Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fright Night

If you know me, you know that I LOVE HALLOWEEN. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. The entire month of October is just the best. It starts to feel like fall, you get to wear boots and scarves, have pumpkin in all the foods, dress up in costumes, throw dry ice in peoples drinks at parties... that last one might just be me.
Last year's Halloween party with my dry ice drink!
One of my favorite things to do in October is go to Busch Garden's Howl O' Scream. Its pretty much a combination of all of the above. They have Halloween themed shows and haunted mazes, you can get your face painted, it's awesome. 

<3 <3 <3 <3
This has probably been the saddest part for me living in London so far - missing all of my beloved October activities. First of all it felt like fall as soon as I arrived in September. It's basically perpetually in the 50's and 60's, so I've been wearing scarves and boots for a while now. Secondly I haven't been to Starbucks once since I've lived here (#poorgradstudent) so I haven't had the highly revered PSL. All of my halloween decorations are packed neatly away in my storage unit back in the states so no decorations. I have noticed a few shops and pubs decorated this week, but I'm used to putting all the decor up October 1st. The English just aren't as into Halloween as I am. I found myself really missing Howl O'Scream too. I was telling my classmate all about my Halloween woes when he mentioned that Thorpe Park has a Fright Night. 

As I mentioned in my last post... TICKETS BOUGHT IMMEDIATELY. So this past Sunday I woke up really early to get the train out to Staines, where my classmate Hasan and I hopped on a bus that took us to Thorpe Park. 

The trip took about 1.5 hours but the train was really nice. There was actually a large group of American college kids sitting next to me on the train, which was weird. We arrived at 9:30 and had to wait in line to get into the park at 10 when it opened. Early bird really gets the worm. We rode 4 of the 5 roller coasters by noon. 

The first ride we hit up was based on the movie Saw. It had a really fun beginning with an unexpected drop, but then after that was a little concussion inducing. Then we went on Colossus, which had A LOT of loops. Kimmy's stomach, no-likey. The third roller coaster was my favorite by far. Stealth basically blasts you off 0-->80 in 1.9 seconds. It's a short ride but oh-so-fun.

The other coasters were meh. Not bad, but nothing special. The haunted mazes opened at 3pm. The lady at Guest Services we spoke with recommended we get in the queue at 2 as the lines can get up to 3 hours long. They had 4 movie themed mazes, of which I've actually seen two! My Bloody Valentine (because of my beloved Jensen Ackles) and one of the best horror movies of all time: Cabin in the Woods (love you Joss!). I figured if the lines were that long we could at least do 2 of them. 

The newest maze was Carnival themed. Nothing scarier than a clown!  We waited an hour for that to open, and were 3rd in line. Look at the queue behind us!! haha suckers.

The best part of this maze was the 3 high school girls who went in front of us and were literally screaming at everything. At the end one of the clowns chases you out with a chain saw and those girls BOOKED it. One of them was crying. It was hilarious. 

The second maze we went to was Cabin in the Woods. They had hilarious actors running up and down the line. I wish I had gotten more pictures. This guy played up the hillbilly backwoods character way above what I'm sure they're paying him for. He and another girl dressed similarly came up to random people in line and yelled at them and then yelled at each other. It was hilarious. The lines were much shorter than we thought they'd be (only about 30-60 min) so we actually were able to do all the mazes! 

Please note the second bullet point. This was the biggest difference from Howl O' Scream. THEY CAN TOUCH YOU. Before each maze an employee would tell everyone to please not punch or hit the actors or we'd be dismissed from the park. Most of the mazes had rooms that were completely dark and you just had to find your way around. It was creepy and awesome. 

I also loved the movie themes. They stuck to them really well too! The Cabin in the Woods maze had a bunch of different doors and it was almost like a choose your own adventure. Depending on which door you went through you met different monsters (which if you've seen the movie you'll totally understand.)

What struck me most at this park were the many girls dressed up in stiletto heels and booty shorts. Yes, some were dressed in costumes, but I think some just wore that to the park. Who thinks heels are appropriate footwear for a theme park!? This may make me sounds old, but I disagree. I'm just a seasoned amusement park attendee and I know what attire helps you get the best experience. Stilettos are not on that list. The above is my attempt at a stealthy photo of the ridiculous outfits. 

The arcades at the park had a lot of games where you could win coins, but then also had £5 notes. Some tied to teddy bears!! I bet people spend way more than £5 trying to get those.

We basically did everything (including riding Stealth a second time) by 7p so headed back to London. Our train went right by Twickenham Stadium where Scotland had played Australia in the Rugby World Cup that evening. Australia won 35-34 in what was apparently a very controversial game. Fans poured onto the train and needless to say there was quite a bit of heckling going on.

When one Aussie started chanting, all of the Scottish fans burst into song. It was fantastic. There's 1.5 weeks left until Halloween and I am starting to feel a little more in the spirit thanks to my trip to Thorpe. Tomorrow we don't have class so maybe I'll break my streak and go study at Starbucks. I hear pumpkin spiced lattes help you retain knowledge.

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