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Europa Park Terenzi Horror Reviewed: 28/29 October 2011

Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:54 pm

Horror Nights starring Marc Terenzi: 2011 Review

Before you read this, can I say how sad it was to write what is the first very negative review of something at Europa-Park that I have written in 7 years of visiting. It in no way reflects the general quality and brilliance that is Europa-Park and I would recommend a trip to EP in a flash.

With a name change and an expanded surface area for the 2011 Horror Nights event at Europa-Park, expectations were as ever high. This was my 4th visit to Terenzi, and the event has progressively changed in style - for better and worse. With the 2008 a very intimate affair and all attractions based within the theme parks Italian and French areas, to the 2009 and 2010 event where it was partly on park (Greece) and partly off, to this years event where the vast bulk was off the theme park aside from the Ice Show - Terenzi has developed into an incredibly popular event which can attract 7,000 people a night - and it does.

Sadly, Terenzi Horror Nights has become a victim of its own success and has been, this year, in no way a match for the consistent top quality offered within the theme park. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that for the most part, Horror Nights put a downer on what was otherwise a great Halloween offering at Europa-Park.

With the entrance relocated to the access road, giving it a further feel of separation from the park than ever before, to massive crowds gathering for admission - a genuine feeling of stress and anxiety at the gates, as thousands pushed and shoved their way in to the Horror Nights site. Never before had I witnessed such throngs of people gathering to make their way inside.

Upon entry, this seasons greeting was a Funfair Ghost Train called "Carnival". Accompanied by one live actor on our visit, who tickled the backs of our neck, it was a fairly plain affair, which was accompanied with a 40 minute waiting time. Our group was, for the the most part, wondering why this incredible theme park had to resort to buying in cheap ghost trains when they already have quality dark rides inside the park. 2/10.

Next door was Chin's Funhouse. It was part dark experience and partly outside. It was the follow up to last years fantastic cornfield maze. After a waiting time touching 45 minutes, we entered the fun house. The staff were clearly off the fair circuit and lacked the professionalism usually offered at Europa-Park. The funhouse had loud music, smoke - but not a single live actor. It felt like something out of Grease. We made our way through this attraction and out into the Field - where, following last year, expectations were sky high. Rock and pop music was blasting loudly around the field. Gone were the choppers, search lights and threatening sounds and in came a more comedy atmosphere, with 3 or 4 actors positioned around the main parts of the maze. Of note was a chainsaw actor who revved it nearby, but this didn't materialise on our second visit on the second night. Towards the end were several actors wearing masks. The maze had 1 or 2 scares but in reality, was nothing compared the crazy scenes from 2010. We spent most of the time dancing to Red Hot Chilli Peppers rather than being scared! 4/10.

With the disappointments stacking up already, we made a bee line for one of the most highly anticipated mazes of 2011, The Nest. When it was announced, I recall discussions with other people about how this could be truly terrifying. The waiting time was around 40 minutes on night 1, but this was over 1 hour on night 2 (so we didn't bother). Beginning inside yet another funfair fun house, it turns into a dark maze experience featuring fake spiders and snakes and some nasty noises. Most of the maze is made up of metal fencing covered with drapes, with the odd scene thrown in. Around 3 or 4 actors occasionally screamed to someone in your group, but it was not scene driven and was really very cheaply done. It ended up in the last part of the Field of Freaks. The maze lacked any narrative and was a complete let down. 3/10.

Posession was the maze which had the most hope and, although there was a 50 minute wait (80 minutes on night 2, I didn't bother) - it was, I am pleased to say, a decent experience. The entrance was poor though - where has the effort gone? They used to make proper entrances for mazes (Rose Maries Nightmare Continues, The Asylum etc.) - this was not completed to thelevel of say Experiment 10 or Terror of the Towers, but it was a long maze with a range of scenes and actors. It did however lack narrative and scares were not great. Compared to The Museum, it lacked something. The ending was effective, think along the lines of The Asylum at Thorpe Park. Some good scenes in here though, and some disgusting disfigured bodies. Overall, I would give this 7/10.

The final maze attraction was Dreamscape: 3D. The queue was 30 minutes for this (longer on the second night, we didn't bother). Using scenes from last years Clown Maze, there were some cute quirks and air curtains similar to Carnival of Screams at Alton Towers. However, it lacked actors - with less than 6 appearing to us in the maze. Itw as bright, and the 3D made it interesting. One room was very effective, a smoke filled chamber - reminiscent of Carnival of Fear in 2008 but only lasting for 10 seconds. Overall, nothing special - I would give this maze 5/10.

THN Scare Zones have often been described as the bread and butter of the event. This year? Too crowded. No fire. Lack of smoke. Actors just wandering and not enough SCARE. Really, really disappointing compared to past efforts. I have no idea what has been going through their minds but Oktoberfeast: End of Days was a joke.

The Ice Show was enjoyable, genuinely amusing. However, it's a shame that the effort that seems to go into this is not reflected in the mazes and scare zones.

Overall, the event was very poor. Maze attractions were thoughtless compared to what has been done before. Theming was reused inside mazes from the past, whereas previously they have created completely new sets and entrance set pieces. A lack of narrative also affected them and insanely lengthly queues and massive crowds on both evenings spoilt it even more. Based on the 2011 event, I would no longer recommend Europa-Park Horror Nights as a point of interest during the Halloween season. Perhaps there are others to try next year. As a big Europa-Park fan, I am bitterly disappointed with Terenzi this year and am seriously considering not visiting in 2012 unless there are major changes.

I did not visit the Vampire Club this year as it was upcharge (€5/£4.50). I heard it was good, though but an event should not be dependent on getting drunk to have a good time.

On the plus side, Benny Richter's music and the food offering was superb.

- Get the event (mainly) back in the theme park.
- Open several larger attractions (Euro-Mir, Eurosat?) to disperse queues.
- Return the fire and more smoke in scare zones.
- Lose the dominance of cheap funfair rides.
- Add more narrative and set pieces to major mazes.
- Reduce capacity or increase attraction offering to cope with demand.

Sad times. Just as well the parks general Halloween event was awesome. Mysteria, park theming and shows - just amazing.

It seems that for the Horror Nights though, the soul has gone. They've lost it. A victim of its own successes. Terenzi Comedy Nights is the colloquial name we have given to the event this year.

Attraction Count:
Carnival (30 min q)
Chins Funhouse (45 min q)
The Nest (40 min q)
Posession (50 min q)
Dreamscape 3D (30 min q)

Kassandra (5 min q)
Chins Funhouse (50 min q)
Ice Show

Admission was €19 (£17) per night.
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Re: Europa Park Terenzi Horror Reviewed: 28/29 October 2011

Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:47 pm

I was there on Friday for the second time since 3 years and I was shocked how the event developed. My review (in German, translated with Google, because the text is so long :D ):

I'm really Europa Park fan and think the park is one of the best in the world, but now real deal follows harsh criticism:

Wow, I was the second time this year at the Horror Nights - the first time was held as the Horror Nights were still in Italy - and I was really shocked what has become of it. The admission price is no longer absolute value of the event. I'll go back and unsure if something is not substantial changes. We can see exactly 5 attractions:

The Nest:
This had absolutely nothing to do with fear of reptiles. So you could have played. But except for a giant plush spider and two boxes of cheap plastic animals in Anstehbereich the topic was not included. In front of fairground attraction was asked a few generic horror, that have come up unexpectedly from time to time. In the corn field was just a disguised horror that simply just stood there quietly.
Scary what factor? Because the look in the mirror after getting up is creepy!

Chin's Funhouse:
First, a more fair attraction, this time totally without any fear. Then off into the cornfield. The decoration there with the car is very successful in my opinion. There could be plenty of hiding places everywhere and corners in which to frighten the visitors great. Could be. For, unfortunately, also only 4 were alarmed at work and unfortunately placed so predictable and bad that I had not a single moment of terror, whatever their nature.

Ice show:
The worst ice show I've ever seen at Europa-Park (I'm often in the park every year since about 1990). Individual numbers were ok, but the whole had no structure and was somehow just a wild series of mismatched scenes. The story, which was probably intended as a common thread was, absolutely not over. Marc Terenzi would like, would I rather not even start.

No shock, no horror atmosphere. An absolute joke.

Curse of Cassandra:
As always. With other music in the lobby.

- That the Horror Nights take place not in the park but mostly on a makeshift building fences with cheap ADAPTED area, the event takes any atmosphere. With the charm and character of events in Italy and France has nothing to do.
- Why cheap fairground attractions are used when the park much better dark rides and trains there, which could be changed with little effort on Creepy? I found this cool Scary Ciao Bambini absolute.
- The terrain was barely prepared with sawdust and gravel. Garbage lying around everywhere in the form of empty cups, and bags. Seems to have a working service, keeps everything clean as the day it does not give the evening.
- In addition to Chin's Funhouse is a beverage stand, the only alcohol sold in the Anstehschlange. Although soft drinks are standing around there, they are sold only as part of cocktails. Why?

Many of the above things are annoying, but not spoil the evening. The thing that spoiled the event for me so, is the lack of atmosphere. I think the creation of atmosphere and the different areas and attractions give a soul to one of the main reasons that the Europa-Park is so successful. Horror Nights in 2011, he has failed completely on this point. To me it seemed so as the budget was slashed from 3 years ago and while the event was massively enlarged. That might be good for the cash, but not for the satisfaction of the visitors. And the next year, maybe not again.


Re: Europa Park Terenzi Horror Reviewed: 28/29 October 2011

Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:18 pm

My review of Terenzi is a mixed bag really I feel more parts were spent time on than others. The mazes at Terenzi have never been up there with towers quality but I think Terenzi is based on a different atmosphere to Alton Towers scarefest. Having spoke to Marc the night before the event he did say he had gone for something different this year to previous years even though this may have not necessarily been a good thing to some I actually did enjoy the whole atmoshpere and party, fun aspect to the event and it reminded me of a out of control carnival which is what Marc wanted this year round and no I wasn't drunk for the actual event :P .

The general getting in to horror nights was hard work and stressful. I think people don't generally understand the concept of an organised queue and were jumping over the railing and pushing in making it overcrowded and people push into eachother. Obviously Terenzi's success has grown hugely since 2008 when it was very intimate event and it has tried to grow to match its success but the amount of people in the event last night was unbearable in places.

Although I loved the layout of this event and feel of it I did compare it to my first visit in 2009 in which it was alot emptier and you did get alot of more attention from the actors in scare zones and were even chased and followed round the event. The event being so busy it was hard for the actors to give people alot of attention and they couldn't chase people as had previously been the case. Also I think due to the huge crowds they couldnt use a chainsaw actor in the street which had always been there in previous years and would always have people screaming and create a sense of fear. Although saying all this they had tried to account for it by having alot more actors in the scarezones than had been there in previous years and my entrance on the first night was good despite the hectic crowds because there was actors everywhere. I particularly enjoyed the gnome type monsters who were settling off mini fireworks and the actor on stilts.

The food at Terenzi was really good this year with more on offer than before and the queues moved relatively quick despite the huge crowds. The area where all the food, beer tents were placed had a good atmosphere and festival feel to it which I liked. I also loved that they had an actor there sitting along to Karoke and getting people involved by dancing and singing along.

Attraction Reviews

The Nest- The theming was spiders and snakes but there was no evidence of this in the maze itself really. I did enjoy the random funhouse walk around at the start and I did actually get a fair few scares in this one but I would say it was fairly weak. This maze came out into the cornfield where me and another who was at the back of the group got a majority of the scares and were followed and taunted so I would say it ended on a high for me personally. Overall I'm giving it a 5/10

Dreamsscape 3D- The idea of this maze is very clever and I loved the makeup the actors had it jumped out at you which was frightening. Although I did feel there were not enough actors in this maze and there could of been alot more done with it. As Dan has mentioned the smoke chamber had alot more potential but it was lost and us being in a big group the scare in there was only for those at the front. This maze was just basically the carnival from previous years but with some paint added and the beef curtains at the end. 6/10

Chins Funhouse- Even though alot of people have said this to be one of the weakest I really enjoyed this. Again I loved the funhouse aspect of it and in the spinning tunnel they had someone stopping and starting it when you were halfway through causing you to fall everywhere which was mischivious as chin's funhouse should be. Everything about it was fun the music to the barrel ride and moving floors etc. 5/10

Field of Freaks- I enjoyed the field alot more last year where you were herded around the maze by chainsaws. I did however like the freakshow aspect to it and the little caravans that houses the freaks and how they had their own characters. Although there was no real scares in there and the scariest in there was Pig Nose who actually came darting out of the corn at you. 4/10

Possession- By far the best maze at Horror nights. I know a few people pulled down the fact that they had reused the museum theming, scenes again but don't towers and thorpe do that with their mazes? I genuinely came out the maze stressed, running, screaming and shaking. The highlight was particularly the end where the whole way through the maze you could make out a chainsaw distinctly. Then in a few rooms from the end you are greeted with it but then he runs away and you can just hear it revving in every room you go in from then on and then he comes running out at end and is unmerciful and procedes to chase you out. 9/10

Ice show- Fantastic. I think its obvious to see that work has gone into their shows this year for terenzi rather than the mazes. The music, the skating, dancing was just amazing. It was funny and really got the audience involved with everyone dancing and singing along. 10/10

Vampires Club- We were fortunate enough to have a VIP table on the first night so watched the show from upstairs and the second night were at the front of the club for the night but both were so energetic and the crowd really bounced of it. The set done was two hours long but it never got tiring or dipped the energy was there the whole way through. The atmsophere after the show had finished stayed electric and I would defiantely say the vampire club is one of the best clubs I've ever been too. 10/10

Overall I really enjoyed the event but agree with saying there still needs to be some substantial changes and that the event was just far too stressful and busy in parts. I think if the same energy was put into the mazes as was in the shows then Europa would really be onto a winner :) .

Re: Europa Park Terenzi Horror Reviewed: 28/29 October 2011

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:42 am

Sad to hear about this.

They do need to get it mostly on Park. When it's on park they have many options when it comes to crowd control. If they are having a busy night then they can open extra attractions, if it's quieter then close one or two to save money.
When thinking back to 2008 and how intimate it all was it's hard to think how they could possibly replicate that nowadays because it's such a popular event.
I think they should do away with the vampire club (for my benefit as much as anything ;)) it's just a way for Terenzi to show off and has no real purpose, it becomes the main part of the night with the mazes just being fillers leading up to it. I'd much prefer a few smaller bar areas with interaction from actors with the whole event shutting down fairly early (12am) leaving people time to visit the hotel bars if they wished to continue the night.

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