Alton Towers Resort have today released further details for Oktoberfest and Scarefest, promising to give this Autumn some “Oomp-ARGHhhh!”. From the debut of a new event and the revival of fan favourite scare attractions for Halloween, TowersTimes examines all the details following today’s announcements.

New for 2020 is Oktoberfest, a family fun festival offering a Germanic twist, which starts 11th September and runs through to the first week of October. This new event promises to transform part of the park every day from 3pm, giving guests a flavour of Bavaria with live music and European cuisine, as well as offering chances to experiences some of the theme park’s rides into the evening. On Friday – Sunday, rides and attractions will remain open until 8pm (although CBeebies Land will close at 7pm), while on Monday – Thursday this will be until 6pm.

The spooky season starts soon after with the return of the frightfully fantastic Scarefest, starting 9th October and running most days until 1st November.

The Circus returns to town with the debut of “Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard”, an outdoor scare maze which will invite the foolhardy to venture into the Freak Show hidden den to discover the secret of the psycho clowns’ next big show. Having previously operated as a scare-zone in 2016 and 2017, before being adapted to suit the Scaremosphere scheme in 2018, it will be interesting to see how the characters and themes have been updated once more. With containers being stacked up outside The Games Bunker, could we see the new maze take place here?

Also new for this year is “Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls”, a family friendly walkthrough which gives guests a chance to witness the spectacle of the Historic Gardens in a whole new spectacular light. This is the first time that the Gardens have been the location for a Scarefest attraction, and the Resort have confirmed that this will be free to guests.

Returning from last year are award-winning scare mazes The Attic: Terror of the Towers, Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover the Legend of the Skin Snatchers and Darkest Depths. This reveals that there will be no betting in the sewers in Sub-Species: The End Games or rescue missions in Project 42 this year, with both mazes being sent to their graves after five and two year runs respectively. This sees the thrill maze line-up drop from four in 2019 to three this year, alongside Darkest Depths offering an experience more suitable to families. The Alton Towers Dungeon will also be open as usual throughout the event.

The Freaky Five will return yet again alongside the CBeebies Land Monster Ball, offering spooky shows and performances to make sure that younger guests get their fright-fix. The Resort’s website also confirms that the Alton Ancestors will once again be entertaining guests this year with their favourite dance moves.

Both events are being planned in strict accordance with existing COVID-19 restrictions, and will be adapted should restrictions ease or tighten. The Resort note that the events will take place in open-air or well-ventilated venues, and that capacity shall remain capped to ensure that social-distancing guidelines can be followed, including in entertainment spaces and scare mazes. Full details of the safety measures for each event are due to be published nearer the time. It is expected that this will mean group sizes in each of the Resort’s scare mazes will be smaller, tight pathways within attractions will be widened, and all physical contact and close proximity with scare-actors shall be removed to enable social distancing. Recent operation of The Alton Towers Dungeon has also seen all guests required to wear face masks and hand sanitiser to be used on entry and exit, so we would anticipate similar measures for the Scarefest attractions.

James Walker, Marketing Director at Alton Towers Resort, said:

“We are really excited to be able to offer something brand new for our guests in 2020, as well as stage the return of our much-loved Halloween event. This year marks the theme park’s 40th anniversary and it was always the plan to make it a year of celebration for our guests.

“As well as brilliant live entertainment for Oktoberfest, we are working with partners to offer unique food and drink options for the event to ensure we create a memorable, exciting and family-friendly atmosphere all with a German twist. It will be a first in the Theme Park’s history and not to be missed.

“In addition, the much-anticipated return of Scarefest will provide ongoing fun and thrills for thrillseekers and families later into the year, with two brand new exciting attractions never seen before.”

Oktoberfest debuts on the 11th September – 4th October, whilst Scarefest operates on the 9-11th October, and 16th October – 1st November.

Tickets for both events are available on the Alton Towers Resort website, whilst scare maze tickets will be coming online shortly.

Will you be celebrating this Autumn with beer and pretzels, or with skeletons and ghouls? Make sure you share your thoughts over on the Attraction Source Forum.
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