2011 saw the return of the popular Terrorific Night to Disneyland Paris. As one of the few scary events run by the Disney Company there was pressure on the resort to ramp up it efforts from the previous year and make this an extra special event. With 2010 being such a huge success, decisions were made to make the event run for two consecutive nights. The scares would be bigger, the events larger and the terror spread over much more of the park than before. Here is our review of Terrorific Night 2011.
The event ran over two nights, 29th – 30th October 2011 between the hours of 8.30pm – 1am. With the park closing only an hour and a half earlier it would have meant a quick turn around for the crew involved in the event. The activities at Terrorific Night can be easily split in to three categories: The Terror Zone, The Happenings and the Attractions, all of which offered something different to the usual Studios experience. Let begin with the attractions.
Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster: Scene of Crime
Imagine the same attraction with the same light show and same ride music but a new story. During the pre-show there was no mention of Aerosmith but that a crime had taken place that evening during a rehearsal period in the studio for one of the studios artists. While he was rehearsing a chainsaw wielding maniac had broken in and brutally killed the singer. All of this story is told through a video played via some large plasma TVs in the pre show room. A nice idea and well thought out for an event only running for two nights. After the brief moment of storytelling, imagine entering the queue area to find the same maniac from the video now roaming around with the artists head in his hands! A nice touch and a good scare for those trapped in the confined queue.
Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux
This was by far one of the biggest disappointments of the night. In 2010, the attraction was turned into a sci-fi style haunted walkthrough with Aliens popping up left right and centre. This year, the park returned to the rides originally format. The long drawn, boring and tedious 10 minute pre-show and then a walk to the space station. The corridors were filled with some gruesome looking hospital patients ( not sure how this fits in with the theme of the attraction) which were great and then the attraction. To cap it off the exit saw two more asylum type patients terrorising guests. These were some of my favourite scare actors of the night.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This was one attraction we never made it on due to a huge queue. In previous years the hotel has been filled with actors but the ride stayed the same.
Terrorific Tram Tour
This is the one attraction with the biggest change. Gone is the usual movie tour and hello to some of the biggest queues of the night! The tram tour has two main areas where the attraction stops and becomes a little scarier than usual. The first, after a stop at Catastrophe Canyon, is the Dinotopia scene where load music is blasted at guests and creatures board the tram terrorising scared onlookers. Next, is the devastated London scene were, this year, the biggest budget prop was found. No where near as scary as the previous year but certainly more impressive was the animatronic dragon that takes a cast member as its prey and eats them whole! I really nice effect and certainly not cheap. Good to see some fantasy scares thrown in.
Toy Story Playland
Not a scare zone and not in anyway changed to the usual offerings. The mini land offered guests a night time ride on its three main attractions.
The attractions queue remained the same as did the dark ride portion of the attraction. The attraction came during the rollercoaster portion of the attraxtion. Imagine no music and a slow pulsing strobe as you spin. Yes, I felt it and the slow strobe with the spin made me feel just a little queasy!
Dorva’s Experiment Lab
This was one of the most intriguing parts of the attraction list. An attraction that doesn’t exist normally. We eagerly headed over to see what we had in store for us to find out that we would be very, very, very disappointed. Try riding the Flights of Agrabah at night, with a continuous strobe and the voice of the Genie screaming at you. Got it? well, that is all it was. No story, no Dorva and no imaginative change. Believe it or not, people were actually riding this! This should never be allowed in a Disney theme park!
Before we move on to the Terror Zones, take a look at some of the picture we took during the event.
Thanks to Bert Syners for the photos!
In 2010, Terrorific Night had one specific zone that had a large number of characters roaming. This year, Disney added three new areas for guests to explore.
Returning from last year, the Boulevard was the main entrance to the event. Just as dark and full of characters as before but this time they seemed a little more menacing. Screams were heard the whole way through. With an ominous, smoked filled street ahead, it didn’t make you want to leave too quickly for fear of what might be on the other side of that cloud!
The street leading up to the Tram Tour saw a number of new characters. An old lady lost her son and a deranged girls wanders with fear in her eyes. Also, look out for a chainsaw wielding murderer and the return of the straightjacketed man! The scares here were few and far between. Certainly a much calmer atmosphere. I would have liked a few more bigger scares but this wasn’t the place for them.
Take a walk through this haunted church and see the creatures that lie among it. With smoked filled walkway I had high hopes for some real scares. Once inside, it became apparent that this mysterious monks didn’t move too quickly and the scares weren’t at all frightening. This felt more like a safe haven from the terror outside than a terror zone for only the brave.
Situated on the walkway between the Tram Tour and Tower of Terror, this market of the macabre sold everything from brains, eyeballs, clothing and bikes. Designed more as an interactive comedy/horror area, it once again brought a lot of smoke but very few scares.
Our terror zone verdict: Not particularly terrifying. We would loved to have been scared far more. It felt like the zones were dumbed down a little from the previous year and for an event designed to be for 12+ it would have been great to get some real scares. If the event is to grown in years to it would be great to see some purpose built houses or even some more development to existing attractions. The expansion was great, the terror not so.
Theses happenings were unannounced entertainment in the street. Each had a slightly different twist on the idea of street theatre but all entertaining
The Headless Horseman
Making its way over from Walt Disney World, the Headless Horseman would appear on the streets from time to time accompanied by a band of orcs and warlocks. An impressive sight even from close up made a real treat for those who caught it.
A band of bikers could be found driving around the courtyard of Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. The roar of the engines were loud and there speed was immense. Not scary but certainly happy to pose for photos with passers by.
Les Merchants Disney
It was a great surprise to meet Disney characters during the event. Guests could pose for photos with the Wicked Queen (Witch version) from Snow White, Jafar and the Huns own Shan Yu. Never before have I seen grown women scream and run away from a Disney character. There is always a first I suppose!
By far the scariest, most gruesome part of the evening. We never expected to see just what we did. Magic, great! Gore, great! Mix them together, AMAZING! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the video below (WARNING: NOT SUITABLE FOR A YOUNGER AUDIENCE)
Our overall verdict: Another strong event from Disneyland Paris that was well worth the price of admission. It was a fun night that provided some minor scares but if the event is to survive and grow it needs to build upon the scares of 2010 and the events and atmosphere of 2011. For us, it couldn’t be too scary and for us to keep going year after year that is exactly what is needs to become. You can judge for yourself by taking a look at our hight video from Terrorific Night 2011