Attraction Review - Chessington Howloween

Considering I live ten minutes away from Chessington it's a little annoying that I haven't actually gotten around to doing Howl'O'Ween in a LONG time! At least not since actively blogging about parks anyway. This season I made a point of making sure I made time to pop in and enjoy some of the spooky fun for myself - especially since this year it looked like Chessington were trying - for the first time in my memory - something actually really scary with Creepy Caves: Unearthed, which I just had to try out for myself!

I popped in on the Tuesday in half term and got there about 6PM. Plan was to do both the mazes and maybe try and squeeze in a night ride on Vampire - should be doable! Conor was meeting me at 6.30PM so I had a little wander around the park by myself like a loner to take some shots of all of the spooky decorations. I'd forgotten how much I love this park after dark - I make no attempt at hiding how much I love this cherished childhood park of mine but it really does come alive around Halloween. I think both Chessington and Alton have a natural spookiness about them that's really enhanced during the Halloween season!

Sadly no Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall could be heard (god I miss that attraction!) but just the sparkles in the trees and spooky lighting and pumpkins were enough. I suddenly got a stab of anxiety and knew instantly that I wished I'd maybe made more of an effort to visit for the full day as two hours just wasn't going to be enough to soak in all the lovely autumnal atmosphere. Oh well, noted for next year.

So yh, Conor arrived and we jumped straight into the queue for Creepy Caves: Unleashed!

From the minute I heard what the Halloween plans for the old Creepy Caves exhibit were I was intrigued. I used to love spending time looking at all the reptiles and insects down in this area and now it was being turned into a Halloween attraction. And not just a toned down, family friendly one, a proper scary one! And I mean, that's a given isn't it? Horror attraction in an ex-reptile house - it's like something out of a Lemony Snicket book so obviously it's going to be good.

So yh, the actual attraction - IS REALLY BLOODY SCARY! Themed around a plant whose spores are seeping into the atmosphere and mutating people, Creepy Caves: Unleashed makes expert use of its setting for maximum scare opportunities. When I first saw the plant pumping the 'spores' into the atmosphere I thought this was going down House of Monsters territory, maybe a little more campy and fun than I'd previously thought? But then nope, BOOM, HUGE scare, kids screaming and crying, parents reevaluating their parenting skills for bringing their kids into this attraction in the first place and me with a huge grin on my face.

And it pretty much didn't let up from then on. The costumes and masks were absolutely horrendous, the scares were intense and in your face and relentless and the storyline carried through to the very end despite the screaming children's best efforts to drown it out.

I loved it personally and really hope that Chessington keep it for next year so I can drag more people through it - part of me is worried though that it may have been a little too intense for your standard Chessington visitor. The group I went through with seemed more shocked than anything - nobody was upset and everyone was just kind of amused that it was as intense as it was, and to be fair the attendants and actors make it quite clear that this is about to be terrifying.

I knew I'd done this a few years back but wandered in again for a refresher as I couldn't quite remember what happened. I knew it was something audience-participationy similar to House of Monsters and I wasn't wrong. THIS was exactly what you'd expect from Chessington. Adventure-themed with a pseudo Indiana Jones type, touching treasures he shouldn't be touching and unleashing the 'curse' on us all.

The theatrics are fun, it's suitably spooky in the right places (it definitely managed a jump or two out of me!) and the storyline is engaging and fun to play along with! I wish the sets were a little more immersive as I think this has the potential to go full Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall on us and sometimes the fact that you can clearly see back into the last chamber you've 'escaped' from kind of ruins the magic a little, but all in all it's a fun little attraction with just the right amount of frights!

We did run to jump in the queue for Vampire, but it was claiming a 100 minute queue that made us a little nervous. We decided to have a look anyway and yep, sure enough the queue was full so we decided to give it a miss. We've ridden it loads of times before in the dark so was nothing we'd miss although it was a shame not to end the night with a final ride.

I'm 100% to blame for my bad planning - I really wasn't ready to leave Chessington at 8PM and was just gagging for just a few more hours. But obviously given the family audience of the park that would make no sense at all. In 2018 I'm definitely going to make sure I carve out a full day for Howl'O'Ween as I absolutely adored the couple of precious hours I did manage to nab!

Talk later xoxo,


  1. Was meant to be doing Chessington for Halloween this year with a few of my friends, but sadly due to our love for Fright Nights this year, we did not get round to doing it ... I think it's fair to say that we are all mightily regretting our decision as the event overall sounds pretty solid, very much hoping they keep it at the same standard next year! Glad you had a great time and great blog post!