Scarefest runs from 19 - 31 October

Scarefest runs from 19 - 31 October

The 2012 Scarefest promises to offer the most terrifying event yet. There is something for all thrill-seekers and families, with tons of terrific rides, blockbusting attractions, amazing live shows, and weird and wonderful costume characters. 

If you are really brave, why not stay over in one of the spookily themed Hotels. With a choice of amazing family attractions and extremely frightening scare mazes on your doorstep, you can make your Halloween break as relaxed or as terrifying as you like. Here's the best bits, on offer this year, from our visit to Scarefest.

Scarefest Mazes and Rides

This year, Alton Towers has gone bigger and better than ever before. Scarefest offers a variety of mazes including Duel, a family-friendly haunted house where you battle with ghosts and ghouls, Hex, an incredible multimedia experience journeying deep inside the legendary Towers, but be careful not to unearth the curse of the Chained Oak, and Haunted Hollow, a spooky walk, full of surprises, through Gloomy Wood. Those are just a few of the spectacular mazes on offer this Halloween.

For the grown-ups, there’s Nemesis Sub-Terra, a psychologically and physically thrilling experience, taking place in a dark, intense underground setting located in the Forbidden Valley sector of the theme park and Thirteen, an exhilarating rollercoaster based on the discovery of an unearthed ancient burial site where you will face an unknown horror that has been unleashed from an ancient crypt, located in an area of unexplored woodland known as the Dark Forest. 

Scarefest 2012 will also see the return of old favourites including Terror of the towers, and travelling circus, Carnival of Screams. For younger guests, Franklyn’s Freaky Farm has a host of special Halloween characters including Patch who has a Trick or Treat Party live on stage.

Away from all things scary, there is also an attractive kids area where you can find the Ice Age 4D Experience as well as traditional rides such as the carousel. And the more popular electrifying rides like Air, Rita, Oblivion, The Blade and Submission can also be enjoyed during your Scarefest break.

The Sanctuary

Not for the faint hearted, The Sanctuary is Scarefest’s biggest and scariest maze. It’s not spooky but it does play tricks on the mind. The Sanctuary invites guests to book an appointment at a recently re-opened facility for a refreshing checkup, but a terrifying twist waits.

Located in The Towers, this maze takes on the form of an old institution where human experiments would take place and the maze is a taster for what is to come in March 2013 as a world’s first rollercoaster at Alton Towers.

After being closed to new patients for almost 50 years, appointments are now being taken at the re-opened establishment, as a controlling force known only as the Ministry of Joy launches a series of trials, recruiting advocates for a new project to be unveiled in 2013.

The Sanctuary is full of all things psychologically scary, eerie, strange, odd and terrifying. What starts out as a rejuvenating check up at The Sanctuary soon takes a turn for the worse. Will you make it out with a smile on your face?

World First Rollercoaster

In March 2013, the Alton Towers Resort will launch its biggest ever ride. The first of its kind in the world, the £18million rollercoaster will be the biggest ever investment for a ride at the resort. It’s taken a year to design and build and offers fantastical escapism operating purely as a thrill machine. The out of senses experience provided by The Sanctuary maze at Scarefest is a build up to the ride, codenamed Secret Weapon 7.

It will involve spirals, smiley faces; mind altering experiments, optical illusions and all things weird and wacky from the moment you join the queue for the ride. The ride will be based in Alton Tower’s X Sector close to Oblivion.

While many of the details are still a closely guarded secret, we have some exclusive facts about the ride; Its highest drop will be 30 metres, it’s 10km faster than Air travelling at approximately 85km/hr, it’s 3x the length of Oblivion at 1,170m and the ride time is 3x longer than Rita, lasting 165 seconds, and the minimum ride height is 1.4 metres.  The ride will play with your mind, mess with your senses and exhilarate every part of you from start to finish – it opens on 16 March 2013.

Splash Landings Hotel

If you’re looking for a taste of the Caribbean on home shores then stay at the Splash Landings hotel for Scarefest. Offering a bright and tropical taste of the Caribbean, the sun shines every day in this crazy Caribbean themed hotel. After a busy day relax in Ma Garrita’s bar, with superb views overlooking the in-hotel waterpark and fabulous entertainment into the evening.

The hotel also has themed rooms including the Caribbean cruise-ship type lodgings called Beachcomber rooms (especially great for families), Ice Age themed rooms and Pirate themed rooms too. The hotel has transformed its grounds with pumpkins and other Halloween deco to get visitors into the Scarefest mood.   


Our verdict on Scarefest after spending the weekend at Alton Towers Resort, exploring the mazes, the rides and the grounds is simple; a must-visit for the whole family, groups of friends, couples and even solo travellers (the hotels and theme park rides are incredibly inclusive and accommodating of single riders).

There is absolutely something for everybody and with the theme park open till 9pm every night; guests can experience a host of adrenalin-pumping rides and attractions in the dark – including zombie walks. The Skyride makes it convenient to get to all areas of the theme park without having to walk through the crowds from one end of the park to the other. And if you’re parked far from the entrance or if you’re staying in one of the resort’s hotels then the super-handy monorail will easily take you back and forth.

Scarefest runs from 19 October - 1 November during which Alton Towers will be open until 9pm every day.

N.B Some Scarefest mazes are not recommended for children under 14 years of age or those with a nervous disposition.

Are you going or have you been to Scarefest? Tell us all about it in the comments below or tweet us your pics to @FemaleFirst_UK


Shabana Adam @Shabana_FAM

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