The Curse At Alton Manor - A Vengeful, Gothic Romp Into The Sinister Heart Of The Manor's Dark & Broken Past!
The Curse At Alton Manor FINALLY welcomed daring souls to explore the Gothic home of the neglectful, Victorian Aristocrats The Alton Family this Saturday gone (March 18th).
Following Duel’s closure back in September of last year, Creative teams at Alton Towers Resort have been hard at work transforming the once tired haunted house ride into a BRAND NEW, world class dark ride for the park’s 2023 season.
The resort’s new ride captures classic vibes of attractions such as Phantom Manor & The Haunted Mansion and delivers a world class dark ride experience befitting of the attraction’s nostalgic legacy.
What Can You Expect?
The Curse At Alton Manor delivers a world class dark ride experience on par with the likes of European theme parks such as Efteling and Phantasialand.
The ride takes those brave enough on a journey through the history of The Alton Family and their demise as a result of neglecting their young daughter Emily.
Emily Alton exacts her terrible revenge as you journey deep into the manor, resulting in you being shrunk down and forced inside her dolls house.
The Curse At Alton Manor combines physical tech and animatronics with screens, projection mapping and 3D audio to fully immerse you into the story of how Emily Alton became the vengeful spirit she is today.
The ride also features a lot of hidden surprises both within the attraction itself and in the outdoor queue line too.
These include fun and humorous nods to Alton Towers’ many former attractions such as Corkscrew, The Black Hole, The Flume and Around The World in 80 Days to name but a few.
The ride’s eerie atmosphere isn’t only captured perfectly within either as the grave yard themed queue line also features epic, orchestral music, smoke effects and so much more.
What Makes It Stand Out?!
When it comes to themeing, The Curse At Alton Manor feels very much on par with the likes of Wicker Man & HEX in just how immersive the attraction really is.
For us, it’s the little details such as the inclusion of ‘for sale’ signage outside the attraction, the wrought iron gates and even the fun little themeing pieces and nods to former rides with Attic Of Antiquities (the new Spooks R Us).
The immersion doesn’t stop with the ride either as when you enter Gloomy Wood you are greeted with so much detail and atmosphere.
Inside the ride, the inclusion of a ‘dolls house’ pre-show adds further depth and context and helps set the tone for the ride experience you are about to have.
After exiting the ride there is even a giant chair photo opp and an incredibly sinister interactive portrait of Emily too.
It’s safe to say that not only have Alton Towers thought outside the box with this attraction, however they have also thought of every aspect of your experience too.
Room For Improvement.
Now as much as we absolutely adore the Curse At Alton Manor (and we really do!), there is still a HUGE amount of room for improvements too.
Having being lucky enough to speak with John Burton (one of the new attraction’s leading creatives) on the day we raise our query and received the following information.
Although open, The Curse At Alton Manor is far from complete and over the coming months they intend to monitor it’s progress and those riding to discern which areas of the ride need to be improved or changed.
Dark areas within the ride which are currently pitch black are believed to be parts of the ride which are still under construction or development.
With this we were advised we could more than likely see new scenes within these parts of the ride over the coming months.
In all honesty though a dark ride is never really complete and as such improvements and changes can still be made over the coming years too depending on what works and what doesn’t
Another improvement we would like to see though is batching. Given the fact the ride does include a pre-show, we definitely feel guests need to be given time to watch it before boarding the ride.
This is due to being rushed through by ride ops on the day and not being given the chance to take it all in before riding.
Is It Worth The Hype?
In our opinion, yes. Alton Towers & Smoking Gun PR did a sterling job of building the hype for The Curse At Alton Manor.
As much as in some cases we would rather just receive all the information at once, dragging the reveal out definitely helped heighten the excitement for opening day.
The Curse At Alton Manor really is a step in the right direction where brand new rides and attractions at the park are concerned.
The flow of the ride, the story driven narrative and the overall aesthetic help create a haunted house ride befitting of the resort and it’s long history at the park.
In truth, the last time we saw Gloomy Wood as busy as it was on Saturday was the original Haunted House’s opening back in 1992 and that alone stands testament to just how anticipated The Curse At Alton Manor really was.
Alton Towers’ NEW Haunted House really is the UK’s answer to The Haunted Mansion!
Is It Worth Checking Out?
In a heart beat! The Curse At Alton Manor is both chilling and mesmerising at the same time.
It delivers the perfect storm of thrills and suspense whilst captivating you and sending your senses into overload!
The pace is perfect, the lighting and direction feels spot on and the overall theme stays consistent from beginning to end.
Given how bad the state of Duel had become, we had extremely high hopes for The Curse At Alton Manor upon the attraction’s announcement and it’s safe to say we’re certainly not disappointed.
Bringing John Wardley (one of The Haunted House’s original creative directors) onboard was a stroke of genius and this can be seen from the overall quality the new ride commands.
One of our friends described The Curse At Alton Manor as “the return of Wardley magic to the Alton Towers Resort”, and they couldn’t be more spot on!
So, if you plan on visiting Alton Towers over the coming months and get on only ONE ride during your visit, make it The Curse At Alton Manor.
You definitely won’t be disappointed, trust us!