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Warwick Castle

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Unless I'm being blind there doesn't seem to be a thread for Warick Castle. Does anyone actually go there? Would presume so, what with it being on the MAP.

Anyway, they've managed a decent bit of self publicity with this news story. I take it they use some pyro in their shows then?

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Being so close to uni, it would almost be wrong of me to not go here every once in a while! :P

The trouble with the place, though, is the fact that it's quite out of the way, and not that close to other Merlin attractions. Then, for non-MAP holders, there's likely better castles to visit for cheaper.

Here's a link about the trebuchet show - http://www.warwick-castle.com/explore-castle/the-mighty-trebuchet.aspx. Must say, it is a nice show. :)

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The Haunted Castle 2014

 

So, realised today was the last day of Warwick Castle's Halloween event, so decided to pop down to it and try out a couple of their Halloween attractions.  Went to their Halloween event in 2012 (was unfortunately too busy to go last year), and did enjoy it, so was hoping for more of the same today.  

 

It was a very quick visit (literally, a couple of hours to try out two Halloween attractions), so no Castle Dungeons this time; hopefully the next time I'll go I'll actually try it out.  Anyways...

 

The Haunted Hollows - The Skeleton Ball

Despite being only 2/5 pumpkins on my last visit, I really enjoyed this.  A nice bit of fun aimed at kids, but the actors were clever enough to be able to interact with older audiences well.  

 

This year, the attraction was slightly different, with a new entrance where you can choose to go through a 'treat' door or a 'trick' door.  Nothing special, but a clever little interactive touch.  The attraction is an outdoor walkthrough, with lots of theming to create loads of different pathways (and one or two dead ends).  Unlike in 2012, there weren't any actors within the attraction itself (maybe it was a bit too scary for kids?), but this was fine.  At the end, there was a couple of actors greeting you to the 'Skeleton Ball', and a nice projection of dancing skeletons was shown.  So yeah, nice little attraction which suits the audience well.

 

However, one thing which I absolutely hated was the fact that there's a photo point MID WAY through the maze.  You're forced to have your photo taken in front of a green screen as well; not like there's anything fun to it.  Horrible horrible idea and just absolutely unnecessary.  

 

Blackout

The 5/5 rated attraction - the big one.  Blackout completes a trilogy of scare attractions:  'The Curse of Mary Black' in 2012 and 'The Revenge of Henry Black' in 2013.  The Mary Black attraction revolved around a servant who was murdered in the house part of the Castle 100 years ago, having her mouth sewn up and eyes gouged out in the process.  Mary's ghost still inhabited the house, and possessed someone, murdering several people in the process, and the public was taken to investigate, ending with us trying to perform a seance to rid Mary.  The Henry Black attraction was to do with Mary's husband shortly after she was murdered, and how he wants revenge for what was done to Mary.  From what I can gather, the attraction ended with Henry trying to burn the house down, but only managing to murder himself.

 

Fastforward to Blackout, and we have two spirits inhabiting the house, and we need to complete the seance to rid them from the house.  

 

From what I heard, the Henry Black attraction was similar to the Mary Black one, using essentially the same route, same tricks and so forth.  So, I expected much of the same for Blackout.  How wrong I was...

 

Much smaller groups (8-10 instead of 20-24) and lots more actors (4 when I went in 2012, at least 8 tonight).  A longer route (starting in a different place) and no silly tricks like planted actors.  

 

The attractions is extremely dark - like literally pitch black all the time, bar the occasional light flicker controlled by the actors.  The theming is still very good though; they're worked very well with the surroundings they've got!  A great usage of the lack of light was the numerous life-size dolls dotted around the place, making you question if they were actors or not.  Also, there were a couple of times when people saw others in the group, and jumped thinking they were actors.  Very clever.

 

I won't go into details about the attraction itself, but basically it starts of with us being told darkness is our friend, and light is our enemy, as we can only be harmed if they can see us.  Pretty nice twist on the idea that darkness is scary.  It ends with the seance seemingly finally completed, though I'm sure I heard a voiceover saying "It's still in the house..."  Leaves me wondering - will there be a Black Part IV?  

 

Couple of things annoyed me though.  One actor laughed during one scene, because of how another actors shouted whilst trying to scare someone.  Lack of professionalism there really, and that did ruin the scene quite a bit.  I know actors are only human and it's the last night, but if you can't control yourself in a serious situation like that, is acting the best role for you?  

 

Also, before the maze there was a photo point (again, in front of a green screen).  After the maze, the photos were already printed out (yes, they printed out two copies, with different backgrounds), given to you, and then you're "You can take one home for £7, or two for £10".  Seriously?  That is just pure money grabbing and it just feels so cheap and awful.  In a weird way, it feels bad to give the photo back and say no thanks; I wonder if some people almost feel obliged to buy the photos when they've been given to them?  Seriously hope they stop doing it here and that it doesn't expand to any other Merlin places.

 

 

Anyway, I don't want to leave this on a bad note, as the attractions are good fun and, for the most part, well executed.  Hope that they can continue to expand and make the event as popular and successful as possible.

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Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but does anyone know if premium passholders have to pay to get into the Dungeon?  I'm assuming not but want to make sure - also, do you have to book online or on the day when you are there?

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Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but does anyone know if premium passholders have to pay to get into the Dungeon?  I'm assuming not but want to make sure - also, do you have to book online or on the day when you are there?

 

Premium holders get the Castle Dungeon for free.  There's no need to book in advance for it either.  :)

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Also from this months ParkWorld magazine, Warwick Castle have had their plans for bungalow and treehouse accommodation development refused by the council, who pointed out to Merlin 'This is not LegoLand'. 

 

Lols.

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Though the article doesn't mention it, the fireball did land in its usual space.

 

I'm a couple of miles away from the castle and it was a bit windy yesterday, but nothing major, so maybe a bit of bad luck!  Hopefully the boathouse can be restored.

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Warwick Castle are hosting a 'Sounds in the Grounds' music event in July:  https://www.warwick-castle.com/explore/summer-concerts-at-warwick-castle.aspx

 

Surprised they've been allowed to do it to be honest!  Given that some of the acts are also performing for Island Beats at Thorpe, I wonder if this gives an indication to some of the other big acts performing at Thorpe (Kaiser Chiefs would be great for example!)

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Warwick Castle's Halloween event, The Haunted Castle, returns with 2 new scare attractions...

 

-'Condemned', which sounds like it will be in the same location as the previous 3 headline Halloween mazes.

-'Outbreak 1349', which sounds like an outdoor attraction / scare zone

 

The Haunted Hollows is returning with the attraction being made slightly scarier after 5pm.

 

All sounds great - their previous headline mazes were good fun (with last year's Blackout, which I reviewed in this thread, being a decent attraction), and Haunted Hollows was great with actors in back in 2012 - hopefully will improve this year.  Fingers crossed I can try it out this year!

 

(Source:  ScareTour's FB)

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Warwick Castle have been doing some hinting towards something new coming this summer on social media...

 

 

A rather simple tagline of "A forgotten legend resurrected ... Summer 2018.  Official announcement 21.3.18"

 

 

They've literally been plastering Facebook and Twitter with this all month, which is unusual as - in the rare event they do do something - they rarely push it this much.  Maybe they're just changing marketing tactics to get a bit more attention (in which case, it's worked, cos I'm posting it here...).  Or maybe it's something a bit more exciting / interesting / expensive than what they've done in the past.  

 

It's probably nothing, but maybe worth keeping an eye on just in case...

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So the thing is a new show, called Dragon Slayer - https://www.warwick-castle.com/dragon-slayer/

 

The show incorporates fire jousts, battles, stunts, horse processions, fire, projection mapping and more.  It's set around the mythical, and "forgotten", story of the Guy of Warwick.  

 

The shows take place on selected dates in August, ticketed as a separate event, and is 90 minutes long!  Special food will be available too.

 

Prices start from £15, with the standard 20% discount available for Annual Passholders.  Perhaps a tad expensive, but I reckon it could be something pretty special.

 

illustration-v2.jpg

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Visited the Castle for a couple of hours today, and was pleasantly surprised with how decent it was!

 

The Horrible History attraction is actually really well done. We all had fun despite not being the target audience, and the (huge amounts!) of school kids present seemed to be loving it.

 

The Castle Dungeons were seemingly running on limited time slots (felt like one group every half an hour?!), but seemed to work for the place. It's my second time doing it and it was fabulously done, there was a mirror maze section in there that I definitely don't remember though. Actors were doing a top notch job. Really hate the 'lock you in a room and try and push selling photos' sales tactic they do though.

 

Couple of negatives, food related:

-Pizza Pasta restaurant was closed

-The service in The Coach House was terribly slow, despite being dead

 

Food in Coach House, though on the expensive side, was very good though!

 

The trebuchet show was good once again, but they no long fire a flaming fireball. Not 100% sure whether this is down to a jousting arena now existing right next to it, or following from the accident a couple of years back, but a shame as fire is good, fire is great.

 

So yeah, it's not a 'must visit' place by any many means, but I do really recommend trying it if you're ever anywhere near the area. It's presented wonderfully and a fun way to spend a day!

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