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Photo TR: Alton Towers Scarefest 2012


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It’s getting towards Halloween which means only one thing for the Brit Crew- time to go to Scarefest at Alton Towers! Yet again Alton Towers put on a fun event which can be enjoyed by a range of different demographics.


There were a few changes to the event this year, the Black Hole tent where the mazes were last year is now an actual hole (we’ll be back in 2013 to see what becomes of said hole) and so the upcharge mazes have been moved yet again. Gone this year is the Boiler House, replaced by the SW7 related The Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is situated in the Towers themselves much like Terror of the Towers. I was worried that this new maze might cannibalise the Terror of the Towers but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Terror of the Towers is still terrific and one of my favourite mazes ever.


The Sanctuary felt a little underbaked, with a really good start and a bit of an anti-climatic finish. It’s themed to some kind of mental institution where patients are being made to smile somehow. It will be interesting to see how it links to next year’s new ride.


The other maze is the Carnival of Screams, returning for its third year and this was probably the best incarnation yet. The maze had been moved to the middle of the park between Spinball and X Sector and seemed to be made up of a number of tents with a couple of outdoor sections in between. Unlike previous years where its been quite jokey and comedic it seemed to be a lot more sinister this year with some really good scares. Though in my view they really need to bring back Kumba the Giant Gorilla for a good ending.


The Zombie Scare Zone was back this year albeit in a new location. It’s still basically Path: The Ride where you have to queue up to walk through a smoke filled zone with some actors inside it. Hopefully Alton will continue to work on the concept, but I still don’t get why they still aren’t utilising the Haunted Hollow pathway as a proper scare zone.


This trip also gave me the opportunity to ride Nemesis Sub-Terra for the first time. I won’t spoil it for the uninitiated but I will say I really enjoyed it. Maybe I just had low expectations after intitial reports but I managed to stay pretty much spoiler free about the majority of the experience all year and I’m, glad I did.


Okay, here’s some photos...


One huge pumpkin of fun – it’s time for Scarefest at Alton Towers!


All the usual Halloween accoutrements are on display again.


This is what the entrance to Rita now looks like. Someone said that they;’ve had to block off part of the path due to the cable snapping recently. Whatever the cause let’s hope that this is just a temporary solution because it looks terrible.


Rita is still it’s usual self though, which is a good thing.


Spinball’s most depressing ride-op finally cracks a smile for us.


The single rider line at Spinball worked its usual wonders!


The Black Hole is now an actual hole. Join us next year to see the world’s largest Cheshire Cat.


I’m all for slightly reducing capacity of a ride if it means awesome theming like this!


Don’t worry, these guys are still there too!


The Pizza & Pasta buffet is the only way to go for lunch at Alton Towers!


The Runaway Mine Train was once again, by far Mike’s highlight of the day.


The rest of the “normal” people preferred this.


There was even a little bit of Screfest theming added to Nemesis this year!


New for this year is Nemesis SubTerra. If you don’t what it is try and keep it that way.


Suffice to say I really liked it!


The ride did attract some lengthy queues though. It’ll be interesting to see what this is like in a season or two.


Oh yeah, this pillock showed up in the afternoon to annoy us.


It’s not that easy to see but that’s a SkyRide car with skeletons inside too!


Right, onto the mazes! Terror of the Towers is a longstanding favourite for all of us!


You just can’t beat a maze that’s actually inside a haunted castle!


OMG, Charlie Wonka had a line! And we still rode it!


Also new this year - ten minutes of scenes from the third Ice Age movie passed off as a new 3D show.


The Cheshire Cat’s face was all over the ground at the park. What does it mean???


Beware what’s hidden behind the ancient BOOKCASE!!!


Some of us needed a beer to get over the horror of what they found behind the bookcase. Seriously, that tree went mental!


Also falling under the five pumpkins of fun mantle is this year’s new Scarefest offering – The Sanctuary!


The queueline had some video screens offering some hints about next year’s ride.


These guys are in need some smiles, don’t ya think?




The Sanctuary uses the entrance that was used for Terror of the Towers the last few years. Thankfully this all that The Sanctuary takes away from the Terror of the Towers.


This was in the line for The Sanctuary. Hi Winston!


What does it mean???


No idea. But Mike came out the maze looking like this. Not disturbed at all... Honestly.


This year’s big hit with us was The Carnival of Screams. The best incarnation of this maze yet!


Path: The Ride makes a return this Scarefest. It’s still rubbish sadly.


Mike says “Let’s eat at Eat!”. No Mike, let’s not.


We finished our day with night rides on Thirteen. Darkness is definitely the best time to ride this.


Nice hat, Mike.




I guess we’ll be back in March to beat the world.


Here’s this year’s super-fun group of Scarefest losers.


Despite one or two small complaints (Bring back duel live!) Alton Towers put on a real solid event again this year. Terror of the Towers continues to be a real highlight of my halloween season every year!


Thanks for reading!

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Great trip report, I love Alton Towers! Terror of the Towers is the best Haunt I've ever done.


Hopefully I will find myself back in the UK in October sometime again. I hate being employed, I don't get to jet around doing fun stuff like this anymore




...No love for Squirrel Nutty Nutty this year though? Shame!

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I did see some of you guys, I was on park with Towersstreet.


Considering it was 'preview weekend' I thought they were doing pretty well with the mazes.


I am aware that some tweaks are being made to The Sanctuary before the event starts for full from this Friday.


I really did enjoy the mazes this year, though. I think it's the best and most consistent set they have ever done. Some of the theming and SFX in The Sanctuary is superb.


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Had a great afternoon with you all. Love Scarefest, and really enjoyed Terror of the Towers, as well as Carnival of Screams. The Sanctuary had some very good effects, a great story, great effects, just needed a bigger ending.


Fab TR as always Divv!

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