Scarefest 2020 - When traditional scare methods and techniques are adapted to thrill, chill and terrify at a safe distance!
In an era when traditional scare methods and techniques just won’t cut it anymore due to the health and safety of both visitors and staff, scare attraction operators must step up their game to devise a whole new way of interacting safely with visitors whilst still scaring the absolute pants off them in the process!
Scarefest 2020 has been hailed by Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire as been their scariest and most thrilling yet, but how is this so and how are the resort still able to deliver the thrilling and chilling experiences they are most well known for whilst still keeping everyone safe in the process?
In a recent press release sent to us by Alton Towers themselves, they advised us that “A range of new measures are being implemented to ensure a ‘scary but safe’ experience for guests and actors”. This means that it’s already evident from that statement alone we can expect a very different style of Scarefest this season, however what does this mean?
It means that in order to keep everyone the resort really will have had to go back to the drawing board when designing this season’s thrilling scaremazes which the resort have confirmed will still be available for willing victims to traverse their way through this Halloween season!
Tell me more!
In order to comply with current regulations and safety measure put forth by the government Alton Towers have really to think long ad hard about how they are going to pull off this seasons scare attractions whilst still adhering to the current rules put forth to them.
This has therefore meant that alot of changes and adaptations have had to take place in order to ensure that all ‘victims’ are kept as safe and risk free as possible whilst still thrilling, chilling and absolutely terrifying them in the process.
This has not only result in one of last season’s biggest scaremazes being relocated up to Dark Forest (Darkest Depths pictured above), however it has also meant that the resort’s existing mazes have had to be adapted, expanded and the space within them utilised better to allow for social distancing between actors and guests throughout the full duration of the experience.
In the press release Alton Towers talk about new scare techniques being implemented that they claim will still thrill and alarm thrillseekers and this therefore means that resort have advised they will be heavily reliant on the increased use of jumpscares throughout giving the “illusion” of closeness whilst still maintaining a safe distance between scare actors and their prey.
Other techniques such as barriers between both parties being implemented through the use of themeing items and the consistent use of themed facemasks have also been confirmed and this in our opinion not only ensures safety is maintained throughout, however it also helps to keep the experience as authentic and immersive as possible at all times.
What the biggest change for this season?
One of the biggest changes this season is the fact that all mazes will be benefit from increased ventilation and in alot of cases outdoor experiences as opposed to enclosed ones.
This is due to the current rules in place which dictate all indoor spaces must be well ventilated with a clean air supply flowing to ensure the virus has chance to escape.
This does however mean that as a result of this we are seeing what we consider to be two of the most exciting new additions in recent years – Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard (pictured above) and Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls.
Both of the above are set to be outdoor attractions and will feature what will likely be two of the most unique and entertaining experiences to grace the resort in recent years,
Whilst Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard is set to be a 15+ thrilling scaremaze featuring the return of some maniacal fluorescent killer clowns caged within a ‘circus gone wrong’ style reclamation yard, Whispering Souls is said to be a much more enchanting and atmospheric outdoor experience suitable for all the family featuring a the perfect mixture of themed audio and lighting a whole load of surprises to boot.
Both of the above definitely have us excited to experience this season’s scarefest alone, however this year will also see the return of some of 2019’s bests as well such as The Attic: Terror of the Towers, Darkest Depths and the ever popular Altonville Mine Tours: Legend of the Skin Snatchers!
So How can I be sure I'm safe?
As mentioned previously Increased ventilation, new techniques and social distancing will be an absolute must, however other methods will also be implemented such as vastly reduced capacity within scare attractions and regular enhanced cleaning will also be carried out throughout the both resort as a whole and within the mazes as well.
In the press release Alton Towers have advised that at regular intervals within scare mazes character dressed staff members will emerge in a “ghostly fashion” to carry out enhanced cleaning.
Guests will also be prompted to sanitise their hands both prior to entering scare attractions and after they exit as well and have advised that at no point should guests touch either the actors or any themeing.
This should hopefully reduce any risk of transmission down to a minimum, however the main question we’re asking here is ‘will this work in low lit attractions such as these?’
We do however have every confidence it will and we’re also sure that the movement of guests throughout the attractions will be constantly monitored to ensure people are following the rules at all times whilst within them.
Alton Towers have also advised that where traditionally you would have been batched into the mazes, this year family groups will be sent individually at regular intervals to experience the mazes on their own.
This definitely has us excited as not only will this give for a far more intense and up close and personal experience overall, however it also means that as the resort have advised you will be left with “nowhere to hide!”.
The experiences will also be further enhanced this season by the addition of increased special effects and lighting meaning that overall when you really are going to be put on your toes with sensory overload whilst traversing your way through the mazes, dodging the creeps and freaks as you do so!
We Can't Wait!
Overall it’s clear that although Alton Towers are heavily limited this season by current restrictions when delivering their usual calibre of Halloween event, it’s also clear that this is by no means holding them back!
With plenty of unique experiences, intense scares and a whole host of night riding to look forward to as well we simply can’t wait to get down for the resort’s opening weekend of thrills and chills this weekend coming as we take on the ghosts and ghouls and battle our way through some of the countries most immersive scare attractions to date.
Be sure to join us over on our official facebook page throughout the weekend of the 10th and 11th of October as we experience this year’s Scarefest for the very first time and see everything from our first reactions to this years new additions to plenty of photo updates, official thoughts and more as we visit Scarefest 2020 at Alton Towers Resort!
We can’t wait! Can you?