Alton Towers Scarefest 2023 – A FULL Break Down!


Alton Towers Scarefest 2023 - Should You Visit & What Can You Expect?

Hi everyone, Elise here!

This weekend we attended Scarefest at Alton Towers and for the first time, I experienced all of the park’s maze offerings. We spoke a little bit about some of the mazes on the vlog (which you can find HERE), however I decided to write another blog so I could talk about my thoughts on all of the mazes this year in a bit more detail. Note, there may be some minor spoilers.

Let’s review – Scarefest mazes in 2023!

This weekend (Saturday 14th October 2023) we visited Alton Towers Scarefest for an action packed day of thrilliant fun!
The Attic: Terror Of The Towers

“Around here, people talk of the Governess – how she’s haunted by the death of her young charges, how she wants revenge, and how she’ll take it by seizing the spirits of the living in retribution. They say her ghost haunts The Attic. That’s where you’re headed. Dare you risk your immortal soul?”

Taking place on the upper level of the Towers is The Attic, a scaremaze which follows the story of a Governess haunted by the deaths of those who were in her care.

The experience starts with an introduction story on the lower levels of the towers before heading up to the attic for the main maze. This maze has a beautiful set design with so much to look at – unfortunately, the low lighting means you miss out on a lot of the details that this maze holds.

The low light is something I will refer to in another section too as we found sometimes it was so dark you actually didn’t know where to go.

Unfortunately, during our run, we felt that whilst the maze idea was good, there were some actors who unfortunately missed the mark for us.

We felt that some of the actors playing the children were incredibly repetitive hearing the same line before we had moved onto the next scene or even hearing the same sentence from two actors one after another almost.

Most notable of these weaker performances on our run was the Governess character who just wasn’t quite getting that emotion across to us when we saw them.

I also think we missed out on some of the scares – such as the mentioned Demon who some of our party saw but unfortunately, we did not.

I also noted that the pre-show actor was quite quiet so some found it hard to hear his great storytelling.

Overall, I thought this maze was beautiful with a great story & set, but I just wanted to see a little
bit more of the set & the performances. – Rating: 6/10 Just wanted more.

"Taking place on the upper level of the Towers is The Attic, a scaremaze which follows the story of a Governess haunted by the deaths of those who were in her care."
Altonville Mine Tours: Tiny’s Revenge (NEW For 2023).

“Rumours are afoot that the old Altonville Mines are alive with activity once again. Following a
breakthrough from local law enforcers, the notorious Skin Snatchers have been detained…but for how long?

The ironically named Tiny, however, has evaded capture and is believed to still reside within the Mines. Explore at your peril and risk the adventure, if you dare.”

This was our first visit inside the mines of Altonville but we weren’t there for a tour… In fact, we were due to meet the mysterious and dangerous Tiny.

The queue line was incredible resembling a small mining village which was close quarters and really set the scene for the mine ahead.

Entering the tent to the pre-show we were met by another great (But again quiet) actor setting the scene. One thing to note here was that we also struggled to hear the safety briefing man at the start of our run… Some parts of these experiences need to be a little bit louder.

After a pre-show we were invaded by, who we assume was Tiny and set off into the depths of the Mines. This was another awesome set with so much to see & some pretty cool actors inside, however we found the same problem as we did in The Attic… It was just so dark that we got lost.

So lost that one of our party found his way into a staff area and another was stood staring at a wall for a few seconds.

Apart from these oddly dark sections with no indication of where to go, we really enjoyed this maze. The atmosphere was eerie and the cast were great at making sure to interact and intimidate the group.

This maze ends with a great finale which gets the heart racing a little in an attempt to escape the mines and Tiny! – Rating 9/10 would love the Attic to have been like this.

Altonville Mine Tours: Tiny's Revenge is a complete re-imagining of an existing maze for Scarefest 2023.
Darkest Depths

“Get ready for a terrifying new adventure aboard ‘The Mutiny’, a notoriously spine-chilling ghost ship. You’ll truly earn your golden piece of eight by venturing into the darkest depths, avoiding the hazardous calls of the treacherous Sirens, dodging the swords of terrifyingly ghoulish pirate mutineers and coming face to face with the Kraken – the legendary monster of the seas!”

Darkest Depths is another one of those mazes with a brilliantly themed set which really takes you from Alton Towers and into the world of The Mutiny.

Starting inside a tavern with an actress who really gave us dungeon’s vibes, we were instantly thrown into the scene. This maze is packed full of actors who each have their own personality and interactions.

The set was again unreal with an awesome final room which has a lot to look at (And reminded me of Sharkbait Reef Sealife if you took the water out).

My only concern with this maze was how the entrance and exit seem to cross over each other… Not entirely sure why they are like that.

Was this maze scary? Absolutely not. Like I said, it really reminded me of a light-hearted dungeons experience which works great for families as well as older audiences.

There was the odd scare here or there, but the majority of this maze was just fun. So good, we ran it twice. – Rating 8/10 Not scary but delightful!

Darkest Depths is an beautifully designed, immersive scaremaze with some truly stand out set pieces, great acting and more!
The Invitation

“The Invitation is an audio-led experience, you will be required to wear headphones as you venture down into the lakeside cemetery in an all-new theme park scare experience.

The Lakeside Cemetery invites you to join them for a grave experience that will live with you for eternity. Their friendly funeral director is dying to assist you as you descend into the burial chamber, where you can choose your final resting place.

Some caskets have already been filled, but there are others, still empty, waiting for you…”

Oh my goodness. Where do I begin? I genuinely don’t understand what this experience was trying to be.

I was admittedly lost from the start as we “descended” toward the burial chamber in quite an entertaining lift sequence with a great actor.

As great as they were, I didn’t understand what we were doing… My confusion on the story to this experience continued into the main chamber when the headphones went on.

Facing a strangely thin cage with little context, the lights went out and the audio experience began.

I’ll be honest, I know some people enjoy ASMR & audio experiences, but I really do not understand the appeal of it.

The experience left me incredibly confused as the experience continued with interactions from what I can only assume was a vampire?

I wasn’t scared about it, I more found myself giggling at the words coming out of the actor’s mouth… I really don’t understand what his fascination was with fingers?

After a while of this… Unusual audio experience, the lights returned, and we were leaving the strange chamber with a now entirely different behaving actor stood in the cage (Which was again confusing).

This year they have added a walk through finale which was awesome – I would have preferred to see this for the entire experience instead of the strange dark audio time.

Alternatively, I would have liked to have seen some sort of hands on/contact part to this experience – especially where the vampire seems to be in front of you intending to take a bite of your neck (Instead of suggesting it in the words but not actually being near you).

It was an interesting choice by the park to bring this back for 2023, however I think its had its day now. – 2/10 Not a bad ending. Experience was hilarious and made 0 sense.

The Invitation returns to Alton Towers Scarefest for it's second year of 'finger licking' audio frivolities and confusion.
Daz Games: PANIC! (NEW For 2023)

“Daz Games dares you to take on the first adrenaline-inducing escape room meets live action scare maze for the ultimate horror experience.

Plunged into darkness, your mission is simple – you have just seven minutes to take on an intense series of tests that will challenge the mind and body as you try to locate the symbols and escape…. all whilst evading capture from the inhabitants within.

Racing against the clock you’ll have to think fast and stay calm as you take on an AI-themed assault of the senses… all before the game strikes back and traps you within. Forever”

None of us knew what to expect when we first heard about Daz Games: PANIC! In fact, the main question we had was “who is Daz Games?” – A question which is thankfully answered in the pre-show for Daz Games: PANIC!

This experience is something new for Alton Towers with the fusion of an escape room style game and scares along the way.

Entering the attraction, you’re issued an RFID wristband which you register at a terminal. Once registered, you’re then given two symbols (Remember those symbols!), loaded into the game & let into the pre-show.

This experience has quite a long pre-show with multiple sections to watch including an introduction to Daz himself & a good story explaining how PANIC came to exist.

The experience began with a scare actor taking one of our party into the maze (Oh yes, the actors CAN touch you here!).

Entering Panic, you find yourself in a smoke filled maze with music, lights & scattered around: Your symbols.

Its up to you to find your symbols & scan them before you can escape PANIC (All in 7 minutes). However, you are NOT alone…

The AI NPC’s (Non Playable Characters) are out to stop you and will be sure to find you in the maze. It’s also not that simple… Some symbols are locked down and require you to complete a small task to unlock them.

During the 7 minutes, there are audio cues which inspire changes to the experience and the actors inside it – this is a great addition and keeps the game fresh (I believe these may also be randomised?).

Good news! I escaped in 3 minutes & 46 seconds! However, not everyone in our team managed to escape in time.

On leaving & returning your wristband, you’re able to see your times on a leader board (and there’s even a daily/weekly/all time score board too!)

I found the experience of Daz Games:PANIC to be a lot of fun with the interactive elements. I know some people have different opinions, but I quite enjoyed it.

It’s fun, repeatable & something that could easily be re-themed/reused in future years too. – 8/10 Highly enjoyable experience which was quite unique

DazGames: PANIC fuses your traditional scaremaze experience with all the elements of an escape room to create something truly unique and different for Scarefest 2023!
Burial Grounds (Scarezone) - NEW For 2023

“Burial Grounds is a free-flowing outdoor scare zone shadowed by the mighty Wicker Man where you’ll encounter the rejectors of modern-day society fulfilling their terrifying primal instincts.”

Burial Grounds was a very welcome nod back to The Welcoming which was my very first scare maze a few years ago.

This FREE Scarezone is quite long with plenty of live actors known as the “Unchosen” who are great at interacting and getting up close and personal (I actually felt some actors here were stronger than some in the main mazes).

This scarezone had a mix of indoor & outdoor sections & real fire (Which is always a great sight!). We went through it as the sun was starting to set however feel like the experience would be totally different in the night.

It was great to see the return of a scarezone to Alton Towers and this is something we hope will continue for years to come. – 7/10 Great to see a scarezone back at the park.

Burial Grounds brings back scarezones to Alton Towers Resort for the first time in many years this Scarefest!
Trick O’ Treat Town

“This Scarefest get ready to explore a special town where every day is Halloween! And do you know what the townsfolk’s favourite past time is? Yes, you got it! It’s hosting trick-or-treating for the town’s visitors!

So, muster up your courage and prepare to knock on doors from Spooky Avenue all the way up to the Witchy Woods but be careful! As well as HARIBO treats there are tricks aplenty!

Interactive walk through suitable for everyone.”

I have a soft spot for Family mazes & Trick O’ Treat Town is no exception to this rule. This adorable family friendly maze is packed full of cute family friendly Halloween decorations and is home to a wide range of unusual characters who each have their own personalities and interactions.

As you travel through the town, knock the doors to potentially be rewarded with a treat (But careful, sometimes you’ll get a cheeky trick!)

The experience hasn’t changed too much over the years but since my last visit has been sponsored by Haribo who provide the treats for this year.

As a family friendly attraction, this is perfect for younger guests looking for their first interactive experience as well as older guests (You’re never too old for trick or treating at Trick O Treat Town!).

One thing I would note is that it would’ve been nice if the final treat-stop provided a larger bag of Haribo as a sort of finale surprise to finish the experience (Such as the fizzy monsters which were decorating the entrance but not seen in the experience).

This experience does come at a little bit of a steep price for non-passholders at £12 (Pass holders price £9.60) – Just be wary that you won’t leave with a massive bag full of sweets. – 7/10 Cute family friendly experience, could use more treats.

Trick O' Treat Town is the perfect FIRST interactive scare experience for younger guests wanting to grab their first taste of that scaremaze experience!
In Conclusion...

Overall, the experiences on offer during Scarefest in 2023 are a mixed bag. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit & the experiences available, however we do think some of the older attractions are starting to see the end of their life at the event.

I feel like we may see the disappearance of The Attic, Darkest Depths and The Invitation in 2024 to make way for some new attractions. But what do you think?

We’d love to hear all of your thoughts and predictions for Scarefest 2024 in the comments below! In the meantime though, here’s this year’s vlog to check out!