The San Francisco Dungeon
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The San Francisco Dungeon

The San Francisco Dungeon
4
Speciality MuseumsGame & Entertainment Centers
This location was reported permanently closed
About
The San Francisco Dungeon is NOT your usual visitor attraction! We're an exciting mix of 9 live actor shows, 200 years of history, 360° sets, 1 dark boat ride and authentic storytelling. Being scared has never been more fun. Our unique take on history has made us one of Europe's best-loved visitor attractions. But now, for the first time, we have arrived in the USA! San Francisco is the perfect venue; filled with history, intrigue and colorful characters.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Fisherman’s Wharf
Packed with family-friendly entertainment, quality hotels, and good food, there's something for everyone at Fisherman's Wharf. From street performers and historic cable cars to art galleries and museums, a postcard-worthy photo is available on every corner. Bring your appetite: seafood lovers will be rewarded with Dungeness crab and sourdough bread bowls, while Ghirardelli Square will satiate anyone's sweet tooth after a day at Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Don't forget to say hello to the adorable sea lions that make this neighborhood a true San Francisco treat.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles648 reviews
Excellent
276
Very good
194
Average
100
Poor
46
Terrible
32

Kiwicsi
New Zealand29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
We were given free tickets to Madame Tussaud's and were allowed to purchase an upgrade to include the Dungeon so for $10 apiece, we got to see both. Madame Tussaud's was good, but if you've seen one, you've seen them all. The Dungeon on the other hand, was really good. A few scares and frights, a lot of laughing, and the special effects were great. The actors did a superb job of setting the mood for the dark historical events that took place in this city so many years ago. Wear comfy shoes, because you will be standing and/or walking slowly for about one hour.
Written June 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review! I'm glad to hear you had fun! We hope to entertain you again soon! Matthew
Written July 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

karenjoneswilliam72
Ocean City, MD1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Family
I recently visited the Dungeons and had the most amazing experience. From the get go we were so impressed by the welcoming, enthusiastic and friendly attitude of the girls at the door. If memory serves me right their names were Hannah, Sive and Finula. (I've been convinced to visit Ireland next summer!) My seven year old little girl was initially terrified but after talking with these girls she was calmer and full of excitement for the show. Throughout the entire show my family and I were so impressed by the level of fun and interaction involved in the experience. I would highly recommend this attraction to families who are looking for something to do in San Francisco!
Written July 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello! Thanks for the amazing review! Don't let those wee lasses fool you... They're all related to Shanghai Kelly and work with Miss Piggott to get unsuspecting families like yours right where we want you to be. Mwah ha ha! Looks like they did their jobs and will earn their keep tonight. Well done! Thanks again, -Dalia
Written July 18, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brianna L
Utah2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Family
It was a fun and interactive experience that I enjoyed. The acting was good, the scenery was awesome, and the Alcatraz room was scary good. My 75 year old grandma even got a kick out of the Dungeon! The price was too high for my family's taste. Also the boat ride, it was a 7ft long journey in the dark. If you advertise a ride, give the people an actual ride! All in all, a fun time but don't get your hopes up about the boat ride.
Written July 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ethicaltraveltales
Aurora, CO1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
I was verbally abused, demeaned and humiliated on stage. All without prior warning and without my consent. The experience left a memory so repugnant, bordering on traumatizing, I am seriously considering legal action. I know I will never again visit another dungeon or similar attraction, nor patronize any business of Merlin Entertainment.

In about the third scene, the actor screamed for me to come on stage. This was not asking for my participation, he was barking an order at me. Not wanting to hold up the show or be a bad sport, I complied, but to what I had no idea. I wish I had just refused.

The actor ranted about some tongue grabbing torture tool and told me to stick my tongue out, followed by screamed commands to yell in pain. When I refused, he turned the audience of 25 or so against me. Here I am on stage, blindsided, not an actor, not really knowing how to react to this...

Then he shows a meat hook and screams gruesome tales about how it is used to shove up people's butts as a torture technique. He commands me to put my arms on the back of a large chair. I refuse but am verbally abused so play along. In doing so, I am slightly bent over because it is a large chair. He mimicks some crude impaling act with the meat hook, exactly what I don't know because I have my back to the audience.

Finally, he displays some medieval penile cutting torture tool and commands me (now sitting) to put my hands on the arms of the wide chair. Refusing results in more screaming, so again I play along and put my hands on the arms of the chair, exposing my genital area. He clamps the tool just above my lap several times, "inch by inch" he yells, and then ridicules the size of my genitalia.

This is all quite humiliating, lasting about five minutes. The actor is quite convincing... loud, intimidating, abusive. The audience looks on, some laughing, some probably feeling sorry for me, some in probably as much of a daze as I am at how bad the show has been so far. But it's just a show, so why didn't I just walk off stage and tell the actor to shove it?

Not wanting to be rude? Not wanting to admit that this was actually affecting me? Because it was happening so fast, I didn't know what else to do aside from comply? Because the show must go on? To be a good sport? Because I am weak? Because I am a people pleaser and have no back bone? To not ruin the show for others? I am now tormented by these questions and fantasize about how I could have handled the situation differently. I will probably need the help of a therapist.

To those who say I am overly-sensitive and cannot take a joke... many people have skin far thinner than mine. Not to mention trauma histories and anxiety triggers of all kinds, especially when people scream at them - acting or not. It might be amusing and entertaining to watch as a spectator but trust me as I now speak from experience... when you are thrust into such a situation, unsuspecting and not knowing what is coming, it is very hard to react in any dignified manner. I was just left wondering what the hell just happened? And why did I let myself be humiliated like that? The writers of these skits need to take greater responsibility for the potentially damaging effects they have on people and receive further training on ethics in audience participation.

It has been some time since the experience and the psychological scars are still very raw. This is not the kind of memory - travel or otherwise - I would wish upon anyone.

I will be consulting with legal counsel to see if there is a case to litigate for damages.
Written August 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

megan h
7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Couples
Arrived to be told it was closed & I'd be contacted & refunded by the manager - 1 month later they're still ignoring my emails even though they were supposed to contact me to issue a refund. I paid for this attraction months in advance and was so excited to see it. Fair enough, it was closed and may have been unforeseen (the colleague didn't seem to give much information on it or care) but to then be trusting in the company to contact me and refund me my money and that not happen - you should be ashamed of just stealing people's hard earned money. As a company, as a business your ethical standards are rock bottom.
Written December 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for this feedback. If this has not yet been resolved to your satisfaction, would you please contact me at Matthew.Gunter@merlinentertainments.biz I will look into this and get your refund issued. I am sorry that we may have failed you, but we would like to make it right.
Written July 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

fightteacher
9 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Family
I've been through other Dungeon's so I had certain expectations and foreknowledge of how it would go. Compared to say, the Edinburgh dungeon, this one was as entertaining but not very scary or even creepy, and the number of locations visited seem far fewer (where there areas that were closed?).

The actors were convincing and they performed their roles very well. Special kudos to the actress in the saloon who had to keep telling a couple of kids to be quiet. The sets are well put together as well, as I would expect in the Dungeons.

BUT: customers need to be made aware that they may be singled out and used as part of the show. Anyone with any type of social anxiety or triggers to people yelling at them need to stay far to the back and out of sight (though that doesn't always work either and maybe company policy should be not to pick people hiding in the back).

A gentleman in our group was selected for a scene involving torture and his discomfort and embarrassment was clearly apparent. Some people can handle it and others can't. A person should be able to opt out without being mocked or humiliated for it.

I was selected in 3 different rooms during my visit. Not my cup of tea but I went with it but it was a bit much by the 3rd time considering our group had about 16 people. My son was yelled at in one of the rooms with the actor saying "you must be a special kind of stupid". With that my son just wanted to leave. Interaction is one thing, humiliation and embarrassment is another.

I love the dungeons, I'll continue to visit them when I travel but this one needs to be better, do better.
Written July 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Clearly, you are a Dungeon fan and we disappointed you. I am sorry that your experience fell short of your expectations. Should you wish to discuss your Dungeon visit further, please contact me at Matthew.Gunter@merlinentertainments.biz Thank you for your review and feedback. Matthew
Written July 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

oregon_consumer
36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
I soft of pictured this as a cross between the Pirates of the Caribbean (the boat), the Haunted House (it is a Dungeon), and Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln (history). It wasn't, it wasn't, and it wasn't.

First, there was no boat.

Second, the only "haunted" or "scary" part of this "experience" was that there was lots of yelling and lights flickering. I don't want to give anything away ... that's not fair. But really it was more funny than scary. In the first room (where we waited for the tour to start), for example, the guy kept stomping. We never did figure out why. There also seemed to be some attempts at humor that fell rather flat. I would suggest not trying to engage the audience as much because it really distracted when the audience member wasn't participating (and was usually laughing).

Third, we really didn't understand if there was any history. There were these scenarios, but we weren't sure how they related to San Francisco or its history. Perhaps a guide that wasn't supposed to be scary could have given us some perspective on this. I would also mention that it was really hard to hear/understand, so maybe there was more than I got out of it.

On the plus side, the acting wasn't really bad. Most of the characters did a good job staying in character.

Still, this was VERY expensive for what we got. This is true even though we had an explorer pass so, technically, we went at a discounted rate.
Written August 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walter f
Lacombe, LA13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Family
4 stars for making the corny acting fun. The group we were in laugth a lot. they certainly got there point across that it was rough in SF in the early 1900s. they worked very hard to get all participators involved in the show and for that you got the 4th star. Better scripts in acting is needed, I expected better.
Written July 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review! We appreciate hearing feedback! Glad that you had fun! Thanks! Matthew
Written July 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Karri S
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Family
This was the highlight of our trip to San Francisco. Our whole family loved it! We had a 12 year old and a 13 year old with us and they had so much fun! The actors do a great job and it's obvious they love their job.
Written July 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Our actors do love their jobs! Thank you so much for your very kind review!! Glad to hear that you had a great time visiting! Thanks! Matthew
Written July 22, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ep541
Coos Bay, OR189 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
Over all this was a fun live action show full of interaction with the guests. You are immersed into the show and some lucky guests even become part of it. I would not recommend for small children or people who are truly scared easily.

It is a walk through attraction with a large group that is guided by your many different hosts. You travel short distances and then stand or sit depending on the scene. You are entertained by actors and then you move onto the next part of the story. Over all the theming is done well and so are the actor's costumes.

Once you make it to the end they give you the option to opt out of the drop ride if your too scared. just fyi I'm almost certain the snoopy drop at Knott's Berry Farm is far more of a drop than this is. with that being said don't pay extra for the ride. If it is included go ahead and do it as it has some theming to it but it is literally a real letdown, no pun intended.
Written May 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to write this review! I'm glad you overall enjoyed the experience and had a fun time. I'm sorry you didn't love the drop ride. Just to clarify, it is included on all tickets and part of everyone's experience (unless they choose to opt out). Come again soon! Ed
Written June 4, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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