Thorpe Park Resort have opened the door to guests’ deepest, darkest nightmares, with FRIGHT NIGHTS 2022 now underway. With three scare mazes, an audio-based scare experience, three scare zones, roaming actors and scare shows, 2022 sees another well-rounded line-up of attractions and entertainment. Attraction Source was invited to the preview event on Thursday 29th September to experience everything this year’s event has to offer.
The headline new addition for 2022 is Survival Games, a multi-route scare maze where guests must battle through rooms full of atrocious assassins and treacherous traps, all in aid of elevating their social status. Located in a specially erected structure, in what is usually a backstage area behind The Swarm, the maze is a fast paced, action packed experience, that contains a disorientating mix of corridors, dead ends, plenty of actors, and an intense finale. Although our experience through the maze was not affected, we can see how guests may cause bottlenecks as the route is not straightforward, which may adversely affect the capacity of the attraction. With the Resort set to lose an indoor maze location when the former Logger’s Leap station is demolished to make way for Project Exodus, we would assume that this structure may become an established fixture of FRIGHT NIGHTS in the coming years.
Back for its second year, Trailers invites guests to witness the power of film come to life at SuperSpark Cinema – a picture house with a shocking reputation. Having opened over the summer, as a less scary and more humorous experience as part of Thorpe Park’s Carnival event, it’s great to see the resort’s most creative maze return with its scares fully turned-up. The substance of the maze itself is unchanged, with many nods to previous FRIGHT NIGHTS attractions, although the posters found throughout the maze introducing each ‘film’ have been updated to refer to sequels of the movies that were showing last year at SuperSpark Cinema.
Hacking their way back into the abandoned Creek Woods Sawmill for a final year, the Buckwheats are back in one of the park’s most intense mazes, Creek Freak Massacre. Debuting in 2019, this maze quickly established itself as an fan favourite and marked the start of the step up in quality that FRIGHT NIGHTS has seen over the last few years. Largely unchanged over its lifespan, it continues to utilise a well designed, detailed set which makes good use of a compact space, and culminates in a disorientating finale that combines strobes and chainsaws. With Creek Woods Sawmill (i.e. the former station of Logger’s Leap) set to be demolished as part the area’s redevelopment for Project Exodus, which looks as though it will imminently be granted planning permission, 2022 is said to be ‘The Final Cut’ for the maze.
Another new attraction for this year’s event is The Terminal, located in the Lost City plaza area, next to Zodiac. Produced in conjunction with DARKFIELD, guests enter their cryo-pod aboard The Terminal for a 360 degree immersive audio experience, and a one-way trip to an intergalactic utopia. Unfortunately this gets hijacked by unearthly creatures leaving passengers in perilous danger. Due to time constraints we were unable to experience this attraction, but did interact with the hosts who roam the queue line.
Scare zones are once again another key element of the event, although they have reduced in number from four to three for 2022. Nonetheless, they do include the third new addition for 2022, Death’s Doors. On the pathway beneath Nemesis Inferno’s lift hill and first drop, guests will find The Locksmith’s lair where they will come face-to-face with 21 daunting doors, each hiding a sinister secret. This scare zone has an additional level of interactivity, in that guests can choose which doors they knock on to discover who or what awaits inside. It’s nice to see the introduction of some new characters who significantly differ from those featuring in the other mazes and scare zones.
Returning for 2022 is The Crows of Mawkin Meadow, where guests walk amongst fields of corn to unearth the origins of the infamous Crows. The scare zone has been expanded upon compared to last year, and now includes some of the old queue area for Saw Alive where the Crone’s Cottage can be found. This is a great improvement and has significantly increased the immersive feel of what is quite a traditionally themed Halloween attraction – with pumpkins, hay bales and scares aplenty. Also back is Amity High vs LycanThorpe under the banner of ‘Graduation Sucks’ as the blood-thirsty teens of the two infamous schools battle it out for possible the last time as they celebrate their unconventional graduation.
This year returning as a roaming troupe of actors, utilising the truck used in the parades at the Resort’s other events this season, are the Creek Freaks: Unchained, tormenting visitors with their reckless redneck behaviour. Will this be the last we see of the Buckwheats, or might we still find them searching for a new home at next year’s event?
The two scare shows which made their debut last year are also back for 2022. Birthday BASH! sees guests invited to Hattie and Hugo’s 21st birthday party, but don’t be fooled by the bright balloons and shimmering streamers, as mummy’s spoilt little angels have a dangerously devilish side. As well as combining live vocals and dance routines on-stage, the characters also roam the surrounding area, terrorising guests as they go. In what seems to have been a last minute decision, having not featured in last month’s series of line-up announcements, Legacy – A Fire and Light Display will also return to Amity Beach, although it was still testing during the preview event.
Overall, FRIGHT NIGHTS 2022 is arguably even stronger than last year, now boasting three high-quality indoor mazes along with something never-seen-before at the event in The Terminal. The event also retains its atmosphere-enhancing scare zones, roaming actors and shows which are all included with general theme park admission. Across the event there remains a good variety of themes and original concepts, which is sure to mean that there is something to scare every guest.
FRIGHT NIGHTS runs on 30th September – 2nd October, 7th-9th October, and 14th-31st October, with the Resort open 10am-9pm on all dates. There is an additional charge for the three scare mazes and audio experience, with individual tickets available for £10 each (or £8 for annual passholders and hotel guests), a combined three maze ticket priced at £27 (or £24 for annual passholders and hotel guests), or a combined ticket that also includes The Terminal priced at £37 (or £22 for annual passholders and hotel guests). As we observed last year, whilst the days of mazes being included with admission appear to be over, it has enabled their quality to be lifted.
Are you planning a visit to FRIGHT NIGHTS this year? What are you expecting to terrify you most? Let us know via the Attraction Source social media channels.