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Fright Nights

Fright Nights 2004

Here's our review and photos of Thorpe's 2004 Fright Fest:

TTP Review:

"It's no secret that Fright Nights are one of the best times of the year for Thorpe Park - the large number of visitors that flock to the Park give it a really electric atmosphere, especially at night. This year was my first Fright Nights, and saw the return of The Freezer and 3D Freakshow mazes. Also, brand new for this year was the Carnival of the Bizarre, from the world renowned Circus of Horrors.

The Park opened from 10am 'till 10pm, giving everyone more than enough time to fit everything in. This time was needed, however, as queues for the mazes reached over 2 hours! The fact that the Park was open so late also meant that guests could ride Thorpe's great collection of rides in the dark. Night riding on Colossus and Inferno was simply magic. Nearly all the rides were kept open during the night, and as you can see from the photos below, the Park was really lit up well. Being able to ride the rides in the dark was a reason to go to Fright Nights in itself!

But you already know about Thorpe's ride collection - so here's my thoughts on the 2004 live horror attractions:

The Freezer
(Located in the building next to Nemesis Inferno)

This was a walkthrough maze attraction. The Freezer was unquestionably the thing to do when you came to Thorpe Park's Fright Nights this year, being Thorpe's flagship attraction. It was located next to Nemesis Inferno, on the other side of Miss Hippo's Fungle Safari (the attraction actually uses some of the Miss Hippo queueline). When you got to the entrance, you were greeted with a large door that made a hissing gas sound when opened. Green lighting and lots of smoke also surrounded the building. You were grouped in conga lines of about 7 or 8, with groups being let in to the attraction every so often.

I found The Freezer to be both intense and uncomfortable! It was pitch black inside, smelly, with smoke engulfing everything. Harsh strobe lighting flashed constantly, making everything look like it was going very slowly. Guests walked through claustrophobic corridors (blood on the walls, of course), and caged areas. However, the really frightening part was where the numerous dead freaks in the attraction come to "greet" you. They popped out from everywhere, and really made you jump. Of course, the actors looked horrific - all in white, with blood everywhere. I had one freak show me her baby, and then proceed to smash its head against a wall. The freak at the end weilding a chainsaw was also petrifying, as well as being a great finale. The Freezer absolutely deserves its place as the headliner of Thorpe's event - impressively unnerving!

3D Freakshow
(Located at the back of the X:\ No Way Out building
)

The 3D Freakshow was the poorer relation to The Freezer - it was another maze, located behind X:\ No Way Out. The attraction used the path at the end of No Way Out for the queueline and the walkthrough is actually inside the No Way Out pyramid. The 3D Freakshow was generally organized in the same way as the Freezer, but once inside, it was a very different experience.

Guests were wearing 3D glasses (like the ones used for Pirates 4D) - so everything looked weird. Whilst the Freezer looked very real, 3D Freakshow was almost a fantasy world. For instance, whilst walking through a rotating tunnel (which used to be a part of X's original queueline), I got disorientated by it's many vibrant flashing colours, and didn't notice the actor ready to jump out at the end to scare everyone! The actors inside the Freakshow were dressed up as clowns, and beacuse of the disorientating 3D effect, they had an even easier job of concealing themselves, ready to jump out and scare. I felt 3D Freakshow was another good Fright Night attraction - but was not as intense or genuinely scary as The Freezer.

Carnival of the Bizarre
(Located in the Pirates 4D Theatre
)

New for the 2004 Fright Nights were 15 minute shows in the Pirates 4D theatre, from the acclaimed Circus of Horrors. Dr. Haze led his cast of amazingly entertaining circus acts in 8 shows a day over the Fright Nite period. The show contained acts such as Bendy Wendy (no bones), Gary Stretch (stretchy skin), the Mongolian Laughing Boy (felt no pain) and Satanica (with deadly animals). The audience was also involved in the fun, as were tarantulas and scorpions! There were a variety of shows to watch, too - it wasn't always the same performance.

The Carnival of the Bizarre was 15 minutes of fantastically high energy performance. Pyrotechnics, the Pirates 4D Theatre effects and pumping music all created a brilliant experience. I really hope that the Carnival of the Bizarre will be back for Fright Nights 2005!

The Bottom Line

In essence, as a first-timer to the fun, I thought that Fright Nights was a really worthwhile event. Thorpe Park put a lot of effort in; there was little trouble due to the high prescence of security, and the attractions were all worth their salt; The Freezer in particular. It was a spectacular end to the 2004 Season - and I'll be back again next year for more frighteningly good fun."

Ben Case

Photos:

3D Freakshow
The Freezer
Carnival of the Bizarre
Colossus beautifully lit up at night
Colossus' Waterfall
Detonator
The Freezer
Nemesis Inferno at dusk
View from Inferno Volcano
Samurai from Colossus
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