Scream Park UK 2014 – Scares for all the family
Last Thursday I was invited to attend the opening night of Manchester’s first Scream Park UK. I was interested to see what Kingpin events had come up with for this combined scare attraction and funfair. Whilst my experience at Scream Park UK was complimentary, this review is my honest and unbiased opinion.
On entering the complex, it wasn’t overly clear what was going on. After going to a number of scare events, you become accustomed to the standard set up, where you are herded in one way or another from one point to the next. Scream Park was much different, the layout was completely open, and you could wander where you liked. After realising this and having a bit of a look around, we realised just how huge the space they have inside Event City is. The set up has obviously spared no cost, with army vehicles and other props in abundance, the quality of the sets were very high. Actors we scattered throughout the attraction, ranging from army guys trying to fight back the hoard of zombies, medics patching up the wounded, and of course the obligatory zombies wandering around. I read in another review that when they entered they were split up and ‘processed’ into the complex, being interrogated by the army, but when we arrived there was none of this, we were just left to wander in.
I found both good and bad things to this new approach at a scare attraction. In a positive way, it was nice to be able to wander around with zombies constantly on the loose, it made it a bit different than a standard scare maze, and made the attraction stand out. The problem was, that I don’t think they had managed to use the set to it’s full potential. Having the open area was a really good idea, but in my opinion, combining it with the traditional scare maze would have been better. They had included a few very small runs, which were really good, I just wish they had been a bit longer, and there is the space to put one or two more traditional mazes in the space. Also, although the sets were really high quality, there was not much interaction within them. A few spaces had ‘scenes’ set out, and crowds of people were surrounding them watching, we were all waiting for something to happen, but it never did. These areas would be perfect for acting out some kind of cut scene to give us more of a back story to what’s going on, and just giving us something to actually watch, rather than just staring at a brilliant set.
The other really interesting aspect of this park was the combination of the zombies and the funfair. I found it refreshing to have the cost of the rides included in the admission price, and some of them were really good. There was a slight disconnect with the inside scare attraction and the funfair outside. The rides were not horror themed and other than the few scare actors who ventured outside to stalk the queues it could have been a funfair anywhere had you not know what lurked in the building behind.
For £20 a ticket this attraction is worth it if you like funfair rides, as that’s where you will feel you get your money back. The set inside the scare attraction is really good, but it’s full potential has not been realised, and you’re unlikely to come out terrified. However having said that, the slight tameness of the scares, and the addition of the rides, does make this a more family suitable scare attraction. Under 15s are allowed entry if accompanied by an adult, and the kids would love the funfair rides.
I would definitely recommend this attraction to people with families looking for a fun scare park, but if you’re a hardcore scare park lover, you’ll probably be a bit underwhelmed.
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