Finally, someone is bringing legit back to central Florida. Grimm House, the old year-round haunted house in Kissimmee, Florida (minutes away from Disney World in Orlando) was closed, gutted, expanded, and an entirely new haunted attraction just launched under new ownership. This new haunt is at least twice the size of Grimm House.
Legends: A Haunting at Old Town is a year-round attraction that is currently in soft launch with a grand opening this November.
This is a must do attraction. We have not been this excited about a new haunt in quite some time. Central Florida has needed a good year-round haunt ever since Terror on Church Street closed. Now, here it is.
It was obvious to us that not only do these guys have the resources but they also have the brains to do it right. The front facade will be totally redone in the coming months along with constant updates. Yes, it’s scary. It’s for adult haunt fans. It’s not for babies.
They plan to change the haunt to suit the seasons. Jim, one of the owners, described it to us as “part Haunted Mansion, part Jungle Cruise” because of the theatrical element they blended in with this haunted attraction. I’ll explain that later.
Harknell and I had the opportunity to experience this haunt this past Saturday, which was their second day of operation ever. We were shocked at how well everything was working. It’s unheard of to have a haunt working this well that quickly. Normally haunts try and prevent us from coming that soon because most take weeks to get things right.
We found out that one reason why it’s firing on all gears is that some actors from the famous but now closed Terror on Church Street in Orlando now work here. It’s pro all the way.
You start out being led in groups of 6 through the attraction with a person speaking to you in the first couple of rooms. You are touring a funeral parlor, but (of course) Mr. Ashdown, the undertaker, plans to kill you.
Then you are on your own as you ascend to the top level (yes, there are multiple levels) and have to fend your way through the haunt on your own.
Most striking is that a large number of these props and set pieces are custom made for this haunt. We could tell – the detail inside has to be seen to be believed. You just don’t see this very often anymore in the age of budget cuts and disposable culture that we now live in. Many haunts like to take the easy route and to buy off the rack. These guys clearly created a narrative and built their own world around it – piece by piece.
They did it right. You’ll see MASSIVE rooms that have lush vistas of terror. You’ll encounter animatronics that are placed appropriately with actors for distraction scares. They do not rely on technology here-they use it the right way.
In addition to this, they had a beautiful gift shop.
There are actors outside (including a feisty Mr. Ashdown on stilts), and they are also in charge of the Old Town Halloween festival. So to recap – they’ve done the decor for the entire area, scare actors for the area, choreographed impromptu outbreaks of Thriller and other mayhem, plus opened a haunted house that can stand head to head with the likes of Universal Studios and Busch Gardens.
Legends: A Haunting at Old Town is poised to be the next big thing to hit central Florida since the 90s. You should go to this now, and go often. Tickets are $15 and that gets you about 20 minutes of a high-quality haunted house.
EDIT: We made a video about it: