Waking up to exciting news is always a good start to the day especially when that news comes in form of this. Last year Alton Towers closed Duel, giving signs that a retheme was coming with sign such as 'Property Repossessed' added to the outside of the ride. This morning the park have finally confirmed it with the announcement of The Curse at Alton Manor. Not much is actually known about the retheme. We have an awesome artwork revealing the logo and a short description on the website:-
The Curse at Alton Manor. A haunting dark ride, taking you on a hair-raising journey through the spectacular twist and turns of the cursed Manor.
Coming, ready or not! The abandoned Alton Manor, repossessed under mysterious circumstances, will be inviting you inside. Have your wits about you as you ride deeper into the historic Manor.
With all this information, or lack off, what do we think is actually happening?
First thing I want to say is the new name doesn't exactly roll of the tongue. I can see many people calling it The Curse Of instead of The Curse At. I've already called it of a few times today already. The official artwork is hauntingly beautiful, as you can see below. There's just so much going on in it that perhaps it holds hints as to what expect. Children and dolls feature quite prominently in the image so could we see a story based on the ghosts of children haunting the corridors and possessing dolls due to a curse, who knows. We could potentially also see Emily Alton involved in the story, who as any Duel fan knows is the little girl in dollhouse in the Duel inside queue line. The name also hints that there’s a curse inside the building, maybe because of something inside and not on the actually house itself. Another random theory that has been floated (Which we think is untrue but we love the idea so want to share it) is that the attraction will link to The Attic, the scare maze. Its very unlikely, but would be cool.
Let's talk inside. My biggest worry on dark rides is that traditional styles of theming will no longer be used and instead they will use a majority of screens. Whilst this keeps up to date with modern technology, it isn't as immersive as actual set pieces and I really hope they keep this in mind with this ride. What would be awesome would be a mixture of both traditional and modern, a perfect fusion to create something deep with story and immersion. The sets in Duel, despite looking a bit worse for wear in later years, were always so beautiful to look at and felt really immersive in some areas so it would be a real shame to lose any of the style that made The Haunted House and Duel so enjoyable. Of course things have to change and move on, but sometimes it’s good to keep the old and mix it with the new. One thing we have noticed in the promo image is that the guns are no longer present and this makes me happy.
It will, of course, be aimed at families, so we are expecting toned down scares but the potential to bring back the ‘live’ rides for Scarefest is there and would be amazing. To be honest, I could see a lot of this year’s Scarefest potentially revolving around The Curse at Alton Manor with the Alton Ancestors either being retired and replaced with something more apt or having the costumes change to correspond with the new storyline.
Whatever the park has planned behind the doors of the Alton Manor, it’s very exciting and we can not wait to actually find out. Add to that the fact it will be breathing a new lease of live into Gloomy Wood, this attraction can only be a positive thing for the park. Just remember, this is all speculation and we could have this all very wrong. We just wanted to share our thoughts,