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Scarefest 2019

These kind of surveys are more about justifying the cost of Scarefest to management and bean counters to show them it’s worth spending on certain aspects.

The data is also useful for pushing back on any attempt at reducing the budget. ‘Look Mr Boring accountant who has never stepped foot in a theme park - the reason we generate all this income during Scarefest is because we spend the money on xyz - here is the evidence from our customers that supports what I am saying’.

If cuts have to be made, it also helps them decide where to swing the axe (on the elements that get the lowest scores on the survey), I suspect this is what happened when the Scarezones went.

So it’s more about the park trying to stop things getting worse, as opposed to a genuine attempt to improve.
Scarefest has ended and it has been one of the best events yet for Alton Towers.
Based on experiences this year, what mazes would everyone like to return next year?
If I'm honest, I loved the line-up this year and would not want it to be changed; just improvements to the current mazes.

The Attic: Terror of the Towers
- Incredible theming
- Good storyline
- Clever theatrical effects
Cons (to be improved):
- Too short
- Storyline was quite difficult to follow
- Second half lacked actors
- Ending fell a little flat
I know there are more cons here but the pros definitely outweight the cons. This is a fantastic maze which felt like what Alton needed; a show-like experience with theatrical moments. If it is improved next year, it will be fantastic. Definitely hope this returns with the improvements above (but I do understand it will be difficult to make longer with the setting it is in and the format of the maze).

Sub Species: The End Games
- High level of intensity
- Maintains suspense throughout the maze
- Unique moments
- Splitting up
- The quality of the experience varies in different run-throughs a lot, sometimes it is great, sometimes it is terrible.
- Second-half is a little quiet with actors
I understand why everyone thinks this is old, but it is a popular staple at the park now. Non-park enthusiasts love this maze and it is very popular for the general public, the amount of times I heard random people complimenting Sub-Species was insane, and I personally still enjoy the experience too as an enthusiast. It is very difficult to please enthusiasts and the general public both at the same time, remember this. I hope this returns as it is still very unique in the scare maze world, it displays what Alton can do with their scare mazes and (quite selfishly) I hope it returns because my sister loved it this year and really wants to do it next year. I just hope it becomes more reliable with the experience but that definitely relies on walking pace, time of day etc. Definitely a controversial subject, but I personally really enjoy this maze.

Altonville Mine Tours: Legend of the Skinsnatchers
- Detailed theming
- Atmospheric
- Lively and intense experience
- Very short
I love love love the theme of this maze. From when you enter the queue to when you exit the maze, you are really immersed in the mine/hillbilly atmosphere and I love it. I may be biased because I absolutely love the mine theme but I still feel it is pulled off so well. The theming here is also fantastic, however it is quite hidden because this year I noticed the lighting was a lot dimmer than previous years. Even so, the theming, atmosphere, sounds, music and intensity combine to make an incredible experience. The only problem with this maze is the length, which I find to be way too short. I really get into the maze and then it's over suddenly - it just leaves me slightly dissapointed; however I understand it is difficult to extend due to the location it is in. I really hope this returns next year as it is a phenomenal maze with a great storyline, and seems to run well every year consecutively.

Project 42
- Sometimes intense
- Detailed theming
- Claustrophobia
- Often falls flat
- Seems to be lacking actors
When I wrote my maze review a while back I really praised this one as I had a great run through. However unfortunately, every other run through I have had of this maze has felt drab. It seems to lack actors, and often feels like you are walking through a testing facility where mutant zombies broke out, threw everything randomly on the floor and then walked out. It really disappoints me because I have seen how good this maze can be, but it just does not seem to have a good reliability with the intensity, unlike The Altonville Mine Tours etc. I hope this returns but is more reliable, so I can walk into this maze knowing that I am going to have a scary time, after all, it's called a 'scare' maze for a reason. It has amazing potential, and I hope it meets it.

Darkest Depths
- Incredible theming
- Fantastic ideas with the scenes
- Flowing story
- Great actors
- Ending fell a little flat
This maze is incredible in so many ways. From the tavern, to the smugglers passage, to the ship theming, to the kraken attack, to the underwater parts; it is all so well put together. The use of water effects and sand really enhance the experience, as well as over 10 soundtracks being included. I cannot express how impressed I was with this maze; this and the Attic were beautifully crafted with flowing storylines and imaginative sets. Alton have took the normal walk through maze idea and enhanced with clever, creative ideas. The only problem with this maze was the ending, it wasn't that great. I get what they were going for, but I just don't think it formed into something very scary or intense. The part in the middle where the kraken attacks, water sprays and the ship sinks was great; it would be good to see something with that level of intensity at the end of the attraction. However this is an example of me being very picky.

Some points I made here may sound negative, but I was being very picky here to try and suggest as many improvements for the mazes. The mazes this year are incredible; not one has let me down and I genuinely loved my visit to Scarefest this year. If one maze has to go, I would say it should be Project 42; but ideally, I would love Scarefest next year to have the same mazes with tweaks and improvements (and small new surprises) to keep them fresh, with a Scare Zone or more bits of Halloween theming around the park as a cherry on the top of the cake. If that happened, I think Alton would be onto a world-class Halloween event.

Loved Scarefest this year, can't wait for next years event. Congratulations to the Creative and Entertainments team for pulling it off so well. I am very sad it is the end of the season but it has ended incredibly. Well done.
What happened in the Boiler House back in the early days of Scarefest?
I've heard it was really intense, but I have no idea what happened and what scenes there were. If anyone could let me know I would largely appreciate it.
What happened in the Boiler House back in the early days of Scarefest?
I've heard it was really intense, but I have no idea what happened and what scenes there were. If anyone could let me know I would largely appreciate it.
Mostly just a very industrial setting with lots of pipes, lights and loud noises. It was very cramped with lots of crawl spaces. In its 2nd season they added 2 serial killers to the mix:

Who would pop up and murder any friendlies you came across in the maze (usually ending with them shouting "leave, go, save yourselves") before turning on your group.
Those masks are still some of the best I have come across in any scare maze!
Boiler house was excellent. Wasn't the largest of mazes but was very cramped, very claustrophobic in places and with weird lighting and bits hanging down from the ceiling. The actors did amazingly well in the space they had and there were some genuine scares and jumps. I think it was the first maze to feature the "inflatable corridor" you have to walk through which was in Project 42 this year.

Would be pretty awesome actually if they merged the Boiler House with Sub Species - where you go through pipes (i.e. Sub Species) and end up in the Boiler House with the twins.
Wow, thanks everyone for the replies!

I do wish the old Scarefest mazes would come back, I have good memories of them all.

If there was one Scarefest maze that you would bring back to experience now, what would it be and why?
Boiler House was great, I really enjoyed it. No doubt if BH, Carnival or Sanctuary were made today they would be heavily criticised online anyway.

I dont remember them being any better than the current lineup. Boiler House was like a longer version of P42 in a marquee, similar theme and scares, but more smells and the twins gave a better thread running through it.

At the time people said Field of 1000 Screams was at its worst when it had the bus ending (though the bus was a good ending), but 10 years later is often spoken about like a classic.

Carnival, Sanctuary and BH’s early years were all great, but the mazes now are some of the best the park have ever done (minus P42, which is too short).

Im often disappointed by Merlin parks today but I think fans dont recognise how good we’re getting scare mazes at AT right now. Less park wide decoration then too which is another frequent complaint today.
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I do think mazes like Sanctuary, Field, What Lies Within and Boiler House were stronger in terms of design than most of the mazes this year.

But once you've experienced a free flow attravtion going back to the excruciating hands-on-shoulders way of progressing through a maze would not be ideal at all. That makes a big difference.