|The London Dungeon|
|Established||1974 (Relocated 2013)|
|Location||Bankside, London SE1, England, United Kingdom|
|Public transit access||Waterloo|
The London Dungeon is a London tourist attraction, which recreates various gory and macabre historical events in a gallows humour style aimed at younger audiences. It uses a mixture of live actors, special effects and rides.
Opening in 1974, it was initially designed as a museum of macabre history, but the Dungeon has evolved to become an actor-led, interactive experience. The Dungeon is operated by Merlin Entertainments. In 2013, the London Dungeon moved from its premises on Tooley Street to a new location near County Hall and the London Eye.
The London Dungeon features 18 shows, 20 actors and 2 rides. Visitors are taken on a journey through 1000 years of London’s history where they meet actors performing as some of London’s most infamous characters, including Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd. The Dungeon’s shows are staged on theatrical sets with special effects. The show incorporates events such as the Black Death and the Gunpowder Plot, and includes characters such as "The Torturer", "The Plague Doctor", and "The Judge". Guests are encouraged to participate in the shows. The experience also includes a "drop ride to doom".[clarification needed]
The London Dungeon was founded in 1974 by Annabel Geddes. It was initially designed as a museum of macabre history depicting gory scenes. Early characters included Boudicca, Mary Tudor and Thomas Beckett and had scenes from the Norman Conquest. Over the years the Dungeon has changed into an actor-led, interactive experience with both humorous and light horror elements. London’s first ever indoor water ride was installed at the venue in 1997. Kunick Leisure Group owned The Dungeons company during the 1980s, before it was bought by Vardon in 1992. In 1999 Vardon became the Merlin Entertainments Group following a management buyout led by Nick Varney.
On the 31st January 2013, the London Dungeon closed its doors after 39 years at Tooley Street, London Bridge. The attraction moved to London’s County Hall on the South Bank, next to the London Eye in March 2013.
The London Dungeon is one of eight Dungeons throughout Europe. The Amsterdam Dungeon, Berlin Dungeon, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, The Castle Dungeon at Warwick Castle, The Edinburgh Dungeon, Hamburg Dungeon, and the York Dungeon are also part of the Dungeons Group, owned by Merlin Entertainments.
The dungeon has been the subject of mixed reviews by visitors and travel writers. The Sun called it "The right balance of fright and fun". Rick Steves described it as "just a highly advertised, overpriced haunted house" and an "amateurish attraction". The "Rough Guide to Britain" describes it as best enjoyed by "young teenagers and the credulous".
- Johnstone, Sarah; Masters, Tom (2004). London. Lonely Planet. p. 164. ISBN 1-74104-091-4.
- Steves, Rick; Openshaw, Gene (2008). Rick Steve's London 2009. Avalon Travel. p. 78. ISBN 1-59880-117-1.
- Andrews, Robert; Teller, Matthew (2004). The Rough Guide to Britain. Rough Guides. p. 134. ISBN 1-84353-301-4.