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Fright Nights 2017 - Spoilers!

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My review of mazes/atmosphere/theming and soundtracks yesterday:

 

Theming around the park was alright more could of been done but the theming for mazes were excellent exterior and interior aswell as the bridge.

Sound tracks around the park were very good and fit the them well, but they could have changed the ride station sound track instead of stale old 'lets

keep this a quick cut.... Lightss....... Camera............... Action!.'

Atomsphere was very good with alot of roaming actors that were very good and before leaving all of them on the bridge also the lighting this year

is very cool and the merchandise is alright maybe could've had a bigger range.

 

 

BITop: 9/10

very Intense maze this year, my favourite, the sound track is brilliant and I love the touch of the safety talk via speakers also used in Platform 15, Overall

experience the strobe room is very good I got lost and this year I found it very disorientating and actors were very good, I loved the mirror maze and the

multiple choice doors and the finale was great as all ways and the walking dead refence was good and the theming and actors was very good I got stalked 

tickled and even a hand put down my back this year.

 

TWSantum: 8/10

Very good maze, I loved the theming and actors were very good I got pinned in the corner once and got touched from every angle, Terminus scenes were good.

Shout Out to Robert for giving me a Intense experience ;) also it had alot of actors both good in day and dark. They could of played a sound track around the

attraction or used the recording they used at press event more often.

 

Platform 15: 8/10

very good improvement, I loved the soundtrack the theming and all the new parts like the village the actors were very good aswell and the smoke

made it very good too with also suspense built from the zig zags. Very good maze but had a pointless crawling tunnel and the ending was a bit

poor.

 

Saw Alive: 6/1o

A good maze as always very intense the actors were very good in there this year and the theming is good as always nothing

more to say but is getting a bit stale now.

 

TWD: Living Nightmare: 6/10

A bit overhyped, but is a good maze it had incredible theming and the soundtrack was good got quite a few jumpy scares but when I did it I found

a lack of actors and the maze is quite short.

 

Was a great year for fright nights hopefully I get even better runthroughs in future visits :) Thorpe can do good mazes but they love there IPS

and I think there should be half and half IPS and Original attractions like Big Top and Platform 15.

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16 hours ago, Martin.C said:

 

SAW Alive - 4/10

I'll keep this short:

It's exactly the same as last year. And the year before that, and that, and that, and that......

Moving on!

 

15 hours ago, Coaster said:

Saw Alive

Yawn!  Exactly the same as previous years with no changes, the actors were fairly lively but the maze has remained unchanged since 2010 and feels very tired.  4/10

As has been said by others elsewhere, it is worth keeping in mind that a large majority of people won't do mazes multiple times.  Even with Annual Passholders, they may only do them once or twice a year.  Some people here will do mazes more times in 1 night than some will ever do.  So whilst it's true it is getting too samey, for lack of a better word, for regulars, that won't affect as many people as some think.

 

Both reviews here are only critical because it's the same.  The same, good quality maze it's been all the time.  The same maze I'd assume would be given a reasonable 6-7/10 if it was their first ever go, maybe even more.  They certainly could invest in some larger scale changes (and perhaps arguably should), but why risk fixing something that isn't broken?  There could also be the issue that the park cannot change the scenes as part of a contract with Lionsgate.

16 hours ago, Martin.C said:


This was laughably bad. The first insult was they reused some perfectly good shipping containers which were once for Experiment 10 and My Bloody Valentine. Heck, the logos were still present on one of them and both were superior in almost every measure to what this atrocity is.

There's a reason they haven't used the shipping containers since MBV, and even scrapped one in that maze's final year.  So I wouldn't be so sure that they're "perfectly good"...

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11 minutes ago, BaronC. said:

There's a reason they haven't used the shipping containers since MBV, and even scrapped one in that maze's final year.  So I wouldn't be so sure that they're "perfectly good"...

Care to elaborate on why that might be please? Not everyone has inside knowledge.

The point I was making was besides from the quality control of re-using these containers being low, which would explain the fact Experiment 10's logos were still visible on them, same as when it was MBV as well, was that Sanctum would have been far more entertaining if it was an experience making use of these containers instead of being an open-zoned walk-through attraction on a muddy surface with lacklustre scenes. Simply placing them there for use as nothing else but for walls and signage to me seems a wasted oppurtunity.

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5 minutes ago, Martin.C said:

Care to elaborate on why that might be please? Not everyone has inside knowledge.

The point I was making was besides from the quality control of re-using these containers being low, which would explain the fact Experiment 10's logos were still visible on them, same as when it was MBV as well, was that Sanctum would have been far more entertaining if it was an experience making use of these containers instead of being an open-zoned walk-through attraction on a muddy surface with lacklustre scenes. Simply placing them there for use as nothing else but for walls and signage to me seems a wasted oppurtunity.

In 2015, Thorpe were open (during BTS tours and that) that they removed the first hospital scene container from MBV because it was damaged and not useable.  The damage occurred due to general wear-and-tear from the mazes it held - shipping containers aren't really designed to cope with thousands of people walking through them and having things bashed against the sides.  As such, it will be the case that mazes in shipping containers will have a limited life span.  Presumably more damage occurred to the other containers making them less usable.  This has cropped up many times over the past couple of years, so it's not really inside knowledge anymore.  

 

It's certainly true that the attraction would have had more scope and potential if it had utilised going in the containers as well.  However, from a story telling perspective, I believe that Sanctum is all about an outdoor 'safe zone' which turns out not to be safe, so it wouldn't make much sense for it to go inside.  Of course, nothing stopping them from going with a different story telling perspective, but that is the logic I guess.  And also my biggest issue with The Walking Dead attractions...they are too fixed in their narratives.

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Had no idea that was the case and that's the first time I've heard that before. Obviously not attending the BTS tours is why.

Sanctum might be a bit of fun for most, but is it worth queueing more than 10 minutes for considering you are likely going to ruin your shoes as a result on a wet evening? No way. At least Dead End Terror Zone from 2010 had a dry floor and never seemed to have a queue, despite it's poor execution.

14 hours ago, ProudToServe said:

The speaker are all the same, just vary in size, depending on the size of the room, with none being over driven by what I've heard.

I implore you to go through it again and listen to the difference in quality next time from the first half to the second half. Some are smaller than others I agree, but they sound worse as a result and it did sound as though they were being overdriven. I went through four times in one night on this and noticed it every time, especially when you approach the 3 different rooms towards the end.

14 hours ago, ProudToServe said:

Smoke, audio and lighting is present, thinking of the right maze? :mellow:

Yes, I am thinking of the right one. I said the second third of the maze was completely black with nothing at all. No actors. No smoke. No audio. No lighting. The first section DOES have all of this which I am not denying, all I'm pointing out is this dead area about half-way through where you cross the bridge over the lake.

14 hours ago, ProudToServe said:

X is not a fright nights attraction, so can't see why it would need all its music changed. Universal wouldnt change any of their attractions audio?

Neither is Samurai. Neither is Stealth. Neither is Lost City. Neither is Amity Cove. Neither is Inferno. Neither is Old Town. Neither is Colossus, but they all played in their stations/area either the park-wide playlist or the Director's announcements to fit with the Fright Nights theme. Swarm falls victim to this too.

Would've expected at the very minimum something like the audio inside the pyramid to change to fit the event, just like it used to years ago.

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1 hour ago, Martin.C said:

 

Neither is Samurai. Neither is Stealth. Neither is Lost City. Neither is Amity Cove. Neither is Inferno. Neither is Old Town. Neither is Colossus, but they all played in their stations/area either the park-wide playlist or the Director's announcements to fit with the Fright Nights theme. Swarm falls victim to this too.

Would've expected at the very minimum something like the audio inside the pyramid to change to fit the event, just like it used to years ago.

Audio isn’t a main part of these rides - where as for X it’s audio is a big part of the experience - I can understand why it’s not changed for fright Nights (and hasn’t been since it was redeveloped for music and lights to become such a big part of the ride).

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So, having experienced them all; I stand by my point last night. I’ll try and do a quick and polite summary.

 

Big Top 6/10

For me it has been better in the previous years. The whole set up of the maze for me just wasn’t working. You have a really strong start with the strobes; but it felt lacking of actors. Then you venture through into the mirror maze which; just; why. It doesn’t achieve anything (sorry) but when it was on the beach it worked. This is LITERALLY a mirror maze with an actor in clear view ahead. Likewise with the doors. I managed to experience 1 and 2. And aside from the Jack in the Box; again it felt like it was a lacklustre scene and IMO not worth removing other aspects from last year for. Equally the ‘clown wash’ didn’t have an actor in at all; which left quite a long stretch with no interaction. However; the energy the actors were proving was great. I just felt the maze set up doesn’t give them the playground of what it was last year.

 

Platform 15 4/10

OK so I agree it’s improved a lot. The first walk with the audio and train effect really brought something good to the table; and the village was great. But I kind of don’t understand what’s going on? I don’t really understand why it’s relevant to trains either anymore now the conductor is gone, and yet, referenced in the walking script? And again I just find the end tunnel has no effect much like last year; and without the finale to make you run out the door for me the maze really finishes when you enter the tunnel.

 

SAW: Alive 4/10

Ive come to accept I have a soft spot for SAW Alive. The experience is consistent; it’s always very on brand; and it does what it’s meant to do. To me it’s more of a visual experience as there once again doesn’t seem to be the jump scare, or touching aspects of the others; but I do feel it’s had weaker seasons. Was great to see pig masks and a lot of interaction across the group from all actors; with some even breaking people apart which I’ve not experience before in SAW.. but as above it’s not a maze that for me is designed to jump scare you it’s much more a beautiful visual, creepy experience.

 

Sanctum 5/10

Okay so this again sits as second for me but simply a second from a lacklustre bunch IMO. I’ve not seen TWD so I’m not going to moan about the sets themselves; as I don’t know or understand how genuine they are to the shows. What I did find with it through two runs (day and night) was a lot of consistent; thought out; acting. This isn’t a jump scare maze. I’d call it a horror walkthrough; and it’s so common to find this kind of attraction filled with actors that grunt at people and click their tongues. Sanctum is much more. It’s contact-heavy; focussing hard on interaction; and they’ve really tried to make something out of (really) very little. It’s a short experience but the actors really do go for it. And it was nice to see actors interacting heavily in queue / safety speech / exit walkway with actors banging and clambering fences as you walked back down past the attraction. It’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s not the scares I look for (same as SAW isn’t) but I’m throwing this one a gold star as it really is quite enjoyable as an experience IMO.

 

And finally!

 

The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare

-rating at the end-

 

So much like SAW and Sanctum, it’s not a jump scare maze. But for me; it just wasn’t really anything. The tactics and enthusiasm was there from the actors but it just, it didn’t phase me or anybody in my maze group I’m afraid (maze group as in, the whole group not who I was with). It’s not jump scares, but there’s also no hiding positions; or any real positions that seemed to be recreating anything? With SAW I can accept the “I’m in a trap” and Sanctum I can actually see a purpose for each character (ie cook; walker; being gorged on whilst lying on a car) but with this it just didn’t seem to have that? Again maybe I’m missing something as I’m not clued up on TWD; but yeah I just felt completely out of touch in it. Even now I’m still confused by what was supposed to be scary, and what was even going on if I’m honest (answers in a quote below, thanks). And for that reason it gets a 2/10 for me solely for its set design and actors actually seeming to be enthralled with their work; albeit if it wasn’t paying off.

 

Didnt see any roamers; and seems a lot of the fancy lights from media preview have gone already. Someone else mentioned about Big Top audio; I only noticed it in the strobe maze after that, don’t recall hearing it so if it’s meant to be there I’m at a loss. There’s also no audio in the queue area around the maze? As a whole on park tbh I just didn’t get that Fright Nights feel like I used to; it didn’t seem to have the blaring Halloween tracks, or the theming aspects or anything like that which I’ve seen/noticed in recent years. And whilst I prefer the director to the ringleader, again I agree it doesn’t seem quite the right fit this year for me.

 

For those who really like it this year, fantastic. We all have different views. For me it isn’t up there whatsoever; and I do put more or less all of it down to the way the mazes are built and the effects they’re going for.

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A few more thoughts from yesterday.

 

The Big Top and Platform (!) are the strongest mazes this year IMO, actors seemed much better across all mazes than on Saturday and Platform is definitely the most improved maze.

 

Walking Dead Living Nightmare just doesn't have the effect it should IMO, and having two attractions with the same theme gives the whole event a very "same-y" feel.

 

Parkwide audio is really poor this year, which is odd when it's something the park have focused on this year elsewhere - it seems to be just a mishmash of old FN themes and the director from 2013 despite the character having no relevance to this year's event.  In addition the maze queues don't have any audio (apart from Saw Alive), where has that fab music from outside The Big Top gone? :(

 

Fright Nights just isn't the same event anymore IMO, it seems the focus is put on obtaining the IPs rather than putting the quality into the mazes and parkwide.  Can we go back in time to 2011?

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2 hours ago, OllieL said:

Anybody tried Containment yet?

Yes, it's exactly the same as last year. For an up charge attraction, it's actually not bad, I'd be satisfied if I paid for it. Luckily I tried it for free during press night.

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On 10/1/2017 at 4:14 PM, Martin.C said:

Yes, I am thinking of the right one. I said the second third of the maze was completely black with nothing at all. No actors. No smoke. No audio. No lighting. The first section DOES have all of this which I am not denying, all I'm pointing out is this dead area about half-way through where you cross the bridge over the lake.

defiantly go down again in that case...

4 hours ago, Coaster said:

Fright Nights just isn't the same event anymore IMO, it seems the focus is put on obtaining the IPs rather than putting the quality into the mazes and parkwide.  Can we go back in time to 2011?

But you say the strongest mazes are the two original ^_^

 

4 hours ago, Coaster said:

where has that fab music from outside The Big Top gone? :(

 

Watch this space

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14 minutes ago, ProudToServe said:

But you say the strongest mazes are the two original ^_^

Yeah, I mean the focus is on getting the IP's and as such the quality of the mazes isn't as good - which surely correlates with my favourite mazes being the original concept ones?

 

(Not that it's a bias - I just happened to feel that they were the strongest mazes this weekend).

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Have to say I was utterly disappointed with all the mazes this evening. 

 

Did several runs on most mazes, however there was a massive shortage of actors, the big top 4-5 actors throughout 1-2 in strobes one after the mirror maze and chainsaw man, the second half of the maze was just a joke!

 

Sanctum and Platform 15 I imagine could be quite good in the dark but in daylight it just didnt cut it.

 

Saw again was abit tame vs what I have experienced in 15/16 events.

 

Living nightmare the opening section was actually the best bit, but the rest felt rushed and too short with no real scares.

 

Overall a good night to get on the rides with short queues, I expect that the event will mature and build through the event.

 

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Don't know if it's just tonight, but Big Top was awful, such a bore. No actors in the strobe section. You can now go through different routes, and the way we went had only 2 actors and minimal theming, before we got to the corridor with the chainsaw person. 

It was a lot shorter as well :( 

 

It's a shame as it had been my favourite maze since it opened.

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It does seem unfair that the mazes always seem to be their best on press night, but they can't even put that same effort in for MAP holders on preview night. Of course, mazes run the risk of being inconsistent/varying each time, but it was dead in there!

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It’s probably a one off as someone will have thought AP event weekday night not many will turn up we can cut staff for the night especially as not making any money on entry this evening

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So I’ve been looking forward to the AP event tonight since going to Tulleys which was amazing and it’s been completely crap! It’s as if the day park was just open a bit longer. No roaming actors, no park theming, closed so early at 9. Got there at 7, no security and no ticket checks at the entrance. I was quite confused that we could just walk straight in.

Big Top which was my favourite last year was terrible tonight. We were lucky to find 3 actors in the whole maze, we were literally at the exit in 2 mins, it was pretty much a terrible empty walkthrough. 

Saw Alive which I wanted to do had a fire alarm just before we got in. The only thing I enjoyed were a few of the rides we did.

There was no Fright Nights merchandise in the Island shop either to end a night of complete disappointment. I’m really considering if I want to make the effort and cost of coming to the official meet this weekend. I’m genuinely shocked about what a shambles it’s been. I would very much go back to Tulleys if I had a choice this weekend without even considering Fright Nights to be honest!

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Shame to hear there was a lack of actors tonight - it’s wrong to suggest the mazes are only at their best on press nights thought - there were a number of improvements / tweaks + actors in new places on the Friday over the Thursday press evening. 

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Wouldn't say tonight has been awful in terms of the quality of the mazes due to lack of actors, more like dissapointing compared to earlier in the week when in Big Top they were at the top of the game. Hopefully every day of the event can be performed the best it can from here onwards.

 

I would say however ride operarions were worse than Friday with everything bar Saw and X on one-train operation all day and night, 12pm openings for several attractions including "future for theme parks" DBGT, and audio slop still present all over the rides and park.

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