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Dare you enter the dungeons?!
Member Name: louisechackett
Advantages: a good laugh
Disadvantages: people jump out at you in the dark lol, expensive if no offers on
I have visited London on quite a few occasions now through trips with friends and through also seeing my then boyfriend who was an Essex boy. I have done quite a few "touristy" things but the London Dungeons never really appealed to me! Maybe because I am a bit of a wuss and didn't fancy walking through dark corridors and things! However, this weekend I visited London again and one of the things my sister wanted to do was visit the dungeons and so I didn't really have much choice!
The dungeons are located on Tooley Street in London and are closest to the London Bridge tube station.
We arrived at the dungeons at around 9.25am. There was already a small queue formed, and the dungeons open at 9.30am on a Saturday. We perhaps queued for around 10 minutes before the doors were opened and we began to move inside to pay. Now I think this was pretty good going as I have heard some real horror stories about the length of the queues to get in this attraction and how people can wait for hours on end to go in.
Once inside we had to queue in a dark corridor. There were tombstones and things painted on the walls and it all looked quite gloomy. I admit even at this point I was thinking "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" When we got to the front of the queue we were told to go to the left and wait for the assistant who was made up to look gory! She told me to get in the stocks and my sister had to hold an axe and pretend to chop off my head. This was the first photo taken of us by them. There are signs around telling you that you cannot use your cameras whilst in the dungeons. We didn't, but I know from looking on you tube and things prior to going that there are some people that do. Once the assistant had taken our photo she told us "Have a horrible time" and sent us on to pay!
We went to the tills to pay. There were two tills operating and the price of entry was £23.00 per person. Now I think this is pretty steep really as with most of the tourist attractions in London. However, I had been sent some two for one entry tickets with my Tesco club card statement and luckily one of the attractions mentioned was the London Dungeons. Therefore my sister and I paid £11.50 each to get into the attraction which I think is a much more appropriate price.
The tour is pretty much led by the people who work there, actors presumably, who are all made up to look bloody, dead or disgusting! Perhaps all three in some cases! The majority of them are bossy and shout at you but this is all to add to the atmosphere of where you are!
You are first taken to the Crypt of All Hallows church. It is here you are locked in and meet your first guide. He is supposedly dead and talks to you about the plague and things.
You are then sent into the Labrinth of lost souls. This is basically a mirror room like you would find in a fun house or something but you are in the dark and can barely see. What you can see is reflections of yourself and shadows of other people as the rest of your group are walking around. You are unsure if any of these people are going to be the guides who jump out at you and are feeling around to try and escape! This was the room we were first made to jump! In fact I think my sister probably screamed!
Next you go into another room to learn a bit more about the plague. You have another guide chatting to you here.
Next there is a room about the Great Fire of London. You are watching a video of a man talking about the fires. As you are watching the room fills with smoke and you are then sent out of that room coughing and spluttering a bit! Not great if you have asthma!
The next room you encounter is the surgery room. You are met at the door by a man in a cloak which covers his face. In the room is a model of a torso and various medical instruments. The man in the cloak chooses a volunteer who is strapped to a chair. A voice over begins telling us about how surgeons would sometimes turn to the black market to make more money and as this is going on the man in the cloak is removing the stomach, intestines and heart from the torso and dangling them in the volunteers face! Then he begins to pretend to use various instruments on the volunteer. Finally he picks up a large chopping axe and lifts it towards the volunteer and then the room goes black, you hear screams and are splattered with water... I guess this is meant to be blood!
Next to the torture chamber. You meet another guide who shows you various instruments of torture and he also chooses some volunteers!
From this room you are sent to see the judge. Again volunteers are chosen but to be honest this part is pretty funny! They make up various kinds of crimes for the volunteers to have done and have them doing silly things and such like. I say it is funny...but I would have been mortified if I had been chosen!
Next you go to Bedlam! After Bedlam you go on the first ride of the dungeons which is a boat ride called Traitor. There are six of you per boat and you spin around a little bit and things. Prepare to get wet!
After this we end up on a little street where a man selling pies chats to you for a while until all the group is together again before he takes you to Sweeney Todd's Barber shop. In this room it is pitch black. You are all sat in chairs and it is quite spooky really! A few screams were heard in this room too!
From Sweeny Todd we head to Whitechapel to learn about Jack the Ripper. This was the part I was most scared about to be honest! We are met by a woman dressed as a prostitute who he killed. She tells us a bit about the history and then we are taken to a room where we hear a video talking about who Jack the Ripper may have been. There is quite a dramatic finale to the video in which fire is thrown out of the bottom of the screen and is meant to signify hell!
From Jack the Ripper we go to a new attraction for 2010: Bloody Mary the killer Queen. This is all on video as well though there is one guide who chooses someone to be tied up and be punished by the Queen.
After this we reach the final ride of the experience which is called Extremis. There are warnings about this ride such as if you suffer back problems, are pregnant and the like that you should not ride it. It is a vertical drop ride and I have to admit being terrified as I do not like heights at all. Basically when you are secured into the seats you are lifted until you are level with some nooses in front of you. There are some animated characters which read your charges but to be honest these are hard to hear and understand. You are then dropped from the height and oh yes I definitely screamed at this part!!! They take a picture as you are free falling which you can then see straight away as your next stop is the photo room. The picture of us was hilarious! We both look terrified but the gentleman sitting next to us looks worse! We were crying laughing and so we bought two copies of the picture for £10.00.
Next we walked through to the gift shop where the usual types of things were being sold. We did not purchase anything in here though.
From start to finish the dungeon experience lasted around two hours which I think is pretty good for the price we paid. Of course when you are in there you can't really turn round and get back out! If you had any health problems and such like whilst in there though I am sure you could tell one of the guides and they would be able to get you out of there.
As we left the dungeons and walked on to the street other scary looking actors chased us! Seemingly a different attraction has opened over the road from the dungeons but is doing a very similar thing! Needless to say we didn't need any more scaring so we didn't go in there.
So would I recommend the dungeons? Well I think if you have got an offer ticket and you can get two for the price of one I definitely recommend it. My sister and I held on to each other virtually all the way through the attraction but it was a good laugh in the end! I wouldn't go again, but that is because I have seen it now. So yeah, if you haven't been I would say give it a go!
Summary: If you can get in two for 1 give it a go!
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