Fright Nights is back at Thorpe Park Resort with its biggest line-up to date. Featuring seven new horror attractions, as well as the return of four attractions from 2017’s event. Thorpe Park Resort is promising that ‘this year, nowhere is safe!’ Attraction Source was invited to the media preview to take a look at all the frights and thrills of Fright Nights 2018.
The first of the new attractions for 2018’s event is The Walking Dead: Do or Die. Located opposite Crust, the attraction utilises many of the sets of 2017’s Sanctum, however also includes a number of new additions, the most noticeable of which is a yellow school bus which is used to host the introduction to the maze. Whilst the maze does still have some areas which are very open and have a little too much empty space, there are also a number of areas which utilise much tighter, more enclosed areas which help to set up some good scares throughout the attraction. Do or Die is a marked improvement on Sanctum, perhaps partly helped by its new location, and has the potential to improve further.
Also new for 2018 is Vulcan Peak, a hooded maze located in the building which usually houses I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! during the main season. The exterior of the maze has received a full re-theme with the addition of a variety of tribal theming elements. Inside, following a short pre-show to explain the reason for wearing the hoods, guests are told to place their hoods over their heads and place one hand on the person in front, and the other on a guide rope. It is a shame that, due to guests being hooded for the majority of the maze, use isn’t made of the existing internal theming in the building. The maze sadly lacks any form of atmosphere, with there being few scares and no real finale.
Following a year of peace in 2017, Blair Witch has returned to the Fright Nights line-up promising to be more terrifying than before. The maze now uses a new route, starting from the point next to I’m a Celebrity (Vulcan Peak). Following a new, introductory scene which serves to set up the story for the attraction, guests then follow a winding route through the woods. The new route means there are far more opportunities for scares compared to the maze’s previous incarnations, and the attraction also uses a range of new audio to help enhance the experience.
The final new maze for 2018 is Dead Creek Woods. Using the same route as summer’s ‘Zombie Hunt’, Dead Creek Woods sees guests enter what is described as a ‘previously pleasant woodlands which have taken an apocalyptic turn’. Whilst not the strongest attraction on the Fright Nights line-up, with the story being a little confused, the actors within the attraction gave some good performances, and the maze definitely has the potential to improve as Fright Nights progresses through its run, with the best experience of the maze definitely being after dark.
Returning for its second year, and following an extreme run during the Whitsun half term, is The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare. Not much has changed from the attraction’s previous appearances, although there has been some minor changes to the story line to help keep the maze fresh for those who may have experienced it in one of its previous incarnations. All of the actors within the attraction gave some strong performances making The Walking Dead: The Living Nightmare a solid part of 2018’s line-up.
Now in its third year, Platform 15 once again invites guests to journey along the abandoned railway line to follow in the tracks of the Sleeper Express. Whilst there has not been any changes to the maze’s route following the addition of the village last year, there has been some changes to the storyline of the attraction, as well as minor tweaks to the ending. Also returning following a short run over the summer is Fright Nights staple, Saw: Alive. With another strong cast the maze once again delivers some good scares and maintains the high energy which has been evident in the maze in previous runs.
Containment, Thorpe Park Resort’s escape room experience has also returned for another year, once again challenging guests to solve the codes to find the cure to a mystery virus. Although the interior theming of the rooms has remained the same, this year the puzzles have been made much more challenging with there being a number of red herrings to catch you out.
As well as the scare mazes, this year also sees the introduction of two, new, horror zones – Big Top: Showtime, and Terror at Amity High. Located in The Dome, and in the Amity area of the park, by Stealth, these zones use a lively cast of roaming actors to create a great atmosphere and numerous moments of interaction with guests. The zones help create a much more effective park wide atmosphere for the event, and is hopefully something that will be expanded further in future years. Across the Island, there is also a range of new, audio, including a new version of the Resort’s famous WWTP Radio featuring cameos from some recognisable voices in the theme park community.
Thorpe Park Resort have promised that ‘this year nowhere is safe’, and with a substantial increase in the line-up, it is evident that the Resort have gone all out to maximise the scares for Fright Nights 2018. Whilst on the whole the new additions are solid additions to the Fright Nights line up, Vulcan Peak is very much the weak link, which is a shame considering the potential it could have had. It is also a shame that THE BIG TOP no longer has its own maze with none of the other mazes offering quite the same levels of manic energy that the circus themed maze was able to offer in previous years. However, overall Fright Nights 2018 is set to be one of Thorpe Park Resort’s best Fright Nights to date.
Are you planning a visit to the Island to experience Fright Nights 2018? Make sure you share your thoughts and join in the conversation over on the Attraction Source Forum.