Opening in 1974, the attraction was initially designed as a museum of macabre history, but the Dungeon has evolved to become an actor-led, interactive experience. The Dungeon is operated by Merlin Entertainments. In 2013, the London Dungeon moved from its premises on Tooley Street to a new location in County Hall next to the London Eye.
The London Dungeon features 18 shows, 20 actors and 3 rides. Visitors are taken on a journey through 1000 years of London’s history where they meet actors performing as some of London’s most infamous characters, including Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd. The Dungeon’s shows are staged on theatrical sets with special effects. The show incorporates events such as the Black Death and the Gunpowder Plot, and includes characters such as "The Torturer", "The Plague Doctor", and "The Judge". Guests are encouraged to participate in the shows. The experience also includes a "drop ride to doom", a free-fall ride staged as a public hanging.
The London Dungeon was founded in 1974 by Annabel Geddes. It was initially designed as a museum of macabre history depicting gory scenes. Early characters included Boudicca, Mary Tudor and Thomas Beckett and had scenes from the Norman Conquest. Over the years the Dungeon has changed into an actor-led, interactive experience with both humorous and light horror elements. London’s first ever indoor water ride was installed at the venue in 1997. Kunick Leisure Group owned The Dungeons company during the 1980s, before it was bought by Vardon in 1992. In 1999 Vardon became the Merlin Entertainments Group following a management buyout led by Nick Varney.