Scarefest 2019

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ScareAttractions, 3rd Nov 2018.

  1. Boozacoaster

    Boozacoaster TowersStreet Member

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    My overall Scarefest detailed review WITH SPOILERS

    SubSpecies
    I did SubSpecies again because I wanted to know whether I just had a bad run.
    It was SO much better the second time; I couldn't believe it. The actors were everywhere, shouting and grabbing you. The quality of this maze genuinely relies on whether you have a good or bad run (which isn't necessarily a good thing) but my second run was a lot better. The labyrinth was generally quite quiet in actors, however it seemed to go on forever with so many dead ends that the panic factor had already risen. The next few rooms were a blur, but the actors were mostly phenomenal. The fact that one actor would not let go of me for over a minute, my legs were tickled and two actors concentrated on just me for a while really increased the scare factor of the maze. I genuinely ran through some of the sets to try and escape the actors. By the time the chainsaw came I was ready to run straight out out of the maze.
    I did like the theme of this maze and I thought some moments were well decorated, however the majority of the scenes felt quite sparsely themed in comparison to the other mazes on park. I know that the maze is very big and therefore may have less theming, but sometimes I literally felt like I was walking through black walls. The experience and intensity of this maze often overrides the theming for most people who enter, but as someone who loves good theming I was slightly dissapointed with this aspect of the maze.
    Contrary to popular opinion, I would like this maze to return next year, but I really hope it becomes more reliable - that you can do it again and again with the same intensity.
    Overall score: 8/10

    Project 42
    This maze was really entertaining and it seems to be just me who thinks that. It was loud, hectic, claustrophobic and loads of fun. I agree with the people saying that some moments lacked actors, but I loved the whole experience in most other aspects.
    One thing to notice about this maze is how much happens in a short space of time. I don't know if it was just me, but I was attacked, squashed pushed and shouted at multiple times throughout the whole maze. If I'm honest, the start was a lot better than the end of the maze. At the beginning there was a big squeeze through an inflatable corridor, tons of actors and a lot of scares. I was split from part of my group and fell over trying to run away multiple times, which increased the tension in the maze. The actors were mostly good throughout the experience, however the end of the maze was really drab. Luckily it didn't badly affect the rest of the experience, but there was no actors and I walked out a little underwhelmed. If there was a strong ending I would think much more highly of this maze and would probably have a better memory of it. I loved the start and middle of the maze but eventually it just turned to being quite boring. It's a shame because there were parts of the maze I absolutely loved. Just make the whole maze as intense as the start (after the preshow) and I think it would be great.
    The theming in this maze was definitely better than SubSpecies, however it felt a bit scattered. I felt that there were random items all over the place and I was walking through it. Loads of plants, some tables, chairs, lab coats and chain fencing is basically what I saw throughout this maze. It's a shame because the props themselves could fit the theme if used properly, but they were not presented in the best fashion. However, I did notice the time-consuming attention to detail in some of the sets, the use of smells and scents and the fantastic use of lighting throughout the maze - so props to the Creative and Entertainments team for pulling this off.
    I hope they bring this maze back next year just with the following improvements:
    - Make the maze pumped with a lot more actors.
    - Present the theming better to make the sets feel more realistic.
    - Move the big squeeze to a late point in the maze as it would work well once tension has been built up
    - Improve the ending (nothing theatrical is needed -just more actors)
    Overall Score: 7/10

    The Altonville Mine Tours: Legend of the Skin-Snatchers
    This maze was a mix of good and bad. I loved how there were actors everywhere, the smells, and the theming. However the maze was way too short and I walked out actually shocked that it was finished.
    The acting quality in this maze was fantastic. At the preshow my face was touched and the actors got uncomfortably close, and in the maze there was just so many jumpscares that the maze intensity was reaching unimaginable levels. The smoke, the beautiful sets (more on that later) and smells combined to make something pretty terrifying. I also found those skin masks horrifying - the fact actors were jumping in my face and feeling my hair and legs just made me so uncomfortable and scared.
    The theming and sets in this attraction were very well done - I won't lie I did struggle to see the detail in them even though I knew how much detail there was just because of the very dim lighting. However the bedroom, the rooms with confectionary pots, the mannequin rooms, the corridors with inflatable clothes, the room with the cogs AND the ending shop were all so well themed that was beginning to feel immersed.
    That was the problem. This maze was WAY too short and almost has to be extended. I absolutely loved what I got but I was just very dissatisfied when I walked out. There needs to be more to this maze as it is over way too quickly. This is not all a terrible thing however because it shows that I enjoyed the small time in the maze I got and wanted more.
    Also, there was an attempt at an ending here however it just fell a little short for me. The gunshot in the shop was quite quiet compared to the rest of the maze and therefore didn't really jump me. I just walked out confused and scared.
    This maze is a winner from the get go; the storyline is beautifully crafted, the maze is terrifying at places and all the sets ooze quality and authenticity - however the problems are simple. The ending is not very scary and the maze is way too short. If these problems can be fixed, this maze will be fantastic.
    Overall score: 7/10

    Darkest Depths
    This was an impressive new maze with good theming. It seems to have controversy that the age rating is too low (the age rating is 10+) but if I'm honest, i think this rating is just right.
    There was a beautiful mix of sets here - from the tavern, to the ship and the use of screens, sand and water. I was truly shocked to see how much effort had been put into designing and creating each scene in this attraction and each scene had it's own unique feel that contributed highly to the overall experience.
    The acting quality in this maze was good and I really enjoyed their performances throughout the maze. I struggle to find faults in their performance. I especially liked the Captain character in the maze who was really going for his role.
    The only problems in this maze were:
    - Some actors seemed restricted with their roles due to conditions in the maze (e.g. there was a mermaid who just sat there staring at me because she couldn't move her lower body)
    - The finale was not that great - it could have been a bit more dramatic
    However, apart from that, this maze is a fantastic experience that I really recommend experiencing twice (and try to walk slowly). My personal favourite scene was the long corridor with strobes, a cannon and the kraken breaking in (and I wish the intensity in this scene was present in the finale) however all the scenes were fantastic, truly. I really love how Alton Towers are exploring new themes for their Scarefest attractions and really put effort into every new attraction they produce.
    Overall score: 9/10

    The Attic: Terror of the Towers
    This was the final maze I experienced and it felt right to be the 'separately charged' attraction. It was theatrical and beautifully themed from the start to end, and even though it wasn't very scary it was a lot of fun.
    I feel that this maze was an interesting experience. First the range of effects used in the preshow (e.g. the fireplace, wind in the window, sudden darkness then the actor appearing in front of you, bookcase opening by itself etc.) to the long climb up the stairs, to the intense maze itself. I especially loved how the actors seemed to appear from every direction and really tried hard to jump you. It seemed there was actors everywhere and the maze flowed like a beautifully designed show. There was jumpy actors, funny actors, creepy actors (one who I thought was a mannequin and was in fact a real person) and so many more. The scenes were so well designed, from the librarian's preshow to the detailed attic itself - it was all so theatrical and yet a perfectly designed maze at the same time. To end in a warm fire place with strange-looking creatures chasing you was absolutely terrifying and a perfect end to such a fun maze. Genuinely loved it and had such a blast. I really compliment the Creative and Entertainments Team for this attraction.
    Of course this wouldn't be a review without negatives. I don't have many for this attraction, however I do have to admit it was a short attraction. Not as madly short as AMT, but I did think it was over a bit too quickly.
    Overall, this maze was great and such fun. It was a bit too short and I was dissapointed when it ended, but I loved what I got with this and I hope it returns extended and mainting the impressive theatricality it beheld when I experienced it recently. Congratulations to the Alton Towers team for creating an incredible experience that is terrifyingly beautiful.
    Overall score: 9/10

    I really loved my overall Scarefest experience and am already excited for next year. The mazes they produce are just SO good and have such unique themes that they are just irresistible. I found the mazes this year to be especially scary and very fun.

    When people say that they are dissapointed with the halloween atmosphere in the park, I have a few things to mention -
    1) Yes, they need a scare zone.
    2) It is more difficult than you think to set up halloween theming around the whole park - it is a very big park (however a few pumpkins etc. are always nice)
    3) I don't really think lighting is a problem this year. Yes, the generators are noisy and the Wicker Man queue lights are unnecessarily bright - but come on, it's an effort and the whole park is lit up.
    I sometimes feel for the team at Alton because it's difficult for them to do so much in a short amount of time. I know the lighting is not always ideal and the Halloween atmosphere is not always great, but there is so much to set up during Scarefest that isn't always obvious - it's difficult to theme the whole park etc. in such a short time (they can't start setting up Scarefest around the park too early). Please enjoy the positives of Scarefest rather than always picking on the negatives - there is so much in store to enjoy! :)

    I feel the only main problems with this year's event is the lack of scare zones. They are good fun and allow all the family to enter without having an intense fright or having to put yourself under uncomfortable conditions. Alton having just one scare zone would revitalise the park Halloween atmosphere and would be a good step in the right direction for the park. I am thinking of this in a temporary perspective of course as Scarefest is only a temporary event that takes a lot of time and effort to plan.

    This years Scarefest is certainly one of the best however and I highly recommend anyone to go and experience what they have in offer. Even the rides in the dark are good fun and something unique that you don't experience very often. :)

    Overall score for the whole Scarefest event: 6/10
     
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  2. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Good review and I agree with your points. It is a big place and trying to get an immersive Halloween atmosphere in all of the park would be impossible. I was thinking about this while there this weekend and trying to figure out why previous years did feel more Halloween'y.

    I think it is down to the scarezones.... In the past you had the scarezones to walk through and the actors roaming the park which gave a bit more atmosphere. Yes you also had those awesome lights and writing on the walls around hex which also helped.

    Also, the fountains on her ladyship's garden and by woodcutters were flowing with red water. Our maybe lit up red.

    However, there has been a lot more lighting added this year and it's really been noticed. I loved the ghosts by mutant bay as well, they were great. I wondered if they could do a slightly bigger set on the grass Infront of the towers perhaps.

    There was also more smoke in the park this year which really added to the atmosphere. However I would love to see it again at the end of the Rita launch as it was in the past.

    I was also thinking about project 42. They could improve this of they included a bit of the sanctuary to the maze. Having a 'live operation' on a person laid on the operating theatre.... Being ushered in to the room by a nurse, shuffling around the room with heart monitor... Beep beep beep, quiet please, them a scream from the person on the bed, lights go out, then back on and the person is off the table covered in blood and chasing you out of the maze...... I think that would work well!
     
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  3. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I do think roaming actors around the park would be better. We had a few last year but they were few and far between. I never once saw Galactica airways despite visiting loads.c saw the ghost pirates once and the clowns a couple of times.

    It seems they year they just shove the Alton Ancestors all over the park. However if you’ve seen then once you aren’t going to be bothered to see them again.

    I would love to just see a big team of roaming actors out and about. Even if they are all themed to clowns, pirates, etc. Have two guys wondering around like last year didn’t work, you need a big group to add impact.

    That’s a much easier and cheaper option than scare zones if they don’t want them back.
     
  4. evilcod

    evilcod TowersStreet Member

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    I disagree, stick 12 roaming actors around the park and you could easily miss them all day, they would be lost in the crowds. Best impact for your money would be 2 scarezones with 6 actors in each with theming, audio and smoke machines and you get 2 "free" attractions to advertise on the map.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Boozacoaster

    Boozacoaster TowersStreet Member

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    I agree. Scarezones need to come back. I mean, only one at least! They are not that expensive, old props can be used and they always deliver an atmosphere in one way or another.

    I did really like that writing in the lights near Hex too. No idea why they removed it.

    I agree with your ideas on Project 42 GaryH. Not much is required, just add some elements that were from the sanctuary or other older scare mazes for more drama and intensity, make the sets more realistic and it should be much better. The maze has loads of potential and people need to realise it.

    Really sad to be back :( I enjoyed Scarefest so much this year! :)
     
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  6. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    Last year the scenery was a lot better presented and less random. You felt like you were walking into different spaces that were all different to each other, not just a long corridor with everything thrown together. But it was scarier this year having more places for actors to hide by having the junk everywhere, so it's good and bad the changes.
     
  7. Boozacoaster

    Boozacoaster TowersStreet Member

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    I did not actually go on Project 42 last year so thanks for letting me know. :) I agree however, as I said, it is quite a scary experience this year.
     
  8. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    Looking at the size and amount of the images of David Walliams they have placed there, that's a Scarezone already isnt it?
     
  9. Andrew

    Andrew TS Contributor

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    Quick Review of yesterday (20th)
    Spoilers (obviously)

    Was expecting it to be very busy for a Sunday but no trouble and relatively bearable ride waits if you went in the right order. Got on everything aside from The Smiler (which we could’ve done but weren’t fussed) and had a couple of rerides (Nemesis and Galactica 0 minute waits at the end of the night).

    Park atmosphere was okay, shame about the LEDs everywhere but I understand they’re for health and safety. Wickerman looked great as did the paths through Mutiny Bay to Forbidden Valley.

    Mazes:

    Project 42 was first. We had a brilliant run through here with loads of scores. Big surprise as I’d heard bad things. Claustrophobic and chaotic, really good but a bit short.

    Mine Tours was a let down, as it was 2 years ago when I last did it. The theming is great and the character interaction was good. There just wasn’t enough scares and we caught up to the group in front of us really quickly for some reason which meant we kept missing out.

    Sub Species was insane. Hella good fun. Split up, shoved about, sent the wrong way so many times. One highlight included crawling through a tunnel and constantly getting dragged back to the start for about 5 minutes. Props to the actress for that as it constantly had me in stitches.

    The Attic was brilliant. Loved the pre show. The theming was excellent and the scares were a good change, bordering on creepy rather than just jump scares. The finale of going through the fire was great with the temperature change and the creatures at the end were fantastic.

    Might do a longer review later but for now that’s it. Shame there were no scare zones but a great day otherwise. Happy that I got to visit.
     
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  10. AGL

    AGL TowersStreet Member

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    Went again on Saturday and had a good time.

    The whole square area near Hex is a missed opportunity. As it is all year. Should be so much better.

    The general levels of lighting are still poor. Though more external f&b providers have turned up in the fortnight since we were last there.

    Didn’t do any mazes, as the kids are too young, which means the extent of Halloween for them is Towers st and the ghosts at the Mutiny Bay entrance. There really should be some theming in CBeebies.

    The show on the stage - I’ve seen better primary school productions.

    Dungeons was as busy as I’ve seen it all year. I’m still refusing to go in there until I can for nothing with my PMAP.
     
  11. Piggysquared

    Piggysquared TowersStreet Member

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    Went yesterday for a full visit after a short day on the 6th.

    Lighting was definitely improved from then, but as mentioned above, the lighting packs could be so much better (text projected on the walls in that walkway again please).

    Atmosphere on Towers Street was fantastic. I understand the park is big but some pockets of that atmosphere elsewhere really would make a difference.

    On to the mazes:

    Project 42. I had a better run in this than I did last year, but it really does *feel* like a temporary attraction in there, like a space filler almost.

    Sub Species. Probably my worst run I've had on this (I know this maze is entirely dependent on that). I'm going to try it again on my visit on the 31st, but I really didn't get the intense experience I expect from it this time. No pushing around, just gentle guiding almost.

    Mine Tours. I don't know what happened, but WOW we had an intense run on this. By far a stand out of the day for me. Constant scares, touching, full of actors, and so much darker in there than I remember it. Fantastic maze!

    The Attic. Incredible. Beautiful set pieces, great story, creepy as hell and a fantastic finale that nearly had us falling over. More of this please Alton.

    Darkest Depths. I went on this on the 6th and loved it, and then had an even better run yesterday. I probably got more scares on this than I did most of the mazes. Again, more of this quality please Alton!

    Had a brilliant day overall - and improvement on last years Scarefest and looking forward to going back on the 31st!

    Sent from my SM-N976B using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Steve74

    Steve74 TowersStreet Member

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    After my run through of The Attic and Darkest depths I can only echo what everyone has said already about the quality of them. But one thing I have been thinking about...do you think the Dungeon and the theatrical nature of it has had an influence on them? Both mazes have "live action" preshows with similar technology and techniques as used in various scenes in the Dungeon. Do we know if the team(s) behind the two mazes are the teams that help develop the Dungeon?

    Many people think the Dungeons wasn't a good move for Towers (I disagree) but if it being there has influenced the new mazes and have raised the bar for quality of the mazes going forward, that can only be a good thing?
     
  13. Tommy85

    Tommy85 TowersStreet Member

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    How come it’s dead today? Most rides r walk on by the look of it! R the kids not off school until next week?
     
  14. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    Looks like some schools break up this Thursday and most next week. I've certainly booked the wrong week for going :mad:

    Look like next year I will have to check all the counties (not just my local counties and London) for when the kids break up for half term before I book accommodation
     
  15. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Large parts of Lancashire are off this week, but the tykes are a week behind.
     
  16. TakeYourMedicine

    TakeYourMedicine TowersStreet Member

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    Well theyre the same Entertainments team who operate the Dungeons (although The Dungeons was a sort of collab between Merlin's usual Dungeon designers and Entertainments I think), it's nothing completely new what theyre doing in the new mazes (or what the Dungeon does) so I think it's a stretch to just credit the Dungeon.

    It's more like theyve just been given more money to create great things this year, instead of limited to a few odds and ends like P42. I think the difference really shows and it's great.

    Also some mazes lend themselves less to an elaborate style like that, sometimes you just want to get down and dirty like Sub Species, other times you want it really brilliant and theatrical.

    The quality/inventiveness of the Attic & Darkest Depths including the sets and performers was a real high point I think. Better than a lot of permanent stuff that MMM have done for massively bigger budgets like Room on the Broom for example!
     
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  17. Tommy85

    Tommy85 TowersStreet Member

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    I’ll be sharing your pain then as I booked next week too thinking this week will be the rammed one
     
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  18. grrrr

    grrrr TowersStreet Member

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    I did the same thing too. But, to be fair, I wanted to be there on actual Halloween so I probably would have gone next week either way.
     
  19. Lneeno

    Lneeno TowersStreet Member

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    So did my first ever scarefest yesterday, and it was a lot of fun mostly. I agree there needs to be scare zones as it doesn’t really feel Halloweeny outside of towers street and the mazes.

    We did all the mazes except the attic, the reason for this is it’s just a bit expensive to do them all especially for my friends who do not have passes. think it’s around £66 including their tickets. Just a little too much for them.

    I won’t review them all individually but they were a lot of fun and had good runs through them all! I’d say I got the most jump scares In project 42 even though I was alone throughout Sub species. Anyone who is nervous about doing them, they are definitely not too scary and you should by fine mostly (unless you really hate horror.) Darkest depths theming was great! It smelt rotten though.

    Got on plenty of rides even though it was pretty busy and queues moved quite well (way too much fastrack on smiler though ) so I’ll deffo go again next year, probably on the opening weekend.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. VerticalLoop123

    VerticalLoop123 TowersStreet Member

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    Like a few of you on here I was also at scarefest yesterday!

    The ancestors really pulled out the stops this year! I thought the routine was much more technically developed than previous years and the characterisation was spot on. Loved the little nod to the first year of the ancestors with the inclusion of the Glee Thriller remix (Don't know if that was intentional or not!)

    Darkest Depths was a real stand out for me. Loved the focus on storytelling and the theming. The song they created for inside the maze was also really good! Don't know if they have been doing this on everyday of scarefest, but instead of batching groups together, they just let us go in with 3 of us. This did mean we could have some good ramped up scares, but also as someone who acts I thought this maybe more tiring for the actors as they would have give good performances consistenly for smaller groups, instead of giving all the energy to a larger group.

    Personally didn't have the best run through of Sub Species, last year was so intense for me with grabbing a pulling. I also felt like there were less actors on my run. Correct me if I'm wrong but the whole layout seemed unchanged as well.

    Altonville mine tours was good, for me this and sub species are starting to feel a bit stale now with no proper changes in them.

    Project 42 was a bit lost on me. The video at the start is good as it sets you up with a storyline, but then I felt as though you never really got to find the person. There were also little actors in this in my run so alot of the time i was just walking through sets. I do think they need to either scrap this on for next year or do some major alterations.

    The Attic was a really amazing, one of my favourites from the whole event! The way they set the scene with the actor in the first room telling the story was brillant. Sets packed full to the brimming with loads of brillant theming and I felt as though there were many actors in the maze. It was also really nice for them to utilise a different area of the towers, especially for the queueline.

    Like many have said on here really missed the scare zones this year! We were reminiscing about 2015 with Nox infernus and Dark Apocalypse. These were too brillant free attractions and really created a spooky atmosphere in two areas of the park which were away from the main scarefest festivities.
     
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