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'Fearless participants' try out Derren Brown's reimagined ghost train at Thorpe Park

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Thorpe Park has released new test footage for its reimagined version of Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, demonstrating the park’s promise to “up the fear” with the hair-raising content.

Captured with the approval of the participants, the footage shows Derren Brown’s team experimenting on a series of ‘fearless’ participants, chosen due to perceived ability to withstand shocks and fear. The trial resulted in some fearful reactions, including curling into a ball, spilling water on themselves and screaming loudly.

“It’s was a world-first ride – something really innovative, said Dominic Jones, divisional director of Thorpe Park, speaking to Attractions Management during the trials.

“This is the future of theme parks, especially if you think of all the different elements to it. We got a lot of feedback from our customers saying they wanted more fear, for it to be scarier, so we gave Derren Brown that problem. I can’t give too much away as he’s very secretive, as are we, but we’ve spent the whole winter working on how we can up the fear for Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon.”

The ride is undergoing a grand transformation as the park prepares to reopen for the season on 23 March. Changes have been made to add a sense of realism to the experience, which will follow similar themes but tell a new version of the story.

“It’s a whole new destination,” said Jones. “There will be elements that our guests will expect but there’ll also be lots of changes. The premise of the ride is still Derren Brown’s Ghost Train and he’s absolutely making it the scariest ghost train ever. There’ll still be the technology, the VR, the effects, the movement, live actors – all those things we did last year – but with the ante upped and some nice scares added in.

“Derren is so clever in what he does and how he works. With this ride you question reality itself because it does play with your mind. When you get off Rise of the Demon, you’ll think to yourself ‘what actually happened?’ It’s brilliant.”

Attractions Management’s Tom Anstey and Alice Davis were among the first outside of Derren Brown and Thorpe Park’s team to preview the ride, which reopens on 31 March. For more on their experience, see the upcoming edition of AM2, available 22 March.

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Thorpe Park has released new test footage for its reimagined version of Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, demonstrating the park’s promise to “up the fear” with the hair-raising footage.
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