Duel: The Haunted House Actually Strikes Back - Refurb Incoming

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Trooper Looper

TS Member
I assume @Trooper Looper means UV paint, lit by LED purple lighting which just looks naff.

Didn’t they get rid of their genuine UV lighting during the catastrophe of the 2018 lighting redesign? I refuse to call it a refurb.
I can't remember where, but I think I read somewhere that a new coat of paint was added to Duel for the 2018 'refurb' (downgrade.)

I imagine that's why they decided to close it earlier this season, to remove that layer of Paint off the scenes and props throughout the ride. I know removing certain types of paints can take ages and can be a pain.

So, does the props and scenes from the HH still have their original paint underneath how many coats now!? I'm surprised they haven't collapsed from the addit coats if extra paint over the years.


Here's my take on what'll happen throughout the months of reworking the ride:



Late September-End of Season:

Mostly getting rid of Duels traits internally, such as the laser gun system, targets, zombie props and mechanics, and the finale.



November-December:

Fixing the queue with new wallpaper in drawing room, new painting portraits, fixed effects, and additional small new props, and repairing the window now partly boarded up from supposes vandalism.

Start of doing TLC to the remaining scenes in the ride. They'll be able to open up the warehouses roof to (hopefully) fix that trommel. I imagine that'll be a huge task to complete.

All remnants of Duels brand such as Signs, the logo, and the current Crypt with the zombie will be removed and replaced with new ones related to the new branding.



Late Decmber-Early January:

Mack rides comes in to redo the ride system with new sensors and computers built in the vehicles, but will preform exactly as before, with the only difference being no more breakdowns.

Ride exit is done up, with gift shop refurbished, and ride photo collection relocated to where the Glow on the Dark Toy Section is currently.

Houses Facade will be given TLC and proper repairs such as replacing old beams, cleaning old ivy off, new coat of paint in sections, and a Jet Wash.

Trommel is either replaced with new one, or fixed by the time of this.



January-Early February

Remaining scenes will be done up with new lighting, different sound effects, repainted props, getting ride of the cheap UV paint left over from the 2018 refurb, and thoroughly dusted and cleaned. Remaining Animatronics will be either given new but similar mechanics to the older ones and will preform better and will be more reliable.

New Finale and other scene begins construction as new scenery, animations and props are brought in for the scenes.



February-Pre Season opening

New Scenes are finished a few weeks before opening. Ride testing begins along with the effects, new and old.



2023 season has begun:

Ride is ready to reopen on opening day to help with the absence of Nemesis for the year.



These are just my predictions (and they're probably wrong) but it's fun to think of what they'll do in that span.


I imagine Merlin don't want this upcoming version of the ride to be overly bright in purple and glow in the dark and would like to ret and avoid that as much as they can.

Let's hope they get some proper UV paint in there again. It looked wonderful when it did all those years ago.

Credit to British Theme Park Archive of his HH 30th anniversary video. The rides lighting in this video weren't the exact final result, but you get the jig in what I mean.

 
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DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
I can't remember where, but I think I read somewhere that a new coat of paint was added to Duel for the 2018 'refurb' (downgrade.)

I imagine that's why they decided to close it earlier this season, to remove that layer of Paint off the scenes and props throughout the ride. I know removing certain types of paints can take ages and can be a pain.

So, does the props and scenes from the HH still have their original paint underneath how many coats now!? I'm surprised they haven't collapsed from the addit coats if extra paint over the years.


Here's my take on what'll happen throughout the months of reworking the ride:



Late September-End of Season:

Mostly getting rid of Duels traits internally, such as the laser gun system, targets, zombie props and mechanics, and the finale.



November-December:

Fixing the queue with new wallpaper in drawing room, new painting portraits, fixed effects, and additional small new props, and repairing the window now partly boarded up from supposes vandalism.

Start of doing TLC to the remaining scenes in the ride. They'll be able to open up the warehouses roof to (hopefully) fix that trommel. I imagine that'll be a huge task to complete.

All remnants of Duels brand such as Signs, the logo, and the current Crypt with the zombie will be removed and replaced with new ones related to the new branding.



Late Decmber-Early January:

Mack rides comes in to redo the ride system with new sensors and computers built in the vehicles, but will preform exactly as before, with the only difference being no more breakdowns.

Ride exit is done up, with gift shop refurbished, and ride photo collection relocated to where the Glow on the Dark Toy Section is currently.

Houses Facade will be given TLC and proper repairs such as replacing old beams, cleaning old ivy off, new coat of paint in sections, and a Jet Wash.

Trommel is either replaced with new one, or fixed by the time of this.



January-Early February

Remaining scenes will be done up with new lighting, different sound effects, repainted props, getting ride of the cheap UV paint left over from the 2018 refurb, and thoroughly dusted and cleaned. Remaining Animatronics will be either given new but similar mechanics to the older ones and will preform better and will be more reliable.

New Finale and other scene begins construction as new scenery, animations and props are brought in for the scenes.



February-Pre Season opening

New Scenes are finished a few weeks before opening. Ride testing begins along with the effects, new and old.



2023 season has begun:

Ride is ready to reopen on opening day to help with the absence of Nemesis for the year.



These are just me predictions (and they're probably wrong) but it's fun to think of what they'll do in that span.


I imagine Merlin don't want this upcoming version of the ride to be overly bright in purple and glow in the dark and would like to ret and avoid that as much as they can.

Let's hope they get some proper UV paint in there again. It looked wonderful when it did all those years ago.

Credit to British Theme Park Archive of his HH 30th anniversary video. The rides lighting in this video weren't the exact final result, but you get the jig in what I mean.



The only thing I know is that reading through the last 10 or so pages of this, you have made a hell of alot of assumptions and almost attempts to present a load of your own opinions and preconceptions as fact. That is the only real factual thing in terms of this project so far.

This is not a dig at all, interesting read, but an observation non the less.

In reality we do not know much, as for the timeline just presented, there is no way you would know the time it takes to carry out varying stages of the project unless you are experienced in engineering, scenic design and construction.
 

Trooper Looper

TS Member
The only thing I know is that reading through the last 10 or so pages of this you have made a hell of alot of assumptions and almost attempt to present a load of your own opinions and preconceptions as fact. That is the only real factual thing in terms of this project so far.

This is not a dig at all, interesting read, but an observation non the less.
It wasn't meant to be factual. Sorry if you got confused with the post, it was just a bunch of ideas, assumptions, predictions, etc, you get what I mean.

I just thinks it makes sense for them to start doing the changes internally first when Scarefest is still going on, and then do the external work last or during closed season.
 

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
It wasn't meant to be factual. Sorry if you got confused with the post, it was just a bunch of ideas, assumptions, predictions, etc, you get what I mean.

I just thinks it makes sense for them to start doing the changes internally first when Scarefest is still going on, and then do the external work last or during closed season.

Why does it? They had a one way system running throughout COVID. They could easily redirect traffic away from Gloomy Wood if they wanted to. I would argue that opening up that roadway behind the Rapids would infact provide a higher capacity walkthrough to Forbideen Valley than directing traffic though the current KC and GW route.

I am not saying they will close it, but they can without much disruption if they need to..

If they need to close the area next month to hit the schedule then they will close it. If they do not, then they may not. The fact is we do not know and nothing can make sense when you do not know the full picture, something we also do not know.
 

Trooper Looper

TS Member
Why does it? They had a one way system running throughout COVID. They could easily redirect traffic away from Gloomy Wood if they wanted to. I would argue that opening up that roadway behind the Rapids would infact provide a higher capacity walkthrough to Forbideen Valley than directing traffic though the current KC and GW route.

I am not saying they will close it, but they can without much disruption if they need to..
That is true. I can see Haunted Hollow being the main pathway from KC to FV during scarefest as well to be frank.

I just thought of it like this since AT seems to be very aware that we Theme Park Fanatics like to leak as much info we can on some occasions.

For example, imagine, Duel is closed off from guests during scarefest, the entire central area of Gloomy Woods is surrounded by covered fencing and they've already started doing some work to the exterior, and replacing the Crypt with a new one. What if a Theme Park vlooger manages to find a small gap in the fence that they can stick their phone or camera through the fence (e.g. enterprise currently). This individual uploads it to their Social Media, potentially spoiling a lot to the attraction before any official announcement. People will be less desperate to see what Duel has became on opening day, in result, losing quite a few guests.

I know that the Park doesn't seem to care about Enterprise, but the crew working on Duels future seem extremely passionate and have spoiled nothing outside of a few huntches and incredibly vague statements. I can imagine they wouldn't be so happy with what they've been working hard on for months will have partly already have been leaked to the public, and by then when the Park opens next year, all the hype is gone, and people are just moderately excited to try it out after an official announcement.
 
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Plastic Person

TS Member
For example, imagine, Duel is closed off from guests during scarefest, the entire central area of Gloomy Woods is surrounded by covered fencing and they've already started doing some work to the exterior, and replacing the Crypt with a new one. What if a Theme Park vlooger manages to find a small gap in the fence that they can stick their phone or camera through the fence (e.g. enterprise currently). This individual uploads it to their Social Media, potentially spoiling a lot to the attraction before any official announcement. People will be less desperate to see what Duel has became on opening day, in result, losing quite a few guests.

I know that the Park doesn't seem to care about Enterprise, but the crew working on Duels future seem extremely passionate and have spoiled nothing outside of a few huntches and incredibly vague statements.

Obviously the park doesn't want to give the game away in regards to unannounced future developments, but I think you're overestimating how anticipated this project is outside of a small, vocal section of this community, and frankly, your own head.

Our indication that the crew working on this are "extremely passionate" is a few posts from reliable members when it comes to info. Everything else is conjecture, and leads to the sort of anticipation that can get result in burned fingers when this inevitably doesn't turn out quite as you're already extensively envisioning.
This is a much-needed refurb of a supporting dark ride, not the next Secret Weapon. And even if it was, having lived through five of them personally, I know that you'll enjoy the result more if you temper your expectations.
 

tech

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Universe of Energy - Epcot (RIP)
I know that the Park doesn't seem to care about Enterprise, but the crew working on Duels future seem extremely passionate and have spoiled nothing outside of a few huntches and incredibly vague statements. I can imagine they wouldn't be so happy with what they've been working hard on for months will have partly already have been leaked to the public, and by then when the Park opens next year, all the hype is gone, and people are just moderately excited to try it out after an official announcement.

Just as much passion, love and carefully crafted information releases went into creating Wicker Man and The Welcoming scare maze, yet we still had ya’ll flying over it on the Skyride for weeks with camera phones at the ready 😂
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
If they wanted to shut off GW during Scarefest, I reckon they could.

They could use the Wicker Man path and the Haunted Hollow as paths to get near to the area, and then they could direct people down the path off of Haunted Hollow that goes down towards the Skyride station to get to FV.

There would be no need to walk through GW at all then!

I don’t see them shutting the entirety of Gloomy Wood, though. I don’t think Towers are quite that desperate to hide what they’re doing.
 

Trooper Looper

TS Member
I don’t see them shutting the entirety of Gloomy Wood, though. I don’t think Towers are quite that desperate to hide what they’re doing.
Definitely. I'll just upload a quick image I just edited to show you what I mean they would most likely do during scarefest, IF they decide to do external changes first.

Yellow is the Path of HH and Gloomy Woods outer path from KC to FV, and the red area is The main part of Gloomy Wood that's blocked off from Guests, including the Crypt, The Ice Cream pala Spooks R Us, and the attraction itself. The only are that'll probably be left open public will be the toilets.
 

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James

TS Founding Member
It’s unlikely we will see anything as this is mostly going to be internal work. Having an empty area may look a bit odd to non-enthusiasts, it would be easy to close the area off completely and redirect guests via other paths. If the plan is to advertise it this season, they could keep the area as a thoroughfare and have some signs, maybe even actors around the house teasing something, although I feel that is unlikely.

I’m really looking forward to see what happens with the ride and it’s good to see that there’s a passionate team behind this. I hope most scenes stay intact, it’s only the final zombie scenes I find really jarring. Personally I want Electric Bill to stay (I love the gag of the electricity being cut), the spiders scene to stay and screaming heads to stay.

It would be nice to see the trommel tunnel fixed/replaced, but it wouldn’t bother me if they removed it completely and placed a new scene in this area.

I’m not putting my hopes up to avoid disappointment, but excited to see what Towers end up with.

This thread has really spiralled out of control the last few days. The only reliable information for this project so far is that there’s a passionate team, it has a modest budget, and that the ride will close in September. The last few pages make for a very painful read. Speculation is lovely but it’s good to be more in touch with reality.
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
A fantastic revamp of the HH followed by a future revamp of the Congo River Rapids and my enthusiasm for the park will be restored.

Two incredibly good rides that just need a bit of a face lift and some TLC. Maybe a bit more than a bit tbf but still cheaper than a new ride from scratch.
 

TroySmith1

TS Member
It's exactly the same vacform wall scenery from the same supplier used in the Alton Towers Dungeons and themed attractions / TV all around the world. The garden is also still one of the best detailed sets in the country. Of all the things in the ride Im not sure these are the main problems, Id suggest it's more the lighting, paintwork and that half the scenery has been removed over time from most areas. And the ride needs some fresh new ideas that match the fun of the original

I appreciate your point but Just because the Vacform wallpaper has be used around the world and the obvious fairground (cheap) ghost trains. Doesn’t mean it still not dated, It screams cheap! It’s very obvious it’s fake and the Alton towers dungeons facade also very cheap looking! It’s been and done so many times in the past and doesn’t need repeating. I don’t believe Disney or universal use Vacform or this same polystyrene look anymore, mainly because the illusion doesn’t work on the the human eye anymore. The gothic garden looks cheap and isn’t convincing enough your supposed to be outside. My personal view as these areas definitely need upgrading.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rob666

TS Member
With proper subtle lighting it looked absolutely fine, the led lights ruined things.
The gothic garden does not look cheap, the cycling ghosts at Blackpool look cheap, and considering it is inside, what are they meant to do...take the bleeding roof off?
Too many inexperienced experts on here at the moment!
 

MaxPower

TS Member
I doubt Merlin will be providing a massive budget to this so they will need to reuse as much as they can to make it stretch.

As others have mentioned, the lighting is abysmal as it currently stands which emphasises many of the flaws with the scenery. With the right lighting and restoration it will look fine integrated with more modern effects.

It doesn't need to be a spectacular visual experience anyway, they just have to make it fun again.
 

WillPS

TS Member
Genuine question - how much work would go in to getting the lighting 'right'?

We know the original experience was masterminded by a group of people who designed the sets, lighting, everything - but that wasn't maintained properly and through continual tweaking and turnover of staff that knowledge is long gone at this point. I don't doubt the sincerity of those behind the 2018 "TLC" in trying to improve the experience but the reality is what they did made a bad situation worse. One imagines they realised what they'd done hadn't worked as intended but then had no budget to have another go at it.

How do you even do it, is it a case of cumulatively adding/removing lighting and twiddling settings, replaying scenes over and over again for real, or is it done in some sort of CGI version before being set up for real?
 
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