The Alton Towers Dungeon

General discussion regarding the UK's No.1 Theme Park. Talk about anything and everything Alton Towers here.
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Dom
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Auditions for the actors required for The Alton Towers Dungeons have started!
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GregH94
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It looks like the use of the existing boat ride has been confirmed, as mentioned in the description for the new Towers Premium Pass. This has since been changed to “laugh and scream in 2019”, but we know they like teasing spoilers for people like us 
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Swarm Chris
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So it will contain 5 shows and a boat ride. The terms and conditions also state the premium pass admits one pre-booked timed entry to the Dungeons per visit to Alton Towers.
Standard Season Passes are valid from the date of issue until 3rd November 2019 (excludes Fridays, Saturday and Sundays in August, Scarefest & Fireworks Events)
Premium Season Passes are valid from the date of issue until 3rd November 2019 (excludes Fireworks Events) 1 entry into the Alton Towers Dungeon per visit, pre-booked timeslot on day of visit, entry is subject to the Alton Towers Dungeon not being at full capacity
See Season Pass full terms and conditions of use below.
Source
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Coaster Chall
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See this makes me think that the old queue line part of Charlie will be split up. One section for the pre show into the first scene, then the first scene which'll flow into the boat ride with some new effects, then they'll do some more scenes afterwards but I kinda think they'll either keep that elevator system or they'll replace it with a different mini attraction. Kinda like the new carriage ending from York Dungeon in their Dick Turpin Highwayman scene at the end.
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Swarm Chris
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Whilst it had all but been confirmed, the resort terms and conditions have been updated to list the Dungeons as a separate chargeable attraction at the resort.
7. Additional charges apply for entry into:
a. any concerts taking place at the Resort;
b. any themed special events taking place at the Resort, such as Scarefest and Fireworks;
c. all Christmas event openings;
d. secondary attractions at the Resort including, but not limited to, the Alton Towers Dungeon, Waterpark, Extraordinary Golf, Tree Top Quest, Alton Towers Spa, and Scarefest Mazes.
e. Alton Towers Resort car parks
Source

Premium season pass holders still have the ability to book one free time slot per visit, subject to capacity.
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abigsmurf
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If you get a timed booking slot I can see lots of potential issues. Guessing with Merlin's cost controls that they'll operate the attraction bang on capacity with little leeway for catching up on any backlog.

 What's going to happen if someone gets a booking for a timeslot and find there's a 45 minute wait? With the time taken to walk there, the "we've 20 minutes, not really enough to go on something" factor and presumably the attraction is 90-120minutes like most dungeons, any non-trivial wait is going to mean you don't have an awful lot of ride time if you choose to do this.
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Justin
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Warwick works well, so I am sure they'll be able to manage guest expectations. I wouldn't be surprised if a team from Alton has been down to Warwick to look at their systems.
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AltonOperator
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I do agree that a 1 to 2 hour experience reduces the already short amount of ride time. If it is clearly advertised that it is long, they may struggle to sell tickets but if it is not, guests may come out upset that they've lost so much time or may spend the experience agitated that they are wasting time. It's been mentioned before but this might have been better placed outside of the park so people could visit after a day at the park
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Ladyofthelake
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I really don't think The Alton Towers Dungeon will have a show time of 90-120 minutes. It's much more likely to be 45 - 50 minutes, the same as the Warwick Castle Dungeon. As Justin mentioned, the Warwick Castle Dungeon works well with their time slot system - being local to Warwick I've done their Dungeon several times and never had more than an hour taken out of my day, which includes the time queuing to go into the Dungeon. There may be a few small teething issues when the attraction first opens as they work out the finer details of the throughput logistics, but I do believe that it should work reasonably efficiently.
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AltonOperator
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Yeah I thought that might be a little too long for a secondary attraction. I think it works at Warwick because there's nothing to do there. There's loads at towers so an hour out of the day is still a really big impact
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Ladyofthelake
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AltonOperator wrote:Yeah I thought that might be a little too long for a secondary attraction. I think it works at Warwick because there's nothing to do there. There's loads at towers so an hour out of the day is still a really big impact
Actually, there is quite a lot to do at Warwick, especially if you visit in peak summer season when they have the jousting on. Even without the jousting, you still have all of the Castle to explore (Great Hall and State Rooms; Royal Weekend Party; Kingmaker; Time Tower; Towers and Ramparts; The Mound; the Mill and Engine House, and The Princess Tower), plus from February half term onward a full schedule of shows including The Birds of Prey Show, The Bowman, and The Mighty Trebuchet. Then they also have the Haunted Castle as their Halloween event which adds 3-4 scare attractions to do on top of everything else. Therefore it is very unfair to say that the Warwick Castle Dungeons only work as there is nothing to do as that simply is not the case, it's just that Warwick is a very different type of attraction to Alton Towers - speaking from experience you still need to pick your slot for The Warwick Castle Dungeon carefully so as not to miss other things you want to do, or indeed take an hour out of your day that could make the difference between seeing and doing all the areas of the Castle and Shows or not, just as you will need to make the same consideration with The Alton Towers Dungeon.
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Swarm Chris
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Managing the day, is one of my concerns too. Not just from losing an hour to a single attraction, but also slotting it in with everything else.

Say 40 minutes until your time slot, but Rita, Th13teen and The Smiler all have 50 minute queues? I imagine there will be a slot buffer, but even so I can see situations where you'll either be sat around with nothing to do until the timeslot, or having to race between things and hope nothing goes wrong with your timing.

Realistically, having timeslots is the only sensible way to manage access to this attraction. But as a guest, I don't find managing timeslots fun.
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Given that it is an add on attraction, could take an hour out of your day, I think the majority of the general public will ignore it and go on free attractions. Personally I am not a fan, but I hope this is not an addition that will be a failure like Galactica.
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AltonOperator
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Ladyofthelake wrote:
AltonOperator wrote:Yeah I thought that might be a little too long for a secondary attraction. I think it works at Warwick because there's nothing to do there. There's loads at towers so an hour out of the day is still a really big impact
Actually, there is quite a lot to do at Warwick, especially if you visit in peak summer season when they have the jousting on. Even without the jousting, you still have all of the Castle to explore (Great Hall and State Rooms; Royal Weekend Party; Kingmaker; Time Tower; Towers and Ramparts; The Mound; the Mill and Engine House, and The Princess Tower), plus from February half term onward a full schedule of shows including The Birds of Prey Show, The Bowman, and The Mighty Trebuchet. Then they also have the Haunted Castle as their Halloween event which adds 3-4 scare attractions to do on top of everything else. Therefore it is very unfair to say that the Warwick Castle Dungeons only work as there is nothing to do as that simply is not the case, it's just that Warwick is a very different type of attraction to Alton Towers - speaking from experience you still need to pick your slot for The Warwick Castle Dungeon carefully so as not to miss other things you want to do, or indeed take an hour out of your day that could make the difference between seeing and doing all the areas of the Castle and Shows or not, just as you will need to make the same consideration with The Alton Towers Dungeon.
No absolutely. there are things to do but you're not pushed for time like at Alton. and I agree with others that it will be difficult to manage time what with balancing queues and whether to get in them and when your time slot is. Warwick is easier with that as its mainly self guided and without queues, though I appreciate that there are shows.
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Nickolai wrote:Given that it is an add on attraction, could take an hour out of your day, I think the majority of the general public will ignore it and go on free attractions. Personally I am not a fan, but I hope this is not an addition that will be a failure like Galactica.
It will be far from a failure!
The Dungeons is a well known brand which will draw its own crowd alone!
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One concern I have with The Dungeons is general park goers may confuse it with Hex.

I can just imagine a family walking past the Hex entrance and little Timmy wanting to go on it only for his parents to say “Oh Timmy, we can’t go on that, you have to pay for that ride”.

And same goes for people who have booked tickets, they’ll wonder up to Hex thinking it’s the Dungeons only to be disappointed when it’s not.

I think this can largely be avoided if there is a sign nearby Hex saying “Alton Towers Dungeon this way” pointing away from Hex.
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Zach
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Bert2theSpark wrote:One concern I have with The Dungeons is general park goers may confuse it with Hex.

I can just imagine a family walking past the Hex entrance and little Timmy wanting to go on it only for his parents to say “Oh Timmy, we can’t go on that, you have to pay for that ride”.

And same goes for people who have booked tickets, they’ll wonder up to Hex thinking it’s the Dungeons only to be disappointed when it’s not.

I think this can largely be avoided if there is a sign nearby Hex saying “Alton Towers Dungeon this way” pointing away from Hex.
I don’t think there is much room for people to confuse the two, firstly Hex has been at the park for many years, even at Scarefest when the park has paid mazes (Multiple paid mazes) people don’t make this confusion. Secondly, it will be almost definitely well sign posted being what I’d say is the parks main new addition for the resort this year. I would expect plenty of signage and branding everywhere, I don’t think you’ll miss where or what The Dungeon is.

On the subject of timing and people not wanting to take the time out of there day to do The Dungeons, possibly a poor example but Sea Life is a success and that can take 30/45 minutes out of your day and I see it always has people in when I visit, I understand the argument of “it’s free” but The Dungeons will certainly be something for mid-size bracket to do. The families with 1.2/1.3m people, also at Scarefest, it will allow people to do the middle way between the funky 6 and the 6 pumpkin mazes. I’d expect like other Dungeon attractions there will be season show for people to enjoy. Secondly, there are a lot of MAP/season pass holders who will want to experience it and probably do so because it’s new. I don’t think it’ll be a flop as some people have described, I just think people need to, as I have said before, go in with an open mind and not judging it on whether it hasn’t got the things they speculated it to or wanted it to and enjoy it for what it is. 
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Swarm Chris
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I think the biggest difference with Sea Life is that, so long as it's not at capacity, you can just wander in and out as you please.

Having been critical of the timings aspect, I have to say that shows have the exact same issue. But these work perfectly fine at many parks and is something I'd like to see more of at the Merlin parks. The only difference is that you've typically not paid for the timeslot, so plans can be a bit more fluid, especially if there are several performances a day.

I wonder what the capacity of the attraction will be like? If there is a large number of passholders who can book slots in advance, will this put day guests or last minute guests at a significant disadvantage?
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abigsmurf
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It's a double whammy compared to fastpasses though. You've paid for the slot AND if you miss it, you're probably not getting to experience it at all. It's just that little bit more anxiety compared to them. 

Capacity is hard to judge. 25 at a time, maybe 6 minutes per scene including transferring. 250 an hour, 1500 a day? Nothing to stop scenes being doubled up mind, they've fewer space issues to worry about.
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Dan
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As reported by TowersTimes social media; Pricing details for The Alton Towers Dungeon have been revealed, with tickets now available to purchase via the Resort’s website.

Tickets booked in advance will cost £5, whilst tickets purchased on the day will cost £7.50. The attraction, brand new for 2019, is recommended for those aged 10+.
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