Back in our teen years, Marie and I used to visit Thorpe Park all the time. Our friend Steph worked there so we pretty much had unlimited free entry and it was amazing! However, now we're adults and all, our visits have dwindled considerably. The last time we went for summer 2010, and that's just not acceptable. So we decided we'd make our grand return on Halloween, in costume and everything.
We both decided on gory make up effects but Marie went a little bit more extreme than me, with one side of her face completely ripped off. She looked amazing and, although there were hundreds of people in fancy dress, got a lot of attention, ranging from "Wow, that's awesome!" to "Your face is disgusting!" and even a couple of screams.
Knowing that Halloween would be insanely busy, not least because it's half term, we decided on splashing out for fast track tickets. We bought the Full Throttle package which included one fast track for Stealth, Saw, The Swarm, Colossus and Nemesis Inferno. Although we needed to queue up for over 90 minutes just to purchase the fast track, it was well worth it as that was the longest wait we had all day. With wait times up to 85 minutes for a single ride, it was definitely a wise choice on our parts. Within 3 and a half hours, we'd ridden all of the main rides and had the rest of the day to relax.
The Swarm was the ride that we were most excited about as we hadn't yet had a chance to ride it, having last visited before it opened. Being the thrillseekers that we are, we chose to ride backwards and it was incredible! Definitely the best ride in Thorpe Park by a long way. It's absolutely terrifying and the whole area surrounding the rollercoaster has been given a creepy apocalyptic theme.
Once darkness had fallen, the park became very spooky! Since we'd been to Thorpe Park so many times in our youth, we know the layout well without the need for a map, but in the dark, it became very disorientating and I found it much harder to navigate. Suddenly there seemed to be many more costumed attendees, and scary live actors including a plague doctor.
Although I'm a complete wimp, we decided to brave one of the mazes and settled on The Blair Witch Project, which was given a scare rating of 2/5. Despite the broadcast wait time of 2 hours, we were actually only in line for half an hour before being unleashed into the wooded area, which is in complete darkness. To add to this terrifying experience, smoke effects and creepy sounds surrounded us. As we made our way along the path, actors jumped out and screamed at us with flashing torches. Although you're not allowed to touch them, the actors are allowed to come into contact with you and one of them even stroked my face! I was very proud of myself as I wasn't too scared, and actually found it easier to cope with if I screamed in the actors' faces. After 5 minutes, we'd made it out of the maze alive and feeling very smug! Not smug enough to brave the scarier ones though!
Since the queues for the rollercoasters were so large, there were barely any waits for the smaller rides such as Detonator and Rumba Rapids (which I will always call Rubber Dinghy Rapids). The rapids were terrifying in the dark as we were put in a raft without any other parties and there was very low lighting along the route. Floating through wooded areas and caves was especially creepy!
Just before we left, we decided to check out the wait time for The Swarm. It said 70 minutes but we figured we'd give it a go as the advertised times are almost always exaggerated. To our great surprise, we ended up walking straight onto the ride with no line at all! Since there were 10 minutes until the rides closed, we had time to go around three times in a row: Twice forwards and once backwards. Definitely the highlight of the night for me!
By the time we'd got out of the car park (20 minutes of waiting for someone to let us pull out and another 40 minutes stuck in the traffic to leave), we were both exhausted but very happy at having had such a great day. We loved it so much that we've made plans to visit Alton Towers' Scarefest next year, and I for one cannot wait!