The Alton Towers Dungeon Development
Boat Ride Manufacturer
MACK Rides GmbH
£7.50 (£5 in advance)
In 2019 the park will see the addition of The Alton Towers Dungeon near Cloud Cuckoo Land, in the former Charlie and the Chocolate Factory building.
The Dungeons brand is one of Merlin's midway attractions that take guests through a live action experience, re-enacting a series of gruesome moments from history. They can often be found in historic cities around the world, but rumours of a dungeon coming to the park began to circulate over the summer when a trademark application was made by Merlin for the attraction name.
After much speculation as to where the attraction might be located, in September 2018 work began to start striping the theming from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, followed shortly by the official announcement that the Dungeon would indeed be the park's new attraction the following season.
How will the Dungeons work?
The Alton Towers Dungeons will operate in a similar way to The Castle Dungeon at Warwick Castle. The Castle Dungeon has an entry fee of £6 and features nine show scenes (having originally opened with eight) and is an experience that lasts around 50 minutes.
The Alton Towers Dungeon will have an additional entry fee of £7.50 (£5 if booked in advance) and will feature six scenes, including the boat ride, which have already been revealed in the marketing for The Dungeon.
What to expect?
If you don't want to know what may lie deep in the dungeons, you should skip this section as it may contain spoilers!
The full line-up for The Alton Towers Dungeons was announced in March 2019. When the attraction opens we can expect the following scenes:
How will you plead? Guilty!
A staple of all of The Dungeons, at Alton Towers guests will be summoned for their day in a court to face the Bishop of Stafford. This will be the first scene of the dungeons and so will likely take place in the former queue and pre-show of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Willy Wonka welcomed guests by video and introduced the characters.
The Black River boat ride
Laugh and Scream through Staffordshire's darkest history
Once sentenced by the judge, you will be taken away by boat on The Black River into The Alton Towers Dungeon. Along the route you will cross paths with the other inhabitants, who have been left to their fate in the dungeon.
What's the matter? Rats got your tongue?
What dungeon would be complete without a torture chamber? Your river ride will deliver you into the hands of the torturer, whose torture chamber will most likely take the spot previously occupied by Mike Teevee in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory/
Stand and just shiver!
The final three scenes of the Dungeon will take over the space where once guests would ride the Great Glass Elevators. The first of these scenes will take place in the Welsh Harp Inn, where the owners will tell tales of theroad, including those of the most famous highwayman - Dick Turpin.
The Plague Doctor
The Doctor will see you, if you have the heart!
The next scene is another staple of The Dungeons franchise, where a plague doctor retells gruesome tales from the time when the plague ravished the land. And if there is anything more disgusting than the plague itself, it is most certainly the 'cures' that were administered to fight the epidemic.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's not really there at all!
The Dungeons are well known to include scenes based on local history and so this final scene will be set in the Witch of Burslem’s haunted cottage. It is likely that the story told will be that of Molly Leigh, a local woman who was accused of witchcraft but died before she was tried. After her death, it was said that her ghost haunted the local town of Burslem, where she had been accused of turning beer sour through witchcraft.
The Great Glass Elevators
Now we know the full line-up of The Dungeon, it looks like the Alton Towers version will not include The Decent, a lift ride that features in other versions of the attraction. It still remains to be seen if the motion simulator technology of the Great Glass Elevators, will be used in the new attraction in some other guise however.
The Black River
The details of what will happen during The Black River boat ride are also currently unknown, so it remains to be seen if any other characters from the rich mythology surrounding Alton Towers and the local countryside will make an appearance as guests descend into the The Dungeon.
The Dungeon will employ 23 actors, with 11 different characters appearing throughout the dungeons. To create the costumes, the wardrobe department will be creating:
- 309 Garments
- 30 Hats
- 20 Wigs
- 36 Pairs of shoes
To create the costumes the team have used a wide variety of tools including a cheese grater, sandpaper, wax and natural dyes including tea and mud. Many materials are bleached to fade colours and rubbed, burned or torn to appear aged. The process of aging costumes is known as 'breaking down' the material. Jackets take on average 3.5 hours to break down, whereas a waistcoat can be distressed in 35 minutes.
All garments will be maintained and washed in-house by the Costume Team on a daily basis (that’s 11,500 garments washed & dried each season)