Scare Kingdom Review 2011
On the evening of Thursday 27th October I ventured out to visit Scare Kingdom for the second time, after visiting the unforgettable 2010 event last year (which I had been recommending to all my friends and family and been fiercely enthusiastic about). Therefore, in all honesty, I will admit I had very high expectations for SK this year. And, unfortunately, I must report from my experience, things seemed to have gone a bit downhill since last year.
The queuing system was very disorganised. Groups were catching up on each other; and at one point during the Dia De Los Muertos cornfield attraction our group had grown into a collaboration of about 40 people. When waiting for entry into Voodoo Bayou in our initial group of six, a group of twelve people with quite a number of young children (one as young as about five years old) joined our group, which I thought brought down the tone of what was previously classed as a more adult scare attraction. Though those were my only two main complaints, they really did manage to bring down the evening as a whole, especially in the first three attractions (Voodoo Bayou, Day of the Dead and HMS Hell). However I think the main problem was crucially in the group size, as it completely stopped anyone at from really experiencing what was going on.
In my opinion, the second corn maze was not needed, & it seemed to emphasise how the entire event seemed to be very much toned down in scares, which a friend of mine who visited a few days prior to me, confirmed with the same sort of opinion in that there was a lack of scares throughout. Last year's Unhallowed Hill corn field maze was a fantastic part of Scare Kingdom and I was sad not to see it making a return visit.
Being on a negative slant so far, I shall say Blood Bath just managed to rescue Scare Kingdom 2011 from being completely less than what I expected. During Blood Bath, our group was still oversized, but I will say that actor interaction was miles better than the first three attractions. This was definitely the scariest part & the the general theming, presence of scare actors and costumes seemed to reflect that. Another part of Scare Kingdom I did also like was the inclusion of street theatre character Crazy Mavey (which also provided a photo opportunity), and a few more additions outside the entrance such as a short ghost train and dodgems.
My overall verdict is - better system for managing the queues & groups are needed, so such an incident will not occur again - the groups accumulating ruined the experience for everybody. The queuing system for last year's event was excellent, so perhaps reverting back to what worked last year would be a good idea? Clearer definition is needed on who this event is now being aimed at, since young children are being admitted later on at night, despite there also being a day event specifically aimed at young children.
Whether this was just an off night, I really do not know, but I have left feeling slightly less hopeful & thinking more along the lines of not making a return visit if SK is now being aimed at a younger audience.
Overall Rating: 4/10