London Dungeon entrance plans

The London Dungeon has confirmed that it will close on January 31, 2013, before reopening at a new site close to the London Eye on March 1.

The Evening Standard reports that owner Merlin Entertainments Group is spending £20 million on the move, which will enable it to create a cluster of attractions on the former County Hall site. The firm already operates the nearby London Eye and Sea Life Aquarium, and expects to sell large numbers of combined tickets to all three attractions.

The London Dungeon has been located close to the London Bridge railway station since its opening in 1974. It features a number of walkthrough scenes that are populated by live actors, as well as three theme park-style rides. The attraction pulls in large crowds, particularly during the peak summer season.

County Hall site

The updated London Dungeon will sit next to the London Aquarium.
Image © Merlin Entertainments Group

The current designs for the updated London Dungeon show only two of the rides being recreated on the new site. These would be the Extremis: Drop of Doom drop tower and the Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell water ride. Surprisingly, the Vengeance "5D" laser gun ride, which opened in 2011, is not referred to in the plans.

A number of existing scenes will return in the relocated London Dungeon, including those depicting a plague-infested street, the Great Fire of London, the Torture Chamber, the Courtroom, Sweeney Todd's barber shop, Jack the Ripper's murders and the Labyrinth of the Lost mirror maze. A new scene based around Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot, similar to an existing scene at the York Dungeon, is also expected to be installed.

Actor Brian Blessed will play Henry VIII, who will appear via projections in a scene in which he condemns guests to execution. This is expected to be a precursor to the update Extremis ride, which simulates a hanging. In the new version of the attraction, guests will load from the top rather than the bottom.

Extremis plans
Extremis will become a top-loading drop tower.
Image © Merlin Entertainments Group

The long outdoor queues that plague the existing London Dungeon site should be a thing of the past at the new location, with Merlin introducing an indoor waiting area. This will be populated by actors in prison cells, who will aim to keep guests entertained. Guests will descend into the basement dungeons in groups of forty-five approximately every six-and-a-half minutes.


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