Duel. Time to say goodbye?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wilko, 4th Jun 2017.

  1. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I understand what you are saying and I never rode the original haunted house however I do think something will be done to duel at some point. Whether it's returning it to the haunted house (I agree it's unlikely but cool to speculate about or something else). I think the park must know that something needs to be done to it and you have to remember that Merlin is made up of people some of which will care and do care about the rides themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if the creatives have tried to do something to Duel but have been told no by the board. Merlin has changed hands recently and it has gone private. We don't yet fully know what there approach will be however it looks more promising than later PLC Merlin did. I hope it signals a shift to ambition and long term planning and investment like the earlier Tussauds as we know it works because you can just look at the attendance numbers over the years and see what the public prefered. Alton Towers need to sort out its selection of rides for the whole family and that means making sure there haunted house is the best it can be.
     
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  2. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    The Haunted House was a bit of a state when it closed, and the ride seemed massively dated compared to the developments at the park at the time. @WillPS is correct in remembering that it simply wasn't very popular, but then, the park was very different back then and the capacity was always high. As an upgrade, I recall that Duel was genuinely well received when it opened!

    Still, it seems mad that it's lasted two decades when the original, which was very original and ambitious, barely made it ten years. It was a shame that it wasn't around longer.
     
  3. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Duel is rubbish.
    Haunted House was better.
    I am not JApersons mum.
    Haunted House was amazing, it was only let down because they failed with upkeep.
    That made it less popular, but it was a queuemuncher, and was great for a decent break from the coasters.
    Bring back the original ride, it was ace.
     
  4. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I would hope not!
    I think a lot fo people really do hold this view. I imagine if you ask most people which they prefered, especially those who rode haunted house when it was fairy new, would say the prefered the original.
     
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    As much as I’d love a redo back to the Haunted House, I’m unsure how popular it would actually be outside of enthusiast circles. Enthusiasts ultimately make up only an incredibly small percentage of parks’ visitor numbers, and ultimately, I’m not sure how many non-enthusiasts would actually be interested in the ride as a “new attraction” without the guns.

    In 2021, will many people really care about the “return” of the Haunted House? Besides, with the substantial advancements in technology since 1992, such a revamp would inevitably differ from the original by quite a margin, so would it really be worth “bringing back” the Haunted House when it might not even resemble the original that closely?

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, but if we’re in dreamworld, my personal fantasy for that building would be for it to house an ETF trackless dark ride, a bit like Symbolica, themed to a spooky house. This attraction wouldn’t be overtly scary, but more ambient, with almost an element of fantasy about it, and have various moving things and weird things happening to give off the illusion of a “haunted house” without being overtly terrifying. There would also be a bit more of a cohesive story element to it than Duel has now. Think something along the lines of a modern version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion!

    I feel like that’s quite unlikely to happen, however…
     
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  6. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    As I mentioned there is plenty of people who'd care about it's return who are not enthusiasts. Most people who rode the original haunted house say its better than Duel. Also they may well of told there kids about it while in line or walking past it. Of course this could still be a small amount of people and like I said I don't think it's that likely just a cool idea and something I believe they should look at when decided what to do with Duel.
    Cool idea but I think if they do something to Duel I think they'll keep the same ride system as the throughput is good and it doesn't seem to have any major problems. Also a new system would just drive the price up even more meaning the new theming of the ride would probably be quite weak and the new layout quite short.
     
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  7. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I don't believe in going back, even if a mistake was made which I think it was putting in Duel. I also don't think the whole thing needs reinventing either as it'd probably end up being a waste of money.

    That's the conundrum. HH is gone so putting it back won't attract many new riders. Tearing it down and putting something new there also seems a bit overkill when there's still (as far as I'm aware) a decent ride system, facade and premise.

    I'd just like to see the tat ripped out, new lighting, some new scenes with some newer tech for effects and marketed as "New" called Alton Manor of something like that. Either way, leaving it in it's sorry current state should not be an option.
     
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    This discussion reminds me of a dream I once had, where the Duel theming, along with the guns, was gone, and "The Haunted House" had been reinstated... the catch, however, was that it had VR. The zombie out the front had been stripped of its gun, and instead had a VR headset concealing its eyes...

    This was back in that period in about 2016, where it seemed like VR headsets were taking over everything...
     
  9. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    I totally agree with the aspect of having to move on to innovate. But the Haunted House is one of those few that a lot of people still love and would do anything for it to stay around. Take River Caves at Blackpool for example. The world's oldest and first dark ride, opened in 1906! It still is a very popular ride at BPB with its great theming and charm to it, which The HH had in its early years.

    Every Amusement/ Theme Park has that one really old (40 year old) ride that people can't get enough of. Alton Towers lacks that respect of history, unlike chessington, and I believe the HH can become that cult classic, maybe even rival Knoebels Haunted Mansion if it came back. You just gotta risk it for the biscuit. Plus it'd be a nice apology letter to Wardley XD.
     
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  10. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Worlds first dark ride...really?
    What about the Old Mill Ride at Coney Island, about seventy years older.
     
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  11. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    My bad! Didn't know about this ride! Sorry.
     
  12. Davezilla

    Davezilla TowersStreet Member

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    I think it should be ripped out and replaced with a good quality trackless ride. They are becoming more and more common now so I assume the prices are better than when Spiderman came about. Use an original theme of venturing into the gardens at night to come across various magical things, and to keep with the usual themes of AT, throw in some horror stuff too.
     
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  13. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    I've never understood the love for trackless rides to be completely honest. I can't imagine one working for a serious haunted house attraction, which the original HH was. I'd think it'll be fantastic for a family friendly dark ride, but there doesn't seem to be a balance between the calm rides and the SW coasters in the park, excluding Hex.

    If the park was to install that though somewhere else, fingers crossed it actually has proper theming and practical props. Gangsta Granny never really did it for me on the first time riding it, even my whole family agreed and prefered Duel to it.

    IDK anymore, maybe I'm just Biased on my preference for the HH to return.
     
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  14. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    You know if HH did return it wouldn't be the "Haunted House" you knew. HH is gone forever no matter what. The only way it could possibly return is if they dug out the original blueprints of everything in there and restored it piece by piece as a restoration project. It's not just a case of removing the guns, ripping out a couple of zombies, changing a few light bulbs and whacking up a new sign. It was a 1992 ride, not an 1892 one. Old and good enough to be deserving of preservation, but not restoration and we all know it's 18 years too late for the preservation option.

    A trackless ride at AT is a complete waste of money. What would they possibly want to do in there with a trackless ride system that they can't currently do with the existing and reliable one they have now? You sit in a vehicle with a lap bar and it goes round different scenes. What more does it need?
     
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  15. s_g_k

    s_g_k TowersStreet Member

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    I absolutely agree with you. HH is gone and what exactly would they achieve by turning the attraction into a trackless ride? Would the GP even realise it’s trackless? Complete waste of money.

    Keep the current ride system and just turn it into a ride with effects that are well thought out, lit correctly, have the correct music for the scene and that actually work. The Alton Manor idea would work well - some sort of Haunted Alton Hotel perhaps?
     
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  16. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    How to sum Merlin up perfectly:

    Any attraction made before 2000

    Merlin: *Looks In disgust*

    Unreliable ride made In the 21st century

    Merlin: "That's some good stuff right there people."

    *INVEST*
     
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  17. Rob F

    Rob F TowersStreet Member

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    Tbh, Duel is a queue eater and is normally enjoyable, some of the new LED ultraviolet spoils parts. But the best thing they can do (controversially) is slowly redo scenes and keep the ride updo date. A good example is Europa parks haunted house that gradually has seen some decent changes with more modern approaches whilst fitting to the ride as a whole.

    considering how old the haunted house/ duel is the queueline alone was amazing for the times….. imagine if the right people got together in 2021 to do a similar project what could be done (and i do mean the right people) Darren brown isn’t invited ….
     
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  18. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    I completely agree if they did bring it back, they'd had to give the scenes minor changes every few years, as John originally intended to do. The HH with a few alterations such as new sfx for a few scenes, maybe give the gaint spider more fluid movement, yet retaining a lot of the original content from 1992, I'd think it'll be very well received by GP, Enthusiasts and old school fans.
     
    Last edited: 16th Sep 2021
  19. geo4chg

    geo4chg TowersStreet Member

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    I think at the end of the day, the Haunted House was a family attraction. Therefore, if they brought it back to something resembling the original (albeit significantly updated in places) it would be enjoyed by enthusiasts for what they've tried to achieve, enjoyed by parents who may have been on the original as children and have fond memories (everyone likes a bit of nostalgia) and so long as the quality is of a high standard, enjoyed by children experiencing it for the first time, because most children like to be "scared" by ghosts and spiders etc.

    Having said that, I fear a lot of people look back at the original with rose-tinted glasses on, and what the HH actually needs is a lot of money spending on it to bring it up to date, rather than retrofitting back to what it used to be.
     
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  20. Trooper Looper

    Trooper Looper TowersStreet Member

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    The real question is, does it need to be up to date with everything in your face for it to be highly successful?
    I personally think not as not many people see it with rose tinted glasses. Ive never ridden it when it was the HH, but the simplicity of the animatromics really does help it sell the Attraction with its charm, which is why many people, even I prefer it to Duel by just seeing old images, POVs, etc.

    But i do see where you're coming from, the crazy man in the cave has aged badly and is really slow nowerdays and definitely needs either a huge rework on his makeup and mechanics, or replace the actual mechanism with a clone that will be more reliable and faster, it's literally just a metal rod that swings towards the cart, that's it. If merlin was to bring back the HH, the only major enginnering work they would need to do is refurbish the animatromics or replace them, but keep the models for the new ones. Look at the difference from when it was brand new to the present.


     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2021
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