How To

Secrets to Designing a Professional Haunted House Attraction

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.

So what’s their secret?

The Art of Fear: Theories of a Dark Entertainer
The Art of Fear: Theories of a Dark Entertainer
(An in-depth look at the haunted attraction industry)

News shopping

Is this the most offensive birthday card ever?

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.

Amusement Park Death Song
Amusement Park Death Song
by Wally Pleasant, from the album Wally World


Proof that waiting on line at Disney parks can be miserable

The Disney Queue Line Survival Guidebook
The Disney Queue Line Survival Guidebook

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).

No, today we’re going to highlight the dark side of the Disney Park experience: the “gotta go, gotta go” mentality that pushes a family to Do Everything, Because It’s an Expensive Disney Trip, Dammit.

10 Things Travel Websites

How to Create a Haunted House, and Make Money Doing It

Haunted House Halloween Handbook Haunted House Halloween Handbook

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:

Book Disney

Read “Cast Member Confidential” for behind-the-scenes Disney fun

Cast Member Confidential
Cast Member Confidential -a Disney Employee Memoir

If you’re a Disney park fan, then one thing that you’re probably interested in is some of the behind-the-scenes stories about what it’s REALLY like to work at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Sure, you could read KEVIN YEE’s book MOUSETRAP: MEMOIR OF A DISNEYLAND CAST MEMBER, or maybe even Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World, The Project on Disney, based on interviews with former Disney employees.  Both are excellent books for what they cover, and Web Watch recommends them highly.

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.

Sometimes we want to really pull back the curtain and see what life really is like to work as a cast member at one of the World’s Busiest Theme Parks.

Disney How To

Want FIGMENT and DREAMFINDER returned to the Imagination ride at Disney’s EPCOT? Here’s how

Epcot’s FIGMENT stuffed toy

Fans of Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park have a new mission: to RETURN THE FIGMENT AND DREAMFINDER CHARACTERS TO EPCOT, specifically to the Journey Into Imagination ride.

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.

Luckily, park fans loved Figment and Dreamfinder, and together they made the original incarnation of the JOURNEY INTO IMAGINATION attraction a family must-see favorite.  Ask anyone who visited the park in those days if they could sing the “Imagination” song, and you’ll hear everyone share their version of “One Little Spark”.

Disney shopping Travel

Want the ultimate Disney Wedding package? It’s exclusive, one-of-a-kind, and costs $198,000

Disney Fairytale Wedding MusicIf you’ve dreamed of having the ULTIMATE DISNEY WEDDING, EXCLUSIVE AND MADE JUST FOR YOU, then WALT DISNEY WORLD and SAM’S CLUB has the deal for you:

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.

The package includes:

Funny News Travel

Smelly People Should be Banned from Buses and Roller Coasters

Hawaiians have it right.

Tomorrow, the Honolulu City Council is going to consider a bill that will BAN PEOPLE WITH EXCESSIVE BODY ODOR FROM RIDING PUBLIC TRANSIT.

And the bill is written so that it isn’t just bad B.O. that will get a rider kicked off the bus – it’s having anything stinky on or about your person that “disturbs or interferes with others”.

Carrying a stinky garlic pizza with extra garlic?  Off the bus.

Extreme workout at the office gym and forget your deodorant?  Off the bus.

Have a wet dog with dingleberries?  Off the bus.