What's new

Thorpe Park | Black Mirror | Glorified mirror maze

Nitefly

Member
Apparently opening this week. Anyone making the effort to attend?

Could be good if done well. It’s a critically acclaimed IP and I think it would be frowned upon by the IP owners if Thorpe mess it up.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
For those unaware, this is going at the back of the Walking Dead ride building, just behind Slammer. It's the space which has traditionally held Fright Night mazes (most recently Walking Dead Living Nightmare, but also Cabin in the Woods, Passing, Hellgate, etc). This was meant to open last year, but Covid delayed it. I also believe that the park and IP used the delay to change and improve the experience, rather than just leaving it sat there.

The vague outline on the park's website is:
Enter the unnerving near-future and be absorbed by the UK’s first Black Mirror experience at THORPE PARK Resort.

This twisted, sensory-defying maze puts you at the core of the Black Mirror universe and it wants to keep you there…

Escape Black Mirror Labyrinth or lose your mind trying.

There's a couple of pieces of advertising out there now too:

2021 TV spot feat. Black Mirror:

Olivia Attwood (from TOWIE? Love Island? Who knows?) was there last week, as 'the first person to try it out'. She posted a video on her Instagram which shows some stuff from inside (so, y'know, slight spoilers):

So everything put together it currently looks like it's a fancy mirror maze with a couple of extra special effects. Which isn't the most enticing proposition in the world.

As someone who isn't a fan of Black Mirror, the whole concept has never really appealed to me. But at the same time, I've clung onto some hope that there could be something quirky or different about this attraction, which makes it fun enough. I'm still clinging onto said hope. That said, it's still a shame seeing money be pumped into yet another walkthrough experience, which likely won't last more than a couple of years, when there's so many other things it be better spent on.


I'll be experiencing it this week. I guess I'll post a review of sorts here after doing so. So watch this space I guess...
 

Nitefly

Member
It would be a real let down if it was just that: a mirror maze. As I mentioned in another thread, it would be suitably black mirror if the plot involved installing you with microchips and monitoring your ‘data’ to make the ultimate theme park attraction.... or something. So this is an attraction where the concept / plot could really elevate it.

I also noticed that I’m a Celebrity... has gone. I don’t think anyone will be missing that.
 

emoo

Member
I'll give it a go. Not seen the show so my hopes wont be crushed. Its not like this actively annoys me by being there like Celebrity did. I shunned that so hard but it lasted too long.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
As I mentioned in another thread, it would be suitably black mirror if the plot involved installing you with microchips and monitoring your ‘data’ to make the ultimate theme park attraction.... or something. So this is an attraction where the concept / plot could really elevate it.
This attraction sounds like peak Merlin: take the cheapest possible hardware and wrap it up in a dystopian story, and presto, you've got a thrilling attraction. Bonus points if the dystopian story has themes of urban decay, so that any dirt, littering, graffiti, scratches, or corrosion just adds to the theme. That way you don't have to bother too much with maintenance.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Apparently the ride restrictions sign does actually say something about data, so it would appear that there may be some element of that type of thing involved somewhere.
EDIT: I’ve just taken another look at the ride restrictions board, and one of the restrictions is “Participants must register their name and sign the terms and conditions before entering the attraction, your photo will also be taken before entry. Your data will be deleted from the system within 30 minutes of upload.

So it would definitely seem that they’re using guests’ data in some form within the attraction.

@Nitefly I’m a Celebrity has been gone for a while; I think 2018 was its last season. It was replaced by Jungle Escape, an upcharge escape room, in 2019. I’m not sure if Jungle Escape is even still around, come to think of it…
 
Last edited:

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Apparently the ride restrictions sign does actually say something about data, so it would appear that there may be some element of that type of thing involved somewhere.
EDIT: I’ve just taken another look at the ride restrictions board, and one of the restrictions is “Participants must register their name and sign the terms and conditions before entering the attraction, your photo will also be taken before entry. Your data will be deleted from the system within 30 minutes of upload.

So it would definitely seem that they’re using guests’ data in some form within the attraction.
That's probably code for "we're going to take your photo first and then try to sell it to you afterwards." Although who knows, could be some kind of waiver/register due to it being an indoors attraction when there's a pandemic kicking about? That will be the toughest thing to sell to sensible people - are they going to want to do an indoor attraction with people they don't know.

I'm going on Thursday (press invite) and I'm looking forward to it. I've had a previous job involving mirror mazes and I like the the Black Mirror series...and I think this is an IP that actually ties in quite nicely with Thorpe Park. Unless there is something incredible and innovate, it's likely to be a filler attraction, as mirror mazes are. I'm simply pleased they're getting something that I've an interest in!
 

JoshC.

Active Member
@Nitefly I’m a Celebrity has been gone for a while; I think 2018 was its last season. It was replaced by Jungle Escape, an upcharge escape room, in 2019. I’m not sure if Jungle Escape is even still around, come to think of it…

Jungle Escape is still listed on the park's website, although simply as 'closed'. There's fencing up around it too, indicating it won't open this year in my opinion. Ideal scenario would see the space repurposed for a Fright Nights attraction again, but who knows.

The name and photo thing could be used throughout the attraction I guess. Project your face onto walls / mirrors / whatever, maybe with some sort of distorted filter to try and freak people out? Nothing groundbreaking, but done right it would be fun.

I'm going on Thursday (press invite) and I'm looking forward to it.
That's when I'm there too...will have to keep an eye out for the legendary Ian from CoasterForce!
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Just been doing a little more reading up on this, and yes, can confirm that one of the The Only Way is Love Island 'slebs did try it other day. The Daily Mirror (daily MIRROR could've made more a joke on it) reported this useful snippet of information:

"The TV reality star, 30, was wearing a crop-top - revealing her svelte stomach - grey joggers and high-top trainers as she was pictured recovering from the ‘sensory defying maze’ at the Surrey theme park on Friday."

That put plans to the outfit I was going to wear. Seeing as what people wear is so important, I will now be wearing a pair of chinos, t-shirt, a thin jumper, norwegian styled socks, a pack of loose fitting boxer shorts from a bumper pack bought in Asda, and a cheap pair of trainers. Depending on the weather, I might have a jacket or hat on, too.

What will you be wearing when you try out Black Mirror Labyrinth?

FFS.
 

Dar

Member
The name and photo thing could be used throughout the attraction I guess. Project your face onto walls / mirrors / whatever, maybe with some sort of distorted filter to try and freak people out? Nothing groundbreaking, but done right it would be fun.
That was my first reaction, but the more cynical 'what story-integral piece of technology won't be working after 6 months this time'
 

emoo

Member
This is set to open 21st May, with a pre booked time entry (along with the ghost train) according to this update video by the park who are bracing themselves for a rush. On a mirror maze.

 

witchfinder

Member
Myself and a few other forum members are visiting on Friday by sheer coincidence. Not sure if we will try this but I know it is using timed entry tickets to begin with based on what the website says, so as long as I don't have to waste time queuing for it then I'm vaguely interested, just to see what it is.
 

Robbie

Active Member
Could be good if done well. It’s a critically acclaimed IP and I think it would be frowned upon by the IP owners if Thorpe mess it up.
Worth noting that the creators of Black Mirror are no longer involved with the company who own the rights, partly because they felt the company didn't appreciate the value of the brand. So, basically, there's no-one to give a **** on either side of this deal.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
So I was lucky enough to have a couple of goes on this, after going along to the preview event with Thorpe Park Mania.

Before starting, I should give a disclaimer since I've seen some people on social media moan. These preview events invite celebrities and influencers (and geek websites!), and the intention of these events is for such people to share positive thoughts about the experience. If you want to see that stuff, check out any goon social page and I'm sure you'll find that stuff.

What follows is a balanced reflection of my genuine thoughts of the experience. As always, whenever I attend these events, I try to give my feedback to staff/managers/creators too, good, bad, or ugly. If I've ever felt like my experience has been altered because of attending a preview event, I take that into account too.

Anyways, slight spoilers follow...

---

"It's...interesting"
That was my immediate reaction. It doesn't sound very positive, I grant you, but it's also not very negative either.

I guess a good way of describing it is a grown up Hocus Pocus Hall. And that's not a bad thing. It's a multi-route walkthrough experience, with dead ends and multiple special effects. There is a mirror maze in there, yes, but that is just one part of the experience. Your name and face is used at a couple of points too, after having your photo taken before going in there.

The story is that the Labyrinth is an AI creation which has become self aware. It's stolen all its information about you, and now wants to 'delete' you. So the premise is original, but slightly Black Mirror in tone (I believe...not being a big fan of the show I can't say for certain).

It's a fun experience with some quirky moments. We got lost a few times. We became disoriented. There were some moments which were a bit of a surprise. There's nothing special, but it all 'works' and flows pretty nicely.

After having done the experience twice, though, I'm not clambering to do it again any time soon. That's just the nature of this experience - there's not enough multiple routes to keep it completely fresh each time, and it is kind of 'one and done'. That's not a bad thing really, as it is an enjoyable enough experience in its own right, but I don't think it's what Thorpe need right now.

Some assorted Q&As:
-Is it scary? No. And I wonder if that will lead to complaints with people expecting a FN like maze...
-What is batching like? You're batched in your household group exclusively. And it seems like it will be a group every 90 seconds.
-What would batching be like without Covid? It seems like there's space for 12 people per group normally. That would give a throughput of 480pph in theory. Bog standard for a Merlin maze really.
-What are Covid rules like? This is a weird one. You have to remove your mask whilst your photo is taken (this is for a special effect later within the maze). And inside you naturally end up touching things as you find your way round, and you may come into close contact with people due to the non-linear route. I expect this may make some people feel uncomfortable, and could cause some complaints.

So all in all, the premise of the experience is interesting. As I say, it's not something I'm itching to get back to doing again, but it's a fun experience. It's another indoor experience for the park, which is needed, but ultimately it is very much a 'one..possibly two... and done' type thing, which is perhaps not what the park needed.

My biggest worry is how it will operate. It does feel like an operational headache getting people through and, especially now, managing expectations of guest numbers and social distancing.

Given it's going to be Timed Tickets for a while, and it should be pretty reliable, hopefully it means physical wait times are minimal for now. So definitely worth giving it a crack when you're next on park.
 
Top