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London Dungeons


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I think a lot of the effects are still being programmed. I was told there's s crow attack on Wrath - and lots of water cannons and things... I guess they're still being installed.

Crows? I know there were fabrics at the end which I assumed to be bats, perhaps that's what you mean?

There were also a few water effects, with the falling barrels and the 'rain' (also used in the 10 Bells entranceway)...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've recently been past the old Dungeons at Tooley Street to see what it's like now. Apart from the main logo that's gone, there are various advertisements advertising the new location, and the 2 stone crypt figures no longer have a flame (understandable). There's a themed member of staff guarding the old entrance for anyone with queries.

Along Tooley Street, every arch and doorway is boarded up with the developers name slapped on it. A bike shop, a pub and a takeaway are the main casualties that have gone to new locations. You then get to the Britain At War experience which too has closed for good, to make way for the London Bridge station works. Shame really, it was a great attraction, however small and run-down some may have considered it - unfortunately this has gone for good and is not relocating. :( I shall miss it.

The 2 tunnels which take one-way traffic are currently closed for work, whether this is to do with the station work I don't know.

Tooley Street is changing - for the better? Who knows, until London Bridge is completed.

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  • 1 month later...

In the half term, I visited the new dungeons. It was great. A lot more actor based than the old one, obviously. The Jack The Ripper section was longer. Every other section that has made a return has been revamped, except Sweeny Todd's chair section. The pie shop section before it was hilarious. There's loads of new sections and to be honest, it isn't as scary as the old one. It is a better expierence though, and a lot more fun.

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One thing that I've only just recently got was where the Gong Farmer was. On my first visit Henry's Wrath was closed so we went straight to the pre-show before Guy Fawkes and missed the first two sections.

On my second visit I was one of the last people off the boat so the talk at City Gate was already half way through the show which just had some random fart jokes and a talk about keeping the invaders out - I really didn't get it to be honest - but then I wasn't there from the beginning. It wasn't until today that I looked at the map that it was the Gong Farmer in charge of the City Gate - Hmmmmm...

Mind I get why that's there as a bit of a 'waiting' show for people to get off the boat but yeah hmmmmm.....

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  • 4 weeks later...

Found this on TPR, interesting to read even though I have already visited the new Dungeons once, they have a fair few decent behind the scenes photos too :D


Also it's interesting to read that, "All scenes in the old Dungeons are still there and they are now Network Rail's to do with as they wish." :o Creepy!

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  • 1 month later...

Visited the London Dungeon yesterday and I was impressed with it all but it just didn't seem to have the atmosphere that it had at Tooley Street because it's new and feels new. A few times I also felt that it was designed in a rush at a points it just seemed illogical especially as they could have pretty much done what they wanted. Overall though it was good and I'm sure will get better as time passes in both the flow of the attraction and the atmosphere.

From here on in there may be spoilers.

The new London Dungeon is situated on Merlin South Bank between the Eye and Sea Life (I believe a horror attraction of some sort was previously here). Posters dangle from the lampposts now advertising both the Dungeon and Sea Life. I don't think the old one ever struggled for custom but this one sure won't! The footfall past it is significantly higher and it's much easier for Merlin to sell there multi tickets for there London attractions. Especially when they say Madame Tussauds is only 9 minutes away on the underground. The queue starts outside where priority (online ticket holders and Premium AP holders are allowed in and Standard AP holders if you're nice to the guy) and standard queues split. From where we stood (half way from the entrance to the building and entrance to the queue) took just under an hour but we believe there was some sort of an issue as both queues completely stopped for 10 minutes. In batches you are let up the stairs into the building where the queues remain split for money making photo time. The staff member on the priority photo was very nice and asked groups if they would like to have their photo taken. Now comes the bit I found confusing. Both queues are let in to another queue in batches so both priority and standard are together before ticket purchasing/scanning has taken place. This queue seemed fairly pointless (probably just to help get planning permission as it removes people from queuing on South Bank) where you go up 100 metres and then back on yourself. The queue was nicely themed with signs to read but you're not in this queue for very long and in the dull light they are difficult to read. Then again you walk down a corridor (which could have easily been a queue) towards the ticket booths. Everyone must go up to a counter either to get your tickets or have then checked. At this point I began to think that H&S said they couldn't have many people waiting down there as the path was wide enough to split it for both queues and hold at least 100 more people. Anyways, with a little more waiting by some rats in cages and an actor who keeps you entertained you finally begin your tour. Tours consist of 45 people every 6 minutes giving the attraction a throughput of 450pph.

Your first stop is decent where a creepy lift operator gives you a bit of background on King Henry the 8th. The lift ride is based on medieval elevators and it's good fun with some effects to make you feel like you're going down and a vibrating floor. All good fun with very little head room. This is swiftly followed by the boat ride which is of a different theme to the old one which was based on going to hell. This one was all about Cromwell and Henry sentencing you to death. The ride itself is longer than the old one with a few more twists and theming such as the effect of rats falling into the water or River Thames. Brian Blessed does play the role of King Henry but is only featured as an animation for a few seconds. The drop is still backwards and you will get wet, if not from the drop but from the effects within the ride. The exit leads onto the city gate which is guarded by the Gong Farmer. The story here seemed more jokey as a whole story wouldn't work because boats keep arriving. Essentially, it's a fun way of waiting for your group of 45 to re-group.

Guy Fawkes' story is next up and after one of your group members being given a letter to give to Guy you take a long walk through nicely themed paths and a set of stairs you finally get to Mr Fawkes. I think the walk was meant to resemble going down to Parliament's basement but going up stairs confused it. Anyway, once you get to the 'basement' you see Fawkes' head on a spike and a guard who tells you all about his torture. Then Guy comes alive to tell you the guard is lying and gets him to light the fuse for the gunpowder. The gunpowder explodes and the floor vibrates which is an effective effect. You then get taken next door to the 'Torturer' who tells you all about the ways of torture (very much like the one at the old Dungeon). This is followed by a clever walk through the plague infested streets of London. The walk works well here as it resembles a street with many infected people, doctors, bodies and so on. Then you are talked to about the plague and an entertaining couple hiding in two coffins explain how it is safer to pretend to be dead and give all the stats on the number of deaths. Sensibly, the doctor is next up which again follows the same layout as the old doctor scene (the doctor's dead, his assistant searches through his body and so on).

Another little walk and you end up at Mrs Lovett's pie shop. I much prefer the flow of this scene compared to the old one as you're not waiting for boat loads of people. Of course, the story of her pies is followed by a meeting with Sweeny himself. Unlike the old one, there is an assistant in there so it works better instead of relying solely on sound effects. The effects of the chairs and sound of Sweeny is also much more effective now with it sounding even more like he's walking around the room and right behind you. Instead of the police capturing Sweeny, the assistant returns into the room and is disappointed to see everyone still alive. They make us leave into Whitechapel.

You enter Whitechapel on the night that Jack the Ripper has just killed two people in the space of an hour and how he is still nearby. A bit of back story is given before you enter the Labyrinth (mirror maze). There is no way out at one point as they can open and close one of the mirrors which leads to the next scene. This caused many in our group to panic in fear. Suddenly, it is a year since the last murder and you're in a bar. Much like the old one mysterious things start to happen, lights go out, Ripper appears in front of a few people, lights go on, he's gone. This was very effective at the old Dungeon so I'm glad it has been repeated.

With your tour nearing to an end you are summoned by the Judge in an old courtroom. This is where the actors do there best at improvising as they play on where people are from and create a good bit of humour. Everyone is sentenced to be hung and you enter a room with a platform and actor. All that happens in hear is they tell you all about the ride's restrictions and what to do when you drop to make the crowd love you. I think it's just a way to make you pose for the on ride photo that is available straight after the ride. Especially as they made everyone practice the wink, wave and funny face. It had a good humour element mixed in though. Now for the fun, you enter this small waiting room crammed with people, it should be a queue for the ride but it is just a mess. It clearly isn't designed for the large amount of people, and to get to freedom (not ride) you have to get all the way to the front and go through a door. The old one was much more logical with two paths, one for the ride and one for freedom then a queue for the ride.

The ride itself consists of 24 seats (12 on each side) back to back. I guess they aim for two cycles per 6 minutes to get the 45 people through but they were just about getting one. It's an ABC drop tower and is fun but not logical. The old one would raise you then drop you once (much like being hung). This one, the floor would raise a bit then drop with the car (much like the floor would drop when hung). But, because it's top loading you have to be raised back up losing the effect of being hung. Fair enough, but they also drop you again before the ride is over. So whilst the ride is fun, it's not logical of being hung and no where near as forceful as the old one. Once over, you exit into the photo viewing area (for both the ride and beginning group photo) then the shop. This then leads you into the part that the London Eye toilets are located (but on the top floor).

Overall it is very good, not the same as the old one but still a good replacement and will do wonders for Merlin South Bank.

Wow, reading this over I realised how much I went on about the queuing! :o If you read all of this, well done and thank you :)

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  • 6 months later...

I found the (new) Dungeons to be really good actually. Very atmospheric and well themed with lots of humerous touches such as the singing heads at the exit. The Traitor boat ride and Extremis were very good too.

That bring said, never went to the old dungeons, so I can't give a full opinion on that aspect.

Thanks for the information. As long as I can find a train service running on Sunday I intend to make a full judgement.

The old dungeons had a great atmosphere, and obviously the good location helped towards this, but they were a bit knackered in some places to be honest! Some scenes were also not very good, such as the great fire of London etc...

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Well I managed to finally experience the new dungeons today.



The Tooley Street Dungeons were always a massive hit with me. The atmosphere, feel of the place, loud audio and 360 degree theming made it a fantastic experience.

The new Dungeon is poor. There is zero atmosphere throughout, poor lighting and the actors were half hearted, without any real attempts at actually scaring (or humouring) the guests. The celings were a massive let down for me - in the old dungeons (and even the Blackpool ones which are quite recent) they were all themed and at different levels. In the new dungeons, there is little or no attempt made at hiding the pipework, cables, buttons for actors to press throughout. The lighting throughout the Dungeons is also very poor - highlighting all the worst parts of them (such as the ceiling).

Breakdown of sections:

The first point of call is the new lift. The bit before it (with the cogs) is done so much better in the Blackpool dungeon! Two cogs, which highlight the horrendous ceiling is not acceptable for a £25 themed attraction.

The actual elevator was acceptable, with some nice strobe effects but you could see through gaps into a fully lit area.

Henry's Wrath Boat Ride was pretty good to be fair. A big improvement on Traitor, but still not as good as it could and should have been.

Guy Fawkes we missed most of, due to our group being huge (far too big) and us being at the back, meaning that we missed the majority of it. What we saw was OK, but again it was plagued by the obvious half arsed effort made with the theming. Small touches are nice, but they have to be accompanied with the basics like theming a ceiling! How are we supposed to feel like we are under Parliament when we are looking at a warehouse, unthemed ceiling. Poor show.

The torture chamber was awful. Far too small and lacking any sort of atmosphere, plus the actor rushed us through it in about a two minutes. Jokes that should have been funny were said in an offhand, script reading sort of way. Lazy (or unmotivated).

The Plague was okay, a few little tricks here and there but the audio wasn't nearly loud enough to create any tension.

Mrs Lovett's pie shop was a laugh, not too bad in all honesty (apart from the ceiling!) and we encountered one of two half decent actors here - the rest were rubbish. The actual Sweeney Todd section with the chairs wasn't as good. We saw the actor press the button as he left the room and it wasn't even properly dark.

Jack The Ripper lacked the fear and awesome tension that was created in the Tooley Street dungeon. Audio was nowhere near loud enough, even the jumpy moments were toned down and quiet. Jack also appears for much too long now - it was better when it was only for a second.

The Judge was also a half hearted effort on the actor's behalf. Also, theming was very sparse in this area compared to the old Dungeon. (Why not just move the old theming?)

Drop Dead was surprisingly good, didn't make sense but at least it was fun.

Overall we were very disappointed by the new dungeons. Bits looked half done, actors were not up to standard, our group was too big and there was no atmosphere whatsoever (something which is vital in places like this). Very disappointing considering that the Tooley Street dungeon was one of the best Dungeons - I'd rate the Blackpool one above this definitely (as they have actually bothered with that one). The ceilings are all the same height - whereas before they were raised or lowered depending on which scene we were in. It hasn't been thought through at all here, just done quickly and cheaply.

Also, doing away with the old props was one of the worst mistakes ever. The age of some of them added to the atmosphere, everything here looks too new and it's not immersive. I wasn't looking for faults either - the ceilings were so low that they were visible at eye height!

Overall rating: 4.5/10

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Went to the London Dungeons today. Thought it was a lot more worth the money than Blackpool. Yes, the groups are bigger but this is a lot more busier attraction as its in London which meant a lot of waiting outside the sections. Ceilings didn't really ruin the visit as I didn't really look at them the whole time we were there. Must say the boat ride person was extremely rude, trying to split our group up because of the poorly organised queuing system. Also the actual ride was quite confusing and pitch black most of the time. Don't think the drop ride was as good either compared to the Blackpool system which is like Detonators (releases you at the top) as it is controlled by ropes because of the fact that it drops, quickly goes back and drops you again! Overall a good visit with funny actors.

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I visited the Dungeons on Saturday and I found the whole experience great . The theming work in it is excellent, especially near the start of the tour while you are queuing. The use of different smells does help a lot in the different sections we go into, though I do think they used a bit too much fog on our visit. Regardless of that the whole new Dungeons is great in many parts and a improvement from the old dungeons. Comparing this to the old Dungeons, the mirror maze was better than before as well as the boat ride. The Sweeney Todd section was fine as it is the same as the old version, except the ending. In this ending, I felt it came to a strange sudden end as it just suddenly seems as if Sweeney disappeared. Another thing that someone else posted, was that the top of the corridors were all exposed so you could see the electronics and the air vent. In some parts I must admit, it was a let down due to no theming being applied to the top. But in many other parts of the attraction, it didn't really matter, so I'm not going to say the Dungeons was bad because of that. A thing that I wasn't so happy about is that there were a lot of sexual puns and jokes in the dungeons. In one case a actor, jokingly, said a swear word in front of a group of children. This was one thing I feel needs to be notched down in regards to the sexual jokes and puns. Anyway before I forget, the drop tower was very nice. There is more to it as more entertaining things. Also the drop does come unexpected compared to the old one, which is very good and the way the drop tower rises and descends fast. All in all, comparing the old and new version of the Dungeons, I feel the new version is very good and very entertaining and keeps to what the old Dungeons did best.

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