Alton Tower’s Scarefest is a hauntingly spooky event for Halloween lovers and thrill-seekers alike!

I was lucky to visit Alton Towers three times this year (2021), one of those times for the famed Halloween event – Scarefest. As someone who absolutely loves Halloween (and Alton Towers), I was very excited to be spending a night dedicated to the spookies all whilst being able to experience some of the rides at night.

Immediately after walking through the entrance, the Halloween decorations were in abundance – Towers Street’s already colourful exterior was amplified by the pumpkins and bunting. In a very picturesque position in front of the Towers’ ruins, was a Scarefest sign made up by very Halloweeny looking letters; just past this in the area near the stage, there were multiple food stands and although I didn’t purchase from one, there was a wide variety of choice to suit anybody. Giant pumpkins were scattered around the park, as well as actors in amazing costumes and make-up, who were entertaining (and scaring) the visitors. My boyfriend was especially scared of one actor who slowly and silently walked around, much to the entertainment of the rest of us.

Towers Street adorned with colourful Halloween decorations

In between the rides, we had a quick break at ‘Just Chicken,’ the Oblivion-themed diner in X-Sector, where we got a Boneless Banquet – a cheaper alternative than 4 separate meals and it was tasty and filling enough to satiate our hunger. As we walked around the Park to queue up for the rides, we noticed all 4 of the Scare Mazes each with a different theme: Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard, The Attic: Terror of the Towers, Altonville Mine Tours and Darkest Depths. Anyone who frequents theme parks knows a lot of the day is taken up by queuing for rides, due to this we didn’t partake in the mazes this time but instead booked the Alton Towers Dungeon experience.

The entrance to the Alton Towers Dungeon

The Alton Towers Dungeon was spectacular – the tour was filled with infallible acting, clever humour and of course, most importantly, lots of spooks! The Tour consists of 5 shows and a boat ride all of which are brilliantly entertaining and have you constantly on edge – you’ll only relax if you make your way out… The Dungeon is open normally and isn’t a one-off Scarefest event so you can seek your spooky thrills whenever you visit! (Be sure to book ahead to secure a time and also save £2 off the normal ticket price!)

By the time we escaped the Dungeon, the sun was setting and the Park hauntingly lit up, the Autumn chill set in and we walked over to queue up for Wicker Man, which looked even more amazing in the night. Having been on almost every other ride, we definitely saved the best for the unique experience of riding at night – Wicker Man and Thirteen. Big Bob was fired up, literally, in all his glory and when we finally got to the bag check-in, the glory was further extended with an unexpected addition to the queue that me and my boyfriend had not experienced at Wicker Man before, though I’m unsure if this is a new addition or a Scarefest special so I won’t spoil it here. It was really cool going on Wicker Man at night, made even more entertaining by hearing my boyfriend’s mum say, “wow Gem that was a long ride,” when we were only halfway through.

Big Bob glowering over us in the queue for Wicker Man

Thirteen, being a horror-themed ride, was perfect to go on last. We didn’t queue in the eerie forest for long but by the time we got to the front, the night had well and truly settled in. It was so dark in the forest during the ride that we couldn’t see the track and, although I’ve been on the ride before, the dark is so disorientating and you don’t know where you’re going – it was thrilling and we loved it. My best friend came with us and she hadn’t been to Alton Towers before, so she got the fright of her life on Thirteen, so after laughing on all the other rides we finally heard her scream and the rest of us deemed it a successful day out.

We did try to get on another ride but it was 9pm and the queues close off at that time for the last ride during Scarefest so we instead meandered through the Gardens which were eerily lit up, with some sound effects too for good measure- the Towers ruins also looked glorious in the Halloween themed lighting! We made our way back to Towers Street and got some donuts; I personally am not a big fan of donuts but I love the ones at Alton Towers, they’re so crispy and warm. We headed back to the car and chatted about our favourite rides of the day. Although my favourite rides are usually Nemesis and Galactica, going on them at night thoroughly changes the experience. For those who love lists and rankings I have included my ranking order of the Alton Towers rides (specific to this Scarefest trip and, of course, including the Dungeon):

  1. Duel A personal favourite of mine and my boyfriend’s (I almost beat him finally but I’ll take second place, his mum came last but she wouldn’t have it as she profusely claimed her shooter wasn’t working.)
  2. Rita – Though I do love Rita, it’s over so quick you don’t even register what just happened and then you’re getting off it but the the thrill of the rapidness is something else.
  3. Galactica – As I said, one of my personal favourites however as there was a minor problem we waited in the queue for HOURS without knowing what was happening, so that took a toll on our patience as we were eager to get on other rides, enjoyable as usual.
  4. The Alton Towers Dungeon – So spooky and harrowing yet extremely funny and a great experience to learn about history whilst being on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what’s coming next.
  5. Nemesis – We went on Nemesis first, without having food prior, so we all got off feeling a bit dizzy but it was so good as usual.
  6. Thirteen – As I’ve said, Thirteen was the most Halloweeny ride and really was the best choice to conclude our Scarefest activities.
  7. Wicker Man – Big Bob never fails to thrill us and his magnificent fire against the jet black sky made for another entertaining ride.
The Ruins lit up in a Halloweeny fashion

I have loved going to Alton Towers this year but Scarefest amplified the Towers experience for me. I highly recommend to anyone to attend Scarefest one year, especially if you love Halloween, as there is something for everyone. Though be warned, if you haven’t been to Alton Towers before and your first time is during Scarefest or any other event where you can go on the rides at night, you will have high expectations as me and my boyfriend found the rides were SO much better at night, though it doesn’t’ take away from their usual thrill and fun, the ominous dark was just a unique experience.

Thank you for reading! If you have been to Scarefest, feel free to leave your ride ranking in the comments! Of course, any other comments, suggestions or requests are welcome.

Never stop wandering!

Header photo: The Scarefest sign at Alton Towers, England
Date visited: October 2021

I am not affiliated with or have been paid to advertise Alton Towers or their Scarefest event; I have written this review purely as a recommendation for people to visit this wonderful place.

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