FEAR at Avon Valley Scream Park 2023 Review
Nestled just outside Bristol in the picturesque South West of the UK lies the Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, home to the spine-tingling FEAR Scream Park. Conveniently accessible via the M4, this chilling adventure begins the moment you enter, never ceasing to thrill.
As you step inside, you’ll embark on a hair-raising journey through a colossal clown’s mouth, followed by a whirlwind trip through one of the fastest vortex tunnels—an entrance that never gets old.
The park spans across two main areas. First, there’s Stidham Village, featuring a bar, food vendors, fairground rides, a hypnotic fire show, and two hair-raising mazes: House of Clowns and Malefica. Additionally, within this area, you’ll find the captivating Exorcism experience.
The second area, known as The Republic of England, is the domain of X4, The Core, and Vita Nova—comprising the New World Order Trilogy. This zone also hosts a variety of side shows, from Axe Throwing to Zombie Basketball.
Roaming Actors and Street Theatre
Arriving early provides the opportunity to absorb the eerie ambiance before the mazes open. The event kicks off with a spectacular display by the roaming actors, ranging from circus sideshow acts to a mesmerizing magician who dazzles with close-up magic. Their talent lies in scaring you, making you laugh uncomfortably and uncontrollably.
Stidham Village isn’t merely a section of the park; it’s an immersive, meticulously crafted experience. Pay attention, and you might catch a hint of Richard Head on the local radio. The roaming characters seamlessly fit into the overarching narrative of a visiting circus, while the Fire show is a must-see, featuring all the roaming performers on stage in a fiery dance. Keep an eye out for intriguing Easter eggs hidden in the posters, activated by phone numbers or QR codes. The park offers abundant seating and fire pits for resting between mazes and warming up.
The Republic of England
This year, The Republic of England has elevated the immersion factor to new heights. Roaming actors engage with guests in unique, special ways. Some guests even find themselves recruited for special missions, delving into mazes to complete specific tasks. This extra layer enhances the overall experience and adds a touch of magic to the event.
Besides the outstanding roaming actors, you’ll also enjoy a regular light show that enhances the area’s atmosphere. With a compelling soundtrack and a theme that complements the surroundings, this addition will make you want stay in this area longer. One can’t help but wonder if an additional bar in this section might be beneficial for the future, allowing more time to savor the atmosphere.
This year’s event promises the most immersive experience yet, even before venturing into the mazes or experiences—a unique feat in the UK, where cohesive themes are woven throughout the park.
X4 commences with a captivating introduction by security, introducing you to the mysteries that lie ahead. We ventured through the maze multiple times and, while the acting and powerful scares were on point, it felt slightly rushed. Regrettably, one special effect was out of order during our visit, but it didn’t detract from the overall narrative. The maze still flows seamlessly. As you progress, the scares intensify, with numerous air cannons that feel cranked up to eleven, delivering numerous heart-pounding jump scares.
While VITA NOVA has remained a consistent favourite over the years, it’s seen few changes. Upon entering VITA NOVA, you receive a warning that you may be separated from your group. This surprising twist adds a layer of unease as you navigate through a series of “treatments.” The maze boasts diverse sections, keeping you guessing at every turn. The actors effectively contribute to the narrative, ensuring patrons remain on edge throughout.
Prepare to be wowed by The Core. Although this maze made its debut in 2022, this year’s version has exceeded expectations. Upon entry, you’re immediately thrust out of your comfort zone, and that heightened energy persists throughout the experience. The scares are intense, the actors brim with energy, and the overall experience is a terrifying rollercoaster from start to finish. The actors truly shine, using every inch of space to deliver spine-tingling scares, time and time again.
This year’s iteration of Malefica has been thoughtfully reimagined, and it’s clear that the changes were for the better. The new route enables actors to land more scares and increase the intensity, making it an absolute success. The high-octane energy in this maze carries through the night, all the way to our final run. At every turn, an actor lies in wait, ready to send shivers down your spine. It’s not limited to jump scares; some actors are positioned unexpectedly, bending around the floor and props, making you feel uneasy or momentarily blocking your path. Each run is consistently filled with delightful scares, complemented by exceptional theming, especially in the outdoor section.
House of Clowns
House of Clowns has undergone a few changes this year, introducing more scares and intensifying the experience. The clowns are running wild, and the scares are constant and fun. It’s evident that the actors are relishing their roles, with interactions evolving throughout the evening, offering fresh experiences. This has transformed the maze into a delightful blend of humor and fright that works brilliantly together.
The Exorcism isn’t a maze; it’s an immersive theatre piece where you become a part of an exorcism. The acting is top-notch, immersing you in the storyline. The actors ensure that every person in the room feels deeply engaged with the scene. The theming is impeccable, and as the intensity mounts, the special effects heighten the experience. From start to finish, this experience keeps you on the edge of your seat, brimming with scares, shocking moments, and lasting impressions. It’s a must-do, worthy of booking alongside the mazes.
From start to finish, the night delivers an incredible variety of scares and fun. If we were to offer one piece of advice, it would be to arrive early and start in The Republic of England at the back of the park. This approach allows you to tackle the mazes that tend to get busier later in the evening first, leaving you with ample time to relish the enchanting atmosphere.
While X4 encountered technical difficulties, the night remained an incredible experience from beginning to end. The actors’ boundless energy, combined with an impressive number of roaming performers throughout the scream park, made the scares consistently effective. The heightened immersion across the site significantly enhanced the overall atmosphere. FEAR Scream Park is undoubtedly a delightful event, staffed by friendly professionals, and brimming with fantastic mazes and experiences. Frankly, if you’re only attending one scare event in the UK, this should be it.
This spine-tingling event runs through the end of October, so don’t delay—get your tickets from the FEAR Scream Park website. You won’t be disappointed.
Fear Avon Valley Scream Park 2022
We unfortunately couldn’t visit Fear early in the season due to other commitments but boy was it worth the wait. Fear returned this year not just with a new maze The Core but with a unique up charge experience The Exorcism.
On arrival we entered into the now familiar central hub with a couple of food options, stage for the fire show and the bar. It’s a great setup with all attractions within easy reach.
We started by entering the New World Order area at the back of the park where the returning mazes VITA NOVA and X4 reside plus the new for 2022 The Core.
We started this year with VITA NOVA previously a very strong maze and this year really didn’t disappoint. The actors were all superb from the very beginning to the end the actors managed to provide the jump scares and creepiness needed in this maze. They were able to single out individuals providing personal scares that always felt so impactful. Coupled with the disorientating scenes you are left in a very intense and brilliant maze.
Our top maze of 2021 we lined up to experience X4. A similar layout to last year we felt the pace had changed slightly moving more quickly through the scenes so didn’t have quite as long to appreciate the sets and this reduced the time for actors to play out longer scripted parts. It isn’t long though before you are left to your own devices. This maze felt more disorientating this year with added smoke. The actors were absolutely on top form managing to get scares on our first to last run through.
A new and exceptionally innovative addition to a UK scream park. The Core introduced a unique element by flooding the inside of the maze. This in turn meant that you were distracted watching your step as you moved around the different levels of the maze. Due to this unique element the theming took on a completely different dimension. The actors landed a good number of scares and the concept was brilliant. We found the preparation prior to the maze a little awkward. This isn’t a fault of the experience at all more likely the nature of it being a wet and soggy evening making the process seem more difficult. Overall though a huge congratulations to Fear for trying something completely new to the UK and pulling it off well. We can’t wait to see this develop over the years as the attraction is refined further.
House of Clowns
Now the oldest attraction at Fear, it’s still fun. The actors really put in the energy and utilise the space well. The flap section really packs in some solid scares with actors coming out of nowhere. Another highlight was the mime. They managed to utilise the strobe section brilliantly moving from one frozen position to another within the blink of the strobe. While an oldie it’s a goody with fun scares throughout.
Next up was our final maze Malefica. Last year this was the new addition but didn’t quite land the scares. This year however, wow. The scares kept on coming. Every corner, boom they managed to get us time and time again. Scares were high and low. Nowhere was safe. The theming in this attraction is also great really pulling you into the derelict religious building with a neat curtain effect at the beginning. Each run was great and scares landed time and time again.
Not a scare maze this is more an immersive theatrical piece. A great new addition to the park utilising a good script with really clever special effects and one particular wow moment. It’s a good option to break up the scares and offer something new. We were lucky with where we were seated but felt because it happens in the round certain seating positions potentially don’t have quite the impact of all the effects. Overall though a unique, engaging and exciting alternative to scare mazes.
Fear seem to go from strength to strength. We have always had a good time and this year is no exception. One thing we commented on this visit is that we leave each maze with a smile on our face. This smile occurs on the first or fifth time through the same maze absolutely fantastic. While Fear is over for this year we cannot emphasise enough how much you need to get to this park it’s one of our favourites and we think it could be yours too.
FEAR Avon Valley Scream Park 2021
Back in the pre-COVID times of 2019, Fear at Avon Valley was one of our favourite events, so we had high expectations when we returned on opening night. We arrived nice and early so had a short wait for the park to open but quickly got access through the seemingly very fast spinning trummel. As there was a bit of a wait for the mazes to open we did a quick walk around the always impressive venue to see what obvious changes had been put in place.
The most obvious changes were the replacement of Phobia with the new maze Malefica, but we noticed that House of Clowns and Anarchy:Live had swapped places. On a massively positive note the toilets were now a permanent block that is part of the normal Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park. On a less positive note the excellent zombie paintball sadly wasn’t running. In the main hub you still have a number of food and drink options, a couple of midway style games and three fairground rides. On top of all that you have the excellent hourly fire and light show with different acts taking centre stage.
Anarchy:Live is a concept we love, you’re plunged in to a ‘Running Man’ style survival game show. We had several runs through Anarchy and felt that it was shorter than before and probably our least favourite of the night, probably more due to the length and the other very strong mazes on offer. That said the intensity massively ramped up on later runs, when the actors weren’t afraid to get very up close and personal and offering some fun interactions. With all of that and the free-flow sections where you may get split up it added up to a good maze for us.
House of Clowns
You pretty much know what you’re going to get in a maze called ‘House of Clowns’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Some great set design and artwork throughout, a truly disorientating flappy section, and a fun and occasionally intense final section where the actors use webbing ‘walls’ to get some great scares in. Another solid maze.
New for 2021 and replacing Phobia we have Malefica. The story line, which starts with a good bit of theatrical exposition explains that we are about to enter the ruins of a church that was burnt down in the 1920’s and is now being restored. Unfortunately, the ruins are haunted by the vengeful spirit of a nun. The sets, props and actors are all on point in here and we got some good scares in a number of different places, and some very cool ones in some dark corridors. A great new maze for the line up
Just remember to smile when you enter VITA NOVA. VITA NOVA remains as superbly intense as ever on it’s return. Whilst we were always batched in the same group we never saw each other again until after we’d exited the maze, so every run almost felt like it was solo. On every visit to the facility, apart from in some of the more theatrical elements which give the actors the opportunity to split up groups on multiple occasions we hardly saw anyone allowing the actors to get in a multitude of intense and impactful scares. A superb maze.
X4 has gone through some changes, mainly in the opening theatrical scenes and is all the better for it. Whilst all the actors in here were wonderfully on point, one actor stands out as they gave a brilliantly varied and hilarious silent performance on every run through. This was our favourite maze of the evening and again gave us some superb scares each and every time we visited and we happily kept going back as each run continued to offer something new. A really excellent maze.
Street Theatre and Entertainment
Whilst the street team felt a bit thin on the ground this year, our interactions with them were always fun and we also managed to get in some snippets of the excellent hourly shows on the main stage. They are well worth checking out if you have time.
Fear at Avon Valley thankfully remains one of our stand out events, it was a great evening with some memorable and genuine scares throughout. The whole event had a great festival style atmosphere and we had a wonderful time. Fear at Avon Valley runs on selected dates through to 31st October. If you are in the area it’s an absolute no brainer and if you can stump up the money for a VIP fast pass, we feel it’s well worth it as you’ll get to enjoy all the mazes multiple times, something that we never got bored of doing.
Thank you to the Fear at Avon Valley team for a tickets and putting on a superb return for 2021