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My Working Miniature Dark Ride


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Hey All...

 

My name is Kevin Karstens...and I have dreamed of creating a scary dark ride (sort of an 'adult' Disney's Haunted Mansion) since I was about 8 years old...

 

Given the laughable high costs in accomplishing this in reality, I came up with the concept of creating all the sequences in miniature (I'm an illustrator/animator for a living) as fully functioning scenes, and filming them, as if you were riding through the full attraction...

 

Would love to hear what you all think of it all so far (I am still working on it all, adding more to the scenes almost daily...I hope to have it completed by this Halloween)...

 

TRAILER I created for the attraction, under my business concept name 'Mutual Attractions'...

 

 

Lookin' forward to your input...and thanks in advance...

 

 

-K

Edited by A.J.
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  • 10 months later...

This project is extremely impressive, but I can't help but be underwhelmed by the POV you've posted. The first half of the ride seems entirely unnecessary, like it's only there to make the ride longer. It doesn't contribute to the plot and it's not particularly helpful with world-building, so I don't understand why it's there. The only scenes I genuinely enjoyed were the window looking over the valley from which you could see the ghosts of the children rising and the scene where Ms. Sally kills the expedition leader. I honestly think that you should move that fairly close to the beginning of the ride, so that the rider feels a sense of panic throughout, adding to the experience. If the riders are lost in this haunted orphanage without a guide, that's immediately a lot scarier than if they are just being walked through it. And just think-- the ride could have multiple run-ins with Ms. Sally after that first scene, where she tries to eliminate the riders like she did their guide. That gives you a chance to add jump scares, which you had absolutely none of. As for the rest of the scenes, they seemed very run-of-the-mill haunted house attraction to me. It's nothing cutting-edge. It isn't any scarier than anything else out there, which is the what you were going for. The first scene is especially boring to me; it's literally just a single portrait. If you're going to have portraits, have a hall of portraits of all of the past headmistresses, with Sally Maple's large, front and center. That would introduce both the setting and Ms. Sally's character very well.

I also don't think the voice-overs you have are effective. You're on the right track with them, but there aren't enough. If this were an exploration happening in real life, there would constantly be action on the walkie-talkie feed, even if it was just breathing. One way I think you could enhance the ride experience would be to rework the voice-overs and have one for every scene, ensuring that action is actually happening in every scene (and i mean action that benefits the plot, not a random ghost gliding through the hall).

I know I'm being nitpicky and I apologize for that, but it's only because I think this project has potential. Clearly what you have is impressive in that you've spent the time creating it from scratch, but I think you have a long way to go before this project is great. I'm fascinated by the idea, and the exposition you've created really could be something, but that's just the thing-- it could be something. You have you're work cut out for you. However, were you to work all of the kinks out, I could see you proposing it to a real park, maybe even getting it sponsored by a real ghost hunting show and have the cast do the voice acting. I know Kings Island was on the show once, and the park is lacking a good dark ride-- think about how awesome that could be!

Keep working hard, I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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This project is extremely impressive, but I can't help but be underwhelmed by the POV you've posted. The first half of the ride seems entirely unnecessary, like it's only there to make the ride longer. It doesn't contribute to the plot and it's not particularly helpful with world-building, so I don't understand why it's there.

 

Not sure if you are referring to the 'queue' or the portions once you are 'in the orphanage'...but if you are referring to the Maple Portrait, the Shadow People, the Haunted Hallway and the Forgotten Nursery, I guess we just disagree, LOL...those scenes are there to establish a 'build up' in tension/suspense...tho NONE of the 'attraction' is meant to be 'jump out and scare' level (I personally consider such FX a dime a dozen, easy to do...they are not 'scary', simply 'startling' IMHO...I prefer grand illusions and memorable visuals to cheap scares...much as I would say I would rather journey through the beautiful illusions in the 'tame' Haunted Mansion at Disneyland a dozen times before bothering once w/ a 'jump out and startle people' haunted house...

 

The only scenes I genuinely enjoyed were the window looking over the valley from which you could see the ghosts of the children rising and the scene where Ms. Sally kills the expedition leader.

 

Well, those are TWO of my faves so far, anyway (the other is the Forgotten Nursery, as I love the Pepper's Ghost illusions employed there...

 

I honestly think that you should move that fairly close to the beginning of the ride, so that the rider feels a sense of panic throughout, adding to the experience.

 

Well, again, I prefer the notion of building suspense, teasing the 'riders' with 'hints' of things (Shadow People, hands in the walls, etc) and BUILDING to reveal the ghosts outright, much as Disney's HM attractions do...again, just my personal view, and pretty much exactly how I've dreamed of doing it since I was about 8 years old...

 

If the riders are lost in this haunted orphanage without a guide, that's immediately a lot scarier than if they are just being walked through it. And just think-- the ride could have multiple run-ins with Ms. Sally after that first scene, where she tries to eliminate the riders like she did their guide. That gives you a chance to add jump scares, which you had absolutely none of.

 

LOL...well, I already covered why I prefer NOT to have any jump scares...

 

As for the rest of the scenes, they seemed very run-of-the-mill haunted house attraction to me. It's nothing cutting-edge. It isn't any scarier than anything else out there, which is the what you were going for.

 

Not really...I am not going for 'real scares', more of 'visually striking illusions', again, like Disney's HM dark rides...I just personally am more attracted to those themes, and this project reflects that. I can see what you are sayin', tho...if you are looking for 'jump out at you' scares, this project likely won't hold much of your interest...

 

The first scene is especially boring to me; it's literally just a single portrait. If you're going to have portraits, have a hall of portraits of all of the past headmistresses, with Sally Maple's large, front and center. That would introduce both the setting and Ms. Sally's character very well.

 

Too similar to the HM 'changing portraits' you first see when exiting the Stretching Room, IMHO...I wanted my 'attraction' to feel 'inspired' by the HM, but I am not seeking to 'rip it off', haha...

 

I added the orphans arms reaching up for Miss Sally, then her alteration that 'scares them back'...it's just meant as a quick 'intro' to the 'tone' of the upcoming sequences...

 

I also don't think the voice-overs you have are effective. You're on the right track with them, but there aren't enough. If this were an exploration happening in real life, there would constantly be action on the walkie-talkie feed, even if it was just breathing. One way I think you could enhance the ride experience would be to rework the voice-overs and have one for every scene, ensuring that action is actually happening in every scene (and i mean action that benefits the plot, not a random ghost gliding through the hall).

 

This is something I agree with, and coincidentally, I have already edited in a few more audio clips/walkie talkie communications between the Spectre Seekers...I just don't want to 'over do it', as having a few scenes with NO speaking adds to the ambiguity, I think...and ambiguity works wonders in a chilling setting...

 

I know I'm being nitpicky and I apologize for that, but it's only because I think this project has potential.

 

LOL, 'nit picky'...I don't think so at all, I truly appreciate your input...I might not agree with some things you have said/your perspectives on elements, but that's what opinions are all about, man...

 

Clearly what you have is impressive in that you've spent the time creating it from scratch, but I think you have a long way to go before this project is great. I'm fascinated by the idea, and the exposition you've created really could be something, but that's just the thing-- it could be something. You have you're work cut out for you.

 

Yeah, two plus years of free time and counting...

 

You might find the upcoming sequences more to your liking, the visitor carts exit the building to circle the exterior upper level balcony, looking down on the haunted play yard...FX abound, miniature woodland areas and outdoor FX...I guess I shall wait and see what you have to say when I get that all filmed...(fingers crossed!...)

 

 

However, were you to work all of the kinks out, I could see you proposing it to a real park, maybe even getting it sponsored by a real ghost hunting show and have the cast do the voice acting. I know Kings Island was on the show once, and the park is lacking a good dark ride-- think about how awesome that could be!

Keep working hard, I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

 

I highly doubt I will EVER see this thing 'for real' in full scale, the cost to bring it to life would be enormous...Disney's HM cost 1 million on 1969, can you even imagine how pricey THIS thing would be?...

 

Well, we may not agree on aspects I have done so far, but no matter...I truly appreciate hearing what you had to say, and I hope my future additions impress you a tad more, but even if they do not, I know enough to acknowledge that the project 'isn't going to make everyone happy', and it isn't truly meant to, as it's my vision and what I have dreamed about since I was a lil' kid...I get that. But you taking time to break things down as you did, give YOUR takes on it all, good or bad, is greatly appreciated, Sir...thank you.

 

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