The Alton Towers Dungeon

DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
The work is apparently well underway for the Dungeons, to go inside the CATCF. This probably does not mean physical work on site yet. But as we all know, a lot of design and planning work goes into anything before any physical work actually starts on site. We sort of knew this and knew it's location anyway.

I guess the only real debate now is if this attraction is going to be an upcharge or not. Ignoring the various sources that people from different places have all said it will be an upcharge. I personally can not see this attraction being free. It has to be an upcharge.

Given how Merlin will quite clearly and exactly know that actor led attractions such as DBGT and N:ST cost lots more to run than a standard attractions due to their staff costs, they must also be well aware that cutting corners in their actor led attractions leads to either a closed ride or a massively reduced experience. I do not think they will be willing to damage one of their own brands by having a half arsed approach to actors when they will quite clearly be needed, if this is to be even remotely similar to a midway attraction. Which at a minimum it will be similar in the sense Altons Sealife is similar (but smaller) to a normal one. Therefor, having actors, to give people a taste of the Dungeons brand is essential. Now the only way to ensure they are always there and always paid for, is by having an upcharge.

Remember this is one of the first, if not the first time one of Merlins brands that requires actors, is being placed into a park. Therefor, going by the rules and modus operandi they have used for previous actor led attractions in their parks, simply will not work. As that will lead to reduced openings, or an attraction experience that will not be consistent, due to various numbers of staff. This could damage the Dungeon brand. I do not think Merlin will want to do that.

Given all that, they will probably still manage to cock up in some way. But this is some of the logic and my reasoning as to why this absolutely will be an upcharge attraction. I can't not be. Unless they want an experience which is quite different from the mothership Dungeon experiences.
 
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James

TS Founding Member
It's guaranteed to perform well in its first season of opening, and that's all Merlin/Towers need to hail it as a success. A season or two later when it drops to only operating during peak periods, then becomes SBNO a season or two after that, it doesn't matter so much in the long term, as there will be newer attractions to show that the park is doing just fine and it wouldn't damage The Dungeons as everyone will have their eyes on the new stuff.
 

OilyWater

TS Member
It's guaranteed to perform well in its first season of opening, and that's all Merlin/Towers need to hail it as a success. A season or two later when it drops to only operating during peak periods, then becomes SBNO a season or two after that, it doesn't matter so much in the long term, as there will be newer attractions to show that the park is doing just fine and it wouldn't damage The Dungeons as everyone will have their eyes on the new stuff.
Long term creativity and forward thinking has an enormous amount of economic value that will never be recognised by corporate boards who care only about minimum time, min cost and max profit.

Alton Towers is going to quickly become a terrible patchwork of that kind of lazy short term development and phoney attraction 'brands'. If it hasn't already!
 

OilyWater

TS Member
@TakeYourMedicine Do you not think Wicker Man is a step in the right direction in terms of creating something iconic, re-rideable and without a gimmick?
Absolutely, as I have said over and over again. Don't be disingenuous about this, it's an obvious anomaly in Merlin's way of doing things.

Merlin denied a wooden coaster from being made for years, purely for corporate worry that it wouldnt bring max profits in the shortest space of time. It's also the first time in a long time that a major new coaster has been produced with no gimmick at its core, just a solid ride.

I remember Nick Varney even personally explaining this in fluffed up terms to fans only a few years ago, and a load of talk from others about how only enthusiasts would enjoy it (despite such coasters being so popular in parks abroad).

I'm sure some senior people within Merlin wanted it, but they were fighting the giant corporate structure that Varney and friends had strategically built over many years. The fact it got made after so long (even if its half the coaster it could have been, it's still great fun) was extremely refreshing.

Wicker Man will hugely benefit the park in the long run. It was also very popular as soon as it opened (despite all the previous market research). It was advertised for being a good themed coaster rather than for a gimmick, had much more investment in its quality than previous projects, and it worked.

They built a good ride that the public didn't expect, and people came and enjoyed it.

The idea for randomly rolling a copy & pasted Merlin midway in place of what should be the park's best family dark ride (desperately needed), is the most short-termist corporate move I think they have ever done for Alton Towers. It's entertainment according to brand formula and statistics only, no originality or new ideas.
 
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Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
Perhaps they were told by Merlin to do it? What makes you think Alton Towers have a choice?
 
D

discoinferno

Like it or not, this is the way things are going. Get people into the park for next to nothing (Sun tickets, cheap season passes) and get them to pay for extras such as food and drink, fastrack and upcharges like the dungeons.

It's a similar strategy to Ryanair. But you do have a choice - don't pay for the extras or don't go at all. Give your money to another airline or another theme park if you feel that strongly about it.
 

John

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Oh dear, I'd forgotten about this catastrophe of an idea.

The limitations of the park's current ride line up is obvious, the solution seemingly equally so - supporting family/thrill rides. Alton Towers is littered with the corpses of failed ideas, the last thing they need is another project doomed to fail.
 
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