Xtreme Scream Park 2021
Xtreme Scream Park takes place at Twinlakes Family Theme Park in Melton Mowbray a short drive from Nottingham. Xtreme Scream Park is a fairly familiar event for us having visited a number of times.
This year the event is back with two new additions Ashes to Earth a traditional walkthrough maze and The Unfair Funfair a scare zone.
On previous visits we have experienced numerous issues with people catching up to us or catching up with people ourselves. In general this year we found that the batching had improved only on one occasion having to constantly hold back due to another group. This was definitely more an issue with the group in front and not the park.
One observation across the whole of the site was the lack of actors. All the mazes felt a little sparse. Places where actors would usually scare were void of interaction and in some places replaced with a mannequin. This seems to be a running theme across many events we have visited.
Mazes and Scare Zones
This is a hooded maze that we don’t generally look forward to but on this visit we felt the hooded section was pretty good. Lots of attention from the actors as well as a new addition of what felt like compressed air. The section without hoods seemed to have a few small improvements, for example an additional laser in the swamp area and the actors we did encounter tried their best.
Our next stop was a visit to Belvoir Manners a delightfully themed maze with lots of interesting and differently themed sections. The actors we encountered had some fun scripted sections but this maze was unfortunately full of dead spots and felt a little more like a walk through horror experience rather than the scare maze of previous years.
Ashes to Earth
A really great addition for 2021 and something we hope is built on in future years. The set scenes scattered throughout the corn maze work really well. Each having a different scare. We personally really liked the BBQ effect and the caravan where we were taken by surprise. If we hadn’t caught up with another group this would have been a perfect run but even with this we had a brilliant time in this attraction and can’t wait to go through again.
Fairly unchanged from previous years but on our run it felt very light on actors and many of the ones we did encounter didn’t seem to have the energy of previous years. It’s a beautiful maze with lots of fun things to encounter but has really suffered from limited actors. We experienced a few that didn’t even do anything and just stood still not creating a scare or an eerie atmosphere.
The Pie Factory
This maze has had a few changes for 2021. The changes to the maze and layout look good with fun new scenes and at one point we are sure we could smell meat (a great use of smell). We need to really highlight the effort one actor in particular put into their role managing to land 4 scares across a number of scenes. This goes to show with a well designed maze you can work with a small number of actors if they can land multiple scares. Overall a fun run with some nice new additions.
Ash Hell Penitentiary
As the name suggests this is a prison themed maze and feels fairly unchanged from 2020. The actors on our visit didn’t seem to have the energy of previous years. A few scares landed but we feel that a more energetic cast would make this maze superb.
The Unfair Funfair
A really nice addition to the park. Offering a free flow curtains maze. You go in and can then choose to go in any direction possibly being scared by a clown or your friends. On our run we bumped into two clowns one started to play hide and seek with this reviewer which was a nice touch. The theming as well is great using old rides and other equipment providing lots of places for the actors to hide. We would love to see this scare zone with 4 to 6 actors in as that could make this even better.
Overall we had an enjoyable night. It’s clear across the whole industry events have struggled to get actors so feel this can’t be held against Xtreme. The mazes were all long with great theming. We had a really fun evening and hope next year with a few more energetic actors Xtreme can really show us what they can do.
Xtreme Scream Park runs through to the end of October so if you can make it we would recommend a visit.
Xtreme Scream Park 2020
We were keen to see what this year’s run of Xtreme Scream Park would be like as it appeared to be one of a very few that was still running this Halloween in a mostly unchanged format as a traditional scare attraction with individual mazes. Changes for this year were the removal of the circus, which given our experiences last year was no bad thing, and a retheme of Stilton Hall to Belvoir Manners. Hoodoo Voodoo, Pie Factory, Ash Hell Penitentiary and The Village all returned for this year.
Obviously COVID has changed things across the board, so we were keen to see how that had affected things. Most noticeable was the atmosphere around the park, or to be frank, the lack of. We went early in the run and mid-week, so understandably it was quieter than a weekend, but it was noticeable. We feel that with quieter music (keeping to COVID requirements) and the removal of the double decker bus bar contributed in muting the mood as we wandered around.
That said the roaming actors were still good, Joe Erotic and his Ariadne-esque companion were highlights. There were a few food options, a couple of rides and fire breathing acts on near the firepits. All in all, not that many changes.
First up was the returning Hoodoo Voodoo. Previously this has been a part hooded, part traditional maze, but obviously can’t operate exactly the same, so they are using blindfolds. This was the only questionable aspect for us when it came to COVID precautions as you need to pick up a blindfold from a big box at the entrance that everyone before you have rifled through. That said queue line etiquette was great, with those around us keeping a distance and mostly wearing masks. There was hand sanitizer at the entrance, but not directly at the exit.
On to the maze itself. The blindfolded part was particularly light on scares, we had a couple of effects and quite a fun one with the one actor we noticed towards the end. After we’d removed the blindfolds the rest of the voodoo themed maze continued with its great sets and design. Sadly, there were issues with catching up with other groups and being caught up. We regulated, but because of the stop start nature nothing quite landed well, despite the best efforts of the few actors we encountered.
Belvoir Manners replaces Stilton Hall this year and apart from the name, a slight route change, and storyline we couldn’t really notice much of a difference. The set and design are superb as before and like all of Xtreme’s mazes was very long. Unfortunately, there was again far fewer actors during our run, so led to a lot of dead space and sections where nothing really happened aside from some occasional animatronics. What interaction we did have with the actors was solid, and also, we needed to regulate occasionally due to bunching of groups. Though like Hoodoo Voodoo everyone did keep their distance. One particular interaction near the end used an effect that worked really well, especially in the current climate.
Ash Hell Penitentiary
Another returning maze and again not much had changed. The usual large amount of animatronics and sadly again far fewer actors, we counted 6 in total for the whole maze. Because of that there were large sections where not a lot happened, but when it did it was solid. One actor in particular was a clear highlight in this maze with a very effective prop. Thankfully we didn’t experience any bunching issues through our run.
Next up was Pie Factory, again largely unchanged for 2020 and we had a very strong run through. There definitely seemed to be a lot more actors in here than the previous three. This led to some great impactful scares starting with one perfectly timed jump near the start and many decent scares throughout. No issues with bumping in to other groups throughout and one of the shortest queues all evening, although we didn’t queue more than 5 to 10 minutes for any maze all evening.
Last up was The Village, which again was largely unchanged. We had a decent run with some good scares, but again a few sections where nothing happened. The smaller number of actors wasn’t as noticeable as the first three mazes, but didn’t feel as many as Pie Factory. We didn’t experience much of an issue with other groups apart from the still fun church scene. Overall a fun end to the scares.
We had a fun evening at Xtreme, which was only marred by not enough actors in most of the event and some batching / bunching issues early on. Obviously with it being quite quiet the atmosphere we’ve experienced on previous visits wasn’t there and it was noticeable. We still had a more entertaining evening compared to last year, though the absence of actors and heavy reliance on animatronics was very noticeable and Pie Factory was the highlight for us.
Xtreme Scream Park 2019
So Xtreme Scream Park was my first Halloween event of the season. The excitement had been building all day and I was ready for some good scares.
Xtreme Scream Park takes place at the Twin Lakes Family Theme Park. This is a great venue for this kind of attraction with a lot of space and the facilities that lend themselves perfectly to an event of this type. We arrived shortly before opening and joined the queue, the atmosphere was already buzzing with excitement and nerves.
Walking into the park we were greeted by some roaming clowns these guys were excellent improvising with all the guests and managing to get scares in quite interesting and novel ways. They were joined by a bear who was great fun also.
The first maze of the night was The Village, this maze takes you through a number of different scenes including a school, a workshop and church to name a few. But, this was no ordinary village, it had been overrun by scarecrows hiding around every corner to give you a fright. Standout scenes for me were the school where the scares came thick and fast and the church. The sheer concept and execution of this room were perfect. This maze really set the night up with good use of sound and smells to really pull you into The Village.
The Pie Factory
Next up was Pie Factory, I ended up going through this maze alone. The actors interacted well and there was some fun humour amongst the scares. There were some good improvised moments with personalized interactions which I always feel adds to your experience. While the actors in the maze were great, I felt that something was missing, an additional actor or two might have filled some of the gaps between interactions as I felt this didn’t pack the punch of the other mazes.
I was really not quite sure what to expect of this maze. Having previously experienced a number of hooded attractions ranging in quality it could have gone either way. I’m pleased to report though that HooDoo Voodoo is a strong hooded maze. Utilising textured walls and changes to the floor including one section that felt like walking through a bog. These worked well along with the actors who would poke, prod and grab you. Midway through the maze, your hood is removed and you enter a more traditional scare maze. A standout section for me was the swamp where it looked as we were walking through waist-deep water. This section could have possibly been improved with an additional laser as peoples bodies at times would get in the way of this great illusion. This was a fun hooded maze and one that some other attractions should take note of.
Stilton Hall Hotel and Hell Spa
You enter a hotel and spa where things aren’t quite what they seem. I had a great visit, the maze is full of great theming and the actors all played the part well. This attraction wasn’t big on scares but this was made up for by the use of clever elements that disorientated you. I particular liked the mattress section pushing our way through a labyrinth of mattress was quite disorientating. I felt that the way this maze ended was clever and worked well. Not an intense ending but definitely a solid finale.
Ash Hell Penitentiary
Firstly I must say that before you even enter this maze you have an inmate already intimidating the queue with fun interactions and an excellent gun prop that well and truly made me jump. This maze probably had the most jump scares of the night. The inmates were all on top form. It was great to see lots of different effects implemented and the actors using the space well. The group I went through with were terrified and the actors realy played with that, interacting with what the group were saying.
The Rocky CIRCUS Big Top!
This circus, unfortunately, didn’t meet the high standards of the rest of the attraction. We were presented with a number of circus acts primarily acrobatics. While the stunts themselves were good the whole show was lacking in a number of areas. The sound quality was incredibly poor with audio coming from behind us and not particularly filling the room. The lighting felt quite amateur with at one point some laser pointers being pointed around the room and the magician struggling with his props.
There is definitely potential with the show but the acts need better direction and the overall production quality needs some tweaking. It was clear I was not alone in my opinion of this experience with at least a quarter of the audience leaving halfway through. I spoke to a family while waiting for another attraction and they also highlighted the circus being a bit disappointing.
As this was the first night of the run there is still time for improvements to be made. Steven will be visiting later in October and we will update this review if things get better.
Xtreme Scream Park was a brilliant scare attraction to kick start the Halloween season with theming that would not be out of place at a large theme park. The actors were clearly dedicated to doing a good job. The actors were able to provide scares to the whole group even when we caught up with the group in front.
The park had also introduced a variety of animatronics. While I prefer actor interactions these animatronics did work well and provided additional scares throughout the attraction.
If you are looking for a good scare this Halloween you can’t go wrong with Xtreme Scream Park with impeccable theming and strong acting. The event is running on selected nights through to the 31st of October.
Have you visited Xtreme Scream Park? Let us know your thoughts over on the events page.