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Fright Nights 2018 - Spoiler Thread

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My thoughts based on this evening unfortunately echo the above, parkwide atmosphere felt poor (apart from some decent audio in places) with flood lights completely killing the atmosphere, no attempt made to disguise mazes from the queuelines, the entire event felt very rushed, last minute and lazy.

 

Dead Creek Woods

A few actors here and there doing a decent job, not much in the way in the theming aside from some old toilets.  Ehh.  1/10

 

Vulcan Peak

What.  The.  Hell.  This has to be the laziest most poorly executed scare attraction I've ever come across, there were no actors (apart from a Thorpe Park staff member holding some noisy box thing) and it was just generally an uneventful walk through IAC without being able to see the theming.  1/10

 

Blair Witch

Much shorter than previous years, and lit up far too much meaning that the previous ambience and element of surprise was completely lost. 2/10

 

Platform 15

Sadly we were ushered through the first section without being told any of the storyline, the only dialogue we got from the actor was "stay together" - extremely poor when in previous years there's been the storyline told, a short walk followed by another stop before completing the rest of the maze.  A few actors in the last section, house section was still good. 3/10

 

Living Nightmare

Some nice theming but felt very dull and not many actors, the ending seemed to not work properly (it was clear the actor went to try to set something off, but alas nothing happened). 3/10

 

Walking Dead Do or Die

If the brief was to use the shipping containers from MBV/E10 but strip the theming out first, they're onto a winner.  The section where you were forced to push through the hanging meat was well executed and there were some decent props here and there, but overall it felt very lazy with the majority of the maze being made up of black hanging cloths and floodlights illuminating everything way before you approached. Also what is "do or die" actually referring to?  What does it mean? 3/10

 

 

Sadly I'd have to say it's probably the worst year I can remember, we're talking about an event that has produced gems such as Asylum, E10, Cabin and Big Top (the latter version) yet this year felt like the laziest most ill-thought out scare event ever.  Everything feels like it's been done on a shoe-string budget with no effort put into making sure actors know their lines, awfully "thin" sets and just a general lack of care.  How have standards been allowed to fall this far?

 

On a completely separate note it was also a shame that night rides weren't possible as almost everything was closed for the majority of the evening due to weather; this also created a backlog of people meaning the maze queues were much longer than they would have otherwise been.

 

Didn't get time to do Saw Alive unfortunately.

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So I went to Fright Nights last Sunday, having been going to Fright Nights every year now since 2012 I must say this is the worst one I have experienced. It's been said loads, but its very clear Thorpe went for quantity over quality and it does really show, and is such a shame as I'm sure most people would agree but would just prefer 4 or 5 high-quality mazes than this. Hopefully, the event is completely revamped next year as it really needs it. 

 

First of all I must say, I stayed at the Shark Hotel and was very very good value. Was £110 for 2 of us, bearing in mind I didn't buy an annual pass this year it included park tickets, car parking, containment, breakfast the following morning, and they even gave us unlimited fast track all day for rides and mazes!? The fast track alone is worth £300 (£150pp.) 

 

Park atmosphere felt very dead this year, I liked the sound of some of the new audio but it's either just played way too quietly or speakers are broken so in some places it can hardly be heard, some rides not even playing any music at all? 

 

Walking dead Do or Die - Yes it was better than last year, and I liked how you went inside the shipping containers this year but it just didn't feel complete? Parts of this was really good and parts of it are just lazy. A shame as this attraction has high potential.

 

Walking dead living nightmare - Pretty much the exact same as last year for me, dislike this maze as although the theming is good its just too short and just lacks scares. Still don't know what's going on with the ending but its awful? 


Dead creek woods - Don't know why some people have rated this highly? Just a walk through the woods with some old toilets used as themeing, lacks scares as actors have nowhere to hide? Worst out of all of them for me. Oh actually haven't got to Vulcan peak yet 😂

 

Vulcan peak - Don't really need to give my opinion on this but worst fright night maze I've experienced to date. Don't know how they get away with calling this a scare attraction, just a walk through IAC with a bag on your head and 1 or 2 Thorpe park staff standing there with a feather to try and scare you. No atmosphere at all as way too light in there and there's annoying music/ announcements the whole time.

 

Saw - Same as every other year, I've never been a fan of Saw but was one of my favourites this year.

 

Blair witch - Not much happened and was way too short.

 

Platform 15 - Although I prefer last years version of Platform, purely because of the storey and the ending, this was my favourite maze of the night. The ending was really poor, should've kept it the same. Apart from that though not a lot has changed since last year (not a bad thing), could have done with some more actors in the tunnel as there seemed to be quite a few more last year. The mid house section is still very good.

 

Big top showtime - Was actually pleasantly surprised by this, yes it wasn't a show but I liked the idea and it worked quite well, was nice to still have clowns at the park. Just sad hearing the big top music and seeing such good actors wasted running around the dome when they could be in the big top maze :(

 

Terror at Amity High - About 4 actors standing around chatting with each other/security around Stealth. This is not a scare zone. Didn't even try to be scary? 

 

It was lovely to speak with some of the management and owners of Tulleys, look forward to experiencing their event this year to see what's changed :)

 

It's such a shame to see Fright Nights just get worse and worse, and other events like Tulleys and Scarefest get better and better. To think this used to be one of my favourite events and have made such high-quality scare attractions such as Big top, experiment 10, asylum, cabin in the woods its a shame to see the event fall apart. 

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I need to voice my honest opinion. This year's Fright Nights is the worst I've ever been to. Compared to last year, which in my opinion was damn near the best year of Fright Nights in the now 5 years I've been visiting for, this year is shocking. I've tried to squeeze as many positive aspects out of this year's event but the truth is there simply isn't many.

A positive to start: Platform 15 is genuinely great. In my opinion it's the best it's ever been. The cast are fantastic, set is fantastic, even the tunnel is scary this year. 

I have to say as well, I have had some great runs in Blair Witch too. Admittedly this has definitely been more hit and miss and yes, it is VERY short. But as a maze in general, it's okay. This is where most of the positives end for me. 

Zombie Hu... I mean Dead Creek Woods. It's lazy. It's there just to say it's the park's biggest lineup ever. Quantity over quality is a phrase said many times in this thread and for good reason. There's no set, there's... nothing. The cast are great and are trying their best to make a poor maze the best they can, but you simply cannot fix a poor maze, no matter how good the cast is.

Saw Alive is Saw Alive. I don't mind it, the theming is fantastic. I don't find it particularly scary and I've done it so many times at this point it's just boring.

Living Nightmare is Living Nightmare. The extreme version was terrifying, and the maze really should be running at that intensity. Obviously not with the amount of actors it had during the extreme run, that's not possible. It's short, Negan has gone and walkers just are not scary. The sets are brilliant but that's about the only redeeming quality.

Do or Die. It's worse than Sanctum. I'm sorry, but it is. Sanctum was bad, but it was funny! The cast threw in some brilliant improv dialogue that made the maze just great fun to go in, as bad as the theming and overall scare quality was. Do or Die is Sanctum, but with all of the fun sucked out of it. Black walls, awful Chop Shop rip off soundtrack, very little scares. Sure you go in a few shipping containers but literally nothing happens in either. To be fair however, the bus scene at the start is pretty good. As a whole though, it's very unimpressive.

I'm not even going to talk about Vulcan Peak because it's actually disgusting that it's even allowed to operate. It's the worst scare attraction that I have ever done in my life. Seriously, who the f*ck thought it was acceptable to open that?

The Big Top: Showtime is just depressing. Why is it not a maze? Why? Why!? I don't understand why it was decided that the best at the park for the past two years should go? I'm all for the idea of a show in the Dome but it should not have been The Big Top. The best part is hearing the soundtrack blared in the Dome. Saying that, I do love the roaming team this year and again, I'm all for having a set of roamers but it should not have been Big Top. I can't judge Amity, Screamplexx or Containment as I've not done them but I doubt my opinion on the event will change.

Sure, 7 attractions is a great idea in theory. But when only three of them are all indoor and four of them are either partially or entirely outdoors, it doesn't work. And when the majority of those scare attractions are the lowest quality of scare attractions in the country, it doesn't work. 

It's quite depressing that the worst maze at The Howl, a low budget scare event on a small farm, is better than all but one of the mazes at Fright Nights, one of the biggest scare events in the country..

I've tried to see as many positives in this years event as I can, but the truth is there is not many. Platform 15 is genuinely great and I have had some good runs on Blair Witch. Those aside... well what can I say? I feel sorry for the casts that have been put in some of these mazes, they are all great actors but the quality of mazes they've been given to work in is simply awful. If the lineup remains the same next year with no sign of improvement, I won't be going back. And I won't go back until the improvements that are desperately needed are made. Bring back The Big Top, scrap Vulcan, Sanctum and Dead Creek. Bring back longer, quality indoor mazes that we had in previous years! I would much rather the smaller lineups we've had in previous years which have had quality mazes, than the bigger lineup with the absolute dire quality we've had this year.

I'm going back tomorrow, for no other reason that I promised to go with friends months ago. Should've convinced them not to waste their money and go to Tulleys instead. I'm honestly more excited to get a Bacon King meal from Burger King than I am to go in the majority of the mazes. At least a burger is enjoyable, unlike half the mazes the park have installed...

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Vulcan Peak.

I’m going to write a review of this as I have never laughed so hard in (or at) a maze before (Fright Night meet yesterday).

 

The queueline wasn’t too bad, it was 40 minutes or so but the walls outside were lined with some neat looking wheat, forgetting the cheap looking plastic human hearts that seemed to have faces hanging in the bushes.

At the end of the queue, our group were guided by an attendant (TP staff) to stand outside the ‘entrance’ (a standard fire exit) where we were given a speech to “never take our hats off in the maze”, then we were left there. After about 3 minutes still standing there waiting, the attendant came back round the bend in pure horror shouting directly at us “Didn’t I tell you to move?? Go inside I said!!”. Did we miss something?! 

So we sat down in a room already filled with other people sitting down watching a screen and a TP staff handed us small bags that were inside-out, mine had foundation smears and marks showing on it. Once the film finished people walked towards the first corridor. There was no mention of putting the bags on our heads and I noticed at least 5 bags still laying on the seats behind where some people had left them! It wasn’t particularly dark and there was no instruction of what was going on, we just followed the crowd. It became apparent that this must be the actual maze now so some people put on the bags, but the theming of IAC could be seen clearly and the bags weren’t even needed. The only “scary” part of the walk was the slightly uneven flooring. We kept stopping due to congestion ahead and the atmosphere was ruined dreadfully, we were just walking through a leafy corridor. No actors, forgettable sounds, and the lighting was still bright enough to see everything without the hood.

After a few meters, we came to a tiny corridor/room with a cheap, bright white strobe light that was dreadfully placed and was lighting up the ugly ceiling, wires, and goodness knows what. We were stuck in this room for a couple of minutes just standing there due to some serious hold up and eventually the next group caught up too, causing a jam. I don’t even remember any sound at that point (was there even any??), I was laughing too hard at the ridiculousness of it all. Then, a member of staff just came finally and roughly ripped the hoods off of our heads, pulling some of my hair!! When we finally started moving again, we entered another corridor with a half deflated blow-up tight passage, and then.... the Inferno shop. 

 

That was it. It was just the most dreadful, disorganised, least atmospheric maze ever that was so bad, it was almost good. I for one could not get over the ridiculousness of it, I laughed so unbelievably hard my stomach hurt and it became a highlight. Later, the unknowing queue was coming out the entrance and slithering about 30 steps further... I’m not sure if they had as much fun as I did!!

 

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Long time since I've posted here sadly, but I've just got home from Thorpe Park and my god... I feel the need to post here after reading other people's experiences.

 

To be fair on the park, at around 3pm hundreds upon hundreds of travellers arrived and the park and caused a bit of a stir, however security and police were very good as keeping things as orderly as possible. It was clear that all the staff were getting progressively more agitated throughout the afternoon and evening, but to be honest, I don't blame them for a second. I visited Fright Night from 2010 to 2015, and today in 2018, and this year is by far the worst. It's a shame as it's an event me and my friends have always felt close to, and we loyally attended for years. But sadly this year there was just no magic.

 

Do or Die was a travesty. Very unfinished and I spent most of the run through cringing and just feeling pretty uncomfortable. Saw Alive was decent. I've never been a fan, however the actors seemed to try a little harder than they have done during previous visits. As for Dead Creek Woods, I'm assuming this was a joke? It was just a path with some toilets on the ground.

 

Living Nightmare I actually enjoyed. We did two runs through, the first being superior. Theming was good, good enough that it made the other mazes actually feel quite sad to walk through. One thing I did notice was the use of a microphone in the first scene with the headlights. Being able to hear the actress speak clearly without her having to shout made it appear far more polished and professional in my opinion, something I wish they would utilise more often.

 

Platform 15 is laughable. I'd never done it before today, and will never do it again. It's just a tunnel of nothing. Oh, and Vulcan Peak doesn't deserve a review.

 

I will say however that the roaming actors and the performers in the Dome were fantastic on my visit today. They were all so enthusiastic and seemed up for a laugh, definitely a highlight of the day for me. It's really a shame. Like I said earlier, I used to be so loyal to this event. But after this year, I just don't think I can bring myself to go anytime in the foreseeable future, which sucks because I've had so many fantastic experiences at FN. So yeah, just thought I'd put my two cents in.

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Alright, I have now had two visits to this year's Fright Nights, the first on the preview night and the second last Saturday (13th October) and have finally tried almost the entire lineup minus Fanta's Twisted Carnival and the Screamplexx Cinema. I said a few weeks ago I predicted this was going to be the worst Fright Nights ever and 2 weeks later, I still stand by that statement as the entire thing has become a former shadow of itself and quite honestly, a joke. How can an event reach such a low after having some fantastic years and attractions in the past? Everything this year screams "quantity above quality" around every corner now where the mazes themselves were average at the very best, the audio management was incredibly inconsistent, the park lighting looks horrendous and there was virtually no atmosphere at night anywhere across the park.

 

Here are my mini reviews for each of the attractions Fright Nights have this year which I've tried. These are my honest thoughts and I'm not holding back exactly what went through my mind when experiencing each of them. Spoiler tags used not to hide what happens, but to reduce the size of this post as I've got a few things to say about this year other than the mazes:

 

Saw Alive: 4/10

 

If someone said to me this is now the best maze at Fright Nights pre-2018, I would ask them what they were smoking honestly. But I hate to admit this, Saw Alive is now officially the best scare maze at Fright Nights for 2018 and that says all you need to know about where this event has now headed. Inside it's virtually the same as ever before, although I noticed several effects were not working such as a broken strobe light in the 2nd room and missing audio from a few sections. I did like the fact there was plenty of smoke in some rooms and the actors did a decent job, but in it's 9th year, this attraction has become so predictable and stale now that it desperately needs to be changed or redone to keep things interesting for guests.

 

Platform 15: 4/10

 

Compared to last year, it's pretty much the same as 2017, but there is a noticeable decrease in the number of special effects present in this attraction. For example, when the maze begins and you walk along past Loggers Leap, I remember last year there was a nice water mist effect which proved very effective at night, but for 2018, it is now gone. Not a great start. The story the actors tell you at the start I could barely hear from the back of the group and could tell the actor wanted to push our group forward as fast as possible, so felt rushed. The mid-section is the same, so's the tunnel, though you gather together at the end for an actor to jump out from behind a curtain with a hammer in their hand... Yes, you read that correctly. Not impressed with this maze and in places felt inferior to last year.

 

Dead Creek Woods: 3/10

 

Whilst I commend the actors for doing a good job in this maze interacting with the guests, the entire thing was an utter joke, it really was. Those who are fans of toilets and wooden pallets are going to adore this attraction, because I kid you not, about 80% of this attraction consisted of nothing but these two things from start to finish. In-between it all, there was some nice lighting and audio effects, but that's as far as it goes. Everything in this maze felt and looked very rushed and the ending section with the small tunnel and pallet-walled exit path says it all to me - no actors, no audio, no lighting and no scares. If I could describe this maze in one picture, the exit path would be it. Temporary and rushed, not permanent and thought out.

 

Living Nightmare: 3/10

 

Not much can be said for this again as it's remained the same once more as it was last year and during this summer. The same props are used, the same problems are present, the same lacklustre scares are there, but the difference being the actor quality has dropped amazingly. The intro with Negan no longer features him for a start and instead has a woman mimicking Michonne instead I think with her katana blades. From here, only one actor was present in the hospital scene, one actor in the prison scene and just two through the strobe section. The ending was a little better than before, but still very bad and anti-climatic. One difference I did see however was a couple of scenes felt far brighter inside then before, the prison scene especially. Not sure what's changed in there, but was definitely noticeable. Besides from a few minor changes, the whole maze whilst looks nice inside with the theming lacks any scares or consistency still a year later and still bores me every time I go through it - something a scare attraction should never do.

 

Blair Witch: 3/10

 

It's just like Dead Creek Woods only the path goes through some trees and is about a third of the length. The intro was so laughably bad where a single actor tells you to stand around a fake camp fire which isn't even lit for a start and there's no attempt at audio or lighting in this section at all. Not one bit. Heck, lighting this area up under a red light would have been an improvement over what we have right now. After this embarrassing start, you are lead through the woods and granted, this was done pretty well with good lighting and a few sound effects here and there. But the actors were so lifeless and dull in this section that it didn't build any tension or a sense of unease to the point where it just felt like walking through the woods, just with a few pink lights and the world's shortest tunnel. And as for the shed at the end? If you like RBG strobes with smoke and no audio present, this is the maze for you. It looked so cheap and pointless inside and frankly, no strobes would have been better than what we have at the moment. Something like a clever use of audio and dark lighting effects would have worked far better in here I believe. After this, you leave through Inferno's exit path and it's all over and you'll be saying "is that it?" after finishing the experience.

 

Sanctum Do or Die: 2/10

 

I cannot think of a bigger insult to the brilliant Big Top from 2016/17 than seeing this pile of stink in its place. What the hell was the thinking behind whoever was in charge to bring back Sanctum under a different name and to place it here? It's so bad it's funny. The start inside the bus was pointless and just reminded me of the days of travelling to Brighton for work a few years ago, after that, there's a small garden area with the cheapest looking props and scenery you can think of. Not a great start. Inside the first shipping container, a butcher was in there just staring at guests walking past, nothing more. The body bags were light and squishy, so didn't prove to be a proper obstacle to walk through and it felt warm inside, which correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't freezers for meat supposed to be cold? Something like smoke or water mist in here could have worked but no, no attempt at that here either. After leaving, you are treated to a wonderful sight of nothing but black walls everywhere forming a cattle-pen queue and some old props such as Swarm's fire truck. I will admit though, out of all the mazes, this one had the most interactive actors inside who really were getting up-close to guests, but that doesn't excuse the rest of it. I can't help but think with the way this has been setup and executed, Thorpe were trying to mimic Tulleys' Chop Shop maze, but was done incredibly poorly and indeed cheaply. The rock music didn't help much either. Incredibly poor maze with no thought, imagination or effort put into it and just to remind everyone, Big Top is now gone for...... this.

 

The Big Top: Showtime: 2/10

 

You know that saying that's been used quite frequently lately "It's better than nothing", courtesy of Alton Tower's social media team on Twitter? Well, as much as it's used as a joke now, in this case for Big Top: Showtime, nothing could have been further from it and frankly, I would rather have seen nothing compared to this rubbish. It was the most pointless, cheap and stupid thing I have ever seen this park do since Dead End Terror Zone in 2010. It's literally just a few actors running around the dome three times in the space of 5 minutes with guests trying to scare them and that's it. The best attraction of the last two years has become this. Let that sink in for a moment and try to recollect yourself from it by taking a few deep breaths......... yeah, it's hard to get over, I know. I suppose the only saving grace was hearing that wonderful IMAscore track once again, but that was it. The rest is frankly an insult and I was sitting there whilst watching it thinking "why why why?" the whole time. Sure, it's good at getting a few cheap scares out of kids and guests, but I could do that myself with a Halloween mask from Poundland in all honesty. Terrible, absolutely terrible.

 

Vulcan Peak: 0.00000000001/10

 

Oh man, where do I begin with this one? Hehe, if you asked me what is the worst Halloween attraction I have ever done, this would be leagues above Dead End Terror Zone and The Passing not a little, but enough to reach the stratosphere frankly. This has got to be the most embarrassing, laughable, cheap and hilarious maze I have ever done in my life and couldn't help but laugh the whole way round. There is literally NOTHING in this maze except for a single fan to simulate wind half-way round and a thin rope to hold onto. That is it. That. Is. It. The pre-show was rushed and had a broken screen, the bags were inside-out and were filthy inside, the route was congested, we had no idea when we were supposed to put the bags on our heads, the audio was incredibly strange and sounded stupid and a single actor was present inside one scene and that was it. It takes you through I'm a Celeb's path but with a few shortcuts and when having a peak by lifting up my hood a few times, I could see not a single amount of effort was made to hide IAC's theming anywhere in this attraction. But the best is saved for last, because when we had our hoods taken off, we were greeted with what I can only presume is a backstage path for staff members, because it consisted of a single strobe light with black walls either side and you could see all the wiring, security cameras and metal roof of the building from this spot, not an ounce of theming anywhere. It was at this stage I burst into laughter and couldn't contain myself anymore. From here, you go through the half-inflated walls before exiting out of Inferno's shop and the experience is over... finally. After leaving the shop, I was in giggles for at least an hour afterwards because of how bad Vulcan Peak was. I mean, you couldn't make a maze worse than this and this is the perfect example of what happens when quantity overrules quality. Words cannot describe how awful this was and the scariest thing about the attraction was queueing 40 minutes for it. 4/5 on the fear rating scale? My ar**. I do however encourage you to try it though, but only for the comedy value!

 

So yeah, as you can see from the above reviews, all of the mazes were awful this year with some being so bad it makes 2010's Dead End Terror Zone look scary. As for other parts of the event, the park lighting this year was absolutely horrendous with bright white lighting everywhere across the park from Inferno, to Old Town, Dead Creek Wood's entrance where you can't read the flipping sign and Stealth. There were temporary lights installed in a few places, but unlike last year's nicely coloured stencil-shaded ones, these were all multi-colour changing LEDs going through all colours of the rainbow, similar to those approaching Swarm's area. It looked horrendous, and the ones used across the bridge were even worse, reminding me of the inside of X. Since when were disco lights associated with Halloween?!

 

As for the audio, I was optimistic about this year after hearing some of the preview clips found online from Nick Hutson as I was hoping we would see each and every ride having their own theme like it used to be when Midnight Syndicate ruled the park. Whilst some rides sounded great, Colossus' station especially which was my favourite, I noticed it was only some the coasters which had theme changes, no other rides across the park had them, so every single flat ride like Rush, Samurai, Vortex etc were playing their regular themes all day and night. As for Amity Cove's playlist across Tidal Wave and Stealth, it sounded identical to the regular one and did not work well at all in my opinion, especially at night. I understand the intentions behind why a FN dedicated playlist was made, but it failed in my view. I could also hear the director voice overs a few times across the park too in a few places. Why is he still being played across a Walking Dead themed Halloween event?

 

I keep on stressing this every year but Thorpe, for goodness sake, can you just bring back the Midnight Syndicate tracks used in 2007-2009 when the whole park used to sound amazing at night? This was what made you stand out from Alton and Chessington years ago during Halloween. Give every ride and area a consistent audio track to play, play themed announcements once again and less manual ones, only use the linked park-wide audio system for opening/closing nothing else and most of all, sort the damn system out. There are so many inconsistencies across the park with the audio this year that it's a joke. Are you all-in with regular audio like in 2010, or all-in with Fright Nights audio like in 2007-2009 Thorpe? Make your mind up.

 

Last comment to make is the park-wide theming. It's nice to see it in some areas like the entrance, Saw and Swarm but again, it is still not at the levels this event once used to be a while ago and likely never will. Just hoping one year we can see park theming being a priority for this park once again, but realise it's never gonna happen. Won't stop me calling them out on it every year though.

 

Last year, I wrote these comments for 2017's Fright Nights:

Quote

Going back to what I said at the very start, if Big Top wasn't available this year in the superb state it was in, I wouldn't even bother with Fright Nights this year for those considering going. The Walking Dead theme was hardly prevalent at the park besides from Living Nightmare and Sanctum was a pile of rubbish. The other mazes like Platform 15 and SAW Alive were all average but nothing special. The management of the audio was clumsily managed and inconsistencies were present everywhere with it.

It will take a fair bit of persuasion to visit this event again later in October. Unless the park are prepared properly next time, I would find it difficult to justify another £10 premium again.

It took a lot for me to attend this year's event as I was adamant about not going after the poor experience I had last time, but decided to give it a try anyway in the vain hope something has improved, but no. Nothing this year is better than last year and has solidified my opinion about this event - I'm done with it. I'm honestly done. I cannot cope with seeing what this event has now become after knowing and experiencing it during a different era in the late 2000's when it used to be a fantastic event. Back then, the event and park used to pride itself as being one of the best, if not the best Halloween attraction in the country, but now it's just a commercialised piece of rubbish where sticking a famous IP on the name with poor marketing saying there are "6 new attractions" and making each and every maze a botch job seems to be enough to please guests these days just to they can get a few cheap scares. What happened to originality, dedication, imagination and effort?

 

It's now become painfully obvious that whilst Merlin and Thorpe are capable of turning out a product for guests at this park, they are not capable of turning out a product that is well done anymore. The fit and finish this event once had is now dead and is just a distant memory for those that remember and indeed experienced it during that time. I've given Thorpe 5 years now ever since the Lionsgate takeover in 2013 to get their act together with this event and whilst during that time a few little gems like Big Top and Cabin in the Woods were made, the rest of the other attractions made ever since that year have frankly sucked and none of them have ever reached the levels of Asylum, Experiment 10, Se7en, Hellgate and even The Curse. The focus of this event between 2013-2017 was all about the IP and the mazes nothing else, so audio, park theming, lighting and other factors started to degrade gradually, but 2018 has shown the park don't seem to give a damn about the quality of their mazes anymore either. It feels as though they believe only putting an IP on their product and having the biggest number of attractions is enough for guests to be happy these days, when in truth, it is not.

 

I've documented problems this event has had over the last few years in posts on this forum and are honestly tired of talking about it now by repeating the same things over and over again constantly, because it seems to be an endless battle I am fighting for here. I genuinely really want this event to be brilliant for all guests, so new ones can experience the delights and thrills of what this park is capable of during Halloween for those of us that remember how amazing this event used to be, but cannot do that right now. People deserve a great product when they are forking out good amounts of money to attend this event and currently, they are not.

 

Understandably, I know I rail on against Merlin and Thorpe an awful lot on this forum and are probably boring many readers with it by now, but want to establish I am not a hater and are not "bitching" for the sake of "bitching". I say these things because I care and believe people deserve a better product from the park, whether they know it or not and I want people to speak up about problems they are seeing or experiencing to let the park know when something isn't right. I commend the reviewers above for voicing their concerns about this year's FN and encourage others thinking similar to do so as well, as this year is an embarrassment on many proportions.

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9 hours ago, Marhelorpe said:

As for the audio, I was optimistic about this year after hearing some of the preview clips found online from Nick Hutson as I was hoping we would see each and every ride having their own theme like it used to be when Midnight Syndicate ruled the park. Whilst some rides sounded great, Colossus' station especially which was my favourite, I noticed it was only some the coasters which had theme changes, no other rides across the park had them, so every single flat ride like Rush, Samurai, Vortex etc were playing their regular themes all day and night. As for Amity Cove's playlist across Tidal Wave and Stealth, it sounded identical to the regular one and did not work well at all in my opinion, especially at night. I understand the intentions behind why a FN dedicated playlist was made, but it failed in my view. I could also hear the director voice overs a few times across the park too in a few places. Why is he still being played across a Walking Dead themed Halloween event?

 

Glad you like Colossus' audio - thanks!  

 

There should be audio playing for Rush and Nemesis Inferno - but there simply wasn't enough time to do everything; we will build on it, I am sure. 

 

Don't know why or where you heard the director - can you let me know? 

 

WWTP is a complete re-write... that's all I have to say about that.  What didn't work? 

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1 hour ago, Nick Hutson said:

WWTP is a complete re-write... that's all I have to say about that.  What didn't work? 

I think people are hearing the cheery 60s tracks and are automatically assuming that it is the usual loop. It's not unless you stop and listen to the brand new Big Bob vocals, that you will realise why these tracks have been chosen. Everyone is just expecting Monster Mash 🙄

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1 hour ago, Nick Hutson said:

Glad you like Colossus' audio - thanks!  

 

There should be audio playing for Rush and Nemesis Inferno - but there simply wasn't enough time to do everything; we will build on it, I am sure. 

 

Don't know why or where you heard the director - can you let me know? 

 

WWTP is a complete re-write... that's all I have to say about that.  What didn't work? 

Yup, Colossus' station audio I really liked, especially with the voiceover used. Had a mysterious feel to it all which I loved. Nice work!

 

Inferno was definitely playing FN audio in the queue and station so that ride was fine. Rides such as Detonator, Samurai and Vortex were all playing their regular audio day and night though. Also, Andy Birds Land was playing WWTP too which was a bit confusing, though think it worked.

 

The Director was being played inside Inferno's Pizza & Pasta Buffet restaurant on a loop which sounded as though it was from last year's park-wide non-IMAscore loop.

 

As for WWTP, I did notice a few changes such as the song choice and voiceovers in-between each track which was a nice touch, but through my ears, a fair amount of the songs used I'm certain are from the regular playlist and had that happy and jumpy 50's/60's vibe to it all. During the day before 3pm it worked, but at dusk and night, it didn't work at all and clashed with Stealth's dispatch audio in my view. That's the issue I had.

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Just to clear things up about WWTP

 

The reason such upbeat tracks were chosen, is because Big Bob describes the terror and massacres that are occurring in such a positive tone of voice, bit creepy right? Imagine someone telling you that you are all going to die with a massive smile on their face, and then Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows is played. 

 

It's not immediately obvious, but if you listen it is there. 

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Fright Nights to say the least was interesting. Went to the meet on sunday really good fun thank you. Anyway attraction reviews. First up the Infamous Vulcan Peak. Scare Rating 1/10 Hilarity rating 8/10 I don't know if that's how the maze is meant to run with hands on shoulders. Felt around for a rope for a good half of the maze. I also don't think there were any Actors in the maze... Anyway Platform 15  7/10  This maze last year was really good fun. Still is really good fun some brilliant sections shame about the story change but the final is a big improvement and some fab scares inside the cottage section. Only downside is the uncomfy ground. wear decent shoes to events like these. Dead Creek woods. 7.5/10 this walk through was fun a bit abundant of Actors for the first half but sadly it felt rather short. I would say this was the best scare attraction at this place. It had a simple story line but sometimes that works. then Later on in the maze the Actors where very good with some great scares. Final attraction we experienced was Do or Die. 6/10 this had a very loose storyline. some good moments but most of the time felt like we were being rushed through. came out the end feeling a bit unsatisfied. This event overall was okay the rides in the dark are the highlight this year where as last year the highlight was, yep you guessed it the Big top. One issue I found at this years Frightnights is that it lacked a final big scare with the exception of Platform 15. they seem to put there best scare in the middle of the mazes most notable in Dead creek and Do or Die. so it could use some improvements, A maze with no ending feels like a film with a good beginning fantastic middle but a lacking ending making the overall film not that good or talked about because the ending is the last thing you remember after leaving the cinema. Also one thing to note is the Audio around the park is good although a little quite in areas notably in the center of Amity. The themed audio on rides like Colossus Stealth and Nemesis Inferno really stood out, Another great part of this years event is Inferno's queue line music with the chanting and deep jungle cannibalistic ambiance. Big Top Showtime was doing its thing scaring all the kids in the dome. Overall sad to say it but this year could use improvement and in my experience is the worst Fright Nights I have experienced. Hopefully they can improve for next year. Time will tell.

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5 hours ago, StevenVig said:

I think people are hearing the cheery 60s tracks and are automatically assuming that it is the usual loop. It's not unless you stop and listen to the brand new Big Bob vocals, that you will realise why these tracks have been chosen. Everyone is just expecting Monster Mash 🙄

 

3 hours ago, StevenVig said:

Just to clear things up about WWTP

 

The reason such upbeat tracks were chosen, is because Big Bob describes the terror and massacres that are occurring in such a positive tone of voice, bit creepy right? Imagine someone telling you that you are all going to die with a massive smile on their face, and then Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows is played. 

 

It's not immediately obvious, but if you listen it is there. 

Perhaps the problem is the song choices are too subtle? Not enough people will actively stop and listen to audio to work these things out. People drop in and out of listening to these things, so it's quite easy to miss out on finer details. I know I'm not sure on a lot of it, simply because I haven't listened to it closely enough. It's not necessarily a bad thing, buy if it's leaving people confused or unsatisfied, then it's not a good thing.

 

It also isn't great that the voices on WWTP sound extremely over-edited, making it almost laughably bad. It ruins the believability which the normal loop has, and also more difficult to listen to.

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I think WWTP is overall quite good - there’s one bit where the “wwtp radio” jingle has been edited and sounds slightly odd but that’s the only real bit I’d say don’t sound good personally.

 

Song choices are down to opinion, as has been said the songs on there now have a meaning to the vocals, I can also see an argument for a more Halloweeny choice of songs (although could argue this would be too cheesey) but overall I think it’s a nice idea - it’s nice for the individual areas of the park to have their own themes again instead of the same loop playing across the whole park as we’ve had for 4 or 5 years now.

 

 

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Wasn't really a fan of the audio in Amity during my visit yesterday. Went through it dozens of times over the course of the day and evening, and it really killed what little atmosphere there was for me. Obviously that's just my opinion, and I'm not saying I could do better, but I think something that sounds more obviously sinister with some Amity ambience (seagulls etc) would have been quite nice. 

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