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MilesK

Fright Nights 2017

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Wonder what IP.. Could we see a Rings maze? It's something I could imagine the most at TP even though the film looks awful

 

(I disagree though, cabin in the woods was awful compared to their other hands-on-shoulder mazes purely because it was freeflow imo)

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Can't really do something like that as the sets aren't known, think of somewhere like Universal where you have mazes such as The exorcist, American Horror Story etc. When I think of the Ring franchise it's just Samara's well and a flat screen TV. 

 

Freeflow tends to work better for myself, more interaction with actors and I like having the freedom. Also it doesn't help considering I'm quite small so hands on shoulders just means I don't see anything. The flow of Big Top was my fav as it was still in groups but a lot more movement was allowed.

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I'm more intrigued what would replace Cabin. Would they keep the use of multiple rooms for multiple different scenes? 

 

Assuming lionsgate is out, Saw Alive would stay as that's part of the Saw ride contract which isn't going anywhere and Alive is consistently decent. 

 

I've heard a few rumours of what might be coming and I just hope Thorpe don't mess it up cos the potential is huge! 

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23 minutes ago, Mitchada04 said:

I'm more intrigued what would replace Cabin. Would they keep the use of multiple rooms for multiple different scenes? 

 

If Lionsgate are gone, then Cabin can very easily be left nearly as it is; it wouldn't need much work to brand it as a 'new maze'.

Free flow is much much better than HOS. In mazes such as TOTT, for a lot of the time the movement of the line was very stop-start and when it was moving the leader of the group was running his way through the maze. With free flow you can move at your own pace through the attraction and you can appreciate everything a lot more that if you are struggling to stay connected in the line.

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I personally hope Cabin goes and is replaced with something new and different.

 

It was good whilst it lasted, but I've found the maze comparatively stale in the last two seasons and not as enjoyable as it once was. The broken/never repaired tunnel hasn't helped things but I think the maze has past it's time now at the resort.

 

I strongly hope a rebrand/shake up is in the works as the park needs it, not to mention the last couple of years haven't been as good as events in previous. Big Top version two was one of the few major positives I can take from last year's event I'm afraid, as much of the rest wasn't great, whether that be crowd control or the quality of mazes like Cabin and Platform. Which were weaker than previous mazes at the event.

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The fright night page on website has been slightly updated. It doesn't mention lions gate or any of the old mazes and it says that 2017 the island is changing so maybe a new deal or something???

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On 15/02/2017 at 11:50 AM, MilesK said:

Free flow is much much better than HOS. In mazes such as TOTT, for a lot of the time the movement of the line was very stop-start and when it was moving the leader of the group was running his way through the maze. With free flow you can move at your own pace through the attraction and you can appreciate everything a lot more that if you are struggling to stay connected in the line.

I think when done right free flow can be brilliant, look at Sub Species/Skin Snatchers.

But with Thorpe's usually sloppy operations, the free flow mazes tend to overflow and overcrowd horribly..

Conga Lines do have a lot of negatives yes, but with the over-bearing demand that Fright Nights bring, it seems more practical IMO.

Though I do agree on TOTT, which isn't helped by some stairs/uneven flooring which makes the conga line style even more inconvenient.

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11 hours ago, Amarghh said:

No surprise at Big Top returning but surprise with Platform. Hopefully that'll do a Big Top 2k16 and get better

Platform 15 only left me extremely confused the one time I did it so I'll definitely be expecting an improvement this year.

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Big Top returning is a no brainer really as it was the saving grace for fright nights just gone and was simply fantastic. Platform 15 returning though is a massive shock taken into account it was a disaster in the eyes of 95 percent of those who did it. I do have faith however that Thorpe will make major alterations to it as there is no way on earth (surely) that they will just bring it back the same as it was when it was utterly panned by the public. So I have hope it will end up being decent when October does roll round.

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Going back to free flow vs conga line discussion...

 

I don't think there is necessarily a 'better' one, and different mazes will suit different styles.  Being in a conga line means that guests will have their hands on the shoulders of the person in front, which straight away creates an open torso, which can make people feel more vulnerable.  People don't want to get lost from the group, so will keep a firm group on the person in front, rather than cover their eyes with their hands, which makes it perfect for jump scares that appear out of nowhere.  So labyrinth style mazes (ie mazes with one obvious, few large spaces for guests to go in, etc.) usually work better with hands-on-shoulders, since those mazes usually utilise jump scares the most.

 

Free flow allows for people to explore more.  Be that through multiple choices, larger scenes or other forms of interactivity.  Jump scares are usually less effective in this sort of environment, and scares come out of tension-building, mis-direction or from the natural interactivity.  But you need to ensure that there is enough for people to do, and that the scares happen frequently enough, otherwise people can relax - put their hands in their pockets and treat it as a stroll through a building - or they'll huddle together and make any scares coming their way less effective.  

 

This is why I think MBV was so poor for me.  The layout was very labyrinth-style, and the interactive elements (tunnel and air bag thing) do very little by themselves and didn't have actors to go with them.  Sure, the maze was claustrophobic and noisy, but it was easy to distance yourself from the maze because of the free flow nature.  Had it been hands-on-shoulder (say the tunnel didn't exist), it might have worked much better for me.

 

 

I guess one thing with Platform 15 we have to consider is that space for attractions is at a premium.  After 2015, where the Beach and Big Top flooded a lot, it's understandable they don't want to use that area.  And I can't think of any other places on park which aren't being used that could be used for a scare attraction (only place that springs to mind is the marquee but I think there's quite a lot of logistical issues with that making it highly unlikely).  And given they probably had to spend a fair bit making that walkway safe to use, they will want to use it as much as possible.  

 

And let's not forget that Big Top, Blair Witch, Curse all received poor reviews in their first year, but all came back and were improved upon.

 

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To be fair last year I think the mazes themselves (bar platform) were actually pretty decent, it's just the actual event of FN which is what annoys me. On 2 of my 4 visits last year it just seemed like a normal peak day at the park with a couple of extra scary attractions plonked down in the park.

 

I don't usually slate FN but after just looking through my go pro footage from press night, Ive decided I only enjoy it for the mazes.

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I'm surprised Saw Alive isn't still on the site, unless with no more Lionsgate they're just gonna keep that one quiet as to not confuse any possible new IPs as Saw ain't going.

 

As for the scare zones. Blair Witch was originally deemed one of them, so it's replacement may be deemed the same. I wonder if the new IPs will be big things like those at Universal's Horror Nights.

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Fright Nights needs a complete and total overhaul. The best attraction there is Big Top and even that is only Good. Compared to other events Thorpe is extremely behind. You only need to look at the quality of events like Scare Kingdom, Tulleys, Screamland, Fear Avon Valley, Hide and Shriek Scream Park and Alton to see Fright Nights is lagging behind in the scare industry. The attractions just aren't all that well designed in my opinion, which is a shame as the actors are generally pretty damned great! Big Top (2015) was dire, and they've clearly learnt nothing from their mistakes as Platform 15 had many of the same issues. It's evident Thorpe need to take a step back and visit their competition.

 

I'll admit The Big Top (2016) was a huge step in the right direction, hell I enjoyed it. But it wasn't mind-blowing. If it were from any other event I'd rate it lower than I do. It's sad I expect so little from Fright Nights that a pretty average scare attraction is the most exciting part of the event. I think Thorpe need something with a high throughput and plenty of jump scares, which are two things that most of their attractions lack (especially Cabin). If I were Thorpe I'd:

. Big Top - Keep it mostly as it is, but fix the light leakage issues and ensure actors activate key scares. (I'm looking at you clown interupting the crystal ball scene and clowns in the jack in the boxes)
. Platform 15 - Gosh this is going to be hard to fix... The premise is great but the execution is poor. I'd keep the initial train approach scene, but everything else needs re-working and the finale needs a total overhaul. An indoor section (tent similar to Big Top) wouldn't go amiss.
. Containment - The acting is great in here, but the puzzles are shocking compared to other escape rooms. Thorpe's creative team really need to visit other escape room attractions to fix these issues. The puzzles in containment are unimaginative and lack sense. 
. Saw Alive - Probably as good as it's ever going to get, don't see it being removed or changed.

. Cabin - Whatever takes its place needs to loose the format of cabin. If it's to remain free-flow it should really become more like sub species (no cumbersome doors, clearer flow through, faster paced).
. Blair Witch - Eh honestly I don't know how much can be done with the space they have, it's hardly exciting but it's probably as good as it will ever get.
. Brave it Alone - Tried it for the first time this year, it was enjoyable, but lacked impact. I'm not saying it should go full Snuffhouse Alone on us, but perhaps drop the repetative crawl, spit, fakeblood routine that got tiresome towards the end. 
 

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Platforms return is a surprise, but like others have already suggested it might do a Big Top and actually become half decent this year, we shall see!

FIA on Saw Alive was good, but when you've experienced The Asylum on the first year they started FIA, nothing will compare. 

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18 hours ago, Amarghh said:

 

Which maze did you get for FIA? Had some mixed reviews last year as some people thought it was less intense than previous years yet others thought it was the same! I guess it's finding that happy medium of not going snuffhouse intense but also not being repetitive. Had a good run in Saw Alive and all actors were really interactive but again it probably depends on the mazes too to see how comfortable they are with what they do to you! Bring back some of the gags from 2015 ;) 


I had Saw Alive on my run, and the people in my group said their experiences were some of the best they've had in 2016 FIA. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it, but it just felt repetative and lacked impact.

 

Spoiler

I was the first of the group to enter the attraction. The first scene (SWAT Guy infront of TV's) Was pretty standard to be honest, he was more agressive than usual and got very close to my face, but only really yelled and told me how useless I was. It wasn't really anything new, exciting or scary. Being hooded and dragged around would've been a much better start. In the bathroom, I got shoved to the floor and was forced to lie face up. A bunch of actors held me down and absolutely drenched me in fake blood, spat on me and covered me in something else (No idea what) possibly nutella? Then I was forced to crawl through the electric section where I was bundled into the caged off section and restrained by the actors, again whilst being spat on and covered in fake blood. Then I moved onto the freezer scene where I was told to hold onto the chains and swing around squeeling like a pig. This time I had fake blood spat at me and something from a Jack Daniels bottle :drinks: Ha! They stole my shoe and I was again forced to crawl into the mausoleum room. This scene was exactly the same as the bathroom scene. I was held to the floor, spat on and covered in fake blood and something else. Thankfully from hereon out the attraction stepped up a notch! In the pendulum scene I was immediately grabbed, and had my mouth taped up and my hands taped together. I was ushered onto the pendulum where they covered my eyes and slammed something very heavy next to my head as the pendulum sound effects went off. Great scare there! I was then lead into the shotgun carousel scene and forced down onto my knees infront of the shotgun, they activated the air blast right in my face (Again, another amazing scare). Then I was pretty much left to walk/crawl out. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the experience, but it just lacked any real excitement for me. The entire thing felt like a very immature attempt of making something 'extreme'. They relied too much on fake blood, spitting and swearing. Not that I have a problem with any of these, but when that's all an attraction has, they loose any form of impact they would've otherwise had. I totally agree Brave it Alone shouldn't turn into Cracked or Snuffhouse, but a few more interactive elements wouldn't go amiss. Snuffhouse Alone has some particuarly neat scenes that aren't extreme, more psychological. If you've been through it, the chair, the knife and the bug scenes would work particualry well at Thorpe Park in a brave it alone fear level setting. 

 

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I think IP's aren't the problem of Fright Nights to be honest..

Actually Platform was actually quite a refreshing idea for a scare maze, and look how that attraction turned out..

Though I think the current IP mazes are fairly stale due to their age, which happens to most scare attractions anyways.

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3 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

I think IP's aren't the problem of Fright Nights to be honest..

Actually Platform was actually quite a refreshing idea for a scare maze, and look how that attraction turned out..

That's exactly why Thorpe uses IP's in my opinion, they no longer know how to create good attractions without them.

 

Can't believe Platform is returning... :lazy:

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It's not just about creativity, it's easy to advertise. 

 

The Lionsgate years were on whole Fright Nights busiest ever seasons. People know the brand and want to experience it. Easy marketing right there. 

 

It's all about getting a good mix of IP and in house in my eyes. Once you've used IPs to it's hard to go back as people expect the next current thing. If they didn't have any IPs at Fright Nights now a lot of people may see that as being cheap and lazy no matter how intricate They are cos that's how the public would see it. Getting a big name is a big thing and the names for this year could indeed be very very big. 

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Look at the buzz Experiment 10 created when it first opened, I firmly believe that if you create something good, people will come and that created such a wave of hype back in 2011.

Same with Asylum, that maze was still hugely popular in its final year, and I don't think anything has matched that since its removal.

 

Fright Nights brought people in last year but look at the complaints it got, Thorpe actually took the review section off their Facebook because of the 1 star reviews - many of which were due to disappointment in the mazes.

 

I'd rather see quality put into the mazes than a big new IP, if we get both then great but given the previous two years of Fright Nights, I can't see that happening.

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I don't think we'll ever see a buzz like the one Ex10 created again.  Ex10 did something completely different and out there, offering something that never really had been offered in the UK scare market so easily.  It received such a buzz from those within the industry, abs genuinely shocked and scared the general public because it was so unexpected.  

 

These days, the sort of style and experience Ex10 offered is much more normal, and offered by many more places.  Look at Sub Species at Towers,  that's arguably more intense and more groundbreaking than Ex10, and whilst it received awesome reviews, it never really created the same buzz as Ex10 did in 2011, all because it was more of norm. 

 

Of course, this doesn't mean we won't ever see something great or as well received as it ever again.  But to create a buzz anywhere near that level, they've got to do something extremely original, out-there and truly special, which is easier said than done. 

 

 

IPs are always doubled-edged swords.  They bring with them a huge appeal (if the right one is chosen), and create an instant buzz and level of expectation around them.  But they can also be quite restrictive, especially if the people behind the IP have a certain way they want things done, which is particularly noticeable in a maze environment.  

 

One would hope that given Thorpe have had experience with IP mazes now, they've learnt what works and what doesn't, and how it is best to proceed.  In particular, the lifespan of mazes needs to be taken into account - Cabin worked brilliantly in its first two season but failed to reach similar heights thereafter.  MBV struggled through its 3 years.  Blair sort of worked, and it did grow (quite literally!), but it was very actor dependent on the quality of the maze.  Saw has stood the test of time quite well, even if people find it a bit stale now.  From this experience, and lessons they've learnt from their own in house mazes, I'm confident they know how to make things work.

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Big Top ('16 obvs) proved that when Thorpe put the effort in they can successfully deliver original mazes that are high quality, well-themed and consistently effective scare-wise. I think the complete overhaul took a lot of us by surprise, and I pray that the future mazes to come - although they're IP - will follow its footsteps. The start of something new maybe? We can only hope.

My only three problems with TBT would've been the fact that exposure to light and lack of actors in the strobe maze (on my runs) ruined the immersion, and effects such as the drop panel, push panel and two way mirror were never seen in use by myself and most of my friends. I recall one of the designers being a bit miffed off about that. But don't get me on to the abomination we call P15..

I have quite a bit of hope for next year, with the fact that we're set to see something a bit different if the island really is "changing"". Dominic Jones seems pretty confident about it. From what I've gathered, I think he'll play a great part in improving Thorpe as a park overall.

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A rumour has been going around that Thorpe management are already discussing fright nights for this season (which I suppose is a positive), but they voted on having 3 well themed, long, detailed, and well thought out attractions or to have 8 quick mazes which they don't really put as much effort into.

 

I think it would be a no brainier for a lot of us on these forums but Thorpe obviously care more about quantity more than quality. I wasn't meant to share this with any of you (I know 2 people high up in Thorpe management) but I thought if I get banned from the park for a year then it's not too big of a loss, better you lot knowing and me being banned than the other way around.

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