On February 14th 2023, we were invited to the middle of London to a field containing something spooky and a preview of what's to come at Alton Towers.
Come Play With Me was a pop-up event in London near Canary Wharf. The mysterious giant dolls house was used to tease the launch of the theme park’s newest dark ride, The Curse at Alton Manor, which launches this Spring. The experience was designed as a pop-up and was designed to hint at what’s to come with The Curse at Alton Manor.
The entrance gates of the field were decorated with signs for the new attraction along with some creepy dolls which had their eyes cable-tied shut. What the dolls can't see won't hurt them...
Greeted by the marketing team we were given some information about the event and presented with a postcard from "Emily" along with a purple rose and a handwritten note. We were told "this is the only love you're getting tonight" From being stood in front of the doll's house, it looked so spooky in the dark and with the London Skyline in the background.
Before starting our experience we were told that there were clues around the doll's house for something big and special. A possible opening day?
Greeted by Phillis from Sparks estates we were greeted with a tour of the property. We were told to treat the viewing as we would a normal house looking around and moving objects if needed.
Entering the house from the left door we entered what appeared to be the living room with a fireplace in front of us. Decorated around the room were lots of dolls, props and a gramophone playing some spooky music. Artwork could also be seen on the wall containing some of the visuals we had already seen such as the silhouette of the old Duel building and a "painting" of what we think is the grand hall scene with Emily Alton standing in the middle. The first room was the more normal room before something evil took over and our tour took a more spooky turn.
Walking through the fireplace with a fire going underneath the music intensified and the scenery of the rooms was more aggressive and spooky. Written on the walls were words such as "Don't Leave Me" "Pain" "Just you wait" and "Lair" along with a giant arrow leading us into the next room. Whilst you were busy reading the writing on the wall an actor would jump-scare you.
In the 3rd room of the doll's house, the walls in this room said "Wait Till Midnight", "Please Play With Me" along with a spiral and hands painted on the walls. If this is what we can expect in The Curse At Alton Manor, we can't wait.
The final room of this very small dolls house was the dining room where if you lifted a dinner tray you would be met with a spooky surprise. Someone hiding underneath waiting to scare you! Not many clues are to be seen in this room but when leaving a giant teddy bear would chase you out, I don't think we would buy this doll's house...
During the house tour we were told to keep an eye out for clues, those clues were for an opening date for the ride. March 18 The Curse At Alton Manor will be opening to guests. Clues for this were cleverly written around the doll's house such as the H being in the ceiling, M in the corner of the first room, R on one of the doors of the house and the numbers 1 and 8 also found on the moving doors of the house.
Sat in the attic of dolls house where a few props which sparked conversation such as yellow ducks, a clown, a cot and a rocking horse. Some people seemed to connect the very clean yellow ducks to the flume.
The theming of this pop-up experience makes us very excited about the future of this new attraction. Some of the theming used throughout are very clever and we can't wait to see the finished experience. When we asked the marketing team about the future of this popup and if it would be moved to Alton Towers they said they couldn't comment on that, could we see this moved to the end of Towers Street to help promote the new ride?
A big thank you to Alton Towers for inviting us out to experience the pop-up before it opened to the public!