The tiny Edinburgh Reviews team were invited in by the good folks at The Edinburgh Dungeon team for a tour and a catch up behind the scenes.
I wanted to avoid using the phrase “better than expected” in the review even though but the trip through the dungeon was better than expected. What’s the problem with the phrase; it’s the feedback that the Dungeon team kept on receiving.
It seems expectations were lower than reality. Some people would be happy that they exceeded expectations but the Edinburgh Dungeon team wanted to lift the bar even higher.
The dungeon has been through a rebrand. As an entertainment destination it feels more modern than it once did. It feels neater and tidy. I’m not sure “entertainment destination” is an entirely fair phrase to use for The Edinburgh Dungeon as you really do get to experience some close up, professional, acting.
It was clear from the tour that lots of money had been spent in the building itself. There’s a boat ride, there are moving sets and even there’s a roller-coaster style encounter at the end. None of this can be cheap but the fact that it’s all coordinated with hidden buttons and leavers that the actors secretly push during the performance is pretty impressive.
The team have spent a lot of time transforming the look of the characters you encounter. You don’t encounter zombies from the past who are telling you about how Edinburgh was once. You meet people from the past who are talking about their lives. Getting the costume and makeup right for this is paramount.
The Dungeon has moved away from blood and gore makeup to professional MAC Cosmetics that transform their actors into people from the past. We were treated to a short demo and I’ve included parts of that in an even shorter video montage below.
It was easy to tell just how much time, care, attention and energy the whole team put into the dungeon experience. I was impressed. This is not a by-the-numbers operation with a goal of trying to get as many tourists through the doors as possible. I left The Edinburgh Dungeon certain that the team worked hard to put on the best possible show for their customers.