Jump to content
Dan_Rush

Chessington Howl'o'ween

Recommended Posts

I thought it was very good, they do say not suitable for under 10's and I won't be taking my 8 year old in there it really caught me by surprise. There were a lot of tears on the day I went but the park were offering refunds if the children didn't go in. It was jumpy and quite scary I think the only thing the park could do different is a real warning when families buy the ticket.

 

End of the day as they have said its a family park not a children's park, I'm delighted they have done this and really hope future attractions take the same attitude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read a few complaints online about creepy caves - I didn't realise when I did my recent post that it is a recommended age 10 plus attraction - in all honestly I think it should be older than 10 even though I'm sure there will be 10 year olds out there who would be ok with it but for the majority they should probably have a recommendation of 13+ 

 

I was gutted when they got rid of the maze behind Vampire as I loved that one but caves is a pretty solid attraction and it's nice to see the park have a maze that caters for slightly older guests - the issue I think is they need to make it clearer to people 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick review of my Howl'o'ween experience, and indeed my first Halloween event at Chessington...

 

Curse of the Lost Tomb

Meh.  I don't really know how to describe this, it had the elements to be a fun enough family attraction, but it was all just very meh.  Theming looked nice (except in the finale).  The story was there.  I guess the main issue was the acting and number of actors.  Some of the actors were hard to hear.  Some seemed so unenthusiastic - one looked and sounded like they'd been dragged off of Staines high street and plonked in the maze.  From what I've heard, there's a lot less actors this year too.

 

So yeah, there's potential, but it also falls flat.  Also, can I just point out the hilariously placed e-stop at elbow height right by the entrance door as far away from the actor as possible - who thought THAT was a good idea?  :lol:

 

Park Atmosphere

There was a bit of park theming about (plastic pumpkins, cobwebs, etc), but not a lot.  And with the mazes very hidden away and not in your face (unlike Towers and Thorpe), it's easy to forget there's a Halloween event at all.  

 

There were LOTS of roaming actors about, which was nice.  Even had a few hiding in ride queue lines - we had 4 in Tomb Blaster's queue and the first one successfully caught me off guard.  They also did a flash mob dance thing outside the main shop, but it was at the most random times (it was so silly of us to not think there'd be a show at 5:06...) that we missed it.  

 

Creepy Caves:  Unearthed

Okay, let's start off with the bad - the time slots for this were poorly managed.  Either they were selling too many or letting people in far too early / late, but it wasn't working.  It meant that on Wednesday, for a 4:15 slot, we queued 80 minutes, and that was after we queued 30 minutes to actually buy our tickets...  I hear that later in the event they went to the other extreme with the timed tickets, and not letting people into the time slots early, resulting in a queue to be let in the queue at many points, but still letting people in at any time if they'd missed their slots.  Still wasn't working great.

 

Anyways, the maze.  It's actually great.  And as someone who's been largely unimpressed with Chessington's offerings over the past several years, it's great to see something so well themed, executed, presented and fulfilling at the park.  This IS a scary attraction, and certainly will truly terrify and haunt those around the young-end of its 10+ age recommendation.  But this is the type of attraction Chessington needs to offer if it's actually going to become a family park.

 

The 'pre show' before entering with the actor is fantastically scripted.  The first scene gave me Experiment 10 vibes, but in a suitably toned down way.  The laboratory scene is again well scripted and has nice effects which, though nothing special, work great on scaring younger audiences.  What follows (the actual 'cave' section) is brilliant - jump scares, nice theming, a plethora of things hanging from the ceiling and plenty of lively actors.  The balance between scaring adults and kids seemed to work too.  The ending is nice, nothing special, but VERY loud and certainly enough to get the younger audience screaming and crying out.  As a side note, the maze was free flow, which really did surprise me for a family attraction of this nature.

 

As a scare attraction for adults in context, it's not that scary, it's not special and it won't leave you in trembling (though I would be interested in doing it in an adult-only group, sort of a 'Creepy Caves After Dark' thing...they could ramp it up..).  But for a family scare attraction, this is fantastic, perhaps even a little over the scary line, but still a great scare attraction for the park and surely one of the better examples of a family scare.

 

So yeah, Creepy Caves is fab.  I hope it returns next year, that they don't tone it down (up the age recommendation if needs be), and they can sort out the operations a bit (sell less tickets!).  Chessington truly are onto a winner this year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creepy Caves must be on the bigger surprises of the year side of things really. Considering all the pre-opening stuff was pretty dire and cheap looking, the attraction has spoken for itself and delivered. They just need to retain the elements that made it successful for this year and not butcher it in 2018.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like most of the better parts of Haunting in the Hollows (like the mortuary scene and the finale sequence)... Though I'm still unconvinced that such a scare attraction will be at Chessie for a long period of time (probably likely to be scaled down next year should it return)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will say the atmosphere was pretty lackluster this year. Instead of the lovely halloween music they had last year, or even the even better Imascore one coming back, they are playing this: 

 

A Youtube playlist of Kevin Macleod songs. This is what I use on Planet Coaster ffs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In fairness, that track sounds a lot better and works well as an ambience compared to that tiresome, out of place IMAscore piece the played a few years back. And the other Halloween score you’re talking about was nice, but dreadfully overused and only 6 or so minutes long. It got very tiresome after a few hours on a loop! 

 

Although it’s just another YouTube download jobby, this piece is at least nice and lengthy. Its much more subtle thank god; less in your face like the other two. 

 

Its a shame to hear the atmosphere is not as good this year. I don’t like to visit anymore, so I can only go from the pictures. But from what I’ve seen, it looked as though there was a lot more park-wide decoration this year, which is good, as in years previous it was looking a little skimp! I hear they’ve also got roaming actors again, another improvement on the last few years! I wonder what’s let all this down like you say... 

 

It could well be the changing atmosphere of the park, as it moves more towards corporate stiffness and animal-oriented “Wild” themes; perhaps this doesn’t gel as well with a Halloween atmosphere as the park’s previous whimsical characteristics did? Who knows. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, HermanTheGerman said:

But from what I’ve seen, it looked as though there was a lot more park-wide decoration this year, which is good, as in years previous it was looking a little skimp! I hear they’ve also got roaming actors again, another improvement on the last few years! I wonder what’s let all this down like you say... 

Mainly the music, as not only is it not as good it's very quiet too. The lighting isn't as good either, apart from that it's good. Skeletons, bunting and eyes everywhere. Less pumpkins though which is weird. And the actors have been here since last year, pretty much the exact same cast with one or two additions. There's now an actor for each area (Bats and vampires for Vampire, mutated Lobster lady for Pirate's Cove, possibly a Voodoo guy for Africa? A pharoah for Forbidden Kingdom, some Samurai people for Mystic East etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2017 at 4:57 PM, ChessingtonSam said:

Mainly the music, as not only is it not as good it's very quiet too. The lighting isn't as good either, apart from that it's good. Skeletons, bunting and eyes everywhere. Less pumpkins though which is weird. And the actors have been here since last year, pretty much the exact same cast with one or two additions. There's now an actor for each area (Bats and vampires for Vampire, mutated Lobster lady for Pirate's Cove, possibly a Voodoo guy for Africa? A pharoah for Forbidden Kingdom, some Samurai people for Mystic East etc.)

Where do you think the lighting could improve? There was more lighting on park than previous years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, professorb said:

Where do you think the lighting could improve? There was more lighting on park than previous years.

I can't remember too well, but I remember it being more colourful the only other year I stayed for dark. Howloween gone by had alot more white floodlights and default setting colour changing lights everywhere.

 

Speaking of lighting, as I'm sure some will have noticed, there's some nice lighting around some of the lakes in Land of the Tiger. I can't remember the exact colours and it obviously wasn't as vibrant in the day, but it looked nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×