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Fright Nights 2021 - Spoilers


JoshC.
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On 10/15/2021 at 7:45 PM, ChessingtonSam said:

Just saw Legacy. I'll leave spoilers out, but it's a nice little show. One thing I can say is it has Jack Silkstone and Co's fingerprints all over it, and is absolutely lost on anyone who isn't a fan.  Lots of very confused faces. But it's a decent show and a nice extra.

 

On 10/15/2021 at 10:47 PM, Marc said:

They tweaked it throughout the evening it seems - I like it I think the ending is weak, people don’t seem to realise it’s finished, think the ending needs more umph to finish it off.


It’s sh*t. There was so much potential, but once again, it was over promise and under deliver. 

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4 hours ago, StevenVig said:

 


It’s sh*t. There was so much potential, but once again, it was over promise and under deliver. 

Tbf though arnt most Thorpe fright nights attractions crap in the first year, excluding the past 2 mazes Ofc.

I think the warning signs of it not being available in previews show that it was a rushed project however hopefully they will have more time to program and prepare next year.

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It’s difficult though isn’t it.  I bet a lot of people wanted a “throwback” show of some sort, because it sounds fantastic - and that’s exactly what they’ve done. 


The thing is, a lot of Thorpe’s audience were toddlers (or not even born) when FN started, and I’d like to bet that most people at the park on a given night have only visited FN once or twice, maybe even never before. (I’m pretty sure even Mr Silkstone himself has said he only started going to FN in the last few years, and didn’t get to do Asylum)

 

A lot of guests simply don’t care about the details either - for example I drag Mrs Inferno to all sorts of scare events, and she enjoys them but I don’t think she could name many past mazes or place the theme tunes tbh. Most people aren’t all that bothered, they just want to enjoy it for what it is at the time.


I think this sort of show was really only going to appeal to a few hardcore fans, and mean nothing at all to everyone else.

 

I love that Thorpe have put it on to be honest, and from what I’ve seen online it looks like a great effort. Given a “throwback light show” brief, I couldn’t have done any better! I’d have probably added a big screen and had a defined ending of some sort, but really I think they have done a good job, especially if they (I assume) had a tight budget and short timeframe.
 

If it’s not well received, it was worth a go. They tried something.

 

Looking forward to seeing it in person this week 

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There is now an announcement at the end of the show, said by a plain woman's voice, saying that the show has now ended, thank you for watching, please exit the Beach.

 

It's very bland and a testament to the weak ending of the show.

 

I stand by my statement - it's one of the weakest fire and light shows I've watched. But it's still a fire and light show, and they're always good. Hopefully the park carry on with it in future years.

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I attended the passholder preview event a couple weeks back and I must admit I was slightly disappointed.

It was my first Fright Nights event so held high expectations, but can't help but feel a little let down.

 

Trailers, as incredibly themed as it was, I felt lackluster in scares. As the scenes themselves were so very small, I found the majority of the scares to be massively predictable and probably didn't jump any more than once or twice. Granted it's a new maze, and is inevitably going to return year on year judging by the amount of investment that clearly went on in there judging by the external and internal scenery, so fingers crossed it's a maze that only gets better with age.

 

I must say, though, I was pleasantly surprised by Creek Freak Massacre and even Platform 15 after seeing it being slated by the majority of people that have visited it over the years 😂

 

Hoping to get at least one more visit in before the end of the season to re-evaluate my thoughts, but ultimately felt like the things that were being hyped up the most this year (Trailers & Legacy, Legacy mostly because it has only just started so I never got the chance to see it) turned out to be quite the disappointment - certainly glad I only paid £5 per maze, I definitely don't think either of the three are worth the £10 price point.

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Whilst I appreciate that this would only please the hardcore fans, it doesn't mean that the show shouldn't fall short on the storytelling aspect. It sounds like they tried to start one, but completely just lost it and turned it into a drum and bass ear rape. I think the problem here is that the composer made it for themselves and their friends, rather than actually thinking about what it was actually for. 

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Haven't actually gotten round to posting my Fright Nights thoughts yet.  Here goes;

 

Trailers is good fun, I liked some of the special effects and references but it lacked in atmosphere and scares for me.  6/10

 

Creak Freak Massacre - I had a dire run-through, hardly any actors, only 2 chainsaws, lacked in intensity and well... anything really.  A shame as back in 2019, it had 3 chainsaws and didn't cost £10!  2/10

 

Enjoyed the Crows walk thingy, didn't do Platform 15, parkwide lighting was dreadful, fire/light show was okay I guess but nothing special.  Did enjoy the night rides a lot though, was fortunate enough to be able to visit on a quiet day.

 

My leaving thoughts were, as my first visit to Thorpe since 2019 it was okay, but it will probably be another couple of years before I have any reason to return.  Distinctly average.

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1 hour ago, JDann said:

I can see that the park is now sold out, with the exception of Sunday. 

I completely forgot this was half term week. Does anyone know how bad the fastrack queues have been on days where the park is at capacity

Very bad.

Go early, don't turn up at 3pm expecting to get everything done.

Book early maze slots, if you leave it till late you have the potential of getting cut off time wise. 

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22 hours ago, Coaster said:

Creak Freak Massacre - I had a dire run-through, hardly any actors, only 2 chainsaws, lacked in intensity and well... anything really.  A shame as back in 2019, it had 3 chainsaws and didn't cost £10!  2/10

 

This is my biggest "fear" - being disappointed with a maze like that... I haven't been to Thorpe FN's this year, if I'd not visited early Summer and had my Stealth fix I might have been more tempted. I'd prefer paying for a ticket that allows multiple maze runthroughs (a la Tulleys) but I just can't see them being able to work that with capacity, especially if they can't even get the timed slots to work meaning people are paying for tickets they can't use.

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⚠️ Apologies, negative post ⚠️

 

Thought I'd share my thoughts on my 2021 FN visit.

I think it was one of the worst theme park visits I've ever had. Really, really disapointing.

 

Without going in to too much detail, here are the basics:

  • Crows was a nice surprise, really well themed and offered something different (for free). It was too busy to be 'scary', but it's more a US style scare zone which I thought was a good addition.
  • Platform 15 wasn't bad. Not worth a tenner, and it's ready to retire now, but I was glad to have a last go and see it off. Some nice lighting and a clearer storyline this time.
  • It's clear how much effort went in to building Trailers, but there were very few actors in my run through, the experience was very rushed and lacklustre. I think if this opened a few years ago as part of the admission price it would have been quite good, but now they are charging I expected more.  I would have loved to have tried this when it opened, because it appears to now be in "clear the queue as fast as possible" mode.
  • Creek Freak was an embarrassing waste of time and money, and is a shadow of what it was when it opened. Hardly an actor to be seen. Compared to how this was 2 years ago, this year's version of creek was dreadful.
  • None of the mazes are worth anywhere near £10 a run-through. Thorpe's mazes aren't high enough quality to warrant an upcharge at all.
  • The Swarm's scare zone basically didn't exist. only 3 actors when we were in the area.
  • Didn't have chance to watch Legacy unfortunately.
  • Our couple of night rides were good, as always. Throwback to how TP used to be.

 

Scarefest wiped the floor with Fright Nights this year, and they didn't even hype it up or add anything new.

 

I'd love to see a slight return to FN's roots - ditch the ridiculous upcharge for mazes, introduce more smoke machines and coloured lights around the park and in the ride areas, and I'd love to see the return of the ride overlays they used to do, to make the rides more part of the event.

 

So sorry for the negativity, but I'm really, really disappointed and feel ripped-off by my visit if I'm honest.

FN has become too expensive for the experience they're offering in my opinion.

 

I think the team that put the event together did a great job.  Trailers is a great idea and a beautiful maze, but the event just doesn’t seem to work smoothly when it gets busy. Operations let it down 

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7 hours ago, Glitch said:

Very bad.

Go early, don't turn up at 3pm expecting to get everything done.

Book early maze slots, if you leave it till late you have the potential of getting cut off time wise. 

For fastrack? I’ve paid out quite a lot of money for these tickets so if I have to wait in queues all day I’ll not be pleased. 

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I think it does still include the flat rides.


One thing to note however is that the mazes don’t have Fastrack queue lines - your ultimate fastrack ticket allows you entry to the main queue, so you may be queueing a while for the mazes.


You should get shorter queues for the rides though.

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7 minutes ago, Inferno said:

I think it does still include the flat rides.


One thing to note however is that the mazes don’t have Fastrack queue lines - your ultimate fastrack ticket allows you entry to the main queue, so you may be queueing a while for the mazes.


You should get shorter queues for the rides though.


I went for the cheaper one without mazes on, but as long as we can get on all the rides and the queues aren’t really bad then I’ll be happy enough. 

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29 minutes ago, JDann said:


I went for the cheaper one without mazes on, but as long as we can get on all the rides and the queues aren’t really bad then I’ll be happy enough. 

I’m sure will be fine, I doubt things will be walk on with fastrack but will still be significantly quicker than main queues!

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16 hours ago, Inferno said:

Scarefest wiped the floor with Fright Nights this year, and they didn't even hype it up or add anything new.

 

But the vloggers invited to the Press Night were really impressed with Fright Nights vs. Scarefest, this doesn't make an sense to me ;) No problems with lack of actors that night either, how strange...

 

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10 hours ago, Marc said:

I’m sure will be fine, I doubt things will be walk on with fastrack but will still be significantly quicker than main queues!

 

Yeah, fingers crossed. Always a couple of rides that seem to struggle with longer fastrack queues than others from my experience. All depends on how the loads are being batched also. 

I've e-mailed the park to clarify the rides included in the fastrack package as it isn't overly clear in the T&C's. 

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On 10/25/2021 at 5:18 PM, Coaster said:

Trailers is good fun, I liked some of the special effects and references but it lacked in atmosphere and scares for me.  6/10

I think this is the thing with Trailers - it isn't an overly scary attraction. Obviously, it has scary elements and stuff - because it is a scare attraction - but it is not particularly scary. I think that's fine with the right tone and marketing to set expectations (and if there's enough variety in the rest of the line up). But it's certainly something which needs to be handled with care.

 

 

18 hours ago, Inferno said:
  • It's clear how much effort went in to building Trailers, but there were very few actors in my run through, the experience was very rushed and lacklustre. I think if this opened a few years ago as part of the admission price it would have been quite good, but now they are charging I expected more.  I would have loved to have tried this when it opened, because it appears to now be in "clear the queue as fast as possible" mode.

I've had a "clear the queue as fast as possible" run in the past. The pre-shows feel incredibly rushed, in a bad way, as a result, and it leads to an awful amount of bunching in the maze. I think the pre shows for Trailers (and indeed, all the mazes) run a little too long for my liking, but then when the queues are long, they struggle to properly cut it down whilst still sensibly batching the groups.

 

On 10/25/2021 at 5:18 PM, Coaster said:

Creak Freak Massacre - I had a dire run-through, hardly any actors, only 2 chainsaws, lacked in intensity and well... anything really.  A shame as back in 2019, it had 3 chainsaws and didn't cost £10!  2/10

 

18 hours ago, Inferno said:
  • Creek Freak was an embarrassing waste of time and money, and is a shadow of what it was when it opened. Hardly an actor to be seen. Compared to how this was 2 years ago, this year's version of creek was dreadful.

 

Creek Freak has been very mixed this year. Regardless of my opinion of it, it's a shame to see that after such a strong opening year.

 

There should still be 3 chainsaws in the maze (one on the table that replaced the saw scene, one in strobe, one for runout), but the thing with chainsaws is you can be caught in a crossover unfortunately. 

 

But yeah, in any case, it's a concern that it's in this state.

 

On 10/25/2021 at 5:18 PM, Coaster said:

Enjoyed the Crows walk thingy,

 

18 hours ago, Inferno said:
  • Crows was a nice surprise, really well themed and offered something different (for free). It was too busy to be 'scary', but it's more a US style scare zone which I thought was a good addition.

It's good to see this is still being well received, especially after I expressed concern about how it would run. It's a great use of the space too. I think they would serve better in a proper outdoor maze now (the too busy to be scary remark is something I agree with), but with rumours the park want to move away from them, maybe that will never happen.

 

18 hours ago, Inferno said:
  • Platform 15 wasn't bad. Not worth a tenner, and it's ready to retire now, but I was glad to have a last go and see it off. Some nice lighting and a clearer storyline this time.

After seesawing in quality so much over the year, it's good to see Platform is being well received. I think this is the general consensus of it - good enough for what it is, but ready to go and not worthy of the upcharge era.

 

18 hours ago, Inferno said:
  • The Swarm's scare zone basically didn't exist. only 3 actors when we were in the area.

This is a shame. I think the actors have done a great job with it. It's still not really a scare zone in my eyes, but just an extension to the Swarm story. It needs more props and theming and stuff for it to really become a scare zone. But it means that if you have the chance to interact with the actors, you tend to get really good interactions with them, because they don't have anything else to work with.

 

I think one of the main problems the park have suffered with lately is low actor numbers. What the cause is is anyone's guess, but whilst the plan is for most actors to only work in one attraction, I've heard of plenty of actors from the scare zones being trained and moved into the mazes because of shortages. The knock on effects that has is obvious.

 

18 hours ago, Inferno said:

I'd love to see a slight return to FN's roots - ditch the ridiculous upcharge for mazes, introduce more smoke machines and coloured lights around the park and in the ride areas, and I'd love to see the return of the ride overlays they used to do, to make the rides more part of the event.

 

So sorry for the negativity, but I'm really, really disappointed and feel ripped-off by my visit if I'm honest.

FN has become too expensive for the experience they're offering in my opinion.

 

I still stick with my earlier opinion, in theory: I have nothing against the park upcharging for the mazes for the right price and for the right experience. £10 a maze is WAY too much for the experiences on offer. Something closer to the £5 mark is much more reasonable. But in turn, they should be limiting group numbers, have a stricter limit on time slots and better operations to accompany it.

There should also be a free maze still. An outdoor one which is obviously weaker than the upcharge ones, but gives a taster for the experiences. Something like Blair Witch (or even a modified Platform 15) would work well imo.

 

The argument for upcharging is clear. I believe the standard group size at the moment is meant to be around 10 people, and batching times should be once every 90 seconds. That's 400pph. Say everyone is paying £9 a maze (on average, to balance out the discount trio tickets), that's £3600 an hour per maze...almost £65,000 a night across the three mazes. Even taking away staff wages and running costs, that still leaves a huge profit. Then if you reinvest even a fraction of that profit back into Fright Nights, you can have budgets to build mazes that look more like Creek Freak and Trailers than, say, Dead Creek Woods.

Even then, the park are earning more given that group sizes are currently exceed 10 people too...wouldn't surprise me if they can make up to £100k from mazes in a night...

 

Even then, drop the charge to £5 a maze and they're still making a healthy profit, and having a good chunk they can reinvest into future years. It's a no brainer on paper. But they need to make sure the ticket sales don't go over the numbers, and that the operations put their money where their mouth is.

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