Merlin planning London Dungeon relocation

Merlin Entertainments is planning the relocation of the London Dungeon to the County Hall building adjacent to Westminster Bridge.

The proposed location is adjacent to two of the company’s other attractions, the London Eye and the Sea Life Aquarium.

A planning application was received by Lambeth Council in February and is still pending consideration, but it is hoped that the new Dungeon would open in early 2013.

Merlin has cited Network Rail’s plans for the development of the London Bridge railway station – and the surrounding area, incorporating the current Dungeon site – as reason for the relocation.

The attraction’s current location is located directly opposite – and features intense competition from – the London Tombs scare attraction.

New scenes

The planning documents reveal several new scenes compared to the current configuration, including those titled ‘Plague Street’ and ‘Prisoner Walk’, as well as a Guy Fawkes show being identified on the plans.

Two of the attraction’s rides will re-appear at County Hall, with the Traitor boat ride featuring a new, significantly shortened track layout.

The Extremis drop ride will increase in capacity from 20 to 24 riders per cycle, now seating two rows of twelve guests.

The plans appear to indicate that it will be a top-loading model, featuring an instant freefall drop following ride activation.

The Vengeance 5D experience is not shown by name on any of the documents and may not form part of the relocation.

At the current Tooley Street site, queue lengths of several hours are not uncommon during summer, as the attraction struggles to exceed a capacity of 400 people per hour.

The new site is projected to have a maximum throughput of 450 guests per hour, with groups of 45 being admitted every six minutes.

It has been speculated that Merlin are aiming to increase the fear factor of the Dungeon brand, with the new Witches of Warwick scene at the Castle Dungeon receiving a glowing review from the ScareTOUR enthusiast group.