2021: The World of David Walliams

AT86

TS Member
I think it is highly probable that the original plan was for a David Walliams ride to go into the Charlie building and when that fell through (for whatever reason) the Dungeons idea was pushed through pretty quickly.

The Walliams plan was then resurrected as the scaled down Gangsta Granny ride being opened this year.

Hopefully the success of this ride will mean the Dungeons idea is re-visited and rethemed into a Walliams ride.
 

Craig

TS Administrator
Would it be fair to guess that Gangsta Granny was originally intended to be a retheme of CATCF as opposed to a brand new ride system?

Only saying this because I seem to remember that TWODW was originally strongly rumoured for 2019 (Bradley Wynne had a project listed as “Alton Towers 2019 Attraction” listed on his LinkedIn page that had allegedly been in planning since October 2016 that suddenly disappeared midway through 2018; I feel like the Dungeons probably wouldn’t have been in planning for that long), and I’ve always heard it said that the Dungeons was intended more as a temporary stopgap until the park could craft a more permanent successor to CATCF. In the early stages of the CCL retheme rumours, I seem to remember a lot of people saying about how a rethemed CATCF was to be the area’s headline attraction. The boat ride system would also arguably fit with Gangsta Granny, as Granny and Ben do actually go into the sewers at one stage of the book.

Do you think I’m onto something, or am I reading too much into this?

Yup, I think you're fairly on the money on that front. At the time of the AT's Dungeons, with Merlin being pushed by shareholders there was obsession with a number of things:
  • A target to provide a specific number of beds on the resort over actually providing quality well thought out accommodation options.
  • A massive push for the midway attractions. Merlin saw adding the Dungeons as adding to those midway attraction numbers with an existing building and audience ready to go. Alton saw an opportunity to increase revenue by having an up-charge attraction of an established brand.
The Dungeons was probably an easy fix for Towers. Adding a new attraction and probably with little funding required from the park itself as cash would likely come from the midway side of things, and having something else to do for multi day guests staying on resort.

But, that said it's been at the expense of losing a ready made, relatively high capacity ride system which could have been ideal as a headline attraction on top of the smaller attraction that we now have. Having that converted to a Walliams related ride could have then opened up the possibility of Burger Kitchen being rethemed into a food outlet related to the area too. A real missed opportunity to build a new land that could've been genuinely immersive.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Would it be fair to guess that Gangsta Granny was originally intended to be a retheme of CATCF as opposed to a brand new ride system?

Only saying this because I seem to remember that TWODW was originally strongly rumoured for 2019 (Bradley Wynne had a project listed as “Alton Towers 2019 Attraction” listed on his LinkedIn page that had allegedly been in planning since October 2016 that suddenly disappeared midway through 2018; I feel like the Dungeons probably wouldn’t have been in planning for that long), and I’ve always heard it said that the Dungeons was intended more as a temporary stopgap until the park could craft a more permanent successor to CATCF. In the early stages of the CCL retheme rumours, I seem to remember a lot of people saying about how a rethemed CATCF was to be the area’s headline attraction. The boat ride system would also arguably fit with Gangsta Granny, as Granny and Ben do actually go into the sewers at one stage of the book.

Do you think I’m onto something, or am I reading too much into this?

I think it is highly probable that the original plan was for a David Walliams ride to go into the Charlie building and when that fell through (for whatever reason) the Dungeons idea was pushed through pretty quickly.

The Walliams plan was then resurrected as the scaled down Gangsta Granny ride being opened this year.

Hopefully the success of this ride will mean the Dungeons idea is re-visited and rethemed into a Walliams ride.
Towers were forced by Merlin to push TWoDW back back a year and bring in the Alton Dungeon I think. TWoDW would've opened in 2019 otherwise, and the Charlie building would've indeed been used for GG.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
No. I think you are probably right. The Dungeons is more short-termism from Alton Towers.
Out of interest, is it known how successful the Dungeons has actually been? It always seems deserted whenever I walk by the area...

I was only wondering because if it hasn’t been particularly successful (it could be a raging success for all I know; Merlin know far more about what the park needs and what works than I do), maybe this means that the park might remove it and reuse the boat ride system for a 2nd Walliams dark ride?

I’ll say that the Dungeons certainly wasn’t what I personally had in mind for CATCF’s replacement; even though it looks well done for what it is, I’ll admit that those actor-led attractions aren’t really my kind of thing. I know that not especially liking actor-led attractions is an unpopular opinion, but I’ve never really been that into them, personally, even though I understand the appeal. I was personally hoping for a family dark ride, more in the vein of the rides it replaced, and I hope that this might be on the agenda in the future.
 

Danscott22

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
I think the Alton Towers Dungeon is quite good, but it's just not right for the area sadly. To answer you question @Matt N, don't know any stats but it always look dead when I visit.
 

Craig

TS Administrator
Apologies @Craig; if you wanted, I could repost my comment above in the Dungeons thread?

No need to apologise! As I said there's an overlap between the two anyway so your post was fine. My post was just to try and avoid this turning into an explicitly Dungeons discussion topic over Gangsta Granny/World of David Walliams discussion. It's completely up to you if you'd like to post in the Dungeons topic :)
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I know many are expecting the Dungeons to be used as the next part of WODW expansion but surely the 4 Cinema / Ice Age is next on the agenda for a retheme. Or has that been announced already and I've missed it?
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I know many are expecting the Dungeons to be used as the next part of WODW expansion but surely the 4 Cinema / Ice Age is next on the agenda for a retheme. Or has that been announced already and I've missed it?

Hopefully both.

Potentially if it wasn't for covid, maybe we would have seen a theatre show open this year and then the boat ride in 2/3 years time. Whereas this year it looks like there will be a Sir Algernon show on the lawns (probably after 17 May) as running things outdoors is a lot easier to make covid safe.
 

TheAverageNerd

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
I'd love to see a phase 2 expansion of the land bringing back the 4d cinema/theatre and a large scale dark ride in the dungeons building. Give us a re-theme of the burger kitchen and CCL cars too and you'd actually have a cohesive themed area, a stretch for Towers I'm sure but maybe they'll surprise us.

Honestly, I'd be happy if we got the cinema back next year with the rethemes, and then for 2024 we have a knockout year with both a rethemed Dungeons and possibly a new SW. It'd be a nice throwback to 1994, however unlikely that is. I can dream though.
 

AT86

TS Member
To me, there are various little signs around this development that point to the fact a phase 2 is planned either next year or soon after.

Take the entrance feature for example. As it stands today it doesn’t feature a prominent logo for ‘The World of David Walliams’ - the focus is on the Gangsta Granny ride, almost an acknowledgement that this isn’t a fully fledged area of the park (yet). The sign itself is as billy basic as it comes. Flat, vinyl printed - almost as if it is only designed to be temporary and will be replaced by a more detailed sign once the area is complete. It also looks like it would be pretty easy for them to pick up the entrance feature and move it forward a few 100 feet once the Dungeons and BK buildings have been incorporated into the area.

EsXQiDv.jpg
 

Alastair

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Indiana Jones Adventure
To me, there are various little signs around this development that point to the fact a phase 2 is planned either next year or soon after.

Take the entrance feature for example. As it stands today it doesn’t feature a prominent logo for ‘The World of David Walliams’ - the focus is on the Gangsta Granny ride, almost an acknowledgement that this isn’t a fully fledged area of the park (yet). The sign itself is as billy basic as it comes. Flat, vinyl printed - almost as if it is only designed to be temporary and will be replaced by a more detailed sign once the area is complete. It also looks like it would be pretty easy for them to pick up the entrance feature and move it forward a few 100 feet once the Dungeons and BK buildings have been incorporated into the area.

EsXQiDv.jpg

Nothing like a garish unused building that everyone knows used to hold a cinema to add to the theme of the area.
 

Danscott22

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
To me, there are various little signs around this development that point to the fact a phase 2 is planned either next year or soon after.

Take the entrance feature for example. As it stands today it doesn’t feature a prominent logo for ‘The World of David Walliams’ - the focus is on the Gangsta Granny ride, almost an acknowledgement that this isn’t a fully fledged area of the park (yet). The sign itself is as billy basic as it comes. Flat, vinyl printed - almost as if it is only designed to be temporary and will be replaced by a more detailed sign once the area is complete. It also looks like it would be pretty easy for them to pick up the entrance feature and move it forward a few 100 feet once the Dungeons and BK buildings have been incorporated into the area.

EsXQiDv.jpg
I've thought this for a while that it looks very temporary and could be moved, wasn't Cloud Cuckoo Land's entrance sign further forwards?
 

Squiggs

TS Team
I know a lot of people are expecting that the Dungeons will be rethemed to become part of Walliams World in the next few years, but realistically I think there is a good chance that the Dungeons will be around for longer than the new area.

Whilst it would be nice if there was a more coherent master plan for the park, if anything the past few years have shown us that such a long (or even medium) term development plan is currently missing and I don't even think the park know yet what will be arriving in 2022, let alone anything much beyond that.

That said, I think the dungeons have a better life expectancy than the Walliams attractions for the simple fact that it it is not an external IP, so won't have the same yearly expenditure to pay for the rights. IP attractions are always at risk if the park ever need to slash budgets quickly - CATCF, Ice Age, Sonic, Mike the Knight and Nina and the Neurons all suspiciously disappeared at exactly the moments where the park needed to save money and arguably all of those attractions (bar maybe Nina's Science Lab) still had useful life left in them.

Obviously the future very much depends on what happens in the next few months - if Walliams World is a giant success then maybe it might have a long a fruitful future in the park, but if the public reception is lack lustre then I honestly would be surprised if the whole IP is quiet swept aside in five years - and it honestly would be difficult to remove since Gangsta Granny is the only ride with any specific theming to it.
 

swalesuk01

TS Member
Some of those IP removals weren't necessarily cost savings. Nina and Mike the Knight have both been long gone on CBEEBIES. I am sure the Nina building was meant to be used for a sensory room.
I attended a q and a when they first closed CATCF and they admitted they extended the IP that season incase it needed to be reopened. So the only IP that could be cost saving is Sonic but then you could argue it was it that big a draw?

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
 
Top