Duel: The Haunted House Actually Strikes Back - Refurb Incoming

Status
This topic has been locked. No further replies can be posted.

jon81uk

TS Member
But gutting the building would be throwing away half the work that's already done for them, just because the effects been so poorly maintained. Such a self destructive approach when there are other ways to create a big exciting haunted house (which is what it was always supposed to be).

More screens would be boring, we have Gangsta Granny

Only reason to empty the building would be if they want to completely change the theme.

Yep I don't think screens are the answer at all.
Look at Disney haunted mansion, one of the best dark rides in the world and barely a screen in it. Proper projection mapping, peppers ghost effects and getting the original lighting back would be far better. Also just sorting out the flow to remove the couple of sections where it just feels like dark corridor.
 

geo4chg

TS Member
But gutting the building would be throwing away half the work that's already done for them, just because the effects been so poorly maintained. Such a self destructive approach when there are other ways to create a big exciting haunted house (which is what it was always supposed to be).

More screens would be boring, we have Gangsta Granny

Only reason to empty the building would be if they want to completely change the theme.

But the majority of what is in there is now approaching 30 years old, so it is now at the point where it'd likely be easier to throw it out and start again that fix ancient props and scenery. It should be a fun and exciting ride for all the family, like what Disney has done with Mystic Manor - it is a fresh take on the Haunted Mansion idea and utilises great technology to achieve that effect. A half-hearted "fix" of what is currently inside Duel is not at all what is needed with that ride - the Haunted House had lost its popularity before they changed it to Duel in 2003, so surely just reinstating that ride's effects is not the way to go.

I hope they do away with the blasters, put some really good new effects in there, new story, totally freshen it up, and the addition of some screens would help achieve this (keep physical props but then have screens in behind to create moving shadows, illusions, extra dimensionality to the rooms to make the house seem much larger than it actually is). If done well, the dark nature of a haunted house would mean people would be looking at screens without even realising that they were. You could even have different scenes that can happen at any one point so there are a few variations making the ride more re-rideable.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
But the majority of what is in there is now approaching 30 years old, so it is now at the point where it'd likely be easier to throw it out and start again that fix ancient props and scenery. It should be a fun and exciting ride for all the family, like what Disney has done with Mystic Manor

Haunted Mansion is 50 years old at Disney and I expect a large amount is still original.

Why can't we have the Haunted House and an alternative new Mystic Manor style trackless ride at Alton Towers?
 

geo4chg

TS Member
Haunted Mansion is 50 years old at Disney and I expect a large amount is still original.

Why can't we have the Haunted House and an alternative new Mystic Manor style trackless ride at Alton Towers?

Disney generally maintain their rides very well in comparison, but you only have to look at Phantom Manor (same age as Haunted House) and look at the work done to refurb that recently to see what a big job it is to maintain these types of rides and get them back to their past glory. The difference is, most of what is inside Haunted House looks really tired or seems to be broken, and returning it to working order wouldn't be enough to make it a really good ride again, it needs a complete overhaul.

I'm all for lots of new dark rides at Alton but realistically a Duel refurb and a new trackless dark ride aren't both coming any time soon. Fixing Duel should come first and then by all means add another new dark ride further down the line, but as we all know there are a lot of other things that need attention in the near term also - in my mind the 3 main things ATR needs to focus on in the next few years is:

1. New permanent flats in FV, Dark Forest, X Sector
2. WODW expansion - was there last weekend and other than GG the whole area feels flat, uninspired and unfinished
3. Duel refurb

And on top of that is things like monorail refurb, Nemesis retrack when the time comes etc.
 

OilyWater

TS Member
A half-hearted "fix" of what is currently inside Duel is not at all what is needed with that ride - the Haunted House had lost its popularity before they changed it to Duel in 2003, so surely just reinstating that ride's effects is not the way to go.
A Mystic Manor type revamp is exactly what Im talking about, not fixing things if theyre unfixable. The sets and scenery are half there. Today getting rid and starting again would never be able to recreate that level of detail or style.

The ride wasnt revamped because it lost popularity, it was revamped for the same reason it needs it now, poor maintenance of the effects.

Oddly I know it was in a better state before the Duel revamp than it is today, as the gap between revamps gets longer with little maintenance.

Returning it to opening day state would get you halfway there, plus a fresh take to keep it contemporary. Throwing away that opportunity would be pretty tragic
 
Last edited:

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Be fantastic to see them gut the warehouse completely and change it into a trackless dark ride complete with new theme and name. They could probably get away with the attraction facade staying as it is as it still fits in nicely.
Can't see them doing this though. The money it would take would be borderline new coaster type money so it just won't be a priority for them.

The park already has world class coasters. It really needs to step up it's game having world class support rides. A few top class flats, a much improved Duel and a huge rapids refurb are badly needed.

Those are the projects I'd focus on before SW9.
It's a shame the money just isn't there to do this though.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Be fantastic to see them gut the warehouse completely and change it into a trackless dark ride complete with new theme and name. They could probably get away with the attraction facade staying as it is as it still fits in nicely.
Can't see them doing this though. The money it would take would be borderline new coaster type money so it just won't be a priority for them.

I agree it would be an investment on the scale of a coaster but that’s needed. Also I really think it should be an additional new dark ride as well as Duel. But I’d settle for a replacement Duel plus a new indoor coaster. Basically they don’t need standard coasters right now but dark rides and flat rides.
 

NuttySquirrel

TS Member
It would be awesome to see the park invest in a top-class trackless dark ride a la Symbolica. I don't really think they need another coaster personally - although it would help if the ones they did have didn't keep breaking down!
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
It would be awesome to see the park invest in a top-class trackless dark ride a la Symbolica. I don't really think they need another coaster personally - although it would help if the ones they did have didn't keep breaking down!

The problem is Efteling and Towers are two completely different places with owners on the other end of the spectrum. Whilst of course Efteling want to turn a profit and make money they do seem to go above and beyond with theming. So glad they do by the way but they could get away with less and still make money. The fact they do this level of detail in their rides regardless just shows how much they value their guests.

Towers / Merlin can do themes well too and they have done with a few select projects however most of the time it seems to be done on the cheap.

Symbolica is pretty much Disney / Universal standard for a dark ride. It's insanely good. Anything close to that level of detail in the Duel building would be truly brilliant however I don't think we will be seeing that sadly.
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
Whilst of course Efteling want to turn a profit and make money they do seem to go above and beyond with theming. So glad they do by the way but they could get away with less and still make money.
Efteling isn't out to make money. They have no shareholders, it's entirely non-profit.
 

Auribus

TS Member
Tried Duel with me and 2 of my friends today we thought it was really impressive and loved the whole experience, maybe we haven't tried enough of other class ghost train kind of rides but I can't see why people think it's so flawed.

In it's favour - for me at least - Duel has atmosphere and ambience in abundance despite it's rather plasticky and dated props. I don't touch the guns myself because it detracts from the experience and the moment. And not all rides require a plot or storyline to be effective.

It's also difficult to compare it to the Haunted House [yes, I did go on the original] as it's so long ago and sometimes memory and the passage of time can play strange tricks on you.

In AT's favour, Duel / HH touch upon scare and fright themes that are universal in most cultures.
 

s_g_k

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Oblivion
In it's favour - for me at least - Duel has atmosphere and ambience in abundance despite it's rather plasticky and dated props. I don't touch the guns myself because it detracts from the experience and the moment. And not all rides require a plot or storyline to be effective.

It's also difficult to compare it to the Haunted House [yes, I did go on the original] as it's so long ago and sometimes memory and the passage of time can play strange tricks on you.

In AT's favour, Duel / HH touch upon scare and fright themes that are universal in most cultures.
I’m the same, I never bother with the blasters because I just want to experience the theming and effects. If it’s not gutted or removed for a new attraction in the next few years, it desperately needs the broken effects fixing and to be lit properly so that you don’t see the mechanisms behind the effects (bats and screaming heads especially!) You can’t just shove in a load of UV lights and LED wash lights - lighting design is a skill and when done properly can really elevate an attraction. Strobe lighting and smoke can be used to fill the dead spaces if cash is that much of an issue.
 

MaxPower

TS Member
Ghost train style rides don't need to have fancy systems to be good. Take Knoebels haunted house ride for instance, it used to win best dark ride every year and that's as basic as it gets.

Trying to do Disney rides on a Merlin budget leaves you with something like Sub Terra and even that wasn't cheap.

The better idea would be to hire proper set designers who know what they're doing (Not a bunch of enthusiasts *cough* Tomb Blaster *cough*) and get them to rework and restore the scenes with proper lighting so that it's more coherent and stick some sort of IP over it if needed.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Ghost train style rides don't need to have fancy systems to be good. Take Knoebels haunted house ride for instance, it used to win best dark ride every year and that's as basic as it gets.

Trying to do Disney rides on a Merlin budget leaves you with something like Sub Terra and even that wasn't cheap.

The better idea would be to hire proper set designers who know what they're doing (Not a bunch of enthusiasts *cough* Tomb Blaster *cough*) and get them to rework and restore the scenes with proper lighting so that it's more coherent and stick some sort of IP over it if needed.

I was with you all the way until "stick some sort of IP over it".
I don't think there is an easily licensed IP that would work for a haunted house?
Chessington have done some OK ones I think (haven't been there since Gruffalo & Room on the Broom opened) but I'm not sure there is one that would work for a proper Haunted House and actually improve the ride experience.
 
Last edited:

s_g_k

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Oblivion
I was with you all the way until "stick some sort of IP over it".
I don't think there is an easily licensed IP that would work for a haunted house?
Chessington have done some OK ones I think (haven't been there since Gruffalo & Room on the Broom opened) but I'm not sure there is one that would work for a proper Haunted House and actually improve the ride experience.
The Haunted House of Commons? Keep the blasters and shoot the MPs.
 

MaxPower

TS Member
I was with you all the way until "stick some sort of IP over it".
I don't think there is an easily licensed IP that would work for a haunted house?
Chessington have done some OK ones I think (haven't been there since Gruffalo & Room on the Broom opened) but I'm not sure there is one that would work for a proper Haunted House and actually improve the ride experience.
Oh I agree. My preference would obviously be to not have any IP at all and simply revert it back to being called the Haunted House with a unique story.

Sadly, with Merlin being Merlin it seems inevitable that we'll get some sort of overlay similar to the Ghostbusters ride at Heide Park when the time comes.
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Oh I agree. My preference would obviously be to not have any IP at all and simply revert it back to being called the Haunted House with a unique story.

Sadly, with Merlin being Merlin it seems inevitable that we'll get some sort of overlay similar to the Ghostbusters ride at Heide Park when the time comes.

I'd have to be honest I love the former Haunted House and would love it to be returned to like it's original state. However if they went with a Ghostbusters overlay and did a good job of it then I'd be happy too as I love that franchise and that way the guns would actually make sense.

Proton Packs and blasters shooting Ghosts would make far more sense than what it currently is.
 

Thameslink Rail

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
I'd have to be honest I love the former Haunted House and would love it to be returned to like it's original state. However if they went with a Ghostbusters overlay and did a good job of it then I'd be happy too as I love that franchise and that way the guns would actually make sense.

Proton Packs and blasters shooting Ghosts would make far more sense than what it currently is.
That is basically the Ghostbusters expansion of Planet Coaster and that was cool, I would love to see it in real life!
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
The Ghostbusters Franchise being revived might actually make this off the cuff comment a real possibility too. I would be amazed if it has not at least been brought up at Merlin HQ already even if they decided to not do it in the end. However with the new film soon out and rumour of at least one more after that it would probably make a lot of sense for the park to do it. It's a money making franchise. Everyone loves ghostbusters right?

Also a top brand new dark ride these days costs fortunes. However if you already have one in place that just needs a bit of TLC it certainly brings the costs down I'd imagine. Blackpool spent £5m on Wallace and Gromit I think which is no means a world class dark ride obviously but they had to gut the entire building. Duel has issues but doesn't have as many issues at what PB faced. I reckon £5m could easily convert Duel into a top dark ride again with or without a Ghostbusters overly.

Towers need to start thinking about these classic Theme Park attractions. We need a world class Haunted house ride and a world class Rapids / Water ride attraction back soon.
 
Status
This topic has been locked. No further replies can be posted.
Top