Northern California

The San Francisco Dungeon offers frightfully exhilarating journey through 200 years of history

Experience the ultimate live-action journey through San Francisco's seedy and sinister history.

Group of people in the San Francisco Dungeon attraction.
The San Francisco Dungeon is the ultimate live action journey through the Bay Area’s murky past where the audience is part of the show. — Photo: San Francisco Dungeons

SAN FRANCISCO (March 2017) – This Spring Break, tweens, teens and family have an exhilarating escape that is both fun and educational. The San Francisco Dungeon is a first-of-its-kind attraction for North America, providing a 60-minute, live-action journey through 200 years’ worth of the Bay Area’s most riveting—and sinister—history.

Located in Fisherman's Wharf, the experience begins with a suspense-filled descent in a rickety mine-shaft elevator to a realm where theatrical actors, captivating storytelling, special effects and spectacular stages offer up a dark, atmospheric—and often hilarious—interpretation of the city’s deepest, darkest historical moments. From the Gold Rush to the Chinatown Plague to Alcatraz, interact with 10 distinct shows inspired by actual events from the city’s history. As visitors pass from one show to the next, professional actors transform into various shady characters such as Sam Roberts, the leader of the Gangs of San Francisco, or infamous bar owner and crimper, Miss Piggott and her partner-in-crime, Shanghai Kelly. Highlights include:

The Descent – Guests begin the journey in an old mine shaft elevator, complete with creaking floors and rattling chains—all while trying to suppress a creeping sense of dread. All seems well—or does it? Colourful showman Jack greets visitors upon arrival at the bottom.

Gold Rush Greed – Visitors encounter a spectral incarnation of Father Francisco Palou, who expounds upon the sinful antics of gamblers, harlots and corrupt politicians who defiled the once-peaceful lands.

Lost Mines of Sutter’s Mill – Guests enter this disorienting maze of a mine, where the first traces of gold were discovered, at their peril. Recommended only for those with a keen sense of direction.

Gangs of San Francisco – An encounter with Sam Roberts, the leader of The Hounds, just might leave guests poorer than when they came—if they’re not careful. Extortion, as well as particularly painful means of persuasion were this gang’s calling cards.

The Court Room of San Francisco – Crime and punishment in old-time San Francisco comes to life in Judge Alcalde Meade’s court room, where guests might find themselves accused and convicted of hilarious “crimes.”

Miss Piggott’s Saloon – That creepy-crawly sensation guests feel when sitting down for a drink in this joint is no joke. They should be wary of drinking just anything Miss Piggott offers—they might just end up shanghaied.

Shanghai Kelly – Unsuspecting patrons of Miss Piggott’s soon find they have been sold off to this infamous crimper. Forced to board a boat bound, they navigate back waterways to meet their fate as a crewman aboard a ship—or worse yet, find they are declared unfit to work.

Chinatown Plague –Guests encounter the Rat Catcher along the back alleys of 1900 Chinatown, where quarantined streets hide something even more shocking than infected rats and rotting bodies. This cure really might be worse than the disease.

The Ghosts of Alcatraz – In the 1800s, Alcatraz was a brick jailhouse housing the most dangerous military prisoners. This is not a place for the faint of heart. Guests who look scared will be the first to be spooked—in hilarious fashion, of course.

Escape Alcatraz Drop Ride – Brand new to the experience, Escape Alcatraz offers an exhilarating drop ride as well as a new show, script and characters. Experience Alcatraz’s dark past in San Francisco's first-ever underground drop ride.

This Spring Break, special combination ticket packages are available and include online pricing starting at $14.99 per person. Click here to book tickets.

About the San Francisco Dungeon

The San Francisco Dungeon is the first attraction of its kind in North America and brings to life the stories of the old Bay Area with a full theatrical cast, special effects, gripping storytelling, 360-degree sets, an underground boat ride and the brand new drop ride, Escape Alcatraz. The San Francisco Dungeon is the ultimate live action journey through the Bay Area’s murky past where the audience is part of the show. The attraction opens daily at 10 a.m., 365 days a year and located in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf at 145 Jefferson Street. Fully-ADA accessible. For more information, visit our website

Related Articles