Attraction Review - Alton Towers Scarefest

It's Halloween season and a trip to Scarefest at Alton Towers is always high on the cards for me. The setting alone is giving me all of the autumnal feels, the maze line-up was looking epic and there's still nothing quite like a night ride on the beast that is Nemesis.

Visiting at this time of year is always seeped in nostalgia for me and I always leave with a massive smile on my face as the park is solidified as one of my favourites in the world. From the eerie Towers lit up in its Scarefest best to the cute family shows to Towers Street strewn with pumpkins and bunting, it really is my one true happy place!

Seeing as I've done a report from a recent visit to the Towers I thought I'd focus on reviewing the scare attractions only in this instance. Otherwise it'll just be me telling you how much I like Oblivion over and over again and I don't know how compelling a read that will realistically be?

So yh, scary things then. The Towers is almost cheating in a sense that the setting itself is creepy as hell, so they don't have to true too hard to add an extra splash of spookiness for October. That said, that doesn't mean they scale back at all, offering a buttload of seasonal activities including shows for families, costume character flash mobs and fully fledged horror mazes. And that's what we're going to talk about now.

The only change in the maze line-up for this year is that the bag-on-head attraction The Haunting of Molly Crowe has been replaced by Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover The Legend of the Skin Snatchers. First things first then:

Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within***
Why do they all have really long names? So, Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within has been a staple of Scarefest for god knows how long and sort of plays along with the legend of the Towers themselves without trying to infringe on Hex territory too much (although a Hex spin-off seasonal Halloweeny thing would be AWESOME let's not kid ourselves here). Essentially, you're heading into the Towers to find out what happened to some naughty urban explorers who were last seen on some sketchy camcorder footage being dragged off frame to their assumed doom. Why are we here again? Oh yh, spooky fun times!

So yh, this is super tame in my books. It's kind of fun to walk through a part of the Towers that you maybe wouldn't usually, but the scares are more...spooky than terrifying and it's all rather PG13. Although I do think one of them called me a whore a few times...

Sub Species: The End Games*****
Storytime. When I went through this maze last year I was super unimpressed because it turned out some undesirables had been through previously and caused the thing to E-Stop, meaning we were essentially just wandering through rooms. Annoying, as pretty much everyone had praised it for being cool and innovative so I was gagging to give it another go!

Thankfully this run through was MILES better. The narrative is kind of Mad Max meets Hunger Games, you're in a race to not get munched by alien overlords and sewer dwellers bet on you as their entertainment. Neat! There were some really cool separation style scares in this one and excellent use of tight spaces, darkness and a network of tunnels containing live actors. Not heart stoppingly terrifying, but more the nervous giggling kind of fear for me. Weirdly this for some reason ends with a chainsaw scare, which I thought was a little disjointed and ill-fitting but overall it's really cool!

Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover the Legend of the Skin Snatchers****
This is the New for 2016 offering, think American Hillbillies meets Jeepers Creepers meets Silence of the Lambs meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with a slight bit of edge taken off because Alton. Thematically this maze is great, probably the best looking of the three by a long way. It's not too scary and the actors really get into their roles (the accents weren't too horrific either!). One huge asset here is that select members of the group (myself included) are given mining helmets to wear complete with headtorch. This was great at spotlighting on the scary stuff and adding a whole other layer of tension to every scene.

It did feel a bit like it was lacking in major scares though. The scenes were very cool to look at and the actors get unnervingly close, and there's loads to be grossed out by, but I never felt nervous or terrified. I kept getting told that 'he's coming!' expecting Dr.Satan or similar to emerge and reduce me to tears, but instead we got a Rick Grimes wannabe and a kind of limp ending. Which is a shame, because it's very cool otherwise!

There are also a couple of free-of-charge scare zones to enjoy if paying for the privilege isn't really your thing. These kind of things are always best enjoyed after dark. Freak Show is your typical carnival gone wrong situation, it's kind of set up like a real side show and whilst it wasn't particularly scary it certainly was very cool to wander through!
owers speak for fog n chainsaws because that's essentially all it was. Cool and atmospheric nonetheless!

Naturally we spent the rest of the night cramming in as many night rides as possible and soaking up the magical Towers-in-autumn atmosphere before heading home.

In case you couldn't tell, I really love Scarefest and couldn't recommend it enough as an event. There's LOADS to do even if scare mazes aren't really your thing and the park itself really comes to life once the sun goes down, the atmosphere truly is electric!

Talk later xoxo,