Professional haunted house attractions all have the same features: buzzing chainsaws, scary clowns, creepy things touching you in the dark when you least expect it.
But while a haunted house may only be open for six weeks a year, DESIGNING a haunted house is a year-round activity. It takes a lot of work to build and create scare mazes that continue to deliver the screams year after year.
The other day, Web Watch was browsing through various birthday cards at the local Target, trying to find The Perfect Card for a friend.
When picking out a birthday card, one always has to take into consideration whether the recipient shares the same sense of humor (if you go for a funny card), can appreciate a joke at their aging expense, or if you need to go the safe route and go with a sappy poem or note that more honestly conveys how you really feel about your relationship with that friend.
Friends seldom offer cards to each other – it’s more of a family thing, we believe. With friends, it’s easier to just go out for a drink and celebrate the birthday event with them.
But when your friends live across the country, then sending a card is almost the same thing as being there – especially if you get the sentiment just right.
Web Watch never get bored while waiting on line for a Disney theme park attraction.
The detailed queues, interactive distractions, background music, park smells – the general happiness that permeates the Disney parks are designed to distract you from even thinking that you’ve been waiting in line for 2 hours to ride Toy Story Mania.
Okay – maybe waiting two hours for a 3-minute ride isn’t exactly a good use of anyone’s time, and definitely showcases the largest problem with the use of FastPass (but we digress, as we’re not going to talk about the pros/cons of FastPass today).
Web Watch loves Halloween – more for the experience of visiting what could be used as a local movie set at elaborate haunted house attractions rather than the handing out of candy to neighborhood brats. Because those creative individuals who spend all year working on an immersive Halloween experience really deserve kudos for the effort they put into spending a month scaring the hell out of all their guests. One question that Web Watch wanted to figure out the answer to was HOW MUCH MONEY DO HAUNTED HOUSE ATTRACTIONS MAKE EACH YEAR? Is it a profitable business? Using some rough math, Web Watch can guess that the following is a reasonable estimate on haunted house earnings: Continue reading HOW TO CREATE A HAUNTED HOUSE, AND MAKE MONEY DOING IT→
But sometimes works like those can offer some views of life at Walt Disney World or Disneyland that are a bit more whitewashed than how things actually were. Looking at working at the Mouse with rose-colored glasses, if you will.
Sometimes we want to see a truth that’s a bit more unadulterated and unfiltered.
First, some history: when Epcot first opened, the plan was for the park to not have any of the traditional Disney characters present at all. Of course, “where are the characters?” was a common complaint from families who visited and expected to see Disney characters at any Disney theme park they visited – which, at the time consisted of just the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland…not exactly a large sample size to deal with, here.
But Epcot did have one cuddly, friendly cartoony character available – FIGMENT, the playful winged dragon of imagination — who, along with his mentor Dreamfinder, became the defacto face of Epcot when no other characters were available.
The first person to send a wire transfer of $198,000 on November 18th, 2009 gets a phenomenal wedding package. How exclusive is this offer? Some of what is being offered is not available at all under any circumstances.
A few friends of mine think that Epcot is the best thing at Walt Disney World. There are quite a few people who agree with that belief, such as the folks at EPCOT CENTRAL, all for their own reasons. I can’t say that I disagree with them, as Epcot can be underrated by park visitors. Ask any person who dislikes Epcot and they often say the same things:
“There’s nothing to do there.”
“Why do I have to walk so far?”
Epcot is an immersive environment, with surprises and treats around every corner, if you would only bother to look. But that’s a different topic for a different day.
For those Epcot naysayers out there – I say that if you don’t like where you are, sometimes it’s because you aren’t creative enough to make your own fun.
All Disney has to do is return to making merchandise special. “Plus” the shopping experience again. Cater merchandise to all customers, not just the kids. And remember to market all the characters like they used to do. Not all women want Tinkerbell or Princess merch. Not all men want Grumpy, Goofy, or Big Bad Wolf items. Not everyone wants a T-shirt, baseball cap, boxer shorts, or coffee mug. Give us variety. Give us quality. Give us something other than what you currently are doing.
We then asked an open-ended question to Disney, as to whether they would be smart enough to sell [us] the right stuff…. aside from more duck butt hats, of course.
Basically, unless you’re just going from your hotel to a theme park and back, internal transportation is a headache. Fixing the system would require a massive investment, tackling many separate goals simultaneously. It would require an entirely different plan for the resort’s infrastructure, and it’s needed immediately. They won’t do it, but they should.
I have one suggestion that would address this current transportation problem at Walt Disney World with an idea that would dramatically increase guest satisfaction. It won’t solve the immediate issue at hand, but keeping guests happy in the short run can buy some time until a better transporation plan is developed.
“One would only hope that they’ll follow this up with appropriate apps for Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySEA, Universal Studios Hollywood, New York City subway trains, or any other amusement park, event, travel, or entertainment facility that would benefit from the social technology that the iPhones and similar devices make available.”
I know what one of the first applications any new iPhone-owning Disney fan is going to want to go out and buy from the iPhone Apps Store: the DISNEYLAND PARK PLANNER from HyTech Professionals.
Sure, the park planner has the basics down that any decent park planner would have: scrollable/zoomable map, restaurant menus, park and show hours, attraction descriptions, FastPass locations, etc.
But where the “DPP” shines is with special features that utilize two built-in features that the iPhone has: geotargeting, and interactivity with the Internet.
The geotargeting app is handy, as the DPP can pinpoint your location within the park and then direct you to the nearest restroom, restaurant, attraction, or food stand that you are looking for – the ultimate Disney tour guide in your pocket.
Sure, it may not even be scheduled to air yet, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t set a TiVo reminder to record HEAD RUSH on Cartoon Networkwhen it airs later this year (along with the rest of the new Cartoon Network shows planned for 2009, which – oddly enough – aren’t all cartoons).
What’s HEAD RUSH?
Only the coolest game show idea to come along in a long, long time: