One of the reasons for Disney's timeless popularity is its family friendly atmosphere. There have been a few rides that did not make it to Disney's roster because they were too scary, and some because the story line did not quite work. One of the rejected rides, Museum of the Weird, was to have a grandfather clock decorated in human bones, a haunted organ played by a spooky skeleton, and wallpaper that seemed to stare at the guests. Read more about it here:
The youngest of kids can enjoy the scariest ride at Disney, the Haunted Mansion.
Waiting in the line is fun. An interactive wall, a slightly spooky graveyard, and a maze effect makes the time breeze by in a pleasant way.
But wouldn't it be divine if there was a Terrorland?
I always wondered what Disney could be like if it was just a touch darker. Yes, they have incorporated the world of Tim Burton and Jack Skellington to a point, but what if they put up a section that was truly scaaaary.
Zombies hobbling around is fun in the local theme parks, but Disney could make it epic. With an unequalled special effects team and a seemingly bottomless pocketbook, the Disney team could create a Terrorland could strike fear in the most daring of Mickey Mouse fans.
I envision the Haunted Mansion a bit less friendly. The graveyard outside could contain a maze similar to the end of The Shining. The pressure to find your way would be multiplied by the chain saw and axe wielding apparitions. The purple and blue lighting and dense fog would enhance the lightning bugs you are supposed to be following, and when you finally arrive winded but safe in a spiderweb filled clearing a series of doors would manifest. The happy lightning bugs would vanish--and you would have to choose an entrance before Mama spider appeared to feed you to her young.
The door to the left would be painted dark scab-red and be surrounded by Gothic black iron. When reaching for the hand-shaped door handle, a voice would subtly whisper there is still a chance to choose another door. You reach for the handle anyway and the wrought iron hand reaches out and grabs you, administering a mild but startling electric shock. The door opens inward and you are pulled into an almost black, candle lit and cinnamon scented chamber by gauze draped ghostly arms. You have chosen the door that takes you through a witch's house, and you will meet her face to face momentarily.
The center door would look very modern and sterile with a distinct hospital feel, with a hand print of blood smeared across its center. The third door would be more like the entrance to a tomb.
All of the doors would take the guest on a different tantalizing journey through hell. The scares could be more psychological--inferred horrors and subtle mind-screws that might get you later on in the night.
There could be a few dark-themed restaurants in Terrorland. For instance, The Bates Motel Diner could serve Mother's Favorite Stew and Norman's Nachos. Lady Fingers would be the expected dessert. Hell's Kitchen would take on a whole new meaning here. Just Desserts would feature lovely Sundaes like Vendetta Vanilla and Cape Fear Chip.
Public rest rooms can be creepy to begin with, but with "glass" floors that provide a window to the troll and demon infested bottomless pit below, and ghostly shadows peeking from the dark and cordoned off back corner, a visitor might decide to wait for a calmer visit to the powder room in the Magic Kingdom.
And for the brave kids that DO decide to venture into Terrorland, they would be able to see how they would look aged after 100 years of bad living and debauchery in the Dorian Grey Portrait Room, and get a digital print out to hang in their rooms when they get home so it can haunt them forever. Parents could use it as a discipline tool and remind the little hooligans to always do the right thing because they would not want to sell their souls and end up like Dorian.
Instead of It's a Small World After All playing over and over in your head, you might leave the park with the theme to Halloween on your mind. Listen here: http://youtu.be/Nq6pekM6sZQ
Just as the rest of the parks in Disney have the happy and friendly characters like Mickey Mouse and Ariel walking around and greeting guests and stopping for pictures, Terrorland will have the same. The mass murderers, ghouls, and other terrors like Freddie Kruger, Pennywise the Clown, and Michael Meyers running around Terrorland will probably be best captured for a photo-op by a Go Pro video camera that does well with running action shots.
|Hop on kids!|
The subterranean boat ride on the river Styx would take you on a reaper-guided ferry through the nine circles of hell which of course would include snake pits, fire raining from unnatural clouds and pitchfork poking, the basement of a funeral home with all its tubes, tables and formaldehyde, and give you a possibly unwanted underground glimpse of what happens below the ground in the glass coffins in a graveyard.
Oh, the fun I imagine we would all have!
Although I don't think Disney will ever go this dark and indulge me in my wildest haunted fantasies--a girl can dream.
I would love to hear any ideas you might have for Terrorland. Maybe we can gather them up and send them off to Disney on some Jack Skellington stationary. :) Looking forward to what you think.