This was my first experience of Fright Nights at Thorpe Park, having heard good things from previous years, I was looking forward to a great night! We went on a Sunday on the first weekend to try avoid the huge queues fright nights get but weren’t really successful as it was still rather busy!
First stop was Derren Browns Ghost Train! Been looking forward to this ever since it was announced and being a fan of both Derren Brown and Scare Attractions, this was one of the main reasons we decided on the trip. We expected the queue to be big and it was, 150 Minutes! Though we didn’t want to leave without experiencing it so decided to queue. It actually took a lot less, still around 100 mins but much better than expected. I’m not going to spoil the experience as there is lots of spoilers/reviews on the internet and Derren Brown actually tells you in the ride to keep it a secret, but I will say that it is not as scary and as ground breaking as anticipated and came off rather disappointed. The experience is still very disorientating and has some exciting and weird moments, however, it could have been so much more.
Next was the Slammer, such a unique ride and is actually the only one left in the world. The feeling is not recreated on any other ride and is one of the few rides I actually get scared on nowadays! Samurai was next, which is a very fun ride and is amazing in the dark. As the sun set we stopped for Dinner at the Bush BBQ, the burgers and lattice fries here are the best, it is the same sort of menu & food as Courtyard BBQ at Alton Towers and the portion sizes and quality is excellent, highly recommend visiting any of these 2 restaurants as they are brilliant for theme park food!
Now dark the scares really start, so time for the mazes! The park was celebrating 15 Years of their Fright Nights Event so had some roaming actors from previous mazes making there way around the park, we saw them quite a lot but they were the same group of characters all night which got repetitive, If there had been a different group of characters every hour or so this would have been much more fun & interesting. First up was Saw Alive, I’ve not ever seen the film/s so don’t have a clue if the maze reflects the movie itself which builds the anticipation for me, but it is quite an intense maze especially if your at the back like I was! The difference between being in the middle and at the front/back is huge.
Next, we did The Big Top which had a great clown exterior but a huge queue over an hour. However, it was well worth it, this was the stand out maze and flowed so nicely. Starting with a walk down a corridor with a creepy clown we then got chased into a huge fence maze with strobes that were incredibly disorientating to the fact that you could look one way see a clown, turn around & see the same clown! In this section we actually got lost from the rest of the group and ended up finding our way back to the creepy clown corridor, so had to go through the whole strobe maze again on our own where we got tickled, jumped out at & a lot more intense experience through the rest of the rooms where clowns literally jumped out from everywhere. To round it off you get chased out with a chainsaw wielding clown! That is what we came for! A few years ago I wouldn’t even have considered going into a maze like that but once you’ve done a few you really want the intensity to heighten and be properly scared!
After a lot of queuing and scares, we decided to get some thrills, so headed to the much quieter side of the park to Swarm which was walk on. This coaster is built for the dark as the ambulance flashing lights, the red beaming eyes on the train and the near misses in the dark are all brilliant. Finally, we headed to try out the new Platform 15 just before it closed. This has got to be the most walking you will ever do in scare maze as you walk almost the entire track of the Canada Creek railway. The start really sets the scene with a scary ‘tour guide’ but then you are left to walk the rest of the track alone, most of which is lacking actors and is mostly a walk in the dark. You then enter a very long tent corridor which is also a long walk in the dark with not a lot happening and a rather bland ending.
As, the queues were huge, we didn’t get chance to experience the other mazes so I would really recommend getting the FastTrack’s for the mazes or staying a couple of days. The whole Fright Nights experience needs some work to reduce the queues and improve the mazes, but overall it is still a fun evening with some special moments in the mazes and great rides.