Alton Towers Dungeon to close permanently

Alton Towers Dungeon
The Black River Boat Ride (©Merlin Entertainment)

The Alton Towers Dungeon, one of Merlin Entertainments’ famous Dungeons-attractions, is scheduled to close this summer. The attraction, located in the Alton Towers-theme park in Staffordshire (England) will close to make way for a Halloween-attraction. The dungeon contains the Black River Boat Ride, which will close with it.

The Black River Boat Ride is the 4th incarnation of the water dark ride. Firstly opened in 1981 as Around the World in 80 Days. This ride was based on the Jules Verne novel of the same name. It stayed around until 1994, when it was rethemed to Toyland Tours which in turn would stick around up to 2004. It was in turn rethemed to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Ride that opened in 2006. After its closure in 2015, it saw many years of uncertainty as the ride stood abandoned up until 2018 when its props got removed and some even auctioned of. The building would be reused for the Alton Towers Dungeon and parts of the flume ride were converted into the Black River Boat Ride.

The Dungeon is an up charge attraction. This is due to the attraction containing many actors in its scenes, paired with the overall low capacity of an attraction like this. This up-charge cost would lead to lower ridership compared to other rides in the park, especially with the COVID pandemic occurring just one year after the attraction opened. This low ridership has lead Merlin Entertainment, the owner of Alton Towers, to close the ride permanently and replace it with a new Halloween experience. It is unknown if the ride system will be kept and enter its 5th incarnation. An exact date for the closure of the Alton Towers Dungeon is yet to be announced.