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JoshC.

Fright Nights 2020 - No Spoilers

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28 minutes ago, MattyMoo said:

The 10pm rule is for bars and restaurants, is it not? Therefore, they just don't serve any food or drink after 10?

From the official gov website:

 

  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).

Theatre and cinema performances are the only two exempt and can run over the 10pm curfew, but the bars/kiosks must be shut down by then.

 

So yes, guests will have to be out of the park by 10pm, so it will affect ride/maze close times; as they will probably have to shut the queues earlier due to how popular the event is.

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3 minutes ago, Ivsetti said:

Or they could just change closing times of the park to 8pm instead of 10pm.

Realistically by the time it gets to late Oct/ Nov as Spelthorne is on the verge of a local lockdown the park will probably most likely be under local lockdown anyway.

The park closes at 9pm for this year's Fright Nights. The potential issues are:

 

-How strict the definition of 'closed by 10' means for a theme park

-Rides closing at 9pm and having longer than a 1hr queue.

-Potential ramifications for food outlets, in particular for hotel guests

 

These are issues which have solutions, but it does change the way the park operates, and requires a lot of clear communication from the park. Pushing closing time forward to 8PM wouldn't solve the problem, especially when people have booked maze slots for after 8PM. 

 

It's just another issue the park have to overcome, and not an ideal one. The threat of local lockdown, and national ones, is also a worry. Although Thorpe Park is in Runnymede, not Spelthorne, which I believe is classed as being in a better position. However, many staff will live in Spelthorne, so whilst the park wouldn't necessarily have to close, it may well be forced to. 

 

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2 hours ago, TPJames said:

To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if merlin cut their losses and scrapped the Halloween events now before it’s too late.

I don't see them cancelling the events unless they have to tbh. At this point, they've gone through the process of designing attractions, building them (possibly getting in contractors who will have to be paid the same amount either way), plus hiring staff, along with marketing the event and collecting money from people who have paid for the event and the mazes.

 

Cancelling them now means they still spend the same on design and building costs, plus have to refund a lot of people (unlike smaller / independent events, they can't get away with the "we'll validate your ticket for 2021's event" as easily). It's a lot of money to just throw away based on a 'what if', when they can instead just run for as long as possible, get some money in, and refund others if necessary. 

 

Just the way I see it at least.

 

Equally, Towers today have released an 'after 4PM' ticket for £25 for Oktoberfest and Scarefest, which very much suggests that - currently - their plan is to press ahead with the event.

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Looks cool. I do think Alton is the better deal this year (especially when it comes to prices).

I hope Thorpe let some of these actors have some humour this year, it would be nice to have laughs in the scare zones. I always found Thorpe to lack the humour that Tulleys or even Scarefest has/had. Even the roamers are always so try-hard.

 

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Agreed. Even some dark humour somewhere along the line would be good. It's all very serious, and that can get a bit samey. It's another reason why Big Top worked well in Thorpe's line up imo, because it was able to be a bit less serious, whilst still being able to scare people.

 

Given the diverse range of themes this year, it would be nice to have some things a bit more light heartened. The Amity High / Lycanthorpe High combo has potential.

 

I think The Crows should be creepy / serious characters though. The concept feels like it would be better suited to an actual area (where they could have fake characters for the actors to blend in, for example). But just having these weird, creepy characters stalking and appearing out of nowhere has great potential.

 


We also have some work happening on Swarm Island...

 

 

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And we have a view of Platform's entrance...

 

 

That seems to nix my earlier musing that they may in fact use the tunnel area as a queue. It'll be interesting to see how much of a queue line they will build and if it'll be sufficient. 

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On 9/30/2020 at 7:16 PM, JoshC. said:

It'll be interesting to see how much of a queue line they will build and if it'll be sufficient. 

It looks very very long from Saw, looks like the shack from the ending is at the end of it too.

 

Gonna be my first Fright Nights this year, not sure I'll be doing any mazes but excited and also very nervous for the atmosphere and everything.

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14 hours ago, ChessingtonSam said:

It looks very very long from Saw, looks like the shack from the ending is at the end of it too.

 

The tunnel itself is very long (about 100m!) and very narrow, as well as very dark. The thing is, it's not the best thing for a queue line at the best of times, least of all during Covid (in my opinion). They could chuck in extra lights, stick social distancing markers on the wall, etc, but I just don't see it working out. In other words, that tunnel is part of the maze.

 

That means they'd still need a queue line outside of the tunnel. Even with timed slots, there'll be loads of people with the half hour slots (anyone who's been to Scarefest, or remembers The Passing will know there can sometimes be quite long queues still!). The area outside the tunnel is quite small then leads to a massive pathway - so it'll be interesting to see how much of a queue they put in place. And after that, whether it'll actually cope with the demand the park will experience!

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Not sure if I'm going to make it to Fright Nights this year or not.... if I do go, it'll be Friday 16th after reading reviews from this Friday - bit concerned though that no days will be "quiet" this year, and I'm not sure I want to take that risk after forking out £42 + £10 per maze plus parking....

 

And also, what JoshC said - there's no way people are queuing in that tunnel.

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Thorpe have mentioned on their Fright Nights page that, due to the 10pm closing restriction, the park has to be clear of guests and effectively 'closed' from 10pm. As such, they will close some ride queue lines from 8pm:

 

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What I imagine this means in practice is if a ride has more than an hour queue at 8pm, it will close then, to ensure people have time to leave the park. Otherwise, the queue line will remain open till 9pm. The mazes likely won't be affected due to having timed slots, so long as timings work out well.

 

A sad reality, but not too surprising given the circumstances. I do wonder how chaotic things will be with trying to get everyone *out* of the park by 10pm though!

 

 

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Will they close the Guest Services queue early so MAPpers can't compain about the main queues being closed early?

If you are in the Guest Services queue after 8pm will you still be allowed to complain about the queues closing at 8pm resulting in a one shot fastrack for a ride that is not usable as the ride queues closed at 8pm?

 

So many questions! 😃

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Will certainly be interesting to see how they'll ensure everyone is off site by 10pm, I guess these early queue closing times will help but I can envisage it will cause some confusion/frustration with some queues closing quite so early I'm sure. 

 

Looking forward to my first 2020 visit to Thorpe, and the first day of fright nights/fearstival, on Friday! Does anyone know when press night is this year? Was hoping to see a review of which one is stronger of the two mazes, as I've got to pick one (friends aren't keen enough to do both given the overall price!) but I may just end up picking one at random. 

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