I went to Scarefest yesterday and WOW! It was AWESOME. Well, the mazes were, the rides were slightly off and kept breaking down all the time which was fairly annoying. The queues were also pretty big as well, the longest ones being 70 mins for Galactica, the VR stuff means the queue crawled. It was the same length as Nemesis and I got on this in 20 mins (this was my second go was actually pretty good unlike my first try) 85 mins for the Smiler, due to fastrack and no longer running 5 trains, the queue was slow, and 120 mins for Rita as it broke down TWICE while I was in the queue
Anyway the main reason I went was for the mazes:
Bare in mind that I have only ever done three mazes at Thorpe Park two years ago before this. Also bare in mind I was wearing a glow in the dark, skeleton hoodie which made me a target, to say the least.Altonville Mine Tours: Legend of the Skin Snatchers:
This was the first maze I did and was certainly thrown straight into the deep end. I was at the back of the group and was one of two people given a mining helmet with a small torch on it. Fair to say I had everything going for me with my glow in the dark hoodie, having the helmet and being at the very back. Before the attraction started, we were told about the back story about the mines and the legend by an excitable town folk. I found it hard to concentrate as I seemed to have a little admirer stroking the back of my neck the whole time. When I turned to look at him, he just stared at me with blank eyes and blood dripping down his chin. It is fair to say that I was already uncomfortable before we even entered the mine.
We then all ventured down into the mine which was located in the towers building itself, like all the mazes. This makes all the mazes feel much more permanent as they have real stone floors and walls. Not to mention lots of great scenery inside. First we enter a room with lots of smoke and what looks like a mine shaft. The room is lit by the torches, however they are timed with the rooms and flickered off. Lights like fire come on and there are actors touching everyone, everywhere and pushes us through a door.
From there on in, the maze takes you through multiple scenes with high quality props and many actors everywhere. At no point did I think there should be an actor in the room, as there was always someone there tugging at your skin. It was very intense and they did not just touch you for half a second, it was full on. Hillbillies were pulling at every piece of skin they could see, which included the mouth area. For me, the main part of the maze was in a room with skin and bodies all over the room with an actor in who stopped me from getting through. This is normal for scare mazes, but this was Skin Snatchers, and they took it to the next level. First he was toughing and grabbing at me, then he pushed me back into the room, away from the exit. Then he came right up into my face allowing me to examine the high quality and terrifying masks they have on and putting his hands around my throat preventing me from moving. HOW IS THAT LEGAL. It got worse, though I looked left to see another actor coming through a dark alleyway and stroked me. Eventually my tormentor let me go, in the form of dragging me to my feet and pushing me out of his room.
Other touchy-feely things happened after that. All in all it was really good and gave me the fright I was looking from from these mazes, and showed it was a step up from the ones like at Thorpe Park. It was full on, but at many times just felt really uncomfortable. I was touched more than I was not, which was both good and bad. The addition of the torch was a nice touch and it really enharnsed some rooms as it was timed with the different scenes. I will give it two ratings, HOW THE HECK IS THIS LEGAL/10 and 8/10. That is a high score from me.Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within:
This was the leas scary of the three mazes, but none the less had some good parts to it. You are told at the start the actors do not touch you (which for me was sort of a relief). Firstly you enter through into a pre-show area where a film plays and a few jump scares happen with special effects. Then you head into the towers in a conga line fashion and trundle past actors who seem to be cannibals wanting to eat you, but all they seemed to do was mumble, "mmmm, that one looks nice". After Skin Snatchers and a 'am going to die or be raped' feeling, this maze did feel very tame. However it was still very good and the strobe maze at the end was the highlight. At first you could see a black cloak at the corner of your eye, and on the next flash, they were in your face. Again the actors took advantage of knowing where I was by by glow in the dark hoodie, and some made bad jokes like, "This one is already a skeleton, move on."
This was again a very high quality attraction and I came out with a good rush. I never felt uncomfortable, but also never felt terrified. (Lucky I was heading to Sub Species after, where the best of both mazes come together.) I enjoyed it, and thought it was fun, but I always feel slightly restricted with conga line mazes. I will give this one a 6/10 as it was not on the same level as the other ones.Sub Species: End Games:
This is an award winning maze and it shows. Most mazes are not actually mazes, however this is really a maze with many different ways to go and I can grantee you will be split up from your group. If you don't, you are doing it all wrong. A the very beginning some people at dragged off thorugh three different doors. The theme for this maze is like Hunger Games had a baby with Saw, and the result is this messed up thing where you are rejected alien's (from the nemesis theme) entertainment. It works. The maze is fully immersive and the scenery and make up of the actors is such a high quality and it really felt like I was in a sewer trying to find my way out.
The actors again are really good, and they touch you, but in a way that feels scary, not uncomfortable. I was cornered, pushed about and was blindfolded with my own cloths. There are many effects like on the floor, there was a special carpet which felt like you were walking over something very unpleasant found in sewers and smell capsules were also used to make the atmosphere better. While walking by myself through corridors sometimes I came across a dark room. In one, there were actors with lights. At first I had no idea there were actors in there, but thanks to my glow in the dark hoodie (I feel like burning it now) they knew I was there. They all came charging up to me lights flashing and pushed me about all telling me different things and laughing at my demise. The theme of being in this sort of game was continued through he whole attraction. While in another dark room with many (again very good) actors in it, I was being pushed about by some, some blocked my way out and one stood back cackling "I should not have bet on the skeleton rat!" Obviously another reference to my clothing.
This maze finished off with a chain saw finale. I still cannot get the image and sound of that part out of me head. The chainsaw sounded extraordinarily good and rusty, and the man was not afraid to get up close with his weapon. This was the best one as it was scary, fun and completely different to most things. Some would say that being pushed about was bad, however without it, none of the mazes would be as intense as they were. This rating has to be 10/10. Nothing like it.
I am really happy that a park like Alton Towers has taken such a risk with going for such full on mazes. I don't get scared that easily, but by doing things which make you question how far they can go (answer=very) it genuinely makes it an adrenaline pumping experience. I am really glad I went, everything was such a high quality and there were so many actors. When I went to Thorpe Park two years ago, I was disappointed (especially in Saw Alive) how little actors there were. I was walking around most of the time with nothing happening. I would highly recommend going to Scarefest, even if not for the rides.
Note to self: don't be stupid...
Current top coaster = Expedition GeForce.