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Duel!


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A couple of posts up, I mentioned that Duel at Fireworks last year was like riding a parody of a bad ghost train. 
it was embarrassing how dilapidated it had become. 
 

Duel has been a disgrace for a few years now, but I am a little sad to see it go…

Or at least the idea that a nostalgic ride will be going anyway!

 

It’s one of those rides that doesn’t spring to mind when you think of Towers, but it usually does feature as part of the day.

 

It would be nice to see the enormous show building and amazing facade get the attention they deserve. It’s all wasted at the moment.

 

Wonder how big a job this is?

I suppose they will keep the ride system and re-do the theming?

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On 8/23/2022 at 4:20 PM, Matt N said:

In an interesting development, John Burton (creative lead for Resort Theme Parks) posted this on Twitter yesterday:

Could this be a further hint towards the ride returning to its roots somewhat?

@Matt N I think Duel is going to return as the Original Haunted House. All the signs and statements point to it. I’m as certain The Haunted House is returning as I was that Project Amazon would be Jumanji themed. You all know that my  Jumanji hunch was correct.

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12 hours ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

@Matt N I think Duel is going to return as the Original Haunted House. All the signs and statements point to it. I’m as certain The Haunted House is returning as I was that Project Amazon would be Jumanji themed. You all know that my  Jumanji hunch was correct.

In fairness, I’m not sure that it was only you who predicted Project Amazon would be themed to Jumanji; most people in the know at Chessington seemed to point that way.

 

If you are correct, I’ll be the first to stand up and admit that I was wrong, but I don’t see it.

 

Personally, I’m not sure we’ll be seeing a full-on “revival” of the Haunted House, and I honestly hope we don’t. I’m not sure that the average guest would really understand the appeal of bringing back the Haunted House (and I’m not so sure that too many below the age of about 30 will have any strong memory of it seeing as it closed in 2002), and I fear that enthusiasts would be very critical of such a “revival” not being identical in every way to the 1992 ride. It inevitably would differ from the 1992 original in various ways due to the world having changed and technology having advanced since 1992, and this would naturally make things different, which I feel would displease the very die-hard fans that such a “revival” would be aimed at. My view is that it wouldn’t be the same ride no matter how hard the park marketed it as a “revival” of the HH, hence I fear that the die-hard fans that such a nostalgia move would be aimed at wouldn’t be very pleased and you’d be left with a ride that was ultimately pleasing few.

 

My prediction, and hope, is that we see something that leans on the basic concept of HH, and pays homage to it in some subtle ways, but is ultimately a completely new ride experience with its own identity. While the HH clearly succeeded in 1992, I’m not sure that an identical ride designed in 2023 would, because society has changed and the props and sets in there are arguably beginning to show their age somewhat. The concept still has a lot of potential, in my opinion, but I don’t think implementing it in the exact same way as it was implemented in 1992 would be the best execution of it for a modern audience.

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@Matt N how would you feel about the Haunted House returning exactly how it was? I know technology has advanced in 30 years. This doesn’t stop Alton Towers from having exact replicas of the Theming made. Alternatively the Haunted House could return as a mixture of old and new. John Wardley was sighted on Duel. Apparently he had and was looking at the original plans while going around the ride. Personally I think this means some unused concepts from the original Haunted House could be used. It’s  amazing Alton Towers are rumoured to be bringing back an old classic. 

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3 hours ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

@Matt N how would you feel about the Haunted House returning exactly how it was? I know technology has advanced in 30 years. This doesn’t stop Alton Towers from having exact replicas of the Theming made. Alternatively the Haunted House could return as a mixture of old and new. John Wardley was sighted on Duel. Apparently he had and was looking at the original plans while going around the ride. Personally I think this means some unused concepts from the original Haunted House could be used. It’s  amazing Alton Towers are rumoured to be bringing back an old classic. 

To be honest, I'm not sure. I'm unsure whether the Haunted House in its exact 1992 form would hold up as a new attraction in 2023; I know that the ride was successful in 1992, but we've seen 30 years of technological advancement since then and I do wonder if the original props in the way they were originally done would seem a bit dated in 2023.

 

I'd much rather they do something new and original myself.

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1 hour ago, Matt N said:

To be honest, I'm not sure. I'm unsure whether the Haunted House in its exact 1992 form would hold up as a new attraction in 2023; I know that the ride was successful in 1992, but we've seen 30 years of technological advancement since then and I do wonder if the original props in the way they were originally done would seem a bit dated in 2023.

 

I'd much rather they do something new and original myself.

@Matt N too some a complete reinstallation of the original Haunted House may seem fuddy-duddy. The original incarnation of the Haunted House predates me by 7 years. There’s been many technical advances in my life but in my opinion classic rides like The Haunted House should return. More modern Dark Rides lack character and Theming. Take Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks at Chessington for example. This ride was amazing for all ages with marvellous Theming and Gags. It’s successor The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is missing all of the above. The ride is 95% TV screens and projections. I’d much rather the 1992 Haunted House return then a cheap and tacky ride with TVs occupy the space. I must confess the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is far better than Bubbleworks Imperial Leather. Despite this the ride isn’t even an inch on the Professor Burp version.

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Out of interest, does anyone know how long it ‘usually’ takes to build or retrofit a ride like this with a new ride system and theming?

 

I assume they would want “Duel: The Haunted House Strikes Back, The Return Of The Haunted House  - Electric Bill’s Revenge” to be open from day one next year considering Nemesis will be closed.

 

Whatever it turns out being, do we think they will keep the ride system? Would there be time to, assuming it opens in March?

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Depends what they are doing exactly. And depends how good they want the attraction to be.

 

I'm not sure how I feel about Towers opening up in 2023 with no Nemesis or Duel. It's not like Hex or Enterprise will be open and we can't rely on them getting fairground rides in again.

 

Towers really needs to get a grip on what its offering has become. It's shockingly bad. Even going into Autumn this year with only one dark ride remaining is pretty indicative of where Towers sits right now.

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@Mark9 next year has the potential to be a good season for Alton Towers. With the “rumoured” reopening of The Haunted House and “rumoured” return of Nemesis Sub-Terra it’ll be great. Both rides are sorely missed. From the message written in the Duel queline,I expect the main characters of the returning Haunted House will be Emily Alton and Snowy. I wouldn’t rule out the building being rethemed to Emily Alton’s Dolls house and the ride taking you around scenes. For instance a playroom that features the dolls house and causes children to become possessed. I like most people believe that both rumours are true.  If these rides return Alton will technically gain a couple of new/rethemed Dark Rides in the space of a year.

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1 hour ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

If the original Haunted House does return who else thinks it should be called The Haunted House Strikes Back? This name would be appropriate. 

 

That's its full official name now and has been since 2003! With Duel bolted on the front. 

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4 hours ago, Theme Park Fanatic said:

@Mark9 next year has the potential to be a good season for Alton Towers. With the “rumoured” reopening of The Haunted House and “rumoured” return of Nemesis Sub-Terra it’ll be great. Both rides are sorely missed. From the message written in the Duel queline,I expect the main characters of the returning Haunted House will be Emily Alton and Snowy. I wouldn’t rule out the building being rethemed to Emily Alton’s Dolls house and the ride taking you around scenes. For instance a playroom that features the dolls house and causes children to become possessed. I like most people believe that both rumours are true.  If these rides return Alton will technically gain a couple of new/rethemed Dark Rides in the space of a year.

I don’t see next year being a good season for the park (but not necessarily terrible).

 

With Nemesis being out for the entire season, that is already a substantial amount of throughput already out of the window. Whilst the park still have six other large scale coasters, the problem isn’t the main attractions but the ones that support it.

 

We don’t know when the (likely) re-themed Duel will reopen and if isn’t towards the start of the season, that’s another large blow. Add that up the ongoing issues with Hex and Enterprise and that’s no fewer than four rides out of action. 
 

If the Retro Squad rides return, it will help a little, but not massively as there still isn’t enough filler besides the main rides, especially if one experiences a prolonged breakdown. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Matt Creek said:

I don’t see next year being a good season for the park (but not necessarily terrible).

 

With Nemesis being out for the entire season, that is already a substantial amount of throughput already out of the window. Whilst the park still have six other large scale coasters, the problem isn’t the main attractions but the ones that support it.

 

We don’t know when the (likely) re-themed Duel will reopen and if isn’t towards the start of the season, that’s another large blow. Add that up the ongoing issues with Hex and Enterprise and that’s no fewer than four rides out of action. 
 

If the Retro Squad rides return, it will help a little, but not massively as there still isn’t enough filler besides the main rides, especially if one experiences a prolonged breakdown. 
@Matt Creek the fact The Haunted House is almost guaranteed to return is,enough to make the season epic. Furthermore the likely reopening Nemesis Sub-Terra will absorb the ques. Some markings have been noticed around Enterprise,so it would appear a permanent flat ride is coming.

 

 

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Why do you just assume a new ride everytime something is spotted. Yes it's possible but work in Sub Terra and blue markings found by Enterprise could mean anything and not merely a new ride in 2023! Heck the Sub Terra work could be getting cleared for storing Nemesis related stuff for all we know! 

 

We should be hearing exactly what the park has planned in the next month if those rumours are correct. Take with a pinch of salt though like all rumours. Forbidden Tomb did not happen for instance but you continued to believe it would. Lets just see and appreciate rather than saying it will this and will that. 

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The Duel is now over.

 

In spite of no official announcement from Alton Towers, the ride did indeed close today.

 

Photos are now circulating online showing that the front door of the building is boarded up with wooden planks, and a sign has appeared outside the building saying that it has been "repossessed"... take from that what you will.

 

RIP Duel 2003-2022

EDIT - Here is a source for the photos: https://towersstreet.com/talk/threads/duel-the-haunted-house-actually-strikes-back-refurb-incoming.4426/page-100

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2 hours ago, Matt N said:

The Duel is now over.

 

In spite of no official announcement from Alton Towers, the ride did indeed close today.

 

Photos are now circulating online showing that the front door of the building is boarded up with wooden planks, and a sign has appeared outside the building saying that it has been "repossessed"... take from that what you will.

 

RIP Duel 2003-2022

EDIT - Here is a source for the photos: https://towersstreet.com/talk/threads/duel-the-haunted-house-actually-strikes-back-refurb-incoming.4426/page-100

@Matt N this adds further certainty to my belief that The Haunted House is returning. If the Haunted House returns I hope they focus the storyline around Emily Alton. It would be great if air effects and leg ticklers are added to the vehicles. Thease effects could simulate Rats crawling over you. In addition it could simulate Snowey the Cat walking around.  and Vampires,Witches,Ghosts,Mummy’s and Emily Alton breathing on you. I’m hoping to visit Alton Towers next year to experience the returning Haunted House. 

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On 9/7/2022 at 1:07 AM, Theme Park Fanatic said:

@Matt N this adds further certainty to my belief that The Haunted House is returning. If the Haunted House returns I hope they focus the storyline around Emily Alton. It would be great if air effects and leg ticklers are added to the vehicles. Thease effects could simulate Rats crawling over you. In addition it could simulate Snowey the Cat walking around.  and Vampires,Witches,Ghosts,Mummy’s and Emily Alton breathing on you. I’m hoping to visit Alton Towers next year to experience the returning Haunted House. 

 

I love that you've made up this story based almost on entirely nothing. You could be right. But this fantasy is superb. You should work for Disney. 

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Looking at a photograph that’s been posted on Facebook the Duel carriages are leaving. I expect their going away to have the Guns and Scoreboards removed. I imagine the same carriages will return without the guns and with a new paint job. It wouldn’t be the first time ride hardware has been sent away. During Forbidden Tomb’s transformation to Tomb Blaster the carriages went and returned. As Duel’s refurbishment is scheduled to be finished by March,I think the ride system will remain but the Theming altered. If/when the carriages return I hope marks aren’t apparent where the Guns and Scoreboards were. This is why I suspect removing these elements is an offsite job. I don’t know but I suspect the holes where the guns were will have to be filled by Mack. 
 

Does anyone know how the holes left from the Guns and Scoreboards can be filled in?

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1 hour ago, Benin said:

 

Polyfilla. And lots of it.

@Benin I don’t evnvy who ever has too apply the PollyFilla. It’ll be a long  and boring job. As long as you cannot see a discolouration where the PollyFilla is the carriages will look epic. I wonder if Emily Alton is paying for this renovation. I admire her she’s finally evicted the Zombies after 19 years. I cannot wait to see how she decorates and refurbishes HER house. 

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