So i visited the park on the 7th for Scarefest to try out the new/altered mazes, night rides and mainly see how it compares to Fright Nights. Scarefest and Fright Nights being the big 2 theme park Halloween seasonal events in the UK, which event would come out on top was my main query.
In this section I'll review the mazes in the order i experienced them and the relevant spoiler tags will be placed when needed so not to ruin the fun for anyone yet to experience them.Altonville Mine Tours:
This maze plays out similar to last years and i couldn't tell any differences, it was themed a bit more on the inside and felt like they weren't pushing you through the maze so much and at times holding you back to increase the tension. Overall the experience felt a bit more intimate and built tension which better than my previous runs i had last year. Good start for the mazes!Sub species: End Games:
Simply put, this maze was unreal, my first run i had inside left me shaking upon exiting. It really did live up to the praise it has received in previous years and seemed so much more intense than last year
The room leading towards the maze/trap beginning was heavily fogged and guarded with a few actors building tension, the first run of 2 i had i was dragged away thru door 3 before the timer had even started. I was then thrown, grabbed and lead towards a room with 1 slow blinking light surrounded by red mist. This was already intense but then continued when around every corner there was an actor ready to pounce. I eventually made it to the blind rope section, sound effects i picked up on was a alien clicking noise throughout constantly making me feel on edge, again i was targeted by an actor inside this rope section which was already so much more than i ever remembered last year. The split decision route room was back but was forced down the right route, what i didn't expect was a very frantic actor to crawl in and out the vents towards me.
Overall, the first run was the most extreme run through of a maze to date. My second run was less frantic but still very intense. I think a few more actors in some sections of the maze could be done with but still, this cast inside Sub Species this year were on top form and in my opinion how a fast paced maze should be ran.Project 42:
My highly anticipated maze for this scare season; I went into this blind, no information given, no reviews being read, just me and my hopes entered this maze. Were my standards met based on previous attractions on the resort? Kind of
To start of, the preshow is quite loud, it can be heard from outside in the queue line. The beginning scenes weren't too great, no real interactions were given, only the odd actor touched you. Until you get to the centre room of the then ride Nemesis Sub-Terra, Nothing really happens. The group got split up and from then, things were a bit faster paced, the end scenes were the better of the maze if I'm honest, the end strobe section worked well enough but nothing really stood out. Leading on from this, I was a bit disappointed, given what was left in Sub Terra (elevator doors, centre room eggs and lights), they had a lot of options to use in the maze and they never really touched upon much of it. This maze had a lot of potential and it just felt very let down. On a final note, the end scene's music is ear piercingly loud it can be heard from a far instantly. I don't know if this was the intend or the audio is just escaping from the room worse than expected but it's seriously loud.
Overall, i felt let down by the maze, nothing really stands out for me, Mine Tours you have the characters and scenes set, Sub Species has the mad, fast paced mentality and The Welcoming has the link in with Wicker Man (more on that later), This didn't really leave me a lot to take away and did disappoint.The Welcoming:
This maze divides a lot of people's opinions, some like it and some hate it. I personally loved it last year and i had hope it would be just as good. This was a big improvement in a lot of ways.
The script used this year has been altered to compliment the Wicker Man, not over doing it but adding little bits in to provide the link to guests. Gone is the hooded section which is a big relief as now we have a final strobe section which is highly effective in my opinion. Actors were a lot more jumpy and the use of smoke in the covered sections worked well especially in the dark, crawling actors took full advantage and manipulated the guests and caught the group i was with off guard many times. This was so pleasant to see that removing the weak link in the maze and improving it. I did this twice one after another and i enjoyed every run.
Oh and the fire at the end is awesome.
Overall the mazes were all relatively good and even though some with some problems, i still enjoyed all really well. The night rides at Scarefest though are a personal highlight, i never really experience the entertainment on site as they aimed towards the family market more so night rides are my port of call! We experienced Th13teen, Oblivion, Smiler and Wicker Man, the best being Th13teen in the absolute pitch black but Wicker Man stealing the show with improved/added lighting and the fire/smoke. It looks incredible and honestly took my breath away, it was amazing and rode superbly, I had a front row ride on it which admittedly is probably not the ideal row for this beast but it was still amazing to have the effects and view from the front at night. It was probably the joint highlight of the day with my Sub Species run alongside it.
So to answer my question, which was better? Fright Nights or Scarefest? Both were great events but Scarefest takes it. Every year i go to Scarefest it gets better and better and this year is no exception. Wicker Man is something of beauty as well as the enter park when darkness falls across the towers. Go is all i can say, you're missing out!