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Backstage: Platform 15 & The Big Top

The second backstage tour we did at Fright Nights 2016, here we look at Platform 15 and The Big Top

Following on from last month’s post (Find here), we also went on the other backstage tour at Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights. This covered their two original haunts, Platform 15 and The Big Top.

Platform 15

About the maze: Thorpe Park’s new haunt for Fright Nights 2016, Platform 15 was created to tie in somewhat to Derren Brown’s Ghost Train (as that was the new attraction for 2016) although the ultimate relation is tenuous beyond the obvious feature of a train!

What we learned:

  • There was a bit more thought going into the different scare ratings of the haunt than we expected. The maze was rated 2/5 for scariness during daylight but 5/5 for night-time walkthroughs. Whilst it’s pretty obvious that it’d be less scary during the day due to visibility, they came up with the idea that the ghosts actually behave differently once the sun sets. So the fundamentals of the maze were altered depending on when you went through it, with the ghosts acting more lost than aggressive during daylight hours.
  • Never ceases to amaze us how much detail there is in the minor things that likely nobody will ever pick up. For example, you’ll see oil coming from the train’s chimney in the pictures. This oil theme is reflected in the characters you encounter, they have it running from their eyes and mouth.
  • A cool feature of Platform 15 is that it runs into the ride area for SAW – The Ride. You won’t see it because only the tunnel part of the haunt passes through the area but it adds to the experience as the genuine noise of the ride train passing perfectly fits the theme of Platform 15. You can see from one of our pictures how close the tunnel is to the rollercoaster track!


The Big Top

About the maze: Returning for its second year, The Big Top was more or less a completely different maze to the 2015 incarnation and was all the better for it!

What we learned:

  • Usefully, we did the tour before going through the maze so were aware of those arrows on the floor in the strobed section – this part of the maze was completely disorienting during operation so we were glad for the insider knowledge – and even then, navigating through it wasn’t simple!
  • The prop room section was a bit limp when we went through during operation – the actors didn’t use the drop-down windows or the jack-in-the-box. So we wouldn’t have known they were there had we not been through the tour. It’s a shame that work and thought went into these scares and the actors, at least in our run-through, chose to remain in the open where they were less effective.
  • The prop room also contains props that were intended to be used in the ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ attraction but weren’t featured owing to a lack of space.


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