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Dara
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Halloween Hocus Pocus

Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:46 am

Yesterday,i visited Halloween Hocus Pocus at chessington with a group of 3 others, and i'm not really sure what to make of it. On the whole we were all pretty disapppointed. However, we left the park feeling quite happy with the last few hours of dark riding, but looking back today it wasn't too great.

The park was open, like thorpe park, from 10 till 8. The special events were Hocus Pocus Hall walk through, which we felt was really dissappointing and not at all scary. They also had the Enigma show on the main stage at 5, 6 and 7, no joke the 7pm show had 3 people watching it, not 3 families, 3 people in one family!! We just looked at it for a couple of minutes and it was ok but was the sort of show which kind of relied on an audience of more than 3

It had been advertised that the park was open till 8 and there was no mention of it closing early but because the park was so dead pretty much all rides did close early. The whole of the Mystic East and Forbidden Kingdom areas closed at 5, the Safari Skyway closed at 6, and Beanoland closed at 6:30 i think. All the other remaining rides closed at about 7 and in the last hour, literally the only rides open in the whole park were Dragon's Fury, Rattlesnake and the Carousel. Everything else closed early. Vampire was also closed all day, but i guess that couldn't be helped.

And to be fair the park was stupidly quiet all day, which makes me wonder why they bothered running their halloween event this week when all the kids are still at school. There were no queues all day and even in the last half hour with just 3 rides open they were sending round empty cars. We noticed that there were some people who were riding Fury and Rattlesnake over and over, so there can have seriously been nobody left in the park by that point.

Dark riding was really good on Rattlesnake and Fury but we were really disappointed that we couldn't ride Ramases and Vampire in the dark as thats what we'd been looking forward to.

All in all the event itself was ok, and i had 2 visits to fright nights last week which was truly amazing, so i guess chessington are going to have a really hard job living up to the high standards thorpe park have set. For me it was my first halloween visit to chessington, and it was ok but next time i think i'll give it a miss and just goto thorpe fright nights instead. Has anyone else been to haloween hocus pocus? What do people think of it?
 
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ReallyRollercoasterRules
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:18 pm

Good Report, Very good :clap: - however it should be in the trip report section [-X

Firstly, Hocus Pocus Hall isn't meant to be "scary" it's just meant to be a little bit scarier than usual, if you want proper scary mazes head down to Satffordshire or even better Thorpe Park- which was only about 30 minutes away from you!

I can't believe that they closed rides early, people complain about Thorpe's reliability but they have NEVER done that. I would have gone to guest services and complained about that- it's truly disgusting that paying guests didn't get the advertised amount of ride time. :roll:

Finally- the comment about the kids not being off school yet- I am- Leicestershire is and I think some other county's in the midlands are (Staffordshire??). I would be disappointing if Chessington wern't doing Halloween this week as I'm heading down Thorpe on Thursday followed by Chessington on Friday, I can't wait.

Anyway- Good trip report! :D
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:00 pm

Leicestershire are, and always have been, a law unto themselves. Most LEA authorities are off next week for half term (Staffordshire, West Midlands, London etc.).
 
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:41 pm

Yes i was thinking of putting this in the trip reports section, but decided not to as i wanted to discuss Halloween Hocus Pocus in general in the same way that we have a Fright Nights topic in the Merlin section, but i guess this kind of fits into both.

My friend did mention complaining to guest services, but at the end of the day it was so dead in the park that i guess you could say that we were lucky they had any rides open till 8, i know on a few days of thorpe park fright nights last yeat, they closed the whole park at 7, at least chessington did keep some rides open for the last hour, albeit only 3!!

Well "ReallyRollercoasterRules", you'll have to let us know if you have any more luck on friday. Hopefully since most schools start half terms that day it will be busier that evening and they'll keep most of the rides open.

Ok so some schools are off this week but it isn't many so i dont see why chessington didn't just open for their normal 10-5 hours this week. I mean seriously, if you'd seen how dead it was yesterday (and i'm used to regularly visiting on off peak days) you'd think "why the hell are they open till 8" and really most of the park was shut by about 6 anyway. Craziness :shock:
 
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:53 pm

This will most probably change in half term, if it was quiet and no queues it may be reasonable to close some of the less popular attractions but leaving three open is a bit stupid IMO.
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:15 pm

It's always been the case that Toadies Crazy Cars and Safari Skyway close around night-fall as the operator isn't able to see the ride cameras at all. I have a feeling they decided to close Mystic East and Beanoland around 6/7 due to lack of demand. I'm surprised that Forbidden Kingdom was closed though as well as Toytown, Runaway Train, Pirates Cove and the smaller Land of the Dragon rides. Were the others definitely closed or was it just a case that you never saw them running?
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:21 pm

I actually quite liked their hallowe'en event. There was plenty of theming around the park, more evenly spread than Alton's, and masses more than Thorpe. The walk through (Hocus Pocus), whilst not "scary" was very cool and good fun! There was lots of smoke, and lighting was used in places - Vampire was looking awesome with beautiful greens and reds, and the tunnel had smoke and strobes!

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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:31 pm

"TB2" wrote:
Were the others definitely closed or was it just a case that you never saw them running?


No it was definately only Dragons Fury, Rattlesnake and the Carousel open in the last hour. Several members of staff told me, they thought it was a bit of a joke too.
 
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:53 pm

I've just come back a few days ago and I agree that if the park is advertised as being open until 10 it should be, but they seem to have made it a bit clearer now when you get to the park. On the rides with scrolling information bars at the entance it says when the ride closes.
They now close Beanoland, Mystic East and Forbidden Kingdom and the Safari Skyway and Zoo earlier at around 5ish. When I went Mexicana seemed to close around 7 for some reason too?!

EDIT: The exact date was 30/10/08
EDIT 2: Also Dragons Fury kept opening and closing all morning for some reason.
Last edited by Coke on Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:09 pm

Huh?! I was working on Rattlesnake and Runaway Train till closing time on the very last days of Hocus Pocus Halloween. From what I understood it was only Beanoland, Mystic East and Forbidden Kingdom which closed early.
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:04 pm

Well on my visit which was on the first monday of Hocus Pocus, the information bar at the entrance said:
Vampire closed all day, Safari Skyway and the Zoo close at dusk, Forbidden Kingdom and Mystic East close at 5pm, Benoland closes at 7pm.

The 5pm closings went ahead as advertised, but i went over to Billy's whizzer in Beanoland at 6:30 and found the queue line shut, also seastorm which is in Pirate Cove was closed from about 6. In the last hour, we only went on Rattlesnake and Dragons Fury, and the staff told us at about 7:30 that these and the carousel were the only rides open in the whole park. Runaway Train and Black Buccaneer pirate ship were supposed to be open till the end, as were the other land of the Dragons rides but i think the decision was made to close them at about 7 as the weather was really bad and there were literally only about 40 people in the whole park for the last hour (that's what someone in security told me as we were leaving).

To be honest, i wasn't really too bothered about the early closings as i could see that the bad weather has made the park rediculously quiet. The main disappointment was that Vampire was shut all day, as i was really hoping to be able to ride in the dark. And because the park was so quiet there was not much of an atmosphere. The last Enigma show at 7pm had only 3 people watching it, which just goes to show how dead the park was.

I think it just goes to show that the weather really does make a big difference on visitor numbers.
 
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:27 pm

Was really dissapointed with Hocus Pocus this year.

Nothing new, same out theming dragged out again. They could have done so much more.

The sealife centre was a great addition to the park this year. For example why not use this as a theme to the market square halloween show. There are some scary looking deep sea creatures, a family show themed a with ultra violet lights and characters etc could have come across well.

Seemed all the show times were wrong as well. (too late shows )

Sorry but Chessington is in dire need of a makeover...
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Re: Chessington Halloween Hocus Pocus

Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:00 pm

I visited Chessington for HHP and I had a great time!
80 minutes for vampire in the dark was worth the long wait! 8) with all it's amazing new effects. (it seemed like lights were flying towards you.)
Plus the park had good, spread-out theming and fantastic music!
So, Chessington have done a great job!
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Halloween Hocus Pocus

Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:25 am

Wasn't sure whether to include this with the other Hocus Pocus topic so have made a new one. The old topic can be found here.

Press release from Chessington.
HALLOWEEN HOCUS POCUS AT CHESSINGTON
We dare you to walk the Black Forest Haunt…


The gates at Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo will creak open for Halloween Hocus Pocus from 23 October to 1 November 2009 to reveal plenty of spooky goings-on.

As is traditional with Halloween Hocus Pocus - scary creatures of all ages can join in the fun by donning your best Halloween costumes. So, get your ghoulish gear on and head down to Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo.

Test your nerve with the brand new Black Forest Haunt, an interactive walk through adventure. Challenge yourself to take the walk without screaming or laughing depending on how brave you are. Be warned - scaredy cats had better take someone with them to cling on to!

Also new for 2009, a mythical Fiery Faun will be weaving enchanting tales of his homeland using magic and fire to delight the younger members of your family.

Head over to Hocus Pocus Hall Bewitched, those who have already encountered the 3D attraction where goblins run riot may be surprised to find a few extra frights to help liven up the day!

Guests can ride hair-raising rollercoasters, including Vampire and Dragon’s Fury into the night, and get up close and personal with the Zoo’s spiders, snakes and glow-in-the-dark scorpions.
 
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Re: Chessington's Halloween Hocus Pocus 2009

Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:24 pm

I'm hoping to get a chance to go to Hocus Pocus this season, alhough i am slightly disppointed it's only a one week event now. The first week was pretty dead last year, and on one of the days i went to the park, more than half of the rides closed between 5 and 6, leaving only a small selection of rides left in the last hour.

I'm thinking Chessington are likely to make a real go of it this year. The theming around the park (pumpkins. etc.) is generally much better than at Thorpe, but the actual event isn't as good as Fright Nights. I think though, this year, they look to be making a huge effort to make it a decent event. I think this year's Hocus Pocus could be the best yet. I hope so anyway.
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fiona.anne.keen
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Re: Chessington's Halloween Hocus Pocus 2009

Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:56 pm

Ive not been to Hocus Pocus before, so I might give this a go.
Do you have to pay extra (like thorpe) ? And is there any age restrictions like at thorpe?

thanks :?
 
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Re: Chessington's Halloween Hocus Pocus 2009

Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:04 pm

"fiona.anne.keen" wrote:
Ive not been to Hocus Pocus before, so I might give this a go.
Do you have to pay extra (like thorpe) ? And is there any age restrictions like at thorpe?

thanks :?


No and No (although note that the ones of Thorpe aren't actually age restrictions, just guidelines).

However I was disappointed with the event last year. Beyond Hocus Pocus Hall, minimal effort was put in. :(
 
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Re: Chessington's Halloween Hocus Pocus 2009

Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:14 pm

Oh thats a shame ( the little effort ...) oh well if the kids enjoy it thats all that matters :lol:
 
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Re: Chessington's Halloween Hocus Pocus 2009

Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:48 am

"Air Dan" wrote:

However I was disappointed with the event last year. Beyond Hocus Pocus Hall, minimal effort was put in. :(


I'd have to agree with you there, Iv'e been to the event for 5years now? Maybe more :P And after last year I remember my family being shocked so don't think we will be returning for it again, but I believe this is because the years before that (not including that star wars thing) were so great, that they found last years poor, even thought if it was your first time there it was actually probably quite good.
One thing I do remember though is that my sisters useually dress up for the fancy dress competition at the end and spend about a week preparing (won like 3 times :P ), but last year we were a couple of minutes late to the advertised time it stated to start, and it was completely over, so the event that's usually quite a main part of the day was over in 2 minutes compared to the usual half an hour which we all found shocking.

But yeah other than that if you are there for the rides and stuff its a great time to go, hardly any ques past 5pm and its a great atmosphere!
 
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Re: Chessington's Halloween Hocus Pocus 2009

Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:41 pm

Hocus Pocus Game!

Along with the weird game, Chessington have a few more details about the event on their website...

The Black Forest haunt, Chessington's new family scare attraction, is going to be in Transylvania (most likely Vampire's queueline with added theming). Hocus Pocus Hall Bewitched also sounds good, and I hope plenty of Halloween-ness is going to be up and around the park. I have only visited Hocus Pocus twice before; both times I had no idea the event was on, good timing! The theming was very good and plenty of if I remember correctly. I hope this year is the best!

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