Laugh and scream your way through some of Staffordshire’s darkest moments in history on this hilariously hideous journey that includes a boat ride and five actor-led shows.
The full experience is slated to take 45 minutes, and will combine interactive shows with cutting edge theming and technology. Along the way guests can expect to encounter:
“FUN! THRILLS! LAUGHTER! All unforgivable in the eyes of the puritanical Justice of the Peace, the bombastic Bishop of Stafford! Take the stand in his courtroom and plead your case. In fact… it doesn’t matter, you are all peasants! GUILTY!”
The Black River Boat Ride
“You are guilty! So you are going on a little trip down the black river beneath Alton Towers. Step into the boat and take in the sights and… errr… smells of the Alton Towers Dungeons. Say hi to some of the Dungeons residents… don’t worry if they don’t wave… they’re a little tied up!”
“He has ways of making you talk… he has even more ways to make you SHUT UP! Take a seat in the Torturers chair and come face to face… or red hot poker to nostril with all the Torturers favourite devices. You’ll be screaming with laughter in no time at all.”
“The most desperate, dashing and despicable highwayman needs hideouts all over the country. Who would have thought one would have been round the corner from Alton Towers? Pull up a chair and meet the friendly owners of the Welsh Harp Inn, nothing is TOO MUCH TROUBLE! You never know… Dick Turpin might just shoot by!”
The Plague Doctor
“For those of you who want to get knee deep… or even up to the elbows in the past, let me introduce you to the Plague Doctor. Gather round as we get to the GUTS of the bubonic plague, you could even get hands on! No experience necessary… must have a strong stomach!”
“Take shelter from the storm in an abandoned cottage. Have you wondered why the cottage is abandoned? What dark and terrible story can these walls tell? Don’t stay for too long… you never know who might appear out of the darkness!”
The building was first home to Around the World in Eighty Days in 1981, which followed the adventures of Phileas Fogg and his trip around the world. The boat ride took guests through exciting scenes, with each one set in a different country or city, including Holland, the UK, Burma, Egypt and the USA just to name but a few.
This ride was popular in its time, however as Talbot Street became The Land of Make Believe for the 1994 season, the ride was rethemed to Toyland Tours. The ‘Around the World’ scenes became that of a toy factory, but still followed the same route as its previous incarnation. The same ride system remained for its 2006 retheme into Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Ride, although there was the notable addition of two Great Glass Elevator simulators which provided the attraction with a new finale.
The attraction last operated during the 2015 season, before remaining SBNO with all indicators pointing to its permanent closure.
When Merlin Attractions Operations Limited submitted a trademark application for ‘The Alton Towers Dungeon’ in June 2018, speculation began to mount that it would be located in the building that had most recently been home to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
This speculation continued once the Resort officially announced the addition of the attraction for 2019 in October of 2018, with signs of activity around the rumoured location. Following this announcement, signs appeared around the theme park seemingly hinting at the shows that would feature in the attraction – The Judge, The Torturer, The Plague Doctor, The Haunting, and The Highwayman.
With more details emerging in January 2019, it was confirmed that a boat ride would feature as part of the attraction, as good as confirming the location speculation of the previous months. These details also revealed that inspiration would be taken from local Staffordshire history.
On Tuesday 12th March 2019, the Resort held a special ‘Meet the Maker’ event to which TowersTimes and other enthusiast communities were invited, in order to discover some of the attraction’s secrets ahead of its grand opening.
The Alton Towers Dungeon opened at the start of the 2019 season on Saturday 23rd March to broadly positive feedback, with a lot of praise for the attraction’s cast. Although with some areas sparse on theming, such as the transitions between scenes, it was hoped that the Resort would continue to enhance the attraction as the season progressed.
Although there was no need to submit a planning application for The Alton Towers Dungeon, some concept drawings of the costumes for the attraction’s inhabitants were released by the Resort.