The 19th of September was the perfect day to visit Thorpe Park to go review Derren Brown’s Ghost Train. Getting there at just after 10.00am, we wandered straight to the ride to ensure we got in first and could check it off our list. The ride has been one of the most talked about and had some of the most elaborate publicity prior to it’s opening in July 2016. Everyone must remember those creepy life size Victorian dolls wandering around on the underground last year. They gave me nightmares for weeks.
Unfortunately when we got there, we were told it wasn’t opening until 12:00pm because it took an extra-long time to set up due to all that was involved. Being in my very first UK Theme Park I wasn’t too disappointed as my friend and I had plenty of rides and attractions to explore in the meantime.
Arriving back at the attraction just after 12:00, we saw we didn’t get to the ride early enough as there was a 40 minute wait to get on the ride. Thankfully we had VIP passes so we were able to bypass the people lining up and make our way to the front of the ride.
The website information about the ride reports that Derren Brown’s Ghost Train is ‘A WORLD’S FIRST ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCE LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE ARRIVES AT THORPE PARK RESORT. RE-INVENTED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY, THIS GHOST TRAIN WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!CRAFTED BY THE MASTER OF MIND CONTROL, DERREN BROWN, THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND 10-15-MINUTE THEME PARK EXPERIENCE WILL BE THE WORLD’S ONLY FULLY IMMERSIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTRACTION DESIGNED TO MANIPULATE THE HUMAN MIND. AT THE HEART OF THE ISLAND YOU DISCOVER A DISUSED WAREHOUSE. AS YOU ENTER A SEEMINGLY INNOCENT VICTORIAN TRAIN CARRIAGE, IT SOON BECOMES CLEAR AS SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FILL YOUR SENSES, THAT YOU WILL COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH WHAT LIES AT THE END OF THE LINE’.
A lot of the fear factor goes into the anticipation of the ride and the not knowing what’s going to happen as you wait in a dark room with a single lit chair in the middle of the room. Being trapped in a room with 50 other people does diminish the fear somewhat and I felt smaller groups would have had more of a psychological impact. Understandably though, if 50 people are sent through each time for the ride and park guests still have to wait 40 minutes to get on the ride, it just wouldn’t be feasible to have smaller group sizes.
After a brief presentation prior to entering the Ghost Train, Derren Brown asks guests to keep what they witness a secret so other park goers can experience the fear themselves. Due to this I’m going to try keep the rest of this review, spoiler free.
Once on the train with my nerves going sky high, you are asked by staff to put on Virtual Reality (VR) Head Sets. There are three parts to this story and while the first part definitely gave me a few chills and jumps, the third left me a tad disappointed. The first lot of graphics in the VR Head Sets were great. I really felt like I was part of the story and it was creepy. The second left me feeling like I was in a 90’s video game with poor graphics and disjointed story lines. The two story lines definitely didn’t match up at all and there were definitely less jumps and screams than when I first got on the train. Again with having up to 50 other people on the train with you, it’s difficult trying to zone them out so you can immerse in the story line.
After discussing with my friend who had similar thoughts on the ride, we figured out that we had slightly different story lines in the VR part of the ride. This did make me want to go on again to check out if I got a different experience the next time.
I think this is one of the rides, where park goers are going to have to make up their own minds about. The 14 year old girls who sat near us were all squealing together throughout the ride and claiming that they were terrified on it. While others looked mildly bored. The good thing about the Derren Brown’s Ghost Train is that as graphics improve, the experience can continue to evolve into something that is truly terrifying.
So for your next fun day out, head to Thorpe Park and check out the ride for yourself. Tickets start from £27.99 and are available from www.thorpepark.com
Reporter: Tegan LeBon
Twitter and Instragram: @toogs1
Staines Rd, Chertsey