On special evenings in October as the sun sets Thorpe Park turns into a fear fest with crazy creatures and fearsome freaks lurking ready to scare the living daylights out of the guests who visit the park to join the Halloween party. The park is open well into the hours of darkness and offers several specially themed attractions in addition to the opportunity to take on the coasters in the dark.
Coasters take on a whole new character in the dark and the rides at Thorpe Park are no exception. Saw the Ride, Nemesis Inferno, Colossus and Stealth all feel very different and much faster when you can’t see where you are going and in 2013 riders can experience The Swarm backwards and in the dark for the first time. The back two rows on The Swarm have been reversed, I suspect mainly because the ride has failed to deliver enough thrills for the forward facing rider. The backwards trip is rather nausea inducing though and so I suspect the addition of darkness will only make the whole experience even more unpleasant!
The Horror mazes that are the principle feature of Fright Nights are certainly not for the faint hearted. Being chased around endless corridors by chainsaw wielding maniacs at the Asylum and finding yourself in the midst of being tried and sentenced to death at the Passing are probably a bit much for some gentle souls but the entertainment factor is high octane and the mazes are well presented attractions. Personally I find standing outside the exit of the Asylum and watching terrified guests charge out of the door in fear of their lives the most hilarious part of any trip to Thorpe.
If you survive the assault of the chainsaw you can walk around the corner and subject yourself to Experiment 10 where you will allegedly become the focus of a twisted experiment and face your darkest fears. Actually you are locked into a shipping container whilst actors grab your ankles and bang on the walls but hey! The idea is original and the victims seem suitably intimidated by the whole affair. The park also features two to other Mazes in the shape of the Curse and Saw Alive. If you want to take on the Horror mazes be prepared for a long wait. The queues can be quite lengthy on busy nights and you will want to save some time to ride the coasters.
There is a whole different atmosphere at Thorpe on Fright Nights. Somehow the place seems more festive and many guests get into the spirit of the occasion by adorning themselves in glow sticks or wearing ghoulish costumes and applying a liberal amount of face paints. There is something rather wonderful about watching a succession of ghosts and skeletons take on Stealth and the ride photos must be terrific!
Overall it is worth visiting Thorpe on Fright Nights even if you don’t fancy the horror mazes (and who could blame you?) The opening hours are extended giving you more rides for your money, you can take on the coasters in the dark and the place has a livelier atmosphere than on regular days.
Article by Sally Stacey