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Archive for Wednesday, November 17th, 2004 08:43 pm GMT -5

November 17th, 2004

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004 08:43 pm GMT -5


 Update November 17, 2004

  It’s been quite a long time since our last update – so we though we’d make a little “hot list” of things that happened since last August. We are going to keep this as short as possible – so if you would like to know more about something specific, just ask!

  • October’s Haunt was the most successful ever. We received a lot of media coverage and absolutely no negative feedback!
  • We have decided to delay the opening of our dark ride for at least a year. After researching rent/lease options – we are convinced that buying our own building is the only way to go.
  • Chris acquired his Pennsylvania Ride Inspector’s License! Now we can inspect our own ride once it is built.
  • We have had several attractive offers from other businesses to work on projects for next year.
  • We have had a very talented artist contact us and express interest in working on the project!


 I feel that our company has reached an important point in our development. We are in a position to go full-throttle and run as a business, take on investors, partners and employees, or we can simply continue to grow at a comfortable pace. It has been my experience in life and business that growing too big, too quickly can be disastrous. We have a vision that has served us well – and we feel that growing too quickly or taking the wrong jobs could cloud our focus. But think for a second we intend on sitting on our butts – We have some big plans for 2005!

There may not be many updates to the “ride” section for months. Our main focus will be to continue to build the props for inside the ride so that once we have a facility – we will have something to put INTO it! But just like 2004, our props are displayed here and at our haunted house as test before they are boxed up. So keep checking back or sign up for our newsletter for more previews!

August 22, 2004

Sunday, August 22nd, 2004 08:41 pm GMT -5

Update August 22, 2004

 Well, it’s been another frustrating week – however, we feel like we have accomplished a lot. First off, we were given a lot of good advice from Tom Gore – he’s the guy that owned these cars before the last owners. With him guiding our direction – we feel better than ever about the success of this project. This week we have made the final decision to change the tracking system of these cars. As it turns out – if you modify the track , you better have an engineering degree to back up the modifications. (Which we don’t have) So, we’re stuck using the old 12 lb rail.

 As far as other news goes – we are almost done with our “monster” project for the Haunted House. The last video we will release before Halloween is now online in the PROJECTS section. Take a look and let us know what you think. We have also been getting mail asking us just how we intend on having this ride ready in time for next year. Apparently, because of the photos posted above, everyone thinks this ride is some rusted old piece of junk. Well, nothing could be farther from the truth!

  The pictures above are of the parts-cars that we are salvaging to build new cars, and to use as test vehicle with our new track idea. The fully restored vehicles are in great condition! Here are a couple of pictures we took on one of our visits to the storage area. Every once and a while, we like to go and sit in the cars and imagine what it will be like when they move on their own again. This is only half of the vehicle we have (There are six of cars “ready to go”.) but as you can see they look just fine – and hold three people comfortably. From this point on, we will not have updates too frequently as we need to prepare for this year’s Halloween.  

 But we will continue to post information here when we feel we have done something newsworthy. If we don’t talk to you before – Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

August 14th 2004

Saturday, August 14th, 2004 08:30 pm GMT -5

Update August 14, 2004

Well, we went to a place called William’s Grove Amusement park to do some research. They have a ride system just like ours working there, and they are only 45 min away from our house. When we got there – the place was empty.. With a few bucks – they could fix it up, but that obviously was not their concern. Most of these little “mom and pop” parks take a lot just to keep working… so upgrading is usually at the bottom of the list. We did find that the modification we are thinking about doing to our ride have already been done to this ride! So I guess our idea will work.  


 While we were there, I also had the pleasure of going through my first authentic fun house with moving floors, all of which were working perfectly! What a joy. It was a lawsuit waiting to happen – but it was FUN! I even tried to go through the spinning barrel at the exit – the results of which you can see in the picture below.

  As you can see – I need some more practice on the barrel!  Anyway – back to our project news. Rick Davis will be sad to hear that there is no way to get the original cars spinning. The new transformers are mounted under the seats, and the wires come up through the floor of the car. Any spinning of the car would twist and then tear out the wiring within seconds. The GOOD news is that we found all of the ORIGINAL parts are still available through Grainger Catalog, so the six “good” cars we have will soon be joined by the four “bad” ones we were about to toss. We even have plans to modify the two frames we are rebuilding to (brace yourself Rick) spin! Since we are starting from the ground up with our own cars, we will be able to place the transformers wherever we like… and maybe even squeeze an extra space for seating in the car as well. Although this is all very exciting, we still have yet to find a place to put this ride. Without a location – this project can never become reality.



I will leave this on a positive note: Even though the park was aged, and the fact that 90% of the ride props were not working correctly. Dante’s Inferno had the longest line of any ride in the park. So, for those of you asking how much draw a facility like this can have – just look at the picture. Now imagine those people paying $5.00 a ride, times 120 riders an hour. And this is not even Halloween season yet. Add on top of that the fact that our ride will have two different types of cars running on the same track, now you have “replay” value… plus… er… never mind. I’ll keep some of the stuff a secret. 



How it all started….

Saturday, July 17th, 2004 08:10 pm GMT -5

Dark Ride Project Diary…


 All of my life I loved haunted house rides… and all of the haunted house props we have been building over the past few years were for a reason. The first goal was to get our props featured in one of the local seasonal haunted houses; the second goal was to open our own haunted house.


 On July 17th, 2004 our plans changed.


 Although we were in the process of looking for a location and doing prelim design work on a transport system – we were years away from any type of real construction of a haunted house. On July 17th, a dark ride transport system (Cars and track from an antique Pretzel ride) was put up for auction on Ebay.

 This was an opportunity that was just too good to pass up. Not only would we save thousands designing and testing a transport system of my own design – we would have an authentic piece of amusement park history.

Update August 7, 2004

 Well – we just got back last night at 2:00am from picking up our ride cars. Everything went perfect! Which is odd for our luck. First – our truck was nice and clean. It was a little costly – but the guys at Penske got us in with little notice.


 We made it to Detroit in about 9 hours. Then we met the people we were buying the ride from. I have to say – when you buy things on-line, you never know what kind of people you are going to be dealing with. But these guys were the best! This was not only the best Ebay purchase I ever made; I feel that I left with some new friends. Check out my links page if you ever need costume or Halloween stuff – these are the guys you should be buying from. I also want to take this time to give a special “shout out” to Tim – the owner of Screamer’s Costumes, Renee – his manager and our Detroit information center, Dave – this guy can be anyone’s best friend… and could probably drink everyone he meets under the table! Last but not least is Cecilia.  


 The ride cars were exactly as they were described to us, and the truck we just the perfect size. By 4:00pm, we were back on the road to York. We did not make it back till 2:00am. 

    This is the day reality hit. We decided to store the “parts” cars at the house and leave the good cars at the storage facility. Upon further examination of these vehicles – I have deemed them almost totally lost. There is an old mechanics trick that when you machine something too big – you simply spray the metal with a little saltwater and the parts will eventually rust together into one piece. Well, this is what time and Mother Nature did to these cars. I feel that restoring these vehicles would prove to be impossible, as much of the original metal was now just dust.

 With the utmost of respect to everyone that will curse us for this – We took an air chisel and cut the two bad once into little pieces. Now before you write me hate mail – let us explain. The “frame” on the two bad cars is in tact – and there is a very good chance we could re-use these frames and wheels to construct new ride cars that will out-perform the original ones, and probably be much much lighter.

 Here are a couple of pictures of the cars in my driveway, and the two frames we saved from the destroyed cars. (Note the wet spots on the frames are two cans of WD-40 soaking into the rust. If I am ever going to get these apart – I’ll have to soak them for a few months


 It should be noted that these stripped down frames still weigh over 250 pounds each!