I recently had the chance to explore the London Dungeons, part of Merlin’s Southbank cluster. I hadn’t been to the attraction before, and being a bit of a scaredy-cat I was not sure what to expect.
Through a series of well-themed rooms, the worst parts of London’s history were re-told including Sweeny Todd and Mrs Lovett’s pie shop (which had a horribly realistic pie smell), Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot and Jack the Ripper, before being told we were traitors, tried before a court and then “hung” on a 30ft drop ride.
The actors that guided us were the stars of the attraction: convincing story tellers, and encouraging the audience to get involved, even if this meant locking them in cages and strapping them a into torture chair! This interactive experience is a common trend now in the industry, including The Shrek Adventure (just next door!), and London Dungeons does it well.
Some parts of the attraction were jumpy, but more family focused- a brave ten year old was in the group with us and she loved it! The actors used comedy to lighten what was sometimes quite gruesome topics.
At the end of the attraction, the THEME3 re-designed exit-through-the-gift-shop “The Tavern” welcomed guests to a free alcoholic drink, whilst enjoying the beautifully themed Victorian Pub.
Guests were enjoying the relaxed atmosphere at the end of the attraction, having a sit down and chatting about what they had just experienced, or browsing the tasteful and non-imposing merchandise for sale.
The bartender was entertaining the audience in a heavy cockney accent and interacting with them- even wiping earwax on me as he walked past. The Tavern extends that moment where guests open the doors into brightly lit reality again, and this increases the guest experience and value for money.
Photos kind courtesy of The London Dungeons