Jam-packed night of delights and frights at Alton Towers Dungeon - travel review

By Rebecca Stanley | Staffordshire | Attractions | Published:

Packed full of frights to delight the whole family – you’re in for a scream of a time at the new Alton Towers Dungeon.

The grisly new attraction opened on March 23 to mark the start of the Staffordshire theme park’s 2019 season, promising to have guests ‘screaming with laughter’.

Suitably intrigued, my partner and I headed to the Alton Towers Hotel ready to check-in for a weekend of ghoulish fun. The unique hotel is themed around quirky explorer Sir Algenon, who has made the Alton Towers Hotel his home.

At the centre of the hotel is a model of his amazing flying ship which has ‘crash landed’ right in the middle of the hotel, with the deck acting as a stage for entertainers on evenings.

Each themed room is decked out with a series of industrial, steam punk themed decorations – from delightful mechanical lights, brass mirrors, a Victorian phone to call for room service, and a mural of Sir Algenon adorning the walls.

Every room comes complete with modern bathroom facilities, televisions, and even games consoles to make your stay at the theme park comfortable and amusing.

After a brief time exploring the hotel and enjoying drinks in the relaxing Dragons Bar and Atrium, we boarded a shuttle bus ready to walk through the park after dark and be sentenced to a spell in the dungeons themselves.

Actors took us back in time and set the mood for the frightful evening as the fun and magical park was plunged into eerie darkness, illuminated only by red lighting.

The haunting attraction brings to life some of the local area’s spookiest tales as well as some of the best shows from the Dungeon’s brand.


Entering through the large wooden doors, the first of five shows in the 45-minute experience saw us sentenced by the Bishop of Staffordshire.

My partner was immediately found guilty by the intimidating yet hilarious bishop just for being from Wolverhampton, while the room cackled as one young woman was made to apologise for a racy jig.

After being sentenced, we all boarded the boats to take a trip across the Black River to spend our lives in the dungeon. Despite knowing this was just a fun ride – and being surrounded by children – I couldn’t help feeling a little bit scared as we were plunged into darkness as we sailed through scenes of torture and the sound of wretched screams.

Greeted by the Wise One at the castle gates, guests were educated by The Torturer on what tools were best used to extract information, invited into the castle inn to meet Dick Turpin, and cured by the nurse of The Plague in ghastly interactive shows that scared and entertained in equal measure.


The experience culminated in a truly hair-raising encounter with the Witch of Burslem in her cottage. Despite being fans of all-things horror, I must admit my partner and I were truly terrified by the end of our walk through the Alton Towers Dungeon and in need of a stiff drink.

After a good night’s sleep – thankfully not plagued with nightmares – we enjoyed a breakfast in the Secret Garden Restaurant. The breakfast buffet has everything from cooked treats for a Full English, to fresh fruit, pastries, muffins, cereal and more to suit all dietary needs.

Ready for more excitement, we boarded the monorail from the hotel to the theme park to enjoy a day of thrill rides. The fast track tickets allowed us to skip the lengthy queues for popular rides with ease, meaning we could experience the excitement of new rollercoaster Wicker Man, as well as staple rides Rita, Galactica, The Smiler, Thirteen and more even sooner – something I’d definitely recommend for peak visiting times.

On top of the hair-raising rollercoasters, we enjoyed a stroll through the picturesque gardens and the jaw-dropping tunnel in the SEA LIFE attraction packed full of creatures from the deep blue sea. With the addition of the dungeon, Alton Towers’ new season is set to be more thrilling than ever.


Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me:


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