I went to fright nights last Sunday, it was a rainy day (it was better than forecast, but occasional showers did seem to impact the less prepared) and so queues were nice and short. Coasters occasionally got short queues but for the most part were 5 minutes. Will talk though the mazes I did so far, so stop reading now if you are spoiler averse.
The mazes on the other hand had relatively long queues.
I did platform 15 in the daylight, as it was a 5 minute queue. The initial backwards walking monologue was inaudible, especially when walking past the speakers dotted along the fence. Could maybe do with one of those walking tour microphone speaker boxes. Would be reasonably on theme.
The dark tunnel was somewhat dark, though plenty of gaps to see clearly the shoe laces. Our groups got too close so the finale was somewhat ruined. I got no scares at all on this one, and think it should open at dusk like Blair witch.
After a couple more walk on coasters we decided to do creek massacre. An interesting blend of sub-speices group splitting maze elements and skin snatches American accents and wet leather. Got a couple of scares in this one, with actors popping out from well hidden doors. Though the group did get stopped in one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen, an actor and guest went nose to nose (literally touching) and staring into each others eyes most romantically. It took a good few minutes to resolve and move on, which lead to the group behind singing why are we waiting. Could have been handled better by the actor I think. Overall quite good, and I really liked the sign, though the sign could've been painted black on the back, as in all white it stood out a lot from the queue, small detail.
The final maze I did was Walking Dead do or die. It was pitch black by this point, and I didn't get to do this maze last year. It was supposed to be a 20 minute wait, but it was delayed. A few security came over and seemed to sort it out. The 3 full groups of Thorpe park staff with clipboards went through, if they want the full experience they should bloody queue, not leave guests waiting. The maze was good, a strange mix of good themeing and herris fence. The outdoor space felt a bit too wide and open, even in the dark. It also seemed a bit quiet. I enjoyed it, got 2 scares.
The scarefest soundtrack across the park was far improved from last year, with each area retaining its identity more. I quite enjoyed the audio, though last year the subwoofer under stealth could be heard across the park, they didn't do that this year.
I must mention Colossus, what was going on? Fake Russian announcements? Plastic party skulls zip tied to the rafters, cobweb on the speaker looked so obviously like cotton wool (in contrast to the real spider webs in the light shades which looked pretty good), the single piece of 'creepy cloth' draped up, found for £1 on Amazon. It look like the Halloween party store had spewed up in the station. On the up side the lighting was pretty good.
Effects wise there was an uptick of things turned on, though still several noticeable absences (the body of saw didn't spurt water, and none of swarms screens were on). It was the first time I've seen the mist on inferno lit up, it looked good!
The dome was a bit bizzare, red pulsing lights, fog and a single moving head white spot. Not really clear what they were going for. The video on the screen above the map was good, showed off fright nights well.
Finally roaming actors, didn't see this year. Last year the clowns were really great, and scaring quite a lot of people. The highschoolers were present at stealth plaza, people seemed very scared of them, but they aren't exactly scary characters? Maybe they were scared by the invasion of American culture. First prom now homecoming, ahhhhh! Too scary!