Scarefest 2020

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skyscraper, 10th Nov 2019.

  1. Barnaby Simpson

    Barnaby Simpson TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    26
    Reviews on the four Mazes Ahead NO SPOILERS :):

    Darkest Depths
    In a new location this year, this maze proved to be very different in terms of layout, yet keeping practically the same scenes throughout with a few changes. The most notable change was the finale, which visually was more impressive but in terms of scares yet did not feel very climatic, leading to us being surprised it was the ending. Also, this year it feels much shorter than last year and generally feels empty of actors; there were only about 10 actors throughout the whole maze in our run through. However, the sets remained very detailed (apart from the occasional black plywood wall) and there were some really impressive large scenes throughout which had you looking in all directions. There was a definite increase in size of sets than last year, meaning this maze is visually even better looking than last year. However, it is not very scary at all. Overall score: 5/10

    Altonville Mine Tours: Legend of the Skinsnatchers
    This maze remained virtually the same in terms of layout this year, however in my opinion it really suffered from the fact that the actors could not touch you. The actors visibly were trying to keep a distance and therefore the maze was nowhere near as intense as previous years, as they kind of just watched you walk through each scene and occasionally shout at you. Hopefully they keep this maze until the pandemic is over and they can touch you again, as it really is a great maze. Also, hardly any of the actors were actually wearing the stitched-skin masks; on both my run-throughs only one actor in the same scene actually had this mask on, which is a shame because those masks are really creepy and would be effective in the current pandemic. Overall score: 5/10

    The Attic: Terror of the Towers
    My run-through was the last of the night in this, so it may be different to other people's reviews. As there was no one else in the queue (we arrived at 9:00p.m. as the last maze; I think they were shutting but let us in anyway) each scene was paced at just the right speed for us. The pre-show remains an impressive display of visual effects and storytelling, and once you are in The Attic itself the actors are some of the liveliest of them all this year, with many sudden jump-scares and terrifying scenes. We counted about 17 actors throughout just the attic part itself, and by the penultimate scene there were 4 actors all in one room (including one who jumped me so much that I fell to the floor) which really contributed to the build up to the terrifying encounter at the finale, which offered a great ending to an overall great maze. Although there were some areas of slightly sparse theming, this maze was overall very impressive and once again showed how great story-based mazes can be. Overall Score: 8/10

    Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard
    Possibly the exact opposite to every attribute of The Attic; this maze proved to be the best of the night. Although it follows no specific story, it launches you into a chaotic party of weapon-wielding freaks who have the energy to chase you through every scene. This maze is probably the longest out of them all, and is absolutely packed with actors who are full of energy and pop out of nowhere. Furthermore, the theming of this maze is actually really good, including stages, bright-coloured props and a load of other props which add to the feel of a 'junkyard'. The finale of this maze is so fun; including the music, actors, (scary) props and chaotic lighting, it will leave you running out of the end in fear and excitement. Overall Score: 9/10
     
    Nerdsticks, OilyWater, Matt N and 2 others like this.
  2. Weby

    Weby TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    15
    Visited yesterday, and I have to say that, especially given the circumstances, AT have done an amazing job this Scarefest.

    The functioning of the park ran smoothly and there was a definite commitment to social distancing and mask-wearing (even if an annoyingly high number of guests thought themselves too important to observe the distancing). The atmosphere was decent enough in the day, but was very good once it was dark. The lighting much better and atmospheric. Even though we didn't venture into the gardens, we walked past twice and they looked spectacular, whilst the view over the lake towards Towers Street, with the lights reflected on the water, was beautiful.

    We only did the Toxic Junkyard maze, which I actually wasn't that impressed with. The missus thought it good, though, and the girls loved it, getting some real scares (they were in front of us). I think I've got a bit used to these mazes now, but I thought the maze lacked an element of claustrophobic fear and nothing gave you that sense of disorientation. FWIW, my best experience was my first time in the Terror of the Towers. I found myself at the front of the pack of people, not knowing what to expect, and at one point, half-blinded by strobe lighting and mist/dust, I was totally disorientated and was trying to go down the wrong route (one of the actors had to physically grab my shoulders and turn me around to the right direction :oops:).

    Was surprised by the crowds in the park, though. We've normally been to Scarefest at weekends, and it's been a very mixed bag in terms of numbers and accompanying ride queues. One year (2018) was horrendous, absolutely packed, and we got on just 5 rides (including a 2 and half hour wait for Wicker at the end of the night, it was literally freezing, too - we had to queue on the road in the car just to get through the entrance, and light snow was falling). We've twice picked the wrong day due to the invasion of 'that certain anti-social group'. But we've also had a couple where queues were pretty low, including one year we breezed on most rides (I think we did 21 major rides that day, including walking on Rita and 13 twice each right at the end of the day). So I thought a Monday would be a quiet day. Wrong. It wasn't super-packed, but was busy enough, right to the end. To start, there was a huge snaking queue (at least 200m) before we even got to the main park entrance - stretching back almost to the end of the coach park. It moved quickly, though, and we reached the front in about 15 mins. The queues on every ride were deceptive; they looked longer due to the social distancing. The times on the App generally overcooked them from a couple of minutes to 5 mins or more. We also got lucky with some timings, heading to a section and queue times dropping just as we got there. WM and 13 queue times remained stubbornly high, though - didn't notice either below 60 mins until the last hour when WM was at 50 and 13 was at 45/40.

    We left 13 till late, arriving at the queue at 20.05 (after queuing 70 mins for WM) and hoping to get through within half an hour to leave us time to scurry over to finish off on the empty Nemesis and Galactica then exit through the gate next to the car park. Unfortunately, the 40 mins showing as the queue for 13 turned out to be 50 mins, not the 30 we needed so our timing was poor; we still exited via the Forbidden Valley gate, but arrived there at 9.15. Frustrating.

    Still, we got 12 major rides in (at least one rise on each). The atmosphere was great, we managed to dodge the few showers that hit (heaviest ones came when we were in the Woodcutter). Park staff were universally superb.

    Given I had doubts we'd even be able to make it to Scarefest this year, a great day out.
     
    pluk, Steve74, AT86 and 3 others like this.
  3. yoursilentface

    yoursilentface TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    385
    Is the 15 age rating on the mazes enforced or is it a guidline?

    We're going on sunday and my daughter wants to do the mazes with me but is only 14...a very tall 14 though so i'm thinking she may pass as 15 while wearing a face mask!
     
  4. Rosie

    Rosie TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    131
    Location:
    Lancashire
    My 14 year old brother did the mazes with us this year and no one questioned him so i'd say just go for it! As long as she is comfortable with them.
     
    yoursilentface likes this.
  5. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    Scotland
    Toxic Junkyard, I really enjoyed it, I really like how they managed to re-purpose old theming on a budget and make it work so well. Both runs we had over the weekend were filled with actors, interestingly enough they managed to split our group up before the finale, but I'm not sure if that's because they thought we were different households, but it did make the finale even more fun. The experience I had during the finale, you would have thought it was one of those media night walkthroughs where they get much more attention and actors sent their way. I think we had around 6-7 actors interacting with us in that final area, this was on a very busy night too! I would love for this maze to come back in future years.

    Wanted to point something out that was discussed earlier in this thread:
    Was happy to see that this exactly happened, I didn't actually notice the billboard until it came falling down on us, but I'm honestly surprised to see it being used with it's original intent, I wasn't able to catch if it was re-branded at all but I honestly doubt it. Makes you wonder if they have any other silly scare maze effects laying around in their stores (Kumba the Killer Gorilla for example)
     
    Rosie and Matt N like this.
  6. Weby

    Weby TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    15

    My youngest is 12 and nothing was said. The family behind us had 2 lads who were about 10; they got in.
     
    yoursilentface likes this.
  7. Weby

    Weby TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    15
    I don't recall any billboard 'falling' on us. This was on Monday evening, 6'ish. In fact, I didn't see a billboard at all. Whereabouts was it?
     
    Nerdsticks likes this.
  8. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    Scotland
    Our run-through was on the 24th and 25th, both at around 20:00.

    After the first few bends of the maze, there's a straight section with the old CoS clown face on the left, where behind some metal fencing the poster lies on the right side, when walking past it it will activate (if that's remotely or through a sensor I'm unsure) and it will push forward and fall onto the metal fencing.
     
  9. Bert2theSpark

    Bert2theSpark TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    765
    Likes Received:
    1,272
    Location:
    On Earth
    Favourite Ride:
    Favourite Ride's Gone
    Does Toxic Junkyard have multiple routes in the maze then? I don't recall seeing the CoS entrance or the falling billboard at all but I went through an indoor section of the maze of which I've heard no one else mention yet. At the start of the maze after the turn past the "Caution... F" wrote on The Flume dryer, I was unsure whether to turn left into the indoor section with an actor hidden in the bottom right corner as you walked in and then turn a corner with a smashed up Bearded Lady stand and then walk down a corridor lured by an actor past the Knife Thrower stand with a "gunked" body on it but I think at the start you could also turn right past a scrap piece of metal with a white X marked on it (which looked like it was an actor's runout when I walked through). Also I had a group behind us a we entered but we lost them as soon as we entered and then didn't see them again until the switchback cattle pen by the former Sub Species containers with the blood splattered teddy bears and deck chairs.

    Anyway, I was going to save my Toxic Junkyard review for an end of season review but I'll do a brief one now.

    For my first scare maze, I was unsure what to expect so I walked through in the day but I was at the front of the group which lead to be getting most of the scares, with one actor even ambushing me about four times in a row, I thought the maze was equally hilarious and I screamed more in my one run-through more than I've ever screamed on all the coasters in the park. I loved how well themed all the maze was since it was mostly recycled props from other stuff (mainly Carnival of Screams, The Flume and the original scare zone). The only real "weak" part of the maze was the start as it took about a minute before I I really saw any actors and the first person I saw in the maze was one of the maze attendants, the maze would really benefit from a preshow as the "theme" isn't that clear to guests who didn't know the backstory to the scare zone as well as setting the tone to the maze rather than just being told to read the safety sign before you enter. Overall, for my first scare maze it was amazing and was rather lengthy and took a good 10 minutes to walk through and the creative ways in which actors got weapons right in your face to get around the COVID restrictions whilst still startling guests which left me buzzing walking out of the maze. 9/10

    Darkest Depths was also really scary for what is essentially a family attraction, and whilst the the scares weren't as terrifying or as common as Toxic Junkyard, the set pieces and effects were really creative, the start was effectively something straight out of a Dungeons scene (Like the first half of the Dick Turpin scene) which set the scene perfectly although the actor was a little bit difficult to hear over some of the music and the finale was especially well executed and is probably one of the best set pieces in the whole park, in my opinion. 9/10
     
    Last edited: 28th Oct 2020
    Nerdsticks likes this.
  10. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    Scotland
    That's interesting, I feel that may be the case, as the CoS entrance wasn't subtly hidden or anything, it was out in full display. I led one of the runs and I honestly don't remember seeing any other routes, we went the same way in both runs, the actors could have diverted us without us even realising though, as vision is limited at certain bits. I went and watched the ITV coverage of the maze and you can see footage of that specific area with the billboard and CoS entrance, however the billboard does not seem to fall or at least they cut that part out. However I think that's just cause this segment feels very rehearsed to me. Watch at 3:00.
     
  11. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    3,575
    Location:
    Crawley
    Setting the tone is good, which is probably what the calmer beginning is intended (on a budget). But the maze doesnt have a real backstory, it's just about a crazy junkyard full of mad killer clowns going nuts!

    The original Freak Show had that opening spiel when the actors came out, but Im sure that was just to add some pazazz to the actors arriving getting into place, not really something all guests needed to know for it to be entertaining. One of those big over the top stories the ringmaster tells like in a real freakshow, just a bit of fun!
     
    Nerdsticks likes this.
  12. Barnaby Simpson

    Barnaby Simpson TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    26
    It appears Darkest Depths is closed for the rest of Scarefest... wonder why? o_O:(
     
    Nerdsticks likes this.
  13. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    168
    The billboard is very much there. I spotted it on my run-through it Freak Show, and as Nerdsticks said, it’s next to some of the more well-recognised Carnival props and theming features. It is kind of a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment though. You’ll probably have missed it because it doesn’t make much of a scare impact in the same way it failed to in Carnival 2013; either way it’s a cool ‘Easter egg’.

    Darkest Depths seems to have had a fair chunk of downtime this year. I’m guessing there’s some kind of big issue they’re struggling to get their heads around. It’s definitely been the most unreliable scare attraction this year. The fact tickets are no longer being sold suggests something fairly big/time consuming.
     
    Nerdsticks likes this.
  14. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    Scotland
    2020 Scarefest survey is now open: avius.online/Scarefest-2020

    The survey is a little limiting, as it only lets you pick one out of the options given for some of them where more could apply.
     
    ringo likes this.
  15. tayspru

    tayspru TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    708
    The Mazes this year ... I was whelmed. I visited for Halloween night yesterday, and we did have a great time, but I was left wanting more.

    The scenic design is great - especially in The Attic - and the actors are doing the best job they can . But I didn't get a single scare in any of the three available mazes. I'm easily scared, very jumpy, but something just didn't click with me to really make me feel scared at any point.

    There were plenty of actors in each run through, there were no "dead spots" which I was anticipating giving some reviews. May best guess is that the effects were all just too quiet, there was no sensory overload , and many of the scenes were lit too brightly to let the actors conceal themselves. I thought that going through as a group of 4 would compensate for most of this, but even being a small isolated group didn't help.

    Am I the only one who , while the mazes were beautiful and the acting great, just didn't get any scares? Again I'm very easily scared so was surprised at this...
     
  16. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

    Messages:
    4,331
    Likes Received:
    9,293
    Location:
    Manchester
    Favourite Ride:
    Unknown - Parque dos Elefantes

    The only slight jump moment I had was an actor touching my leg with the chainsaw in Junkyard. Other than that, it was far too difficult with actors not being able to be as erratic and surprising as normal. By no means were they doing a bad job, but the restrictions made it much more an impossible task for them to do.
     
  17. Nerdsticks

    Nerdsticks TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    Scotland
    Were you person #2 or #3 in your group? The runs I did where I was in the middle, I felt myself not getting nearly as many scares. Having said that, the actors still managed to do great things to get jumps out of us in every maze no matter what position we were in (Except The Attic, I've mentioned before that we had really bad batching issues which ruined almost every scare)

    Examples of some good scares (for me) in each maze:

    Walking through a doorway in junkyard, only to find and axe swinging down right in front of my face, it was very fast and sudden, almost brushed against my nose!

    Our second mine tours run was packed with actors, and had the intensity on high, I felt like every scene we couldn't get a break, and even when grandaddy showed up and was giving his usual "come join me in the shower" dialogue, an actor used this moment to run down the approaching hallway towards us, which I found to be a good double scare which built up on the previous intensity.

    Attic like I said, not much to say, but the "Top Hat Man" as we called him was great in the finale scene, same with the Devil guy, they don't seem to have much space to work with or at least it feels that way, yet they still managed to make some of the maze still thrilling with the strobes.

    Darkest depths, best scare I got out of that was a generic ooga booga kind of scare, there wasn't any special techniques used or anything, it was just a dark corridor and seemingly out of nowhere this pirate before the kraken ship attack section appeared from darkness right in my face! Very simple but somehow gave me one of the biggest jumps in the whole event haha.
     
  18. tayspru

    tayspru TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    708
    I did Attic at the front , Mine Tours and Junkyard at the back . We were also the “first” of the batched groups going into for each maze, so I don’t think that was an issue .

    We experienced most of the “scares” you described , in terms of what the actors were doing , but I do think it was still all very quiet. They would benefit from having triggers for audio rather than having the actors talking I think , especially as the masks muffle sound . I was the most scared in the whole event when I was placed at the front of the group for The Attic , but as soon as we got into the first room I just wasn’t actually scared by anything - again I’m usually very easily scared
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
  19. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    3,669
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    One thing that I found odd about FS: TJ was that even though it was quiet when we did it, they scanned our tickets at the queue entrance then got another member of staff to escort us across to the maze entrance (the queue is split by the games booth) Surely on quiet they could scan tickets on the other side? :confused:
     
  20. Boozacoaster

    Boozacoaster TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    29
    This is primarily to always maintain social distancing; changing it back and forth would be disorganised in a pandemic like this.
     
    Skyscraper likes this.

Share This Page