London Dungeon review (Nov 2011)
This is out-of-date! I have been here again since I wrote this review
The London Dungeon has got to be the most overrated attraction in the whole of London. By the time I'd bought a ticket and a guidebook I only had a few pennies left out of the thirty quid. Thirty quid for one person! I wouldn't have minded if the inside was worth it, but it wasn't. It was rubbish. Let me explain...
When I went there as a kid I kind of remember it as being more like a museum, where you could walk around at your own pace looking at all the gruesome exhibits. But it's not like that anymore. It's more like a guided tour, where you get led from scene to scene in a group of about twenty people. For pretty much every scene we had to stand around waiting at the door for the previous group to leave and for the actors to get their stuff together. It just seemed like one long endless walk to me, with a load of waiting in between. I was actually quite glad when it was over, to be honest. And not because I was scared either -- this thing is not scary. Maybe if you are a little kid you'll have a few nightmares, perhaps, but no adult going boo is going to make me jump.
The first guy you meet is supposed to be a world-weary monk, I think. But he seemed more like a stoned hippie to me, and the first "scene" was a mirrored hall with a load of stone columns in it. I think it was called the "Labyrinth of the Lost" or something like that, and you have to find your way to the exit. It wasn't too bad I suppose, because the darkness of the place combined with the mirrors makes it look like the room stretches out forever, with bazillions of stone colums as far as the eye can see. The maze wasn't too difficult though, and you end up in a little scripted scene about the plague. The actress was alright and she spat out her lines quite well. Then you have to watch a little movie about the Great Fire of London (boring, nothing happens... it's just a movie).
I can't remember the exact order of events after that, but I will try and describe as many scenes that I can... but first, a word of warning. If you don't like being picked on in an audience then give it a miss. Because there's probably about five scenes where they pluck an unsuspecting victim from the group to be garrotted, hung, drawn, quartered, disembowled, and many more unpleasant things. And being a British group, we just all stood there hugging the walls hoping not to be picked because it's embarassing having to scream whilst they pretend to spoon out your brains.
Another scene involved a guy being tied to the stake as flames (red smoke) licked around his feet. That same guy got picked on for another scene too, where he had to have his skull drilled in by a demon doctor. The worst scene was probably the Sweeney Todd one, because all that that involved was us sitting in a darkened room while Sweeney walked around behind us, snipping off our hair. Little brushes in the back of your seat revolve around a few times to make you think that someone is touching your hair for real, and then right at the end the seats suddenly tip back about two inches to make you think you're falling down the trapdoor.
The best bits were probably the rides, but that isn't saying much because they were rubbish too. The first one was a little boat ride which lasted about a minute. You go round a corner, see a robot bloke talking about the Tower of London, go round another corner, and then down a little incline and get splashed with water. That was it. Then you get out and go on to the next bit.
Take a tip from me... save yourself thirty quid and go somewhere else.
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