Last season marked the final season for the famous Alton Towers (UK) dark ride Duel. After the September closure, it took about four months before fans received official news about the plans for the ride. In January Merlin, the operator of Alton Towers announced the new name and has been releasing new information ever since. Today, the ride re-opened as Curse at Alton Manor.
The latest dark ride at the Staffordshire park is a combination between the old Duel dark ride, which of itself was a retheme of the 1992 John Wardley and Keith Sparks ride Haunted House, and new elements and scenes were created exclusively for the Curse at Alton Manor. Unlike Duel it contains a greater emphasis on jump scares and overall is much more haunting than the old ride, with the interactive system no longer present.
The park has been hinting towards the rides closure since August 2022 when a sign was added to the queue line saying “06 + 09 = The Duel is over – This is my house”. The sign hinted at the closing date of Duel, September 6th and we now know that it was the cursed spirit of Emily Alton laying claim to the building. After the closure, large fences and posters with the text “Property Repossessed – Strictly no unwanted visitors due to unnatural displays in the area”, of which the words “Possessed – I want to play” were highlighted, appeared. On January 24th the park unveiled the new name Curse at Alton Manor and has been releasing information about the ride ever since.
Today, at the start of the 2023 season, the ride opened to the general public. The first reactions are positive, with the public saying the ride has a good atmosphere, with some solid new theming all the while retaining certain aspects of it’s predecessors.