FRIGHT NIGHTS FEARSTIVAL Review
The highlight of my year is always Thorpe Park’s annual halloween event, Fright Nights, which is a premier, award-winning scare event at the Theme Park. This year’s event had to be adapted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and it included 2 scare mazes (Platform 15 and Roots of Evil) and 4 scare zones (Creek Freaks Unchained, The Fearstival Arena, The Swarm Invasion, The Howling of Lycanthrope High). There was also a live dance show (Terror at Amity High) and a roaming team of actors called ‘The Crows’.
The actors did a brilliant job this year considering the social distancing challenges and that they all had to wear face masks. I visited the park at least 20 times during Fright Nights and got to know the actors well which all added to the fun for me. The soundtracks, composed by IMAscore, were brilliant as they had created brand new ones for the new scare zones. These included themes from previous attraction music which only Fright Nights enthusiasts would recognize – a great ‘Easter Egg’ in the music. The theming was on point and I particularly like the variation form zone to zone. Special effects included pyrotechnics and the smoke machines were a great addition to the scare zones and mazes.
It was a shame that there were only 2 mazes this year and that they were both outdoors, so they were only effective after dark. This was more disappointing considering other Merlin Theme Parks were able to stage indoor mazes. Unfortunately, through no fault of the park, there was one evening on which I attended where many guests had come to cause trouble and they were violent towards actors and staff members. This only happened once and was dealt with responsibly by the management team.
I particularly liked the scare zones, which were new to this year’s event because there was lots of actor interaction and no queuing. I also loved meeting the other theme park enthusiasts there and I have made some great friends. As a photographer and videographer, the special effects and lighting provided great opportunities for footage for my YouTube channel. My impression was that the audience really enjoyed the events because they seemed scared and a lot of them kept coming back for more! I was surprised that the resort was able to put on this halloween event at all and they did an amazing job considering the restrictions they had to work within.
Bring on the 2021 scare season!