Following the rumours that significant changes would be coming to Derren Brown’s Ghost Train in the 2023 season, Thorpe Park have today confirmed the end of the Derren Brown IP and removal of the virtual reality element of the attraction. In the replacement experience, it is said that guests will depart the mortal world on a one-way ticket beyond the veil into darkness, with the warning to watch their tracks, as death is always one stop ahead. This next generation of Ghost Train will take guests on a harrowing ride into the realms beneath the Resort to where the supernatural believers call home. This experience will represent an entirely new storyline and incorporate new special effects. While the VR element will be removed, it is stated that live actors will remain part of the experience.
To tease the attraction, the Resort released a short video, along with the visual, which also features the same mysterious cloaked figure with outstretched, clawed hands. The video also sees a spooky haze overtake the Thorpe Junction building, with luminous graffiti appearing that features odd symbols and phrases such as ‘dead end’ and ‘believer’.
Derren Brown’s Ghost Train originally opened in July 2016, after having experienced a number of delays and setbacks that saw its opening pushed back twice. The attraction incorporated an entirely bespoke and unique ride system, with the main part of the experience being delivered in the form of virtual reality. Whilst most people acknowledged its ambition, the attraction suffered from poor reliability of both the VR headsets, as well as some of the practical effects.
As a result of the feedback, the Resort reworked the attraction for the 2017 season, with the addition of the tagline, ‘Rise of the Demon’. While the fundamental components of the attraction remained the same, changes were made to the live action sequence in the middle of the experience, as well as the second VR sequence being completed replaced. Instead of computer-generated visuals, this sequence instead utilised a live action video filmed in 360°, which had additional CGI enhancements and effects applied. The most notable physical change came at the end of the experience, with the addition of a faux gift shop. Once all guests were gathered in the area, something would begin to take control of a Ouija board in the middle of the shop. As its strength grew, the floorboards would start to move up and down, shelves and vending machines begin to rattle and collapse, and ducting on the ceiling break apart. This would culminate with guests being plunged into darkness, followed by a demon appearing in the location of the Ouija board to jump scare guests as the lights flickered.
Although no further major changes were made to the attraction, the middle live action sequence was subsequently reworked into something akin to a scare maze, and the reliability of the gift shop ending and its effects also dwindled. Given the nature of the attraction, it remained closed during the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon reopening in 2021, the attraction’s reduced capacity meant that a timed ticket system was operated. Therefore, after seven years as Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, it now seems the right time for the attraction to be reworked.
No specific opening date has been given for Ghost Train, only that it will open in Spring 2023.
Are you intrigued to discover what now will await at the end of the line of Ghost Train? Are you please to see the removal of VR from the attraction? Let us know your thoughts via the Attraction Source social media channels.