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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Hex at Alton Towers (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

docsteve
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Well I'm definitely back off holiday - feeling tired & crabby already.
However we spent 3 days at the UK theme park Alton Towers, and I wanted to tell you about the ride "Hex" and it's demonstration of theatrical magick.

Basically the ride is a "haunted swing" - you know, where you swing a few feet, but the ceiling & walls rotate to make you feel like you're upside down. It's an old concept.

However, the ride is housed in a dilapidated part of the Hall, and story goes that the inner chamber was uncovered by work men. Inside is a large oak branch said to come from a cursed tree on the grounds.

In an anteroom you watch a 'briefing' - telling the story.
In the next chamber lights spark on and off, immense shadows are cast from statues that suddenly appear menacing. "Ring" style visuals spark and judder on the monitors - the place smells dusty, and the bare scaffolding feels shaky & dangerous.

The it's into the room with the oak; as the Occult symbols crackle to life with electricity, the room spins and slowly the true evil spirit of the oak is revealed, all whilst a classical music/horror film soundtrack pounds out.
You then exit through a few more scaffolded passages back into the fresh air - exhilarated, disorientated, and grinning from ear to ear!

It's a wonderful application of Bizarre magick principles - story, atmosphere, anticipation, cohesion - and all to sell a very old principle! Ha ha, how very bizarre magick!

Anyone able to do so on this forum should try it.
Steve
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BillyTheSquid
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Sounds very much like Drayton Manor's "The Haunting" http://www.themeparksofengland.com/revie......ting.htm
This starts off by pretending to be a ghost hunt that went wrong and you're sent in to investigate the lost crew. Great fun!

A great ride, but I kinda spoiled it for my school kids who thought it was revolving through 360 by a quickly knocked up pendulum / plumb bob from my in ear headphones. A total rotten spoiler, but then they were my school kids who had made my life interesting for the past 10 months Smile Smile

Will look out for Hex when I'm in Alton Towers next time.

I think the best haunted house ride I've been on has to be the one at Phantasialand in Bruhl. Amazingly eerie and gooseflesh inducing.

Cheers Steve,
Matt
handa
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Dizzy Lizzy's in Idlewild (Ligonier, PA) has a similar theme, except that the mysterious nature of the "Four Corners Saloon" was revealed after a mine explosion. There are magic effects themed for the queue and the antechamber when there is a full complement of staff available for the day.

On the other side of the Saloon is Confusion Hill, a hotel-themed tilt shack with all of the classic effects presented when there is a full staff complement for the day. Across, the "Mine Shaft Kitchen" has subtle theming that supports the backstory of both of the attractions, including the entrance to the blown-up mine.

Paul Osborne had a hand in the design of the area, and the stories I've heard about getting the attractions ready for pre-opening are pretty funny.

Chris
docsteve
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Oh dear, seems the writer on the Drayton Manor page didn't 'get' it, or perhaps the effects just weren't up to scratch! I would definately like to expereince if I'm ever there. Thanks for the link Billy.

Chris, thanks for that info too - I guess it would make an interesting vacation seeing all these ridse/effects. Just need to win that lottery...
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Bill Ligon
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Quote:
Dizzy Lizzy's in Idlewild (Ligonier, PA)


Chris, what's the name of that place, again?

Bill
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handa
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Idlewild Park:

http://www.idlewild.com

Their Western Area is nicely-themed and they actually train their CMs as actors for the two illusion-driven attractions. The corny jokes are a given, but I am a sucker for *any* type of classic walkthrough or "haunted attraction" and these both actually incorporate other magic effects into the presentations. (Again, on a good day. On some days, you just get the story and barebones presentation in both places with the other magic effects cut out of the presentation.)

It is also home to the ONLY Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Trolley Ride in the world!

Chris
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