Alton Towers’ ongoing revamp of the Duel dark ride will see it return closer to the original Haunted House design, according to a former senior manager.
The 1992-built ride has been closed since September and has been fenced off as refurbishment works began.
Mark Fisher, former chief development officer for Alton Towers operator Merlin Entertainments, said the ride would re-open closer to the original 1992 ride prior to its re-theme as Duel in 2003.
Fisher told the Stoke Sentinel: “It will be more like the original Haunted House, with a completely new story. Some of the old Victorian techniques – the use of mirrors, for example – are still so good.
“The Merlin Magic Making team has been here and I’m excited about what they have planned. A lot of people fondly remember the old Haunted House and we think this is going to be huge.”
Following Duel’s closure on 6 September last year, signs were placed outside the ride’s house façade reading “property repossessed”, while the doorway was theatrically boarded over.
A mobile phone number was printed on notices, on which a recorded voicemail greeting suggested that paranormal activity was taking place in the area.
Semi-retired consultant John Wardley, the Haunted House’s original concept designer, is understood to be heavily involved with the project alongside Merlin’s in-house creative ‘Magic Making’ department.
The original ride system used in the Haunted House and Duel will be retained, but the laser shooters and much of the existing scenery and props have been removed.
The ride is expected to open along with the rest of Alton Towers when the park begins its 2023 season on 18 March.