The Alton Towers Dungeon

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I'd assume the Dungeons were open over the weekend just gone, so if anyone's gone in, maybe they could tell us whether there have been any changes?
 

siralgenon

TS Member
Changing the slots from 15 mins to 10 mins wouldn't affect how many rooms there are, it would just mean scenes wouldn't be able to last any longer than 10 mins which I don't think they do anyway.
 

djtruefitt

TS Team
I haven’t done it this year, but as far as I’m aware no changes have taken place.

It was £2.50 for everyone at the services weekend, but assume it will go back to normal prices when the main season starts.
 

AT86

TS Member
An update on the Dungeons performance from the 2019 Merlin accounts that have now been published on their website.

The Alton Towers Dungeon generated £1million of revenue in 2019. Any one know a rough idea how much was invested to create the Dungeons?

The headline price for the Dungeon is £5 suggesting around 200,000 guests paid for the attraction during the season. In reality they often knocked the price down to encourage more guests in so it could be anywhere around the 200-300,000 mark against at least 2 million visitors to the park itself.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
An update on the Dungeons performance from the 2019 Merlin accounts that have now been published on their website.

The Alton Towers Dungeon generated £1million of revenue in 2019. Any one know a rough idea how much was invested to create the Dungeons?

The headline price for the Dungeon is £5 suggesting around 200,000 guests paid for the attraction during the season. In reality they often knocked the price down to encourage more guests in so it could be anywhere around the 200-300,000 mark against at least 2 million visitors to the park itself.
£5 online, £7.50 on the day.
 

AT86

TS Member
£5 online, £7.50 on the day.

Sure - but in reality there were all sorts of offers - season pass/annual pass holders could get in for £2.50 so could anyone on a school trip or corporate ticket. So just trying to give a more overall realistic figure. I doubt that many people ended up paying £7.50.
 

BarryZola

TS Member
An update on the Dungeons performance from the 2019 Merlin accounts that have now been published on their website.

The Alton Towers Dungeon generated £1million of revenue in 2019.

I wonder if there was any profit this year in that then after construction, staff costs etc? I'd guess that it might take a few years to start generating a good profit but you never know with Merlin as they're quite good at being a bit tight with costs.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I'd be intrigued to know; what do you guys think the future holds for the Dungeons in an era of social distancing? I know that when the park was originally going to open with measures on 21st March, the attraction was going to be closed, and I'd imagine that it's very complicated to socially distance inside the Dungeons. Could it be closed until there's a vaccine, even when the park reopens?
 

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
I think it represents the perfect excuse for them to abandon it in the same way all Merlin's other actor-led attractions have been abandoned within a couple of seasons.

Initially it will be closed "due to the virus" then in a couple of years it will be quietly removed from existence.

I will be shocked if it ever reopens.
 

Mr Pearse

TS Member
Well it was only a short term investment I’m sure it said somewhere? I could be wrong but I think this situation has sealed its fate possibly. Depends how they do cut costing next season.
 

AT86

TS Member
I wonder if there was any profit this year in that then after construction, staff costs etc? I'd guess that it might take a few years to start generating a good profit but you never know with Merlin as they're quite good at being a bit tight with costs.

A further dig on the Merlin website suggests the average investment in opening a new midway is somewhere around £10million. Of course the Dungeons at Alton Towers would have been a fraction of that, maybe £3million at most?

So year one (when it will probably be at its most popular) returning a third of that before taking operating costs isn't great, but not dire either.

Who knows what they will do come 2021, they have already spent the money on building it, so for as long as ticket revenue at least covers the operating costs they might as well continue to open it. Can't say I would be too fussed if it never opened again though.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
If your theories are true and it doesn't end up reopening post-corona, then that would make it the joint shortest-lived attraction in park history alongside the Space Boat, which was only in place during the 1983 season!

In all honesty, if the rumours of it being a temporary attraction are true, then I could see it being removed as well. I'd imagine it costs a lot to run, and it wouldn't be a very appropriate thing to operate while social distancing is still in place. Come to think of it, how on earth will Merlin's midways operate with social distancing in place, as I'd imagine that social distancing is complicated to impose in some of their midway attractions? I'm sure they'll find a way, though; they always do!

If they do end up removing the Dungeons, then I think it would be a fantastic expansion opportunity for The World of David Walliams; that ride system could make another nice family dark ride for the area, and they could even fit another ride in the area outside the building. I reckon a family flat ride of some form could fit where those water walkers are near the Burger Kitchen (or at least used to be. I'm not sure if they're still there now).
 
I understand that instead of removing The Alton Towers Dungeon, Merlin are tentatively planning to expand the attraction, with a brand new scene based around the COVID-19 epidemic. Live actors and sensory effects will bring the toilet roll shortage and recent general sense of tedium to thrilling life.
 

Mr Pearse

TS Member
If your theories are true and it doesn't end up reopening post-corona, then that would make it the joint shortest-lived attraction in park history alongside the Space Boat, which was only in place during the 1983 season!

In all honesty, if the rumours of it being a temporary attraction are true, then I could see it being removed as well. I'd imagine it costs a lot to run, and it wouldn't be a very appropriate thing to operate while social distancing is still in place. Come to think of it, how on earth will Merlin's midways operate with social distancing in place, as I'd imagine that social distancing is complicated to impose in some of their midway attractions? I'm sure they'll find a way, though; they always do!

If they do end up removing the Dungeons, then I think it would be a fantastic expansion opportunity for The World of David Walliams; that ride system could make another nice family dark ride for the area, and they could even fit another ride in the area outside the building. I reckon a family flat ride of some form could fit where those water walkers are near the Burger Kitchen (or at least used to be. I'm not sure if they're still there now).


The midways are in my opinion in a worst situation to reopen then the theme parks. If they used the argument to say the parks have wide open spaces and can manage social distancing that’s fine, but the midways like dungeons, discovery centres even sealifes to a extent would struggle to keep social distancing in place. Obviously I have no idea on the situation but that’s my personal opinion
 

Poisson

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Giant Squid
It's a bit of a sore thumb next to David Walliams etc. I could see the ride having it's 4th retheme (yes we got the points for that) I think it'd go back to the OG boat layout though as in stay in your boats. The thing it needs though is incorporating in to the area more, it's not really in the area as it's on its own
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
It's a bit of a sore thumb next to David Walliams etc. I could see the ride having it's 4th retheme (yes we got the points for that) I think it'd go back to the OG boat layout though as in stay in your boats. The thing it needs though is incorporating in to the area more, it's not really in the area as it's on its own
I still don't really subscribe to the view that the Dungeon building is an intrinsic part of that area of the park. I think it can be if you want it to be, but also, it can be something standalone and a cohesive theme can begin as you walk into the area 'proper' (with the former Toadstool site on your left and the new ride on your right).
 
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