Scarefest 2020 saw the debut of a new outdoor scare maze, as well as a new family-friendly walkthrough attraction in the gardens. There was also the return of some award winning attractions, alongside a variety of family entertainment. All of the mazes carried an additional charge, while all other attractions were free and accessible to all.
Dates: 9th-11th, 16th October – 1st November
Skyride, Battle Galleons, Congo River Rapids, Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure, Tree Fu Tom Training Camp, Mr Bloom’s Allotment, The Furchester Hotel Live shut at dusk.
CBeebies Land & Cloud Cuckoo Land closed at 7pm.
Other rides shut at 9pm daily.
Single Ticket – £8.00
Three Maze Ticket – £24.00 (or £22.00 online)
Darkest Depths – £8.00
Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard
The Attic: Terror of the Towers
Altonville Mine Tours
Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls
Franklyn’s Freaky Fun Zone
Patch’s Halloween Party
Phil & Franklyn’s Ghoulish Games
Gretyl’s Spell School
Skelvin’s Spooky Storytime
The Funster Halloween Show
CBeebies Land ‘Monster Ball’
New for 2020 was Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard, a freakishly fleshed-out, maze version of the scare-zone from 2016-17 and roaming entertainment from 2018. Located behind The Games Bunker, Toxic Junkyard invited ‘townies’ into Barb Dwyer’s Reclaim Yard, where a menagerie of freaks, clowns and supernatural mutations are playing away the days, preparing for their next big show. With a compact route, hilariously chaotic performances and suitably psychedelic lighting, Toxic Junkyard was a fun maze. Considering that the Resort had little over a month to put the maze together, the fact the maze was mostly built from pallets and props from previous mazes, plus all the uncertainty over the event in general this year, we were pleasantly surprised by Toxic Junkyard.
Also new for 2020 was Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls. The majority of the historic gardens were illuminated by an array of colourful lights, offering an enchanting experience for the whole family to enjoy together, with the Yew Arches, Conservatory, Choragic Monument and Bandstand being particular highlights. The Gardens felt very neatly presented, and the bridge that runs alongside them offered an incredibly stunning vista.
Returning for its second year was The Attic: Terror of the Towers. Taking guests to the eaves of The Ruins, The Attic remained largely untouched from its debut in 2019, although it felt that, whilst the maze continued to be bookended by storytelling sequences, the vast majority of the maze lacked the narrative and theatrical edge that made it so enjoyable and unique in 2019. However, it retained its detailed sets and lighting, which still made it a chilling and creepy maze.
Emerging from the seven seas for a second year was Darkest Depths, now located behind Dark Forest in the area that had last been occupied by Zombies! Scare Zone. With an entirely reworked route and a new finale sequence, the sea shanty of The Mutiny set sail stronger than ever. It continued to excel with luxurious lighting, highly detailed set pieces, and some truly putrid smells.
Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover the Legend of the Skin Snatchers invited guests back to the infamous pits for the fifth year running, and continued to be one of the most detailed and horrific mazes in the event’s history. A number of changes were made within the mines; the eerie Haunted Lantern helmets were removed altogether (as part of the safety measures introduced), the second preshow was merged with the first, and the hazmat corridor was pruned back. Nevertheless, the maze returned with a passionate, energetic cast, and the incredible design of the attraction ensured all guests leave feeling deeply unsettled.
The Freaky Five returned with their Freaky Fun Zone on the lawns at the bottom of Towers Street, although the stage was in a alternative position to previous years. Gretyl, Franklin, Skelvin, Patch, and Phil performed four family-friendly shows at regular intervals throughout the day – Patch’s Halloween Party, Skelvin’s Spooky Storytime, Gretyl’s Spell School, and Phil and Franklin’s Ghoulish Games. Food and beverage units, returning from the Oktoberfest event, could also be found nearby on the Front Lawns – they included ‘Oozy Boozy’, ‘Gretyl’s Cauldron Delights’ and ‘Monster Grill’.
No Scarefest would be complete without The Alton Ancestors and this year saw them rising from the grave once more to perform their dance routine on the Front Lawns’ stage.
CBeebies Land joined in the Scarefest festivities for a third year with the CBeebies Land Monster Ball.
As in the preceding years, there was no overnight or late night experience available during Scarefest 2020.
Over at the Resort’s accommodation there was limited entertainment compared to previous years, to ensure compliance with Government restrictions.
Alton Towers Resort reveals terrifying ‘Toxic Junkyard’ scare maze to open at this year’s Scarefest
An image and video revealed today give a chilling glimpse of the clown-inspired horror that awaits thrillseekers
The outdoor maze will lure brave volunteers through an eerie old junkyard that holds a dark secret
Details of additional new outdoor family spook attraction set in the Theme Park’s listed gardens have also been revealed
Alton Towers Resort aren’t clowning around with their latest scare maze after revealing the first image, spine-tingling video and details of Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard that hint at what will await courageous guests this Scarefest.
Set outside in what appears to be an abandoned junkyard, daring thrillseekers will discover the dark and disturbing secret it hides in a truly chilling experience. After being hunted and cast out of the community, the last of the Freak Show psycho clowns have gone into hiding, plotting in secret their next “BIG SHOW”. Will dare devils entering the junkyard be able to help stop their evil plan or will they become the main attraction of the next performance?
Situated in an open-air space of the Theme Park, the new maze is inspired by the Theme Park’s hugely popular Freak Show ‘scare zone’ which has featured at Scarefest in previous years. The walkthrough experience saw guests come face-to-face with a travelling side-show of circus rejects and misfits. Following its popularity with thrillseekers, scare experts at the Resort have significantly dialled up the fear factor and created a menacing maze featuring psycho clowns and horrifying freaky folk that can only be endured by those aged 15 years and over.
In an interactive two-part unsettling and creepy video released by the park today (Thursday September 17th), two teenagers can be seen enjoying a harmless kickabout. Their fun takes a sinister turn when they lose their football. The video then gives viewers the chance to decide the nightmarish fate of the teenagers by choosing “heads” or “tails”. Trapped in the Junkyard with nowhere to go, and the chilling sound of psychotic laughter getting ever closer, the doomed duo are in the hands of the viewers.
A tease visual has also been revealed for the new maze.
Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard is the latest horror experience to join the Resort’s line up of renowned and award-winning scare mazes, which will this year see the return of:
- Altonville Mine Tours: a tour with a not-so-beautiful twist that invites thrillseekers to enter a damp, disused mine, believed to have once been home to a family of village outcasts nicknamed the ‘Skin Snatchers’ by local residents. Their spine-chilling secret is about to be unearthed. Remember ‘Beauty is only skin deep’.
- The Attic: Terror of the Towers: high in the eaves of the Theme Park’s famous historical Tower ruins, people talk of the Governess. Rumour has it that she’s haunted by the death of her young charges. They say she wants revenge, and she will take it by seizing the spirits of the living in retribution. Word is her ghost haunts The Attic.
- Darkest Depths: an award-winning pirate themed attraction for families and thrillseekers alike. Guests are invited to board the infamous ghost ship ‘The Mutiny’ and journey into the darkest depths to earn their piece of eight.
The Alton Towers Dungeon will also be offering spooks and scares to guests wishing to venture through the attraction on a hideously hilarious journey through Staffordshire’s darkest history.
Scarefest 2020 will also see the introduction of the Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls, a free family experience that gives guests the chance to see the Resort’s listed gardens brought to life as never before. Take an otherworldly stroll and discover a mysterious energy that runs through the Gardens’ water believed to bring lost souls back from the dead for All Hallows’ Eve.
Additional family frights and spookalicous fun include the Freaky Fun Zone led by the Resort’s Halloween characters in their colourful playground with amazing shows, including Patch’s Halloween Party, ghostly tales from spooky Skelvin, as well as Phil and Franklin’s Ghoul School and Gretyl with her magic spells!
Families with young children can also take part in the CBeebies Land Monster Ball in CBeebies Land. Guests are invited to dress up in their favourite costume and join some of their favourite CBeebies characters live in Big Fun ShowTime as they dance, play games and learn all about spooky things! This year the event will feature Peter Rabbit, the Teletubbies, Bing, Ubercorn, and many more!
The Alton Ancestors dancing flashmob will also be back in socially-distanced action across the park providing fun-packed live entertainment for all to enjoy. The Alton Ancestors have risen from the grave once more and returned to their old stomping ground, but be warned – standing still is not an option when that music starts.
Open until 9pm each day, guests will be able to enjoy all the theme park’s world-class thrilling rides, rollercoasters and attractions in the dark including its latest adrenaline-pumping coaster, Wicker Man.
Since re-opening on July 4th, Alton Towers Resort has implemented a wide range of measures to help ensure social distancing and good hygiene whilst guests enjoy a fun day out. A full list of the measures can be found here www.altontowers.com/plan-your-visit/before-you-visit/know-before-you-go. The Resort remains committed to continuously monitoring and adapting its measures in line with the changing government guidance.
Scarefest is being planned in strict accordance with existing COVID-19 measures, which will be adapted should guidance change at any point before or during Scarefest taking place. Capacity will remain at a level where social distancing can be maintained, including in entertainment spaces, and open-air or well-ventilated venues will be utilised. Full details of the safety measures for Scarefest will be released shortly.
Scarefest will take place at Alton Towers Resort from Friday October 9th to Sunday October 11th, then each day from Friday October 16th to Sunday November 1st.
To find out more about Scarefest at Alton Towers Resort visit www.altontowers.com/scarefest