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Tulley's Shocktober Fest Scream Park

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So Scaretour just announced that the owner of the event just posted a new years message with this paragraph:

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Looking ahead to 2020, there are plans to open two more escape adventures at Tulleys and an 11th attraction for Shocktober Fest."

This can't be true. Another new maze? We just got Wastelands! If that is another new maze next year then I am speechless.

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VIP to exceed £100 on all dates and the other takeaway is it looks like all tickets will entitle the holder to unlimited goes through each made. Doing away with the whole "1 go through each"

 

Part of me feels that having every ticket entitled to unlimited goes could very well lead to a disaster for the event in terms of queue management especially if the fastrack/VIP line is long for any reason.

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This is not good. As much as it was annoying only being able to do attractions once, they still generated queues.

 

I guess they will also up sell more fast track on the night leading those queues to get long as well.

 

Could well be disastrous on some of the busier nights, with queues potentially very long, will have to see I guess. 

 

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I guess it depends on the maze. Haunts such as Hayride or Wastelands will suffer, but mazes such as Cellar or Cottage honestly won't be affected at all but this as they don't tend to get  a queue anyway!

Cellar seems to get a tad forgotten about until the final hour or two and cottage really never seems to get a queue, some people going through those mazes twice or more honestly won't affect it too bad. I also think during the quieter nights it won't be too bad as the queues are very mild anyway. I went on one of the busiest nights and the largest queue was a hour. The event during the first operating hour and the final operating hour is also very quiet too, with smart planning you can avoid those bad queues.

 

I really hope they limit re-runs for other guests on the more busier attractions as that could certainly prove hetic, though for mazes such as Cellar or Cottage, or even Twisted to a certain degree, it shouldn't be too much of a issue.

 

If it does turn out to be a bad idea, Tulleys will probably revert it back anyway. They've run the event so efficiently the last two decades, I would be surprised if they would let their current standards drop. 

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I believe at one point they were considering just giving you 11 slots/'tickets', and you could use them for whatever attractions you wanted. So, if you wanted to do all 11 attractions once, you could, but equally you could do 1 attraction 11 times. I guess in the grand scheme of things, 11 attractions is still a lot to do in the time frame, so making them unlimited doesn't make much difference.

 

One of the reasons for them trying this different method is because of the expansion of the event. This year will have 11 attractions. And many of them aren't exactly short either (eg Wreckoning being a 2.5hr walk through*). How many people who went last year did all 10 attractions without using a Fastrack? Very few I imagine. I did, and it was a route march of an event: one to the other, to the other, with not much time to just wander. You had to plan things well and get just a little bit lucky. Those who aren't prepared for that will almost definitely not have done every single attraction.

 

If the place marketed 'one price, 11 attractions', there would be an increase in people feeling short changed 'because they didn't do everything'. This is especially true when you are having your ticket ticked off every time you do an attraction. Market it as unlimited attractions, choose from 11 makes it feel a bit friendlier. People will come away with a "Oh, we could do as many as we wanted, and we did 9 of them - it was great!" mentality rather than a "We only did 9 out of 11 attraction we could have done".

 

Obviously there will still be people who feel short changed and there will still be complaints. But this certainly minimises it. I'm sure they've thought through the queueing aspect and all of that (personally, I doubt this will not make much difference to queue times since they never did time slots). Their Fastrack system works, so no problems there either. And if it doesn't work, they can revert back to their usual system next year.

 

At some point, though, you have to wonder if Tulleys are expanding too much. Should an 11th attraction have been a priority now? Arguably not.

 

*possible underestimate 

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6 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

At some point, though, you have to wonder if Tulleys are expanding too much. Should an 11th attraction have been a priority now? Arguably not.

 

 

As great as the event is, I very much feel last year was where they did expand too much. As you say, unless you went on a quiet evening then if you didn't have at least a fastrack package then you probably more likely than not would not have got a sniff at getting all of the haunts done. This also inevitably means missing out on the general atmosphere of the place outside the haunts as you find yourself rushing to the point of not being able to enjoy it fully.

 

To me, 8 haunts max is plenty especially given the sheer length of most of them. 

 

Although maybe it's all a big incentive to get people to go back for a second visit during the Halloween season.

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Going to grab the RIP package in the Valentine's day sale for £85 - should have really done it in the Black Friday one for £75. Still seems a good deal with £10 food voucher and a t-shirt, however, we normally go on a Saturday night but think we'll pick our day very carefully because of the new re-run option on mazes. Hoping we don't get mugged off versus other years.


Wonder if we'll be able to have 12 goes on Creepy Cottage this year still 😂

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I could be mistaken, but I am also guessing that how you use fastrack isn't restricted to one per haunt??

 

So in theory you could just stand in the regular lines for those that usually get short queues like Cellar, Creepy Cottage and the Circus of horror without wasting a fastrack and then potentially use two on the likes of penitentiary and hayride which are usually full to the rafters.

 

If that's the case then that's not too bad a deal I think.

 

EDIT: just watched the announcement video and that is exactly how you can use fastrack

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Yes that's how I read it too - so you can chose where to use them.


Also - the announcement video Tulleys just released explaining the different tickets, plus the website, would imply to me that the 11th haunt is a new maze. But could be wrong.

 

I forgot to put it on here at the time (fail) but the unlimited visits to each haunt with a standard ticket was confirmed on their Facebook/socials (but not on the website) on Black Friday, as I remember discussing the controversial change with my usual Tulley's partner at the time! 😮

 

EDIT: Proof 4 da h8ers

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I think me and @Marc found the best way to do it when we went. Get there at opening, did all attractions / shows and then buy a £5 fast track for the Hayride which looked to have a 60min+ wait, the others all took 20mins max. With a capacity of 6000, queues move at a respectable speed to get everything done in one night with time to spare to soak up the atmosphere.

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I visited twice last year and managed to get every haunt done both times, but that was through planning ahead and not having much time to relax.

 

This new ticketing method is interesting, I'm not sure how it'll turn out really.  Obviously "unlimited mazes" sounds much better on paper but in reality I can imagine the queues being longer and it might actually become more difficult to get everything done.

 

Also, is this change likely to mean less people are watching the shows/seeing the live performances?  I hope this isn't a way to mask a cutback to that as the overall atmosphere is what makes Tulleys so good IMO.

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I guess it makes sense, its hard to do 11 attractions, so any repeats would be difficult anyway. So it will affect queues probably very minimally.

10 hours ago, JoshC. said:

At some point, though, you have to wonder if Tulleys are expanding too much. Should an 11th attraction have been a priority now? Arguably not.

 

This is a good question, personally I like the expansion. I think Tulleys are really leading the industry forward in this country, and they have been doing so since 2009.

I think Tulleys are really trying to establish themselves as the 'best of the best', the biggest, the Halloween Horror Nights of Europe. It obviously must be doing something good for them if we are seeing even more expansion after last year. 

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54 minutes ago, Coaster said:

Also, is this change likely to mean less people are watching the shows/seeing the live performances?  I hope this isn't a way to mask a cutback to that as the overall atmosphere is what makes Tulleys so good IMO.

Think about this logically. They are adding an 11th attraction. They added a new attraction last year which saw them expand the overall size of the site. If they were looking at reducing costs, they wouldn't be doing that.

 

They're not going to cutback live entertainment.

 

17 minutes ago, JoshuaA said:

I think Tulleys are really trying to establish themselves as the 'best of the best', the biggest, the Halloween Horror Nights of Europe. It obviously must be doing something good for them if we are seeing even more expansion after last year. 

Biggest, they still have a way to go to hit Movie Park Germany's 17 advertised Halloween attractions (even if it's a stretch to call some of them Halloween attractions).

 

Best is obviously subjective, but they're a long way off being up there with the best in Europe imo. There's only so much you can do with 'long maze where actors jump out at points throughout' concept. 

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2 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

Best is obviously subjective, but they're a long way off being up there with the best in Europe imo. There's only so much you can do with 'long maze where actors jump out at points throughout' concept. 

I think they have been innovative in the past 10 years or so. Hellements to my knowledge was the first of its kind back in 2011, Chop Shop used a trope and put a cool twist on it, Coven's opening section is clever, The Volt literally used electric shocks, and Wastelands uses segregation which is a first for Tulleys.

8 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

 

Best is obviously subjective, but they're a long way off being up there with the best in Europe imo. There's only so much you can do with 'long maze where actors jump out at points throughout' concept. 

I think Tulleys have been straying away from that recently. Wastelands and Wreckoning are both mazes where actors can talk and be interactive, I think the real offender would be every maze have growling zombie like creatures as the characters. Twisted is long maze where actors jump out, but the ability for actors to make jokes and interact makes it more than just a maze where people make you jump. Hayride is also a massive antithetical attraction to this, Its a immersive experience full of humour, theming, effects, and Madonna. 

 

To be fair the 11th attraction doesn't have to be a maze, it could be a show, it could be a escape room, it could be anything really. 

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1 hour ago, JoshuaA said:

I think they have been innovative in the past 10 years or so. Hellements to my knowledge was the first of its kind back in 2011, Chop Shop used a trope and put a cool twist on it, Coven's opening section is clever, The Volt literally used electric shocks, and Wastelands uses segregation which is a first for Tulleys.

Innovative? Yes. But not successfully. 

 

Sure, Hellements is one of the better versions of a hooded maze, but it's still weak. Volt lasted one(?) year. Wastelands uses an idea which has been present in mainstream mazes for over 10 years now. 

 

I'm not saying they have tried to be innovative or have some differences. But aside from Hayride and Vixi, their mazes are very standard, run of the mill attractions. Some are done well and have cool features. But that's not enough to put them in contention with some of the best Halloween events in Europe...in my opinion at least!

 

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On 2/10/2020 at 9:23 PM, JoshC. said:

Sure, Hellements is one of the better versions of a hooded maze, but it's still weak.

 

Hellements was the first though, it created the hooded element. I think you have to give credit to Tulleys for basically creating a whole new type of maze, hooded mazes wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Tulleys debuting Hellements back in 2011.

 

On 2/10/2020 at 9:23 PM, JoshC. said:

IVolt lasted one(?) year.

 

This is true, The Volt was somewhat of a failed experiment. Though it was completely unlike any other maze (bar The Dark at The Howl). Most events wouldn't mess around with crazy ideas like Tulleys did back in 2015.

 

On 2/10/2020 at 9:23 PM, JoshC. said:

Wastelands uses an idea which has been present in mainstream mazes

 

True, though honestly I wouldn't call Wastelands 'run of the mil'. The theming in the maze, in the queue, and the immersive area and show around it is on a such epic scale. Wastelands theming is things most scare events could only dream of having..

 

On 2/10/2020 at 9:23 PM, JoshC. said:

I'm not saying they have tried to be innovative or have some differences. But aside from Hayride and Vixi, their mazes are very standard, run of the mill attractions. Some are done well and have cool features. But that's not enough to put them in contention with some of the best Halloween events in Europe...in my opinion at least!

 

I think there is so much you could do to innovate in the scare industry, at the end of the day if a maze is scares someone or at least entertains them, its done its job.

I think you could call mazes from any event 'run of the mill', most scare events have a walk through that has actors jumping out at you, that is just part of the formula.

 

 

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14 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Hellements was the first though, it created the hooded element. I think you have to give credit to Tulleys for basically creating a whole new type of maze, hooded mazes wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Tulleys debuting Hellements back in 2011.

You can say exactly the same thing about Thorpe and Experiment 10 (isolation cells). Towers and Sub Species (complete split ups). Twisted Attractions and Ward 78 (a mainstream attraction designed to be entered alone). The list goes on. 

 

This isn't to put down what Tulleys have done. They've been innovative. But so have plenty of other places. And of some of the innovations, sticking a bag on people's heads isn't exactly the best if we're being honest.

14 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

Most events wouldn't mess around with crazy ideas like Tulleys did back in 2015.

Sometimes it's about knowing to not mess around with crazy ideas though! Most theme parks wouldn't mess around with a crazy idea like Derren Brown's Ghost Train - doesn't mean Thorpe are up there as one of the best.

14 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

True, though honestly I wouldn't call Wastelands 'run of the mil'. The theming in the maze, in the queue, and the immersive area and show around it is on a such epic scale. Wastelands theming is things most scare events could only dream of having..

Wastelands is great. It was probably my favourite UK maze last year. And the area itself is on a ridiculous scale. The maze itself is a well done experience, I'm not poo-pooing on that. But when you bring it to basics, it's a maze which does very standard things very well. That's not a bad thing (in fact it's a very good thing!), but it's still run of the mill when it comes down to it: you walk through a route and actors jump out. 

 

It's comparable to Big Top imo - no special features or fancy bells and whistles, just taking the standard idea of a scare maze and doing everything right. 

14 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

I think there is so much you could do to innovate in the scare industry, at the end of the day if a maze is scares someone or at least entertains them, its done its job.

I think you could call mazes from any event 'run of the mill', most scare events have a walk through that has actors jumping out at you, that is just part of the formula.

Certainly true. Not disagreeing there. 

 

But last year Tulleys had 7 attractions that followed this exact same formulaic approach, 2 that didn't and a show. For me, 7 mazes that follow the same formula - many of which have similar enough styles that it can be hard to distinguish them for some - puts them behind other events.

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