On Tuesday I was lucky enough to be part of a very small group to be one of the first guests to venture inside the Alton Towers Dungeon. As well as that, we had a Behind the Scenes tour of the Alton Towers Dungeon led by Eddie Saul, Head of Creative Partners and Chris Carter, Head of Entertainment and Tech. Work on the Alton Towers Dungeon began in September 2018, and has been completed in SIX months – most of the Dungeon attractions take 18 months to deliver. So, does this dramatically cut timeframe mean a poor guest experience? Read on, and I’ll discuss our first look inside the Alton Towers Dungeon and Behind the Scenes tour. If you don’t want Spoilers then it might be best to step away now..

First though, let’s take a quick look at one of the adverts for the Alton Towers Dungeon –

Where is the Alton Towers Dungeon located?

The Alton Towers Dungeon is located near the ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ Area of the park. It’s in the old Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Building, which was formly Toyland Tours, and before that Around the World in 80 Days and Doom and Sons. It’s a massive building which has been part of the Alton Towers ride history for decades now. The exterior of the building has been clad with logs, and a new faux stone / castle entrance has been added. When pictures leaked of the transformation, as ever, many ride enthusiasts weren’t happy. However, that wasn’t the finished product, and what is there is more impressive in person. There is more ‘dressing’ of the exterior to be done – but I like how it’s shaping up.

The menacing exterior of the Alton Towers Dungeon
The menacing exterior of the Alton Towers Dungeon

You’ll be screaming with laughter whilst being sentenced by the Bishop of Stafford, before being condemned to a traitors boat ride down the Black River.

In these dark chambers, try to survive the plague, and endure humiliation as well as pain at the hand of the Torturer.

If you escape… stop at the local tavern, known to be one of Dick Turpin’s hideouts, he may even shoot by! Then visit the Witch of Burslem’s cottage… to come face to face with her ghost!

What’s gone into creating the Alton Towers Dungeon?

Over 200 people have been involved with the creation of the Alton Towers Dungeon, and 10km of new cabling has been installed for special effects. They have recruited 23 actors for the Dungeon, each requiring 240 hours of training. They will perform 240 shows a day. There are over 400 pieces of costume for the actors in the Alton Towers Dungeon, all of which will be washed and dried in-house by the Costume Team. Also, the wizards at Holovis (the people who created the Wicker Man Pre-Show) are involved too, which is excellent news.

Eddie Saul confirmed the Alton Towers Dungeon will use roughly the same length of the boat ride system that was used in CATCF. Toyland Tours and Around the World in 80 Days used the full length of the ride system. The ‘Black River’ section will also have actors in it too, which is excellent news, the ride sections usually use models and animatronics, using actors will add an extra layer of fun!

Also, something that I REALLY like, is they have included nods to the building’s history within the attraction. We had part of an archway from ‘Doom and Sons’ pointed out to us, maybe there’s an Oompah Loompah tucked away somewhere?

So, what does it look like inside the Alton Towers Dungeon?

Well, it’s worth pointing out that what we saw wasn’t completely finished. Some scenes required more painting, and varnishing – it was a ‘live’ site. Some of the areas we walked through had the house lights up, workmen and tech folk beavering away, so it shattered the illusion somewhat. The ‘Black River’ where you get sent after ‘judgement’ was completely out of bounds, so I’ve got no idea how that looks.

The Torturer's Scene inside the Alton Towers Dungeon
The Torturer’s Scene inside the Alton Towers Dungeon

We experienced the introduction from the Alton Towers Dungeon Steward and two scenes which were pretty much complete. We saw the Bishop of Stafford and encountered the Torturer – both of which had absolutely NAILED their performances. There wasn’t any stumbling over lines or breaking out of character – they owned it. If the quality of the actors is this high throughout the attraction, then it’s going to be awesome. The scenes were well presented and well dressed, it was easy to forget you were stood in the old Charlie and the Chocolate Factory building. Whilst it was hard to get an idea of the full experience – I think it’s going to be VERY good.

Below is a gallery of some of the promotional images that Alton Towers has provided to give a feel of what it’s like Inside the Alton Towers Dungeon –

For a little more detail, and some exclusive behind the scenes footage from inside the Alton Towers Dungeon, take a look at my Video Blog below –

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