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Fright Nights 2019 - General Discussion


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A complete revamp. Bring in someone with fresh ideas, money should be spent on the maze itself and not ip.  

Quality over quantity.


Better organisation, maybe a rethink on the maze queue system.


Close Derren Brown Ghost Train for good and create a haunted station themed maze. ?  


No more pound land theming  and less of these !!!!

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What I hope - a complete revamp of the event with priority on actual maze quality and original ideas for story/theming (goodbye IP’s) aswell as Freezer and Big Top returning. Would also very much like to see the return of park wide decoration and the atmospheric midnight syndicate tracks.


What I expect - Another lacklustre event with priority on using a damn IP to market the event with little to no quality in the mazes whatsoever aswell as Vulcan Peak and Big Top:showtime returning. This accompanied by those beautiful floodlights and ASDA Halloween sourced theming.

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I was originally with the "bring back big top" idea but since thinking more about it, the event just needs a complete refresh. 4 or max 5 mazes that are brand new, well thought out and high quality. Everything already done including popular attractions such as "Big Top" ans "Asylum" just need to be put to rest. 

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For all the bad things said about this years event, there were positives to be had, Big Top Showtime was great - yes the maze was much better but I don’t see the show as a replacement for the maze, but the show on its own worked well, and was very effective, they were also good whilst they were roaming the park.


Amity high again, very good, really would like to see something like this return.


Audio was also better this year, it was good that areas got individual tracks back, I’d like to see more next year, this year the flats all kept their normal music where as in the past all rides had their own FN tracks, would be good to hear this again.


As for new things, I’d like to see at least 2 new (proper indoor) original concept mazes - one of them maybe the big top or 2 completely new ideas. Would like to see more park wide theming.

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One thing it needs next year above all else from the teams involved in creating the event and the image it entails for guests to see:



As controversial as this might sound, I think at this stage in the game after the shambles of this year, the park need to let go of the past and anything associated with the event between 2013 - 2018. This means do not bring back any of the old mazes; do not rely on an IP to sell the product; do not put quantity above quality; do not put customer experience below first priority and most of all, have some confidence in what can be accomplished as the park is more than capable of doing it, as demonstrated by the late 2000's, especially in 08/09.



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Scrap Dead Creek Wood and make Blair Witch longer


BRING BACK BIG TOP or create an original concept maze or 2 - big top, asylum and Studio 13 were brill and didn’t rely on IPs


Relocate Do or Die to original Sanctum location 


Get rid of or at least half that frigging long tunnel on Platform 15 and have a better storyline/ending 


Roaming actors throughout the park but permanent ones in Stealth and Swarm areas for FN, such as the amity high actors who I thought were pretty good. 


Thorpe need to look at quality over quantity and value for money for their guests.  I’d rather see fewer mazes with higher quality than what we got this year.


Reduce fast track sales to make queue times more realistic (that won’t happen) or maybe have allocated time slots to reduce queue times.


As said before, individual audio on flat rides would be nice to give a distinction that you are at a FN and not just another day at the park.


Improve park lighting to give a better atmosphere - Chessie have done this so well and I can’t see why Thorpe can’t follow suit.


And finally - decorate the place better.  Don’t just have hunks of theming in random places (the bridge, as you go onto Swarm island) - make it park wide.


I won’t hold my breath....

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as others had said, I'd just love to see a complete revamp with 5, even 4 just really good and decently long mazes. one outdoor one would be fine, but I really miss the intensity of the classic indoor attractions. I'd love saw alive to go (as fun as it is), and see a different maze in there if possible. a non TWD maze in the back of X with the quality of cabin in the woods in 2014/15 would be great. I could actually imagine a revamp or vulcan being great though tbh - the concept is one of the only unique ones they've had recently, every single maze is just zombies or serial killers - thorpe should really start branching out with themes tbh.


imagine what they could do with a swarm maze, or a technology themed maze or just something different - having humans in bloody makeup screaming 'ahh' or 'help me' in your face for 3 minutes hasn't got anymore entertaining in the last 8 years lmao. they need to step it up to match towers in terms of intensity, I'd rather be pushed around a bit or have some unique scares than just being screamed at in the face by every single actor. also, keep up the levels of roaming actors - I remember in 2013 actors were literally chasing ppl through the queue of asylum and chasing after them all the way into the toilets, but every year after that I've been I've hardly even seen any actors.  


I just think they need a complete revamp, new themes, less boring scares, more intensity, some decent parkwide theming and just.....make it more of an event?? rather than an average thorpe day with some shipping containers plonked near Colossus 

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What they need to do is scarp the whole ‘fright night’ brand and mazes and completely start again as it’s so stale now. fresh new ideas are needed. I would rather spend my money going to Tulleys, the atmosphere there is a little more family friendly and not as dark as Thorpe always seem to go, Tulleys event is 10 times better. 

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What I would do:


- Keep Saw Alive and Living Nightmare as is. They're both decent enough, and don't need changing urgently. 

- Do Vulcan Peak properly. Do something different. Don't make it a maze with people jumping out at you, not bags on heads. A tour in a mysterious Jungle maybe. Maybe even a little outdoor section where the ride used to be on the exit for IAC(Miss Hippo was it?). A real chance to do something unique. 

- Scrap Dead Creek Woods, and reverse Platform 15. Start into the tunnel, and use it for storytelling. ("They disappeared into this tunnel never to be seen again"). Then go through the village, and when you get to the bridge, make that a tunnel so you can't see the water. You emerge to see the train, and all it's efeects, then you have a nice section to do stuff with, until at the end you finally reach said Platform 15 and have something to really end it well, then exit there. Think that would remove most of the problems with it as it is and would make it a long maze with proper substance throughout. 


- Extend Blair Witch slightly into the end of Dead Creek. BW was properly good this year, just needs to be longer. Can't start from the station because of new Platform 15, but still room to expand into Dead Creek slightly. 


- Scrap Do or Die, and instead make some changes and put actors in TWD: TR and call it 'Live' or 'Extreme', and really push that as a maze. You could even skip this to save money if needed, or no longer need two TWD mazes. 


- Where Big Top and Do or Die was, put in a new indoor maze, and make that the big headline maze for the year. Be that Big Top reimagined or what. Just needs to be capable of carrying the event a la Big Top. 


- Do something over by The Swarm. Give people a reason to go there. Heck, even do a similar maze to Sanctum, where survivors of The Swarm apocalypse need help or something. 


All in all, 8 mazes. Saw, TWD:LN, Vulcan Peak, TWD:TR Live/Extreme, Platform 15, Blair Witch, Big Top replacement and Swarm based Sanctum replacement.


(Oh and keep the Big Top roaming actors, they were brilliant)


IMO, this would be a good improvement, and more importantly, realistic too. But hey, I'm not an expert

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Let me get serious for a minute..


Returning mazes:

-Saw Alive. During Fright Nights, the Saw brand works. It's as simple as that. If you've got the ride, you may as well keep the maze because it's a sure fire success.


-Living Nightmare. I'm not keen on this maze, but again the public enjoy it, so why not. Get a decent ending in it though.


-Platform 15. It's a solid maze which I think can grow and evolve fairly easily. I love the idea mentioned above about it having it's route reversed - starting off in the tunnel like a blindfolded section or something. I'm guessing logistically it would be extremely difficult, plus it require a lot of changes (and money) to the maze, which I doubt we'd see. I can still dream I guess.


-Containment. Change it up a bit so it's fresh, but keep it.


New attractions:

-Indoor maze next to Crust. Buy more shipping containers. Get a cheap tent. Get an expensive themed tent. I don't care. Just do something. Big Top proved that you can turn that space into a fantastic experience, you just need to be clever. Ideally I'd love to see Big Top return, but I don't know how likely that it is.


-Something in the IAC space. Ideally we've seen the end of IAC, so they can rip it out and start afresh. But if not, transform it into a maze. If they insist on Vulcan, actually spend money on it to turn it into a multi sensory experience.


-Scare zone. Stealth plaza is ideal for a scare zone, so build off of Amity High from this year (and yknow, add some theming). Look at turning Swarm Island into a scare zone too.


-Extreme experiences. If you want to market Fright Nights as extreme, super duper scary or whatever, you need to put your money where your mouth is. Have an upcharge experience like Face it Alone after hours (or heck, even just during the day). Have an extreme maze which isn't just you walking in a group and people jumping out. Just anything.


Something different needs to happen. I've heard some people saying Fright Nights needs to go back to basics. But the truth is, Fright Nights was the most basic event this year. Every maze followed the same repetitive formula of 'perhaps too long pre show which does little', 'maze where people jump out at you for a quick impact scare', 'awkward ending which leaves you more confused than scared'. Do something different. Big Top's maze at the start / choice of doors. Cabin's true free flow. Experiment 10's splitting up. Do this and you'll be onto a winner Thorpe.

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-bring back face it alone 

- keep an attraction/show in the dome, takes away some crowds from the rest of the park

- ditch Vulcan peak and have 1 or 2 new indoor mazes, not from IP. Possibly get rid of IAC, hollow it out and start again.

- if there’s any space for an indoor maze near swarm, go for that

- refresh saw with new rooms and a new layout.

- keep the roaming actors as they are a nice touch

- make dead creek woods and Blair one maze.

- put DBGT in the bin and use the arena area for the main maze and bring back the carousel (we can but dream)

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So after the disaster that was Fright Nights 2018 something really needs to be done for 2019. What I want them to do and what I think they'll do however are VERY different. 


What I want them to do


  • Make it a separate ticketed event - I genuinely think this is one of the most crucial things Thorpe need to do to get Fright Nights up to the standard it should be at. First off, it would give them time to transform the park, it would also hopefully address some of the queue problems, then it would add an extra level of income from the tickets. Sure it's a risky move but I am sure it could pay off if done correctly. In my opinion the more Thorpe can do to emulate HHN the better. 
  • Cut the crap and put some budget behind the event - So Merlin's excuse for Big Top not returning is due to the cost of the tents? Yeah sorry not buying it. If Dr Frights a small independent event can build their entire event inside tents I refuse to believe Thorpe can't invest in just one. The simple answer is Merlin got lazy and thought they could get away with a skin and bones event. If they want it to grow into the successful event it should be (and has been in the past) they need to stop lying to us and put some budget in the event. 
  • Cut the number of outdoor mazes - Sure Thorpe is tight on space, but having 4 full on outdoors attractions with very little variety absolutely killed the event this year. It's hard to tell the difference between the four as there's very little theming in most of them (excluding Platform). Sure Do or Die had containers, but even they felt empty and pointless. It all felt like a very last minute event this year with the lack of effort that was put into the design of these attractions. 
  • Get rid of the IP's - All of the best mazes at Thorpe have been non-IP based. Big Top 2017 was an absolute blast, and I hear classics such as Experiment 10, Cursed and Seven were fantastic too. While the creative team behind all of these classics have gone, I think Thorpe needs to find some fresh young talent to reinvent the entire event and yes that does mean removing Saw Alive and both Walking Dead attractions.
  • Get an external team to work on the event - Considering rumours state the creative team at Thorpe is a little bare bones at the moment wouldn't it be a good idea if Thorpe got in an external team to rework the event? There's quite a few teams who would be more than happy to work with Thorpe. AtmosFear and Tulleys seem like obvious choices, but my personal preference would be Unlocked Vision Entertainments the fab team behind FEAR Avon Valley and Tayto Park's Halloween event. They've worked with Thorpe before on the campfire stories show, so it seems like a perfect fit. Their mazes are unique and have some great intensity to them. I think they could deliver exactly what Thorpe need.


What do I think will happen?


  • Nothing - Call me pessimistic, but I doubt we're going to see some big reinvention of the event next year. If we're lucky Vulcan Peak won't return and Blair and Dead Creek might merge into one maze, but otherwise I can see very few changes coming. Shame really, I genuinely don't think I can be bothered to make the effort to visit next year if nothing major changes. Why put more effort into visiting than the creative team put into designing the mazes. 
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Aha I remember when they reduced fright nights till 9pm!


For me:


Saw Alive - solid maze, well themed and still draws the crowds.


Living Nightmare - it’s not going to go anywhere, to be fair to it it’s probably the best themed maze Thorpe have had, it needs some serious work on its ending though.


Platform 15 - this is again a good attraction when the actors are on form, but like living nightmare it needs work on its ending which has always been inconsistent at best.


Blair Witch - This year Blair witch wasnt bad IMO, they got it much more “forestry” than it was in the past and that worked well, merge this with Dead Creek, and it’s back to a decent length too.




Big Top - this is probably one of the parks best mazes they’ve had - would really like to see this return.


New concept - preferably not an IP, an original concept maze (inside) be that on the beach or over behind swarm in a Marquee


New maze in IAC - with some work they could make a pretty decent jungle themed attraction, no need for the hoods but it would take some work to certain parts to work as a fright night attraction.

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What I'd like to see next year:


- The Big Top. Removing this maze was a huge mistake. The show wasn't bad, and the roamers were fantastic, but the maze was the best I've experienced at Thorpe in the 5 years I've been doing Fright Nights.


- Platform 15. Despite the mixed opinions, I really like this maze. It's a great attraction. Go back to the 2017 storyline (it was far better), fix up the broken effects. The ending also needs work.


- Living Nightmare. Not a fan of it personally but I don't see them removing it for a good few years. The theming is the best at the event.


- Saw Alive. Sure, it'll be 10 years old next year, but it's still a good maze with some great theming that always seems to be popular.


- Scrap Do or Die, Dead Creek, Blair Witch and Vulcan Peak.


- If a second Walking Dead horror maze has to happen, have it down the DC/BW path and in the IAC area. The Terminus cannibal theme is a good one it just hasn't been done properly yet. 


- One/two brand new, preferably original, indoor horror mazes.


- Amity High returning with more theming about the Stealth plaza.


- Containment gets scrapped/updated with new rooms and puzzles.


- A show in the Dome. A Studio 13 themed one could work; the director and his cast and crew filming a scene for his latest feature. Have some audience participation, humour, make it more a fun experience than a scary experience. 


Realistically... P15, LN and Saw will all return. Containment will remain unchanged. If the park have any common sense Big Top will come back too. Vulcan Peak could stay and get an upgrade and Dead Creek could be extended down all the way through Blair Witch. I don't think anything major will happen, as much as I want it to.


Fright Nights needs to have a huge revamp at some point in the near future. Maybe for it's 20th anniversary, preferably sooner. But it really needs a huge shakeup if it wants to compete with other major events in the country. Hell, it needs a shakeup to compete with some smaller events in the country! 

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I didn't visit any events last month due to work but I have to say from reviews/povs this year seems like one of the most shambolic years to date.

I think its a shame considering Fright Nights pre 2015 was considered a huge name and a trailblazer in the industry, sure a lot of people blame 2013 for bringing in IP's but Cabin and MBV were still pretty decent experiences that successfully worked the free flow concept that is now becoming more popular across mazes in the industry.


I think with Thorpe perhaps it is just competition rising across the industry? 2015 was a dreadful year for FN, but that was only amplified by Tulleys upping their lineup to 8 that year, Alton introducing one of their best lineups to date, or Xtreme Scream introducing the amazing looking Ash Hell.

I think post 2015 the event has somewhat been a few steps behind the other big events, sure Big Top (2016-2017) and Platform (2017) were amazing but the rest of the lineup were generally mixed..


This year I think sees an all time low for the event, sure some of the roamers look great but there is no maze that looked like a "go to" this year, which I think is really depressing in a event that on some years had 2-4 mazes on that par!

I think next year the event needs some fresh concepts, something unique that is just different to anything currently on park. I also hope they add some extra scare zones and keep a good atmosphere across the park.



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