouldn’t say it’s extraordinary but I think this ride gets a bit of a bad rep. It’s not top 5 for Cedar Point by any means, but it’s fun.
     
    The ride like Blue Streak seems to never get much of a queue even on the busiest days which means you get a ton of rides in!
     
     
    Millennium Force:

    Millennium Force is one of the most decisive rides in the world.
    It has some hardcore fans, it has its naysayers, and it also has people somewhere in between.
     
    After a 10-20 minute queue through the rain I finally got on this iconic coaster,
    And.. This a complicated one to talk about.
     
    So I like Millennium  Force- it’s fast, smooth as butter, has a great drop and some decent floater airtime.
    The problem with Millennium is that it only really has three proper airtime moments so don’t expect Shambhala levels of air here..
    It’s not too forceful either, it’s all about just gliding through the long course gracefully with a bit of airtime chucked in.
     
    Millennium Force I think fits the “jack of all trades, master of none” phrase. It doesn’t really do anything the BEST in the park but its still a very good coaster.
    Don't expect Maverick style intensity or Shambhala levels of floater air, everything after the drop is just fun and not exceptional.
    I think in a way Millennium Force being on the tamer side is a good thing,
    especially when Maverick and Steel Vengeance are in the exact same park.
     
    On another note the restraints on this thing are pretty neat and leave you feeling pretty exposed,
    they are a little nutty for us guys though.. Rip future children..
     
     
    Gemini:

    After walking up to Steel Vengeance and seeing it broken down I decided to ride one of the parks five arrow coasters.
     
    Now Gemini is probably the most odd coaster at Cedar Point.
    A modestly tall hybrid coaster that duels (but only duels every blue moon)? Yep!
    Despite its weirdness I actually quite enjoyed this coaster. It’s not the best layout but the coaster has some airtime and overall it’s a really classic ride.
    The ride certainly isn't the most intense thing ever made but it has more airtime than Millennium Force in most rows so its cool.
     
    Fun fact: The Blue side actually was my 100th credit!
    I also got stuck on my second ride on the red side! The train stopped on the MCBR which caused a 5 minute delay.
    Luckily I got a free line skip from this so I got another ride on Maverick!
     
     
    Steel Vengeance:
    When I saw the announcement for this ride a couple of years ago I said this thing would kick ass.. And holy crap..

     
    I had very high expectations for this coaster, like stupid high. I would be disappointed if this wasn’t my favourite coaster! 
    So after a fairly decent wait I got into the funky looking trains and the rest was history..
     
    Steel Vengeance is unbelievable,
    There is airtime before the lift hill, airtime on every hill, airtime where you wouldn’t expect airtime to be. This coaster has so much airtime it probably has more of it than every UK coaster combined! It’s stupid. 
    The ride just feels relentless, even the mid course doesn’t really do anything to stop the insanity which is this coaster..
     
    Layout wise the first half is more focused on large scale elements while the second half of the ride stays very low to the ground and uses the ride structure to create some headchoppers.
     
    On my first ride I was hysterically laughing throughout the entire thing, how could a coaster be so relentlessly fun? Every hill delivers so much airtime and every element keeps you interested.
    This coaster's layout is pure perfection, it just ticks all the boxes for everything that you could ever want in a coaster.
     
    Now a few people have complained about the restraints and honestly I can understand how it would hurt.
    Being around 5’7 and fairly slim I found no issue with the restraints but I can imagine that it could be not ideal for those who are taller or larger.
    Besides that I think Steel Vengeance is actually flawless. It’s got a kickass layout with the BEST airtime of any ride I have ever experienced by miles, great inversions, a long length, and headchoppers to boot.
     
    Easily my favourite coaster I have ever ridden,
    Steel Vengeance is a MUST ride for any enthusiast.
     
    Magnum XL H20:
    So my only other experience with a arrow hyper is The Big One..
     
    *sad violin music*
     
    Going into magnum I wasn’t expecting much considering how boring and painful Big One is, fortunately Magnum exceeded my expectations
    Magnum is really everything Big One could of been!
     
    Fun, full of ejector moments, and just overall a enjoyable experience!
    The ride has one hill or so at the start that doesn’t deliver much but every other hill throws you out pretty brutally which is good for those who like a bit of ejector air.
    Sure its not the smoothest ride on the planet but the ride gives so much airtime I didn't really care.
     
    Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the ride due to its remote location.
    Due to being fairly out of the way from the park the ride never really gets much of a queue either which is great if you wanna lap this thing!
     
    Due to the torrential rain the ride was temporarily introduced as “Magnum XL H20” which was very fitting when the tunnels were dripping with water! This made for a cool unintentional water effect.
     
     
    Maverick:

     
    Maverick is the ride that managed to completely change my mind on a manufacturer, Intamin.
     
    My previous experiences with Intamin had been rides such as Colossus (why?), Furius Baco (just no), Rita (just burn it).
    My only good experience with this company is probably Red Force or Stealth and both of those rides aren’t really anything to write home about.
     
    Maverick definitely has opened my eyes to the potential of Intamin, this coaster is nothing short of spectacular.
    First off the queue and ride itself is probably the prettiest the park has to offer. The queue for this ride is also mostly in the shade which is good on a hot day/rainy day. 
    Once on ride Maverick is a pretty intense coaster that has the best banked turns I’ve experienced and a few airtime moments that are absolutely fab, not forgetting a brilliant first drop and second launch.
    The ride like SV is relentless, crazy element after crazy element. The airtime moments are full on ejector like SV too.
     
    Unlike other Intamin coasters Maverick utilises the new soft vest restraints which make the ride experience much more comfortable. I really wish rides like Rita got these as it would make the ride much more tolerable.
     
    The more I rode Maverick the more I questioned if this was my favourite coaster. In the end I decided I prefer Steel Vengeance but only barely.
    After riding Maverick I can see why American enthusiasts love to suck the **** of Intamin so much.
    Brilliant coaster.
     
    Gatekeeper:

     
    Now I’ll admit that I don’t like Swarm.
    It’s kinda short and force less, don’t get the love for it.
    Gatekeeper overall is really just a much bigger and better version of Swarm (take away the theming).
    I like it more than Swarm, it’s definitely a good coaster, but not my thing.
     
    Like the wing over drop is great and the coaster has that cool inversion over the park entrance which is cool.
    But still when it comes to forces and the fairly tight B&M vests it’s just kinda okay in my books.
    Overall I think B&M wings are just not my thing in general, they are too forceless for my taste, though Gatekeeper is currently my favourite one.
     
    I'm also not a fan of the ending of this ride, like that helix? Why? Other than that section the layout is actually pretty decent, I especially like the dive loop.
    Raptor:

     
    Raptor is a pretty hard one for me to rank.
    I enjoyed the overall forcefulness of it but I wasn’t a fan of cobra roll and some of the other transitions which made me think it hasn't perhaps aged all that well.
    I feel like Nemesis overall has aged and rides a lot better than Raptor, Nemesis in comparison is pretty butter smooth.
    Despite it being a little brutal the ride has some great moments like a really forceful zero g roll and an incredible helix which is my favourite moment on any invert, period.
     
    If the cobra roll and transition the brakes were smoother I probably would rank this ride above Nemesis,
    though sadly these transitions really held the ride back for me.
     
    I would rank Raptor as a lot better than Batman and Inferno but I would say just a little behind Nemesis due to its roughness.
    On another note the ride didn't get too much of a queue which made re-rides easy!
     
    Valravn:

     
    My only other dive coaster is Oblivion so this has to be better than that right?
    Well, barely?
     
    Valravn has all the right stats and a pretty great layout, though the ride itself is highly underwhelming.
     
    I think the rides awful restraints play a role.
    There is a time and a place for B&M vests, dive coasters are just not made to have these things.
    The restraint neuters the main appeal of the ride (the drop)!
    Even worse the station only loads one train at a time which makes the throughput seem like a lot less than Oblivion..
     
    I think Sheikra and Griffon will ride way better than this, the restraints really hold this ride back and prevent you from really feeling any of the drops.
     
    To clarify,
    Not a bad ride.
    Just could be so much better!
    On another note, Valravn’s last inversion is incredibly fun!
     
    Iron Dragon:

     
    Another one of the many arrows this park has in its lineup, Iron Dragon is certainly more of a scenic ride than anything and that’s a good thing in a park like Cedar Point.
     
    I found the ride to be pretty good for it’s age and the ride looks brilliant!
    I would probably rank Vampire above it due to the new trains and more intense ride experience but Iron Dragon is certainly much more scenic.
     
    Sure its very tame but I think this ride has its place in the park and it doesn't seem to take up too much space.
     
     
    Top Thrill Dragster:

     
    “What the fu** am I doing?”- My exact words when waiting for the launch in the front row on my first ride.
    Top Thrill Dragster is my first strata coaster, and holy crap did it deliver.
     
    Dragster is a massive one trick pony but when it does that trick so damn well, I can’t complain.
    The launch is incredibly intense and smooth (unlike Red Force) and the ride has a decent throughput for its ride type.
    The staff are very good with the dual loading which makes the queue a little more bearable.
     
    The rides launch is incredibly forceful like Stealth’s but isn’t rough like Red Forces and the ride has a very comfortable lap bar which leaves you feeling pretty exposed!
    Overall Top Thrill Dragster only has one trick up its sleeve but that trick is executed perfectly which makes it my third favourite in the park.
     
    The only really downside to this ride is the downtime. Though with its hydraulic launch that is to be expected.
    I also found the queue-line to be a little unbearable on the sunny days due to it being COMPLETELY exposed with no shade whatsoever.
     
    Cedar Creek Mine Ride:
    Cedar Creek kinda falls into a similar category as Iron Dragon; very pretty and lovely views but by no means anything worth shouting about.
    Its a fun mine train that is better than El Diablo but by no means it is something I rode more than once (hence no pictures of it).
     
    I think in the future this ride might be removed for a new coaster due to its fairly large footprint, the ride also doesn't seem too popular with the public anyways.
    Overall a classic ride but I see it biting the dust somewhat soon due to its fair sized footprint and its fairly low popularity.
     
     
    Wicked Twister:
    If placed at most other parks this ride would be one of the signature attractions, though at Cedar Point this ride kinda gets overlooked.
     
    Wicked Twister is the tallest inverted coaster in operation (not even joking) and is a incredibly fun impulse coaster.
    It’s not MaverBae or SteelVengBae but it’s a great coaster with forceful and fun launches.
    I do prefer V2 at Six Flags Great America (spoilers) but Wicked Twister was still a great coaster! I really enjoy the twisting spikes and sheer height of this thing, its just a fun time.
     
    I was surprised how this thing never got a line tbh, I think it really speaks about just how the packed the Cedar Point lineup is.
     
     
    Corkscrew:

     
    I didn't ride Corkscrew until Day 3 and going in I was expecting to be in pain and bored.
    This was surprisingly quite fun, not the best coaster but it was enjoyable.
     
    I preferred this over Demon actually, the airtime hill after the drop caught me off guard, that element actually gives good airtime!
    The ride overall I found to be pretty smooth for a arrow looper and overall quite fun.
     
    This ride also looks really really pretty on the midway!
     

     
    Operations:
    Cedar Point overall had pretty great operations. 3 trains on all B&M's, well done dual loading stations on Maverick and TTD, 2-3 trains on Steel Veng, overall very solid.
    Stacking did occur but operations were still pretty great considering the amount of trains they ran.
    Its no Europa but probably the second best operations I have experienced, very good!
     
    I really enjoyed the running commentary some of the staff gave while in the queue, it was something very different to the UK.
    For example while in line for Magnum while waiting for the train to come back one of the staff had a microphone and was listing some of the stats and started quizzing the queue on the rides history. I found this really cool and it made the queue much more fun.
     
    This also happened on rides like Blue Streak and Gemini and seemed to really mostly happen on the quieter days.
    I have to say props to the staff running the rides for doing things like that as it made the short wait feel even less like a wait at all.
     
    I think as a whole Cedar Point delivered really good operations but its certainly not as good as Europa. But that is a hard act to follow.
     

     
     
    Conclusion:
    Cedar Point is a park with good operations and one of the best if not the best coaster lineup on this planet.
    Its not surprise why enthusiasts worship this place and I think every enthusiast should visit this park in their lifetime.
     
    I think I still prefer Europa Park in terms of the full package (food, atmosphere, theming, ect) but Cedar Point is easily my second favourite.
     
    I hope you enjoyed this review,
    Six Flags Great America next.
     

     

     
     

     
    (so much airtime I can barely open my eyes!)
     
     

     

     
     
  8. JoshuaA
    I have made no secret that Europa Park is my current favourite theme park.
    Something about Europa Park just makes it feel like more than a theme park, it feels 'magical' in a way, the feeling that everybody uses to describe Disney (which ironically IMO doesn't reign true)..
    Anyway today I'm gonna review and basically talk about every ride and area (bar the kids areas), get your popcorn folks, this will be a long one..
     
    Germany:
    The opening area of Europa Park is a great introduction to the park.
    It doesn't have many rides but its very picturesque and full of flowers and fountains.
    The Germany section usually always has street entertainers too which is neat.
     

     
    Voletarium
    The main attraction in Europa Park's Germany area is their huge flying theatre, Voletarium.
    My only other experience of a flying theatre is the one at Ferrari Land so I was pretty excited to compare the two.
    I was generally a fan of the one at Ferrari Land but I can safely say this is better.
     
    First and foremost the queue-line for this ride is themed so well it made me question if I was even queuing?
    The main ride itself is huge and the experience itself felt longer than the one at Ferrari Land.
    Overall I think Voletarium fits really well with the huge vault of dark rides that Europa has in its arsenal, overall a great addition which I think is pretty hard to hate.

    Italy:
    Italy is one of the smaller areas in the park but like Germany it is stupidly pretty.
    The main square overall is just aesthetically pleasing and the area has a few fun things to do.
    Ghost Castle is a throughput monster that is quirky and very cheesey, overall a very fun  dark ride.
    Volo da vinci is a pretty fun and theming in the station is pretty neat.
    Piccolo mondo is tiny but is a very cute little dark ride. Very charming.
     
    Italy has a few great shows alongside the rides, this year I saw their "Rulantica: The Musical" show.
    This show was pretty damn good. Singing was great, props were great, and there was english translation via a big tv for those who don't speak German.
    The show was pretty damn long clocking in at 50 minutes! The show felt more like something that should be on the West End than a German theme park.
     
    Switzerland:
    Switzerland is probably one of my personal favourite areas at the park.
    The running stream, the bridge over the water, the narrow alleys, the swiss houses, it looks sooo good.
    Matterhorn Blitz is a very fun wild mouse with a awesome elevator lift and a fun first drop.
    Swiss Bob Run is probably one of the weakest coasters at the park. I really hope they give this the "Eurosat" treatment soon. The ride itself looks amazing but riding it is kinda.. Eh.
     
    France:
    France is probably the area you'll spend the most time in due to housing two big coasters and its closeness to the exit.
    The area itself is lush like most Europa areas and the main plaza is one of the prettiest parts of the park.
     
    Silver Star

     
    Silver Star has always been a inconsistent ride for me.
    Some rides on it make me think its top 5 worthy, some rides on it make me think its boring as fu**, it depends on the day, the seat, and the gods.
    2 of the 3 rides I had on it were pretty great so I would probably rank it favourably, but I think its certainly a ride that depends on the seat and the day.
    For now I would say its probably #3 in the park, Wodan and Blue Fire are certainly better IMO.
     
    Eurosat: CanCan Coaster
    (ignore this bad picture of the exit)..

     
    Eurosat before 2018 was always a favourite of mine. It was pretty rough but overall it was a fun coaster.
    It was fast, fairly long, and overall was a fun ride.
    Due to its age the ride was pretty rough, the brake run and a few of the first turns were in particular very painful and abrupt.
     
    Last year Europa decided to refurb Eurosat, and holy fu** they were not kidding.
    This isn't a retheme, a retrack, new trains, VR added, new effects, its everything I just mentioned and more.
    The queue line and station are completely unrecognisable, a lot of it you wouldn't believe was Eurosat.
    The ride itself now has a ton of new theming elements including a effiel tower on the spiral lift hill and a bunch of colourful lights during the main ride.
    The ride is also now butter smooth and rides like a B&M, any roughness that was there is now gone.
    Eurosat CanCan coaster took what was fun about Eurosat and just ran with it, the whole experience is fab and it makes me wonder what rides will be redone next.
     
    Madame Freudenreich
    Woah, what was a disgustingly boring mess is now a very fun attraction that is just pure fun.
    How the hell did they make such a bad attraction so good? The finale with the birthday was just all too cute for me to handle.
    I would now say this is one of the best dark rides out of the 800 dark rides this park has.
     
    Greece:
    Greece is right next to France and is home to the very picturesque Poseidon.

     

     
    Poseidon
    Poseidon aesthetically is awesome. Its bunny hop over the rocks, its station, just so lush..
    Sadly the first coaster section is pretty uncomfortable and I think needs retracking.
    The finale with the drop and the bunny hop remains very fun.
     
    Greece also is home to Pegasus which is a very neat family coaster,
    you also have the park's shooting dark ride which is always good fun.
     
    Russia:
    Home to Euromir and the best ride in the park, Russia is a pretty neat (but small) area.

     
    Euromir: 
    Euromir seems to be a very marmite ride.
    You either adore this coaster or you plain think its boring.
     
    I think its a great ride to be honest. Sure its got a lot of meandering before the main coaster, but when you do reach the actual coaster it is actually very intense!
    If you go backwards for the rides finale then you get a lot of positive G's on the turns.
    Euro-Mir I think is easily the #5 or #6 for me at the park- great ride.
    Also who doesn't love a good German rave? 
     

     
    Also in Russia is the beast, the best, the absolute best ride I have ever ridden..
    Go home Fury 325, Steel Vengeance, you have nothing on Snowflake (aka bench) at Europa Park.
    My favourite section had to be the drop track and the sea serpent roll.
     
    Adventureland (Africa tbh)
    This is a pretty nice area with a large lake.
    There is a boat style ride that goes around the lake alongside a little raft ride, overall pretty insignificant.
     
     

     

     
    Luxembourg:
    My rolls are bigger than this area.
     
    England:
    Really more of a support area.
    I think  a RMC themed to brexit would liven things up here.
    They do have a few fun flats though and a really good acrobatics show
     

     
    Austria:
    Austria is towards the back of the park and is home to their log flume and their splendid powered coaster.
    Best thing about the area is the world of diamonds.
     
     
    Arthur- In the Minimoys Kingdom:
    Home to a few flats and obviously Arthur.
    Arthur like always is a truly magical coaster and dark ride.
    The ride never gets boring, its a utter gem.
    I really hope Mack sell more of this ride type, Arthur showcases just how much this ride model can achieve.
     

     
     

     
    Spain:
    Spains biggest claim to fame is its shows and a few flats.
    The stunt show is pretty damn good and kolumbusjolle is a great flat ride.
    The area like England is a tad small.
     
    Scandanavia:
    Sadly this area wasn't finished on my visit at the park though what was finished looked great!
    Fjord was still open though and I have to admit that Fjord is awesome, easily my favourite rapids.
     

     
    Portugal:
    Portugal really only has one ride worth talking about- ass.
    Alantica Super Splash is good fun when its hot, probably not as fun as Poseidon but overall its a neat ride.
     
     

     

     
    Iceland
    Like France this is a area you'll probably spent a lot of time in due to it housing two of the biggest coasters.
    Besides the dynamic duo you have Whale Tours which is a fun water ride, but we all know why you go to Iceland..

    Wodan 
    Wodan remains my favourite in the park.
    Wickerman is certainly fun, but Wodan is just absolutely crazy.
    It has constant pops of airtime and just feels relentless throughout.
    Its easily the most intense ride at the park and never fails to leave me breathless after riding,
     

     

     
    Blue Fire
    Blue Fire remains the butter smooth coaster with the heartline that makes you its bitch.
    I really enjoy the re-rideability of this ride, its one of those coasters you can just ride over and over.
    I think it is easily is the second best ride in the park.
     

     
    I hope you enjoyed this review despite its length (not as long as Euro Mir's lift hill)
    Next review will be Cedar Point!
     

     
     
     
     
     
  9. JoshuaA
    *This blog is getting bumped rip*
     
    So I have to admit that during late 2017/early 2018 I was incredibly cynical and skeptical over Wickerman during its construction.
    the layout to me just looked really mediocre and in a way I just writ off because its layout looked a bit naff to me, I think this was amplified even more due to Wodan being my only experience with GCI and with it being more than double the height and size of Wickerman.
     
    "
    ...
    So last year as a enthusiast I kinda failed.
    I only visited Lego, Chessie, and Thorpe, I just didn't get round to going up north and riding Wickerman or Icon.
    Even worse my only only abroad park was  Portaventura.. Yuck.. Thorpe is better than..
     
    This year though I think I am somewhat going to redeem myself. I'm heading to Europa in May and going to Six Flags GMerica and Cedar Point in June,
    I'm not gonna fail like I did last year.. One trip this year though left me with "would I make it?" and that was Alton Towers.
    After a bunch of last minute plans I finally headed to ride Wickerman, I would finally be able to form a proper opinion on the ride.
     

     
    So after a 3 hour drive I headed into the park for ERT and a early ride on Wickerman.
    I have to say it looks pretty sexy from afar.. 
     
    So I have to admit I wasn't expecting a pre-show, it caught me off guard a little.
    Overall the pre-show was kinda neat, it certainly was well done but I found it was a little dark for a coaster that has a 1.2 restriction, I also felt on repeat rides it got a little old too..
    After exiting the pre-show I was very lucky to be instantly batched to the front row on my first ride, I nearly snogged the guy giving out the rows.
     

     
    So as soon I get off Wickerman I was instantly very impressed- its well paced, fun, full of airtime pops and some fun GCI banks.
    The coaster is a lot better than I was giving it credit for, its really what Alton needed.
     
    The theming around the ride adds to the ride in a fun way (especially in the front row) and the main structure itself looks very cool.
    The coaster I found had a few minor pops of air in the front but had some pretty aggressive ejector pops in the back, if you want a more intense ride I would say the back is your best bet, especially on the first drop!
    The coaster runs very much like Wodan, it has a constant fast pace to it and never seems to slow down, its also decently long too.
     
    The coaster itself was running three trains on my visit (which is great for a merlin park!) but it did stack quite a bit so don't expect Wodan style capacity.
    Overall Wickerman is probably my favorite on park and maybe even my favorite in the UK.
    Its not quite as insane as Wodan but its still a great ride in its own right and is a great ride for those who can't be arsed to go to Europa or Toverland.
     
    Wickerman is proof that Merlin can build good rides, hopefully Merlin decide to add more GCI's in the future.. #Thorpe4GCI
     
    8/10

     
    With that last post, I wasn't wrong.. But Wickerman is brilliant for this country and I'm glad I can get my GCI fix closer to home now.
    3 rides on this beast only hyped me more to ride Wodan again.
     
    Hope you enjoyed the review
  10. JoshuaA
    Okay I know its only April but fu** you I'm writing this review.
     
    So the London Bridge and Tombs is an attraction that has always been on my radar- whether it be the rave reviews from Scaretour or walking past it when the Dungeons was down the road.
    So after a trek down to London I thought I might as well experience it for myself- does it compare to The Dungeons?
    (apologies for these straight outta snapchat photos )
     


     
    **Mild Spoilers**
     
     
    The London Bridge Experience
    So after a somewhat overly long intro video- you are ushered into the London Bridge Experience.
    Overall I found this experience to overall be well themed, well acted, well scripted, and educational- but sadly I feel like a lot of scenes and rooms lacked the crescendo or 'oomph' that the Dungeons has.
     
    For example there is a scene in a pub here which the landlord discusses a bunch of murders which references Jack The Ripper. You then hear a scream to which you are ushered out of the pub by the landlord to find a corpse. But then after you see the bloody mannequin- you abruptly move on to the next scene.
    This scene in particular had a lot of tension and it constantly felt like something big or Dungeons esque would happen- but it doesn't.
    I felt like they really could of added some more dramatic reveal to seeing the bloody mannequin too- we really just walked past it.
     
    This was a issue for many scenes- in particular 'the fight verses the Romans' scene had a great script and seemed to be building up to something jumpy- but then it just kinda fizzled out and next minute we were on the next scene..
     
    I do have to give credit for some scenes within the experience though- there is a huge scare involving a large moving animatronic that made me jump out of my skin towards the beginning of the experience.
    I also really enjoyed the incredibly disorientating spinning tunnel towards the end- it was even worse than the one at Tulleys!
     
    I think London Bridge with some more special effects could easily match the Dungeons- but for now I think it really lacks the 'oompth' and the finales of The Dungeon's scenes.
    Despite that though- the theming is brilliant and perhaps even greater than The Dungeons. The acting was also top class and the groups were much more intimate than the 30+ groups that The Dungeons has.
     
    The Tombs
    After nearly throwing up from the spinning tunnel you are warned about the intense scare attraction that awaits you- after a photo opportunity and a intro video, you enter the lifts..
    This lift scene built up tension perfectly and the lift had some nice special effects to make it feel like you were actually going down!
     
    Once out of the lifts, you form a conga line and you enter the main maze.
    The main maze itself was nicely themed and had a huge variety of scenes.
     
    A hospital, a Chop Shop style room, a prison style room, and even a clown section- you name it, its in The Tombs.
    The maze overall has tonnes of variety within its long layout- I never quite knew what the next room would bring.
     
    The acting was brilliant throughout, with actors using various hiding spaces to come out of nowhere or harass us.
    My only problem was there was quite a few rooms that were sparse on actors- but the theming and animatronics kinda made up for it.
     
    Overall The Tombs was a long and varied scare attraction that I think really made the trip worth it.
     
    Conclusion
    Overall I think The London Bridge Experience and Tombs are both well themed and acted experiences- though if you want a educational and witty trip back in time I think The Dungeon's is a much more polished and superior experience- though if you want to get sh** scared then The Tombs makes the trip down to Tooley Street more than worth it.
    The groups in both The Bridge and The Tombs are also much more intimate so you don't have to deal with the overcrowding that The Dungeons has.
     
    Anyway sorry for the six month early post 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  11. JoshuaA
    So Halloween is over, and sadly its closed season
    Though with last month being October, I thought it would obligitary for me to write about some of my Halloween Highlights and re-live
    some of the happiness for the following months of depression and vodka which is the closed season..
    (I would do photos but then I realise most of my pictures are sh**) 
     
    Best Theming/Costume Design
    Honourable Mentions: The Final Cut, Skin Snatchers, The Colony.
    Winner- The Welcoming
    Even though I did have my criticisms about this maze, it for sure had some of the most beautiful theming I have seen in a while
    and it was the absolute highlight of the attraction!
    The actors inside used the large sets to its advantage and because of this- The Welcoming I think more than deserves this award.
     
    Most Improved Attraction
    Honourable Mentions: Coven, Creepy Cottage (the cast in the cottage were insane this year)
    Winner- Platform 15
    Platform 15 was my least favourite maze of last year, as it just bleeded dull with little to no actors or anything whatsoever going on..
    Though this year sees the maze being actually being my favourite at the park as the actors swarmed the maze with scares, and the new village
    scene is just fab.
    The infamous tunnel section is back though, but some actors with torches this year provided this previously dull section into a tension filled one..
    The maze still has a few niggles, but overall I think Platform feels like the most complete maze at Thorpe, and with the cast this year I have to say this is easily
    one of the best mazes I have done this year..
     
    Most Original Concept/Theme
    Honourable Mentions: The Welcoming, Coven.
    Winner- The Legend Of Crank Jack
    Crank Jack has a very simple concept, though it just works so well..
    So for those who have been hiding under a rock, Crank Jack sees guests crawling through a massive crawling section which is both confusing and jumpy with the 
    large amount of panels for actors to jump out, and they can come from the ceiling too!
    The non crawl sections also are jumpy and confusing with countless dead ends and trigger-happy clowns with perhaps the most annoying horns..
    The idea and excution is far from elaborate, but it works, and it works incredibly well too!
     
     
    Worst Maze
    Dis-honourable Mentions: The BrotherHOOD, Festino's Festival Of Freaks, VIXI, Saw Alive.
    Loser- Dead And Breakfast
    Dead And Breakfast felt like a massive shadow of itself this year with the witty improv and some of the brilliant scares completly stripped from the maze..
    For example last year this maze had a Bunker scene, where this year you just walk straight past it.. Its the exact same with kitchen scene and even the elevator effect
    from last year is now gone..
    The main maze itself lacked scares (I got like 1 jump scare throughout) and the nicely themed sets generally felt un-used..
    Dead And Breakfast is a maze that could be (or was) brilliant, but this year it just fell incredibly flat IMO, heck even the chainsaw finale at the end felt
    poor..
     
    Most Intense Maze
    Honourable Mentions- Chop Shop, Big Top
    Winner- Sub Species: The End Games
    What haven't I said about Sub Species?
    The maze is seriously something completely different in that actors have so much freedom to do what the hell they like with you.
    I was alone for long periods with it, they shoved me and stalked me throughout, and overall I was on edge for the entire experience.
    The experience is very varied in that you get darkness, open rooms, claustophobic tunnels, and just pretty much everything
    the maze can throw at you.
    Sub Species is just insane, even in its third year it still continues to shock me every year!
     
     
    Best Event
    Winner- Tulleys Farm Shocktoberfest
    Now, its really a combination of stuff that comes to making up a event for me- the operations, roamers, the mazes, the atmosphere, ect.
    Tulleys Farm I feel like has overall the whole package with its great operations (from my 3 visits) and its amazing atmosphere and roamers.
    The roaming actors make Screamland or Fright Night's roamers look poor, and the music and overall atmosphere of the place is just amazing.
    The operations are also fairly decent too, with queues being resonable (no crazy 3 hour queues) and roaming actors seemed to show up
    in the queues to entertain guests which was nice.
    And of course the attractions themselves are a pretty good selling point of Tulleys, and after tonght I have to say I actually think the lineup is incredibly strong.
    All mazes felt like they had quite a few actors in them, and in some mazes (Twisted Clowns and Cellar) the actors seemed to swarm some sections which caused back to back scares!
    Overall Tulleys is by far the most fun I've had this Halloween, and I can't wait to get back next year!
     
     
    You have reached the end of this blog, I congratulate you, you poor soul!
    Anyway what events and stuff have you done? Anyway happy Halloween (I know I''m 4 fuc**** days late) and happy off-season!
    May the next few winter months be depressing.. (Bar Winter Wonderland, which fu** that, I don't want to take a loan out..) 
     
     
  12. JoshuaA
    Scarefest is a event that has somehow lured me back every year despite the painful drive and the overpriced maze tickets..
    The event I think just feels so much more complete and well rounded than Fright Nights, and the mazes on offer feel longer and more fleshed out than the Thorpe offering.
    The atmosphere is solid as always, and Nemesis in the back row at night is perhaps the most orgasmic experience of my life.. Thirteen is also a great night ride.
    Anyway you're probably not here to listen to me ramble about how good the rides are.. ONTO THE MAZES!
     
    This review will contain spoilers, and sorry for the lack of photos- I sadly lost my phone in Sub Species!
     
    Freakshow Scare Zone:
    Freakshow for sure isn't anything to scream about, but its a fun little addition that brings a lot of atmosphere.
    The actors were for sure more funny than scary, but with it being near the entrance- thats probably a good thing!
     
    Terror Of The Towers:
    Stale enough yet? Well its back again- completely unchanged too!
    Look its not a bad maze per se- it has great theming, a long length, and a disorientating and intense finale, though next to the others, it falls flat..
     
    The conga line approach also feels boring after the other three, and actors seemed a little hindered compared to the others as they couldn't touch you or be as intimate as Sub Species or Skin Snatchers.. 
    5/10
     
    Skin Snatchers:
    Skin Snatchers is by far one of the best themed mazes at the park, and the theatrical approach at the beginning really sets the scene for the very jumpy and dark sections towards the end of the attraction.
    The actors inside like last year were lively and gave some pretty nice touch scares, and the maze built up a lot of tension throughout.
    My only niggle had to be the maze seemed a bit sparse on actors in the first section (especially in the gas mask room) though the strong second half made up for it.
    The new finale this year I thought was pretty funny and witty, though I think perhaps it wasn't utilised or executed as well as it could of been..
    In this I mean we just casually walked past it, and I feel like the actor could of really caused panic if it was timed better..
     
    9/10
     

     
    Sub Species: The End Games:
     
    Sub Species is one of the most hands-on and intense experiences I've ever seen, even in its third year it still shocks me how incredibly chaotic and intense this attraction is.
    The maze from the word go sees actors one-by-by dragging guests through one of the three doors, and from that point on, you traverse through everything from a genuine maze section, to pitch black darkness, to crawling tunnels.
     
    Actors inside are not afraid to push/shove you, and the actors try constantly to isolate you throughout the maze which amps up the scares even more.
    The ending is simple, but effective, and by that point I was desperate to get out!
     
    Its rare for me to be breathless from exiting a maze, but Sub Species is for sure one of the best mazes (if not the best) I've done this year.
     
    10/10
     
     
    The Welcoming: Be Chosen:
     
    The Welcoming is new for this year, and with a £8 upcharge, I had high expectations.
    The first half is very open as actors dance around the beautiful sets that resemble a village, this opened up the maze really well and actors seemed to know how to pop up from nowhere!
    The maze in tone slowly gets darker as it goes on, and the scares ramp up before you're instructed to put on your hoods.
    The hooded section was fairly short from memory, but it did well in building up the tension.
    The finale sadly fell a little flat, and our group just kinda walked out like "is that it"?
    I think with a killer ending The Welcoming could be a brilliant maze, and its easy to see that tons of effort has gone into theming this maze as some of the sets at the start are beautiful.
    Anyway The Welcoming is not as relentless as Sub Species per se, but it has great theming and some great scares, it is a shame though about the finale being a massive anti-climax..

    7.5/10
     
    Conclusion
     
    I think Scarefest is by far a must visit for die-hard scare maze enthusiasts as it does house some of the most intense mazes in the country IMO.
    Yes I do think it is a little overpriced, though Sub Species was worth every penny.
     
    I sadly didn't get to experience House Of Monsters because I'm broke.. Though it seems like a fairly decent attraction for families.
    Oh and cheers to The Sub Species team for finding my phone in the end, I was so scared in Sub Species I dropped it without noticing 

    draw me like one of your french gerstlauer infinity coasters


     
     
  13. JoshuaA
    So Fright Nights is a event that I think pretty much everyone on the forum will know well.. well duh.
    So with a massive new IP behind the park, what would 2017 bring to Fright Nights?
     
    This will contain spoilers
     
    Big Top
    Big Top returns akin to last year, and the maze continues to be the chaotic fun that it was last year.
    The acting was strong-  the strobe section proved to be even more intense than ever, and the second half sees some new scenes including a mini-mirror maze, and even a homage to Cabin
    which I think for the most part worked really nicely.
    The maze overall is more fun than scary, though I did spend the second half of the maze on my own, and when the chainsaw finale hit, I ran fast 
    8.5/10
     
    The Walking Dead: Sanctum
    Sanctum is like Zombie Scare Zone if the Zombies were creepy twisted cannibals, and the zone itself housed some extremely lively and vocal actors.
    The actors inside made us laugh and simultaneously creeped us out while running around the nicely themed sets.
    My only problem is that Sanctum feels like more like 1/4 of a maze/scarezone than a actual complete attraction..
    There was a lot of possibility with the containers or just in the layout in general that could lend the attraction a few more sections as Sanctum currently can be easily done in 2 minutes..
    4/10
     
    Platform 15
    Platform was a maze that I bashed to death last year..
    Actually, I even called it my least favourite scare attraction of last year.. 
    Thorpe have luckily (for the most part) have poured some life into this maze, and now it is actually one of the highlights of the event for me..
     
    The new village section in particular impressed me with some pretty intense scares, heck I even had two actors cornering me and they nearly separated me from my group..
    The finale also successfully built up tension and some of the actors in the tunnel got some great scares from me.
     
    My only problem with this maze is that a lot of tension is built up and you just kinda walk out the maze causally..
    Platform though has seriously impressed me this year, so for that, cheers to Thorpe for making a terrible maze into a very decent one..
    9/10
     
    Saw Alive
    So Saw Alive felt incredibly stale on my run-through.
    I think Saw Alive has probably run its course by this point, and the fact the maze has remained untouched since opening doesn't help matters..
    3/10
     

     
    The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare
    So, replacing the fan-favourite Cabin, Living Nightmare had a lot of pressure under its belt..
     
    Though on my run through I have to say, I think Living Nightmare is by far a worthy successor to Cabin.
    Cabin for me in 2015/2016 was a scareless mess that had very sparse theming, though Living Nightmare is near opposite in that it has very decent theming and the
    sets in some places look beautiful.
     
    The scares were very strong in the first half, and I gotta say it was pretty terrifying to be separated from my group with not 1, but 4 actors attacking me at once, this shook me as one of the most intense scares (if the not the best scare) I have had in a maze this year.
     
    Yes the scares towards the finale were pretty underwhelming from the chaos that the first half had, though the finale for me was generally fairly decent, and it left a lot of us running! 
    My only other niggle towards Living Nightmare is that it is a tad short, but besides that this maze impressed me, nice!
    8.5/10
     
    Park Operations
    I have to say as much as I liked the mazes this year, the operations at some points were depressingly awful..
    Within a hour of me queuing for Big Top, I saw not 1, but 3 E STOPS! And there was kids running round the whole place queue jumping and even running into the maze past the puzzled people trying to organize the damn queue..
     
    I also think Living Nightmare was also pretty dis-organized, though luckily Platform and Saw were actually organized..
     
    Conclusion
    Overall I think this is a strong year for Fright Nights..
    I think most of the mazes were of a decent quality, though the operations did let down the event at some points.
    I do have to say that I wish they were better roamers though, as I only saw like 1 one of them..
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  14. JoshuaA
    Tulleys, oh Tulleys..
     
    Being on the scene as early as  1998 with Creepy Cottage, and then throughout the years adding more and more, Tulleys has really evolved as of recent into one of the best scream parks in Europe.
     
    Now with 2015's massive changes, and the fairly large Coven last year, this year I think is more of a slow down year in terms of growth in the event.
    Anyway with the re-do of Hellements, and the 3D transformation of the Twisted Clowns, how would 2017 fare for Tulleys?
     
    (This will be spoiler free, though I have put some more details in the tags for those who want to be spoiled..
    I'm also sorry for the photography, and you cannot sue me if I kill your eyesight with the quality of these ****ty photos..)
     

     
    Creepy Cottage
    Dating back to 1998, the cottage is the oldest maze at the park and its by far the smallest- though do not underestimate it, as the cast were rocking it on Preview Night!
    The actors in here caused a lot of suspense, and the suspense was usually followed by a great jump scare.
    The maze is also nicely themed too, and the layout is very tight which gave the actors even more fun in tormenting us.
    The Cottage is by far one of the more low-key mazes in the lineup, and its by far not the best maze the park has to offer, though if the cast keep this up, its gonna be a great year for the attraction.
    7/10
     
    VIXI- Hellements V2
    Being a "new" attraction, I think a lot of people are gonna ask whats new in VIXI.
    Now I'm gonna say that for the most part this is near identical the to last year, though there is a new section or two that mixes up the formula a little..
    The actors in the rope section seemed a lot better than last year, and the cast here made this a bit better than Hellements IMO.
    -5/10

    Coven Of 13
    Coven I think with a few more large-scale scares could be a icon maze for Tulleys, though sadly on my run through the actors were more creepy than scary.
    I also think the swamp scene needed a actor or two more, as I think this brilliantly designed section could of been put to use better..
     
    The maze though looked just as (if not more) beautiful than last year, with the cottage section, and the swamp scene is awesome.
    Overall I think when the cast begin to find their feet, this could be great this year.
    -6/10
     
     
    Chop Shop
    Chop Shop remains fairly similar to previous years, and that IS a good thing.
    The cast in here seemed to be in full force as actors from the first room got scares thick and fast.
     
    The finale remains the fast, fun, and chaotic feast that it was last year, and the theming in the exterior and inside the first half also continues to be impressive.
    -8.5/10
     

     
    The Colony
    The Colony is back, and it feels longer than ever..
    Overall the first half of the maze was generally fairly slow in getting scares, though in the second half the scares were actually pretty brilliant.
    The actors were using the beautifully themed sets to their advantage, and in some sections scares came pretty relentlessly.
    The ending is something that I've been debating about since its debut though..
    Yes the ending got me and my group running out of the attraction, though it really does not fit in with the tone of the maze..
    Also when you use a object constantly in a maze (Chop Shop) makes the use of it in The Colony slightly feel like a cop out..
    7.5/10
     
    Haunted Hayride
    The Hayride has some new scenes this year, and the attraction remains just as fun and as jumpy as previous years.
    Various highlights include the pole dancing Nuns, The movie-based scene, and the good old chainsaws at the end.
    -8/10
     
    The Twisted Clowns
    After testing the waters with Pandemonium last year, Tulleys have made their Clown Maze fully 3D, and for the most part I like it.
    The maze feels even more disorientating than last year, and the layout led to our group getting lost quite a lot.
     
    The only thing I dislike is how this maze on my run through seems to have had adopted a conga line style, which didn't seem to fit the style of the maze.
    Anyway this maze remains fun and lively like previous years, and I liked how this year they attempted a finale.
     
    - 7/10
     
    The Cellar
    The Cellar has been running strong since 2009, and for the most part this year is no exception.
    I do think some of the cast might of not found their feet yet though as some of the scares in the second half/finale were a tad on the slow side.
    Though it is preview night, so this is probably just the cast getting used to the endless amount of scare opportunities that the maze's layout brings.
    Though when actors were on form, the scares were intense.
    - 8/10

    Roamers/Atmosphere/Other Sh**
    So as always the roamers here were brilliant.
    Some of them scared the crap out of me, some of them made me laugh, some of them are just plain entertaining!
    The roamers along with the live music gives the farm just such a crazy and fun atmosphere that makes Tulleys feel special.
    Heck I could go along to Tulleys without entering a single one of the haunts and enjoy it.
    Along with the 8 haunts this year also saw an unadvertised 3D cinema experience.
     
    This was fairly odd, and the experience itself felt a tad half baked (I can see why it was chosen not to be advertised..)
    I think if it returns next year, maybe give it a few actors? And some special effects to make it feel less like a DIY project plonked on a high standard Scream Park such as Tulleys..
     
    Thoughts/Conclusion
    Overall I think 2017 is another great year for Tulleys.
    Chop Shop, The Colony, The Cellar, the new scenes on Hayride are all massive reasons to visit.
     
    Yes this year hasn't seen all too much changed, though I think with Tulleys it didn't really need to.
  15. JoshuaA
    So if you have seen me around the forums, you'll probably know I have a slight obsession with Europa Park.
    Today I'll be going over my sexual fetish over this theme park, and just why I love this place.
    Get your drugs and your overpriced coffee ready, and enjoy!

    Operations:
    Europa Park is pretty **** with its operations.
    3 trains on a B&M, 3 on a GCI, 4-5ish on Euromir/Bluefire, and insanely quick dispatches.
    Like, 1 train operations is the way to go!
    Even worse, I didn't witness a single breakdown in my 3 days there..
    Like I didn't even get to go to guest services to complain.

    Theming:
    Okay sarcasm aside, Europa Park is quite well known for its insanely good theming.
    The park really go above and beyond with theming.
    Things like themed toliets, or that satellite thing-y near Euro-Mir really show how much effort goes into theming their rides
    Now in terms of standouts, the French, Greek, and Arthur areas all standout for me, but quite honestly, the whole park is beautiful.

    The rides.. Yes, its a theme park:
    So as well as Europa's flawless theming and operations, their ride collection is also obviously quite strong.
    Standouts for me are obviously Blue Fire, Wodan, and Arthur, but their is so many little gems around the park that are worth mentioning.
    Even some of the cookie cutter rides you see at every park standout at Europa- like Fjord Rafting, which is nicely themed and a near flawless rapids that left me lovely and wet..
    Others worth noting is their Mine Train- which has a super awesome diamond cave section, and The Arena Of Football, which is a super fun twist on the super standard bumper cars.

    Shows:
    Shows in Theme Parks are something that are IMO criminally underated.
    Shows can really break up a day, and who doesn't like a bit of live entertainment?
    The Standout to me had to be their Ice Show, which was incredibly fun and campy.
    Also some male eye candy in there.. Not gonna lie.

    Overall:
    all in all- Europa Park remains a flawlessly ran park that also looks beautiful.
    As well as this, they also have a strong lineup of rides like Arthur, Blue Fire, and Wodan.
    The park is easily one of the best parks in the world.
    Anyway thanks for reading.. here's a orgasmic picture of Euro-Mir taken by a sexy friend of mine..
    (his name is josh)

  16. JoshuaA
    So, hey frens and fellow geeks.
    2016 has been a pretty good year for me in terms of Theme Parks, so I thought I'd like to do a sarcastic recap of some of my major trips this season!
    Bulgaria:
    So even though you'd think this third world(ish) country would have nothing in terms of roller coasters..
    In my cheap and tacky summer travels, I came across the best coaster I'd ever ridden, the best coaster in the world, a true beauty..

    Why have that when you can have this..
    Isn't it brilliant? Maybe Thorpe should install one next to their Aqua Trax? 
     
    Blackpool Pleasure Beach:
    So obviously I needed something more ugly, something more tacky, so that's when I found BPB.
    Anyways, it was worth the trip up north.
    Skyforce was better than expected, the classic woodies where as fun as ever, and Wild Mouse was as brutally fun as ever!
    Infusion though.. Was much more rough then I remembered, so much, its taken my place for my least favourite coaster of all time!
    And.. Valhalla 

     
    PortAventura:
    My main trip this year was to the poorly operated PortAventura!
    Was it worth it yes? Why? SHAMBHALA!!! SHAMBHALA!
    Sorry, anyway Shambhala was brill as always, Furius Baco was fun but brutal, and Dragons Khan was intense and fun like usual.
    The only new thing for me at the park was the revamp of their 3D theatre in the Polynesia area.
    The complete unnecessary revamp of the theatre has left the attraction looking out of place, and the show itself is extremely poor.
    The show is just regurgitated scenes taken from a seven year old movie.. Alton's version completely blows it out of the water, good job Merlin..
     
    Other than that there is some neat shows.. The Stunt Show in Far West, The Can Can Show, and Templo Del Fuego are all as brilliant as always.
     
    Horror In Texas- Review:
    Throughout the park they where advertising a scare attraction for a small up-charge fee of 5 euro.
    So being the Scare Enthusiast that I am, I willingly payed as soon as I saw it advertised.
    Horror In Texas is a Scare Attraction built in a marquee under Tomahawk/Stampidas mess of wood, and oh god was it worth them five euros!
    The attraction had me on edge for nearly the entirety of it, and actors came out of nowhere, thick and fast!
    The attraction was a bit generic and goofy with its theming attempts, but it worked in a weird way!
    Even though being right next to two loud woodies, I didn't notice any noise bleed!
    The attraction also felt quite long.. And the attraction had a constant tense atmosphere which startled everyone in our group!
     
    Anyway that's all for today folks, good job to anyone who got to the end!
    Have a good holiday season guys, and have a happy new year!
    I'll leave you on this note.. SHAMBHALA!

     
  17. JoshuaA
    So to start the blog off, here's a joke
    The Conservative Party
    Anyway its sadly nearly Halloween, meaning the parks close for off season! 
    So I guess its back to rocking back and forward in my room til march..

    So I've reviewed a few events over Halloween, so I'm going to do some awards to recap my Halloween Season!
    http://forum.maniahub.com/blogs/entry/812-alton-towers-scarefest-2016-review/
    http://forum.maniahub.com/blogs/entry/808-screamland-margate-2016-review/
    http://forum.maniahub.com/blogs/entry/804-thorpe-park-fright-nights-2016-review/
    http://forum.maniahub.com/blogs/entry/803-tulleys-farm-shocktoberfest-2016-review/
    Anyway.. BRING ON THE AWARDS
     
    Best Theming/Costume Design
    Honourable Mentions- Dead And Breakfast, The Cellar, Altonville Mine Tours
    Winner- The Final Cut
    What haven't I said about The Final Cut?
    The theming is fab throughout, and the Sci-Fi costumes felt very well done.
    Especially if you're a film buff like me, its fun seeing all the references to classic Sci-Fi Movies.
     
    Most Improved Maze
    Honourable Mentions- The Colony
    Winner- The Big Top
    The Big Top last year was admittedly a plane crash. At first even I didn't want to admit it.
    The maze just did not work, the open spaces made scares a tad awkward, and it felt half-finished as well.
    This year the maze seems like a whole different attraction, with some changes the maze now sits as one of the best in Thorpe's offering.
    The maze itself feels much more frenetic, with the intense strobe section, to the well themed rooms towards the end.
     
    Worst Maze
    Dishonourable Mentions- Bloody Mirror, The Cabin In The Woods, Hellements, Donald Trump's House Of Horrors
    Winner/Loser- Platform 15
    After doing some run throughs of it recently, I've came to the conclusion this is the worst of the year..
    Whats the point of having a long attraction if nothing happens for 90% of it?
    It just drags on, and unlike The Colony for example there's not much to see for most of it..
    The ending tunnel takes the cake for being the worst scene, its long, and you'll probably not see a actor!
    The theming is OK, but a lot of the attraction is just nothing.. Nothing..
     
    Most Original Concept/Theme
    Honourable Mentions- Coven Of 13, The Final Cut
    Winner- The Paradise Foundation
    I love originality in scare attractions, it really sets a attraction apart from the rest, which is what The Paradise Foundation did!
    The Paradise Foundation is a gore infested theatrical journey through a controversial surgical clinic.
    Basically the idea is that the rich pay for the 'bliss' treatment, which involves the poor being surgically operated on to give there happiness for the rich.
    The maze throughout has a lot of gore, including disgustingly disfigured costumes that actors wear.
    The maze overall is something quite different to anything else I've done this Halloween.
     
     
    Most Intense Maze
    Honourable Mentions- The Paradise Foundation, Altonville Mine Tours, Chop Shop
    Winner- Sub Species: The End Games 
    Sub Species breaks the boundaries of what actors can do in a maze.
    I was split up throughout, faced sections of the maze on my own, and was constantly manhandled and pushed by actors.
    The maze has a intense crawling scene, periods of complete darkness, and had me on edge throughout.
     
    Best Roaming Actors And Atmosphere
    Winner- Tulleys Farm Shocktoberfest
    The Atmosphere at Tulleys is unmatchable, with a range of brilliant roamers and two music stages, its really brilliant!
     
    Best Scare/Halloween Event
    Winner- Screamland Margate
    This award was very tough to decide.
    But I've decided Screamland was my favourite event of the season.
    The great atmosphere, the four brilliant mazes, and the heavy load of creativity in the mazes is something special.
     
    Anyway thanks for reading me ramble in this blog!
    Have a spoopy halloween frens and fellow geeks
    What events have you been to this Halloween?
  18. JoshuaA
    This Blog Contains Minor Spoilers*
     
    Screamland is a upcoming giant in the scare industry, and last year received rave reviews from scare veterans and the GP alike.
    I personally have never been to Margate, so my whole night was a complete 'new experience' to me..Yup 
    Especially the completely rundown city of Margate, and some "interesting" graffiti on some of the walls..
    Anyway the event was a grueling Hour and a half drive, so was it worth it?
    In short, yes..
    Screamland was one of the best halloween events I've ever experienced, I'm not easily scared, but the event caught me off guard with some of the most
    creative scares I've ever seen in a maze.
     
    Bloody Mirror

    Bloody Mirror was the parks mirror maze with a few actors..
    Overall it was the shortest/weakest at the event, but it was fun for what audience it was aiming for.
    I was a tad disappointed TBH, but the attraction is more of a good start to the event than anything else -3/10 or 100/10 if you have a big ego 
     
    The Paradise Foundation
     
    TBH this mazes concept and theme disturbed me before even entering the attraction!
    Overall The Paradise Foundation is a well themed, theatrical, and terrifying experience!
    First positive would have to be the actors hiding spaces, they really came from everywhere.
    The maze itself is very disturbing, with a lot of the actors looking disfigured and the sets full of gore.
    I'm not easily grossed out but some of the actors costumes where quite disgusting, in a good way!
    My only negative comment I'd say about the attraction is the ending, its a cool concept but not effective as it could of been!
    All in all- The Paradise Foundation was a brilliant maze which had our group on edge throughout the experience-9/10
     
    The Final Cut Presents..They Came From Outer Space

    The Final Cut was what I'd call perfection..
    The concept was so brilliant, and so brilliantly executed.
    The first half is reminiscent of a theatre, with popcorn being thrown everywhere!
    The use of a inflatables was genius with the transition into the movies, and once into the film
    The Final Cut goes crazy from that point on!
    The maze has plenty of scenes involving Sci-Fi classics which where
    both funny and scary in equal measures!
    If that wasn't enough awesomeness for you.. I present the ending!
    The ending involved a scary alien and a girl with a gun!
    The ending was loud, unique, and left our group desperate for the exit-10/10
     
    Dead And Breakfast- Murder Hotel

    Dead And Breakfast starts right after the awesomeness of The Final Cut, And oh god was the first half brilliant.
    Fag Ash Lil had our group in stitches with her fast-witted insults, She even called me a slag!
    Once inside your chased by Lil's new man, who has a taste for flesh!
    The maze had some beautiful sets, as well as some good theatrical scares making use of the brilliant theming that immerses you in.
    Lil's new man seemed to be everywhere, and caused a threat throughout the attraction.
    The attraction's finale was also pretty good, and was a good ending to a great maze-9/10
     
    Festino's Forgotten Funhouse

    I've experienced some great Clown/Circus themed mazes this Halloween, but Festino has to be the best clown maze I've ever experienced.
    The creativity on this one was insane.
    The hiding spaces for actors where very creative, and at points you see a prop, next minute that prop would start moving to realise its a actor!
    The attraction's first half is very trippy and full of unique scares, and the second half was surprisingly theatrical!
    To meeting a knife thrower to a Bearded lady was pretty fun!
    The ending slightly disappointed me, mainly due to the absence of Pearlywhite!
    But three actors with chainsaws held our group hostage in a cage for a few minutes, which made up for it!
    The maze itself though was more fun than scary, but the maze's creative scares and scenes make up for that-8/10
     
    Atmosphere/Roamer Actors
    Overall the roamers where pretty great.
    They weren't no Tulleys level, but I had some fun interaction with them.
    Though the atmosphere was buzzing-8/10
     
    Conclusion:
     
    Screamland is a event which I recommend to anyone who likes scare attractions.
    The event is nothing short of brilliant, and even though Scenic was unfortunately closed, I still had a blast!
     
  19. JoshuaA
    (THIS BLOG WILL CONTAIN MILD SPOILERS)
    So Fright Nights returns for its fifteenth year!
    Overall this year the event was somewhat of a mixed bag.
    One thing to note is some of the park-wide theming!
    Fright Nights in previous years have not bothered with theming, but this year
    they seemed to make some effort which is nice.
     
    The Big Top
    The Big Top has been completely changed this year, and was way better than last year!
    The maze is everything it should have been last year, its fast, its frenetic, and its pretty fun!
    The strobe maze in particular was very confusing,  leaving our group doing circles for a while.
    Though the maze was a little light on actors at points, and in some sections a bit of light from outside the tent was let in.
    The Big Top like other clown mazes may not be the scariest, but they sure are fun and confusing at the same time-7/10
     
    Platform 15

    Being new for this year, Platform had a lot to live up to.
    After going through, the maze was IMO a mixed bag if I'd seen one.
    Now the first half was brilliant, the scripted beginning to actors giving some pretty good scares in the open spaces.
    Some sections where a little to wide, but actors towards the first half where giving some pretty great scares.
    Now the tunnel finale was a different story..  Most of the tunnel was spent doing nothing, making a decent portion of the maze boring..
    The finale at the end of the tunnel was a good idea, but it was not effective in the slightest, making  Platform the most anti climatic maze I've seen in a long time.
    The attraction's second half needs a massive overhaul IMO, but the first half is still pretty fun-3/10
     
    Saw Alive

     
    Saw Alive seemed to be crawling with actors on my run through!
    The attraction seemed to pack more than enough actors, and the scares where pretty great.
    Though the maze is starting to get very stale, and the maze has a crap ton of problems..
    Mainly the scares for one, why would a chained up actor be moving freely?
    Though the maze still has some great scares-5/10
     
    Blair Witch Project

     
     
    Blair Witch remains the same state that its been in since 2014.
    The attraction packs a lively cast of actors which seemed to be hiding pretty much anywhere!
    The finale always packs a punch, and the actors where doing a good job.
    Though like Saw Alive its starting to get a little stale as nothings really changed at all-5/10
     
    The Cabin In The Woods

    Cabin is really a attraction that has seemed to declined since 2015..
    Cabin back in 2014 was amazing, it was crawling with actors, some actors jumping out from the ceiling!
    On my run through the attraction was not bad, but it weren't great either..
    Overall I think the maze has like Saw/Blair became a little stale.
    Also the group flow seemed to be a little manic on my run through..
    Cabin has always had these problems, but you'd think after three years of operation they would of ironed out these issues-4/10
     
    Roamers Actors
    Only saw roamers one time sadly.
    Overall the EX10 actors where wrecking havoc when we did see them!
    Though the amount of roamers was very poor TBH, especially like a event as large as fright nights!
    Maybe I've been spoilt with Tulleys's amazing roamers, but I think Thorpe needs some better roaming actors overall-5/10
     
    Conclusion:
    The event like I said earlier was a massive mixed bag.
    Big Top was fun, Cabin/Saw/Blair where all very fun too but a little stale.
    Platform being poor due its long drawn out boring ending.
    Overall Fright Nights are better than last year IMO, but I still think there is MASSIVE room for improvement..
  20. JoshuaA
    So its that time of the year again... NO NOT CHRISTMAS.

     
    Anyway its getting nearer and nearer to the Halloween season..
    So this means I'm gonna get a crap ton of travelling to do!
    Anyway I'm going to review quite a lot of events this year!
     
    1 Of October, Tulleys Farm Shocktoberfest:

    Tulleys always finds a way into my calendar.
    With it being located at my local farm its quite a no brainer, new for this year  includes a 3D revamp of there clown maze,
    and a entirely new maze based on witches!
    Not forgetting the returns of classic like Haunted Hayride and The Cellar, and the return of the incredibly dull Hellements.. Meh.
     
    8 Of October, Thorpe Park Fright Nights:

    After the train crash of last years event.. The event returns!
    This year inlcudes a new maze loosely tied into DBGT, and a revamp of The Big Flop!
    Overall the event seems to look better than last year! Well.. We Hope!
     
    15 Of October, Screamland Margate:
    After the sheer rave reviews from people I had to get myself over to Screamland!
    This year sees return of last year's great mazes, as well as two new mazes!
    Overall Screamland last year seemed to be one of the best events in the UK, and I suspect this year will be no different!
     
    22 Of October, Alton Towers Scarefest:

    After the massive success of last years event, I had to get myself back to Scarefest!
    Sub Species is a good enough reason alone to go back, so with the addition of a new maze and
    the return of TOTT, it was a must.
     
    So there you go, the Halloween season is very near!
    I wish everyone a happy Halloween, and good month of getting sh!t scared!
  21. JoshuaA
    Beware this review may contain mild spoilers!
     
    So Tulleys Shocktoberfest is back!
    Overall being located at my local farm Tulleys is a must each year, this year sees two new attractions and a bunch of classics return!
     
    Creepy Cottage

    Even though being the smallest attraction at the event, Creepy Cottage is still a strong attraction.
    The theming and the eerieness of the attraction is really what makes it, plus a few actors make this attraction a little gem.
    Overall a fun start to the event- 6.5/10
     
    PANDEMONIUM'S 3D CARNIVAL

    Overall very similar to other incarnations of Tulleys yearly clown maze, Pandemonium's was pretty fun.
    The maze like Nightshade Circus from last year shared a lot of scenes, but the 3D element towards the end made
    the maze even more confusing!
    Overall the maze was pretty good, but more funny than scary like usual-7/10
     
    Haunted Hayride

    So the infamous hayride returns!
    The Hayride seemed to have a lot of work done to it this year, with a ton of new scenes!
    Overall the Hayride is fairly similar in tone to previous years, the attraction can sway between laughter and utter terror!
    The Hayride is just as impressive as usual, though we missed the twerking nuns -7/10
     
     
    Hellements

    Hellements has always been decently dull for me, but this year it was actually pretty good!
    The scares where pretty effective, and the group where pretty desperate to get out!
    The effects are fun as always, the fire was as hot as ever, and the wind tunnel was so strong
    our hoods nearly fell off!
    Overall a improvement from last year-6.5/10
     
    Coven Of 13

    So Coven was quite a disappointment..
    Some of the special effects where good and well executed, but the scares not so much..
    The scares where piss-poor, and the maze lacked actors in places..
    The maze had some pretty good theming in some places, so I'll give some credit..
    I think Coven could be great once actors settle in, But Coven was somewhat poor from Tulleys- 3/10
     
     
    The Colony

    The Colony was a mixed attraction for me last year, but the actors where surely rocking on preview night!
    The Colony last year lacked actors and was quite spread out, but this year the maze seemed to have a lot more actors than previous!
    The Maze still has a long length and great theming, but the scares throughout the attraction seemed to come thick and fast!
    One scare in particular was a very loud car horn which had me jumping outside my own skin!
     
    Overall the attraction is now a highlight of the event, and is well rounded maze which seems to go on forever-9/10
     
    The Chop Shop

    The Chop Shop returns!
    The Maze still has a beautiful facade, and chainsaws galore!
    The Pacing is really the thing thats makes the Chop Shop, you'll go from hillbillies teasing you
    to being attacked with chainsaws at all angles!
    Overall actors seem to constantly re-appear, and the amount of hiding places and shortcuts for actors also make
    scares for actors pretty easy!
    A very impressive attraction-8.5/10
     
    The Cellar

    The Cellar is the crown jewel of Tulleys.
    It is yearly great, and seems to never get old.
    The Cellar is a long, well themed, and very great with scares.
    The Maze itself at points seems to flood with actors, some scares being back-to-back!
    Overall a classic which always seems to be a highlight of the event every year-8.5/10
     
    Roaming Actors:
    Tulleys is famous for its great roamers!
    This year is no different, the roamers are really something special at Tulleys!
    Had a few conversations with some of the roamers, and there really are brilliant-10/10
     
    Conclusion:
    Tulleys has had a mixed year, some mazes being as good as ever, some being improved, some new additions completely failing.
    Overall I think the good outweighs the bad, if you live near the area it is definitely a must visit!
    Also to note its only preview night, so there is still time for stuff to change!
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  22. JoshuaA
    I'm gonna start a annual Halloween awards, its gonna be quite a long post so lets start!
    Most Awful Maze: Honourable Mentions- The Volt,My Bloody Valentine
    Big Top- Big Top is awful. Big Flop starts off in a dull tent with dull black walls with little to no theming.
    And even funner 1 actor, IN THE WHOLE TENT. The Second Tent is ok, but with barely any actors in this tents it falls flat it in its face. Third Tent is good, but I had a couple of runs when I've saw no chainsaw. IMO Big Flop is the most disapointing maze this season.
    Most Well Themed Maze: Honourable Mentions- Saw Alive, Sub Species
    The Colony- The Colony's theming is something to behold, half the time I was drooling over the sets.
    The Colony is a example on how do to a long, well themed, attraction.
    Best New Attraction: Honourable Mentions- Sub Species,Molly Crowe
    Chop Shop- First off Chop Shop has a massive facade, which makes it look really good.
    Once inside your presented with guess what? More great theming! After loads of twists and turns through the garage your teased that your about to meet your "brothers". After that the Chop Shop is mad, with 4-6 actors in a big strobe maze all holding chainsaws! It is everything I want in a scare attraction. Theming,scares,and a cool concept.
    Best Maze Overall: Sub Species: The End Games-
    Sub Species is amazing. You start off with the control room telling you the rules to the games.
    What happends next can only be described as mad. You get split up a lot, the maze has loads of different scare tactics and each scene feels varied. It is themed quite a lot too, it is also quite long too. If thats not enough there's two endings, Sub Species has to be experienced to be believed, it is a amazing attraction which is probably one of the UK's best mazes.
    Best Scare Event: Tulleys Shocktoberfest-
    Tulleys is just a paradise for scare event fans. Tulleys this year has gone above and beyond for me, with some of the theming being top class, and some really great attractions too, With two musical stages, loads of roamers too, it is just a really fun event. I can't really say much else.
    Best Roamers: Tulleys The Howl-
    Tulleys The Howl had amazing roamers, the whole Lyncanthorpe family were really entertaining.
    Also it tied into the whole events theme, which is pretty neat.
    Ok to end here is some facts of this Halloween Season!
    Sarcastic Coments made about Merlin: 5
    Swear words said to actors: 1
    Fanny jokes about the squish bag sections: 10
    Bad run throughs of Big Top: 2
    Bad Times at Tulleys: 0
    Bad Times at Thorpe: 2
    Hope you Had a Happy Halloween, and its only 12 months untill Halloween 2016!
  23. JoshuaA
    So Scarefest is back! And it's better than ever!
    Day 1:
    So I started the day by a small drive of 3 HOURS!
    We arrived about 3ish, we got our maze tickets and then we were off.
    We got on Blivvy quickly due to the long que of 5 minutes..
    After that we went to sonic-flopball which had along que due to it raining and only 3 per car.
    Then we went over to our first maze.. TOTT!



    Great maze: 9/10
    Then we walked over to Molly.



    Unique maze 8/10
    Sub Species The End Games:
  24. JoshuaA
    SPOILERS AHEAD!
    So in the last week FN has been running, I sadly couldn't go until today but here's my review..
    Big Top:
    Now, people have said this maze is awful, but you may expect me to say Big Top is bad but...
    I liked it, IMO Big Top is good.. It isn't perfect with sections feeling a little unispired with loads of black curtians from IKEA..
    IMO the only bad part of Big Top is the first tent, it just lacks scares. The second tent is confusing and full of strobes and dead ends. The third tent is also strobe city with also loads of random props and stuff, the scares here is quite effective and made me jump.Then the total non cliched orginal ending happends....8/10
    Blair Witch Project: BWP was great on my run, there is just so much tension now that the bushes and trees have overgrown a little. The actors were great at hiding and jumping out, the ending? The shed was manic when I went in, 4 ACTORS! Two jumping out in the first bit of the shed, the other two were grabbing me and chasing me out.. 9/10
    The Cabin In The Woods: The Cabin was good, not the best run through I had through it.
    In the ending there was 2 actors, it felt like it wasn't as manic as previous.
    Maybe its just a bad run through. The actors it had though were great, one actor grabbed me, one made a tunnel for me to walk through. great maze needs more actors. 7/10
    Containment: Containment was very fun, not scary, but intresting.
    The actors were very crazy and good at making us jump but, overall it was more fun than anything scary.
    Its barely worth the 8£. The best bit had to be a doctor in the dentist section, he was hilarous, he was mad!
    Overall I would say 9/10 for fun, but 3/10 for scares.
    My Bloody Valentine: My Bloody Valentine was great tonight, sadly we did have to wait a bit due to the maze stopping (I think it was actor assualt). The maze started off with the actor telling you the story, after that a actor forced one man one way on his own, and us the other way. The maze was mad after that, we went through a squeze bag, a forest, a sloping tunnel! Funnily enough the maze had no actors with gas masks on! Its funny when the icon of the film is nowhere to be seen.. Overall a great maze, 9/10
    Sadly didn't get to SA, gonna do it when I next go to FN..
    Overall I don't see the negative reviews, the mazes were all good-to great.
    Ride count:
    MBV 1
    TCINTW 1
    BWP 1
    CONTAINMENT 1
    Big Top 2
    Swarm 1
  25. JoshuaA
    Tulleys the howl is a new scream park at mead open farm. Tonight was preview night, here's my review!
    Haunted House: Haunted House is beautifully themed, with dark rooms and eerie sounds it is very similar to HH in Shocktoberfest. The maze was full of rooms and actors staring at us, overall a very creepy maze. 3/5
    The Shed: The Shed is a great maze, with scares similar to the cellar. It is very impressive with scares being impressive overall. One section was similar to the cellar having a inflatable animal. My only gripe is that there was a good section with no actors in the middle of the maze.
    The ending made some sense, good maze. 3.5/ 5
    Mr. Toppers Slay Barn: Mr.Toppers is the parks clown maze.
    It is similar to other clown mazes with curtains and chaos!
    My favorite part of the maze had to be a section with a clown with a machine gun!
    One criticism had to be there was a stretch of no actors at the start of the maze. 2/5
    The Dark: The dark is great, with long periods of dark sections.
    It also has SHOCK pads. In the maze the actors are dressed up as werewolfs.
    The "Werewolfs" carried torches too to make more impact in the dark sections.
    One point was so dark we got stuck! IMO this maze is like the better relation to the Volt. 4/5
    Squealers Yard: Squealers Yard was... Amazing. To start off offered a smart section leaving one member of our group getting put through the maze on there own! The actors were everywhere, shouting pig related nonsense. In one room a actor was about 6.7 tall, he chased me, I was terrified. The maze weaved in out of outdoor and indoor sections,
    The ending with the chainsaw was effective, maybe a little cliche..
    Great maze, very scary. 5/5
    Roamers: roamers where great, I saw Esmerelda, grandma,chasity, and the twins. All providing friendly banter. 5/5
    Some more photos: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/imindetonator
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