Fifteen minutes of fear

By | Category: Travel destinations
Haunted Mansion

the Haunted Mansion at Disneyworld complete with a queue to get in

Many of us seem to like to be frightened. And that is good for tourism so they create visitor attractions that scare us.

Take Disney for example. In their Magic Kingdom in Florida, they have a Haunted Mansion that attracts queues of us to go and have that adrenalin flutter of momentary fear. It is one of the attractions that you can get a fast pass to in order to avoid the queues which again points to its popularity but what do you get for your fifteen minutes inside the house?

You enter a room where a typically scary, bass male voice (the old horror actor, Vincent Price could make a fortune as a guide here) warns you and the lights drop into darkness. For the very young, this is probably the scariest bit and some parents who had taken under-fives into the house might have regretted it there. For others it meant the shrieking could begin. A ride on a fairground ride type coaster whirls you through graveyards as that same voice intones gory happenings of the houses’ past.

A Haunting attraction front in Kissimmee

The Victorian style mansion and cemetery at A-Haunting in Old Town

Disney uses technology and relies on our fear to make it scary enough for most to come out after the quarter-hour spent inside enjoyable and for some children to tug the arms of their parents saying they want to do it again.

Over in Kissimmee’s Old Town there is a more adult version which is also just fifteen minutes long, “A Haunting at Old Town.”  In daytime it looks like the Addams Family mansion. Only open in the evening so the dark helps build the tension, the queue of people waiting to go in (only less than a dozen can enter at the same time) is greeted by a heavily made up man. Again in sepulchral, slow tones which seem to be the world-wide sign that terror is in in store, he tells tales to heighten the tension so that many are already nervy when they enter the house. A guide gives you a tour of the Gothic building but leaves every so often as other voices explain what has happened in the house in the past. Using more technology than Disney does (but then this really isn’t for children) it also uses actors, “A haunting at Old Town” is the brainchild of two men who took over the attraction only recently.

Disneyworld celebrating halloween

At Disneyworld, halloween is celebrated with Mickey Mouse carved from pumpkins

They have added the special effects turning it into one of the fastest growing local attractions. Unlike Disney it isn’t open every day (closed on Mondays) and it has a bar next door so that a quick drink can help you recover your composure after the dash that many make during part of their tour of the mansion!.

So this Halloween if you are in Florida visiting the attractions, here are two that attract whatever the time of year. Will it be Mickey Mouse carved from a pumpkin or a Victorian house of undertakers?

For more about Kissimmee, click here.

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