The London Dungeon
Reviewed by Sandra McGhee
I had the opportunity to review the The London Dungeon situated at Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge, London SE1 7PB. Upon leaving Waterloo Station (and following the exit indicated London Eye, Dungeons we reached our destination in literally no more than a 5 minute walk. Luckily for us we had instructions to be directed to the priority queue which was empty, whereas the normal queue had a sign indicating at least 1hr wait! We were greeted at the queue by someone dressed in a scary costume then told to collect our tickets from the Jailer room (box office of London Dungeon) where there was no queue. Once we received our tickets we had our photo taken with our heads poked inside a guillotine and given a ticket in case we wanted to purchase this at the end of the experience. My partner and 3 kids were all very excited as instantly there was a real eerie atmosphere and we really had no idea what was in store for us! We were then introduced to another guide who told us where the toilets were so we made our way there before embarking on our journey. The background theme and music in the washrooms was a scary narrator telling ghost tales, my daughter loved this and was starting to get a little nervous!
The total experience lasted approximately 1hr 30 minutes and without giving away the thrill and excitement along the way as I wouldn't want to spoil it for you I will try and give you a brief description of what to expect. Not sure how many in total but we was greeted by about at least 7 or 8 guides/actors/actresses who were in character for each individual theme they all acted out a story ranging from Sweeney Todd, Jack The Ripper and Guy Fawkes to name a few and all were very convincing and well-rehearsed, very humorous at times and had appropriate accents too! Each guide would randomly pick on an innocent customer to participate in something or another, but again I would not want to spoil and spoil what happened, put it this way, this place is not recommended for the feint hearted and if you are shy I certainly wouldn't recommend standing at the front. In total there are two rides included in the price, one being a small boat ride, what I would call similar to small ghost train journey, my 13 year old son gripped my hand for dear life and within 30 seconds shouted get me off (I started to panic a little at this point, as it was almost pitch black the entire time but we survived and it was over with before we knew it)! The ride was brilliant and the last ride (called Drop Dead ride), oh my days very scary indeed but so creatively mastered was the perfect ending in scariness, you also have the option to bypass this ride and take the exit if you wish. Once this ride was finished you almost fell into a foyer which then displayed photos of the last ride and you could buy these at £10 each. There was also a great souvenir shop too which had a great selection of gifts.
The whole experience was geniusly put together, each scene superbly narrated, very educational and a great history lesson covering so much in a little time. I would definitely return again and can see why this is such a popular tourist attraction.
I took my 2 sons 13 & 14 and daughter 9 (she coped with it and I think in all fairness expected it to be more scary, she was relieved there was no contact as I think that was the main thing she was worried about, so when she asked the guide on the way in and they assured her this put her at ease!)
Again without spoiling your visit our best part was the maze, I will say no more, you have got to go visit and see what I'm talking about, truly amazing and frightening!
Tickets cost from £11.95 to £17.95 (online prices), £16.20 to £22.50 (on the door price).