Alton Towers Scarefest takes place from 9th - 11th, 16th October - 1st November 2020 and we are looking at all we can expect from the resort as well as safety measures put in place to ensure guests are still safe whilst experiencing the event.
The event this year features four mazes, one of which is new for 2020, whilst the others are returning mazes from last year.
The following mazes are purchased via the Alton Towers website in a 3-maze Combi ticket and is priced at £22pp for non-passholders and £17.60pp for passholders and and recommended for those aged 15+ years.
The Attic: Terror of the Towers
After making it's debut last year and changing the format of the Scarefest staple, Terror of the Towers, Guests get to make their way to the attic once again. Many people speak of The Governess and how her soul haunts the attic and how she will take her revenge on this world by taking souls from the living. Brave enough to seek her out?
Altonville Mine Tours
Back for its 5th year, guests can take part in a guided tour down Altonville mine, rumoured to be home to the infamous local legend, The Skin Snatchers, a family of outcasts who hold a terryfying secret...
NEW FOR 2020: Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard
Based on the 'Freak Show' scare zone, that made its way into town during 2016 - 2017's Scarefest, but after being hunted and chased away, the last of the freak show clowns have gone into hiding, plotting their next "BIG SHOW". What was thought for years to have been an abandoned junkyard that hides a secret that turns "townies" in evil carnies... Dare you volenteer to stop their evil plan? Don't get captured though, or you may become the shows main attraction.
The next maze are purchased via the Alton Towers website as a standalone ticket and is priced at £8pp for non-passholders and £6.40pp for passholders and recomended for those aged 10+ years.
Back for its 2nd year, the family friendier maze has docked in a new location, what was located in Mutiny Bay now has made home in the Dark Forest and ready to send guests on a swashbuckling adventure through the ghost ship known as "The Mutiny". Guest will have to resist the call of Sirens, the swords of ghostly pirates and come face to face with the fearest creature of the seas, the Kraken.
Of course, Scarefest isn't all about the terrifying scare mazes, there is also plenty of family friendly entertainment available across the resort.
NEW FOR 2020: Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls
As part of this attraction free with park admission, enjoy the Gardens as never before and witness them come to life in a whole new spooktacular…LIGHT!
With luscious stretching lawns, vibrant beds and conservatory areas, Alton Towers Resort Gardens are well worth a visit in the daylight but wait till darkness falls and get ready to take the most otherworldly stroll of your life, but beware! A mysterious energy runs through the Gardens’ water; around here people say it brings lost souls back from the dead for all Hallows’ Eve… hear that whisper? Who knows you might have phant…astical company on the way!
Cbeebies Land Monster Ball
Dress up in your favourite costume and join some of the CBeebies characters live in Big Fun ShowTime as they dance, play games and learn all about spooky things! Featuring Bing, Ubercorn, Peter Rabbit and many more of your favourite CBeebies friends!
Freaky Fun Zone
Ready to get spook-alicious? Join our five super-freaky Halloween characters in their mind-blowingly multi-coloured playground on the front lawns. Enjoy spook-tacular shows, meet and greets, photo opportunities and more! Join Patch’s Halloween party (it’s bigger and better than ever!) and hear ghostly tales from spooky Skelvin. Then help Gretyl make her magic spells and discover everything Phil and Franklin learnt at Ghoul School. So much fun, it’s scary!
The Alton Ancestors
Back by popular demand, the Alton Ancestors materialise at the Alton Towers Resort once again. Standing still is not an option so celebrate Halloween by learning their dance moves and joining in!
Coronavirus Safety Measures
This Scarefest will be a particularly unusual one, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic so the team at Alton Towers have made plenty of changes to ensure a ‘scary but safe’ experience for guests and actors.
Resident scare experts (or ‘scaresperts’) at the Resort have re-imagined this year’s Scarefest, with new well-ventilated outdoor scare attractions for both families and thrillseekers, the re-location and increased size of existing scare mazes, as well as fundamental changes to existing experiences to ensure they can be operated safely.
One of the safety measures in place, in alignment with goverment guidelines is that you will only enter the mazes in your household groups (up to 6 people), leaving those brave enough to enter 'nowhere to hide’. Adequate spacing will be given to each party on entry to the maze and guests will be reminded to maintain a safe distance when travelling through the attraction. In addition, the Resort has created a novel way to utilise additional cast members within each maze to ensure social distancing between guest groups is maintained throughout the experience.
Using the expertise of professional scare actors within the mazes, the Resort is warning guests that new style interactions and techniques will be employed to maintain a hair-raising and heart-pounding encounter in this year’s attractions. These methods will include an emphasis on new-style jump scares – providing the illusion of closeness whilst maintaining effective social distancing - as well as the use of theming and props to create physical barriers and new exciting set designs with social distancing in mind. Investment in additional high-tech special effects will also ensure a truly thrilling experience for those who dare to enter!
As each group makes their way through the maze, the additional cast members will also emerge from the shadows at regular intervals to carry out enhanced cleaning of the mazes in an eerie ghost-like manner. Guests will also be asked to sanitise their hands at the stations provided on entry to each maze.
Unlike in previous years, the Resort has also confirmed that “no touching” will take place between actors and guests within the mazes, a technique sometimes used within scare attractions for spine-tingling scares and to help guests navigate through the maze experience.
The Resort’s professional costume team have also designed and created more than 200 bespoke protective masks for each actor, which will cleverly feature as part of each actor costume. All guests will also be required to wear a facemask throughout each maze experience.Additional safety measures at Scarefest will include:
- Pre-booked tickets only for both theme park entry and maze tickets, available online at altontowers.com/scarefest
- Reduced capacity guest numbers to allow for social distancing
- Temperature checks on arrival to the Resort for all guests
- Social distancing in queue lines, walkways and restaurants, as well as rides and attractions
- Face Masks to be worn throughout the maze experiences and on many rides and attractions
- Hand sanitiser units at the entrance and exit of each maze experience and ride
- Enhanced cleaning measures throughout the Resort
- Alton Towers Resort is also supporting the NHS Test & Trace project. Guests are encouraged to download the App and ‘check-in’ during their visit using the QR codes situated in multiple locations around the Resort. The Resort continues to urge guests to refrain from visiting the park if they are display any symptoms associated with COVID19.
Chris Carter, Head of Entertainments and scares at Alton Towers Resort, explains: “When designing this year’s Scarefest we have adopted tried and tested safety methods that we have successfully implemented on our rides and attractions since opening in July."
“Whilst the experience will be different to previous years, we are confident it will be equally intense whilst being safe. We have re-imagined and then re-designed the scare mazes to provide larger spaces for both our guests and actors and have worked hard to give the illusion of closeness whilst maintaining effective social distancing. We are really pleased with the results and know the experience will be equally intense.”
Dr Stacey Bedwell, author, neuroscientist, lecturer in psychology at Birmingham City University and tutor in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, said: “The majority of the feeling we know as fear actually comes from the anticipation of something unpleasant. This anticipatory fearful feeling is quickly replaced by pleasure in safe scary experiences like the scare mazes, which explains why so many of us like being scared – we come to associate the scary experience with the pleasurable feeling.
“The scare mazes this year not only maintain the anticipatory feeling that something unpleasant might happen, but are actually likely to heighten that feeling for many, for two main reasons 1. The actors are never going to actually touch guests, so the anticipation will remain 2. Guests will be in smaller, more exposed groups, where the feeling of threat is likely to be greater. As humans, we feel more secure and protected in groups.”