Team Giraffic Shark reviewed this attraction on October 27, 2017.
Final Score: 7.43
Located in West Oaks Mall, THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE takes residence in a former indoor miniature golf location. The creative team does a good job of transforming this space into an asylum for this haunted attraction. Unfortunately, the confines of the small location really limit the footprint of the haunt, making the experience a little less ‘neverending’ than we would have hoped.
Despite the short length, the limited amount of cast do a decent job of covering a good amount of space, including one gentleman who managed to snag a few scares several times before welcoming us into his blackout room. The haunt also displays a rather well detailed haunt, emphasized with good lighting.
With plans in the future to move to a bigger area with more opportunities to grow and expand, keep an eye on this attraction, as the creative skill set could really allow them to grow into something great. That being said, wherever they do end up for 2018, track down THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE in the Orlando area and see what they have in store for you.
The asylum of THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is low on inmates, but the ones that are there do a good job of activating their scenes with scares. The haunt seemed a little understaffed on the night we attended, as there were several dead spots especially towards the beginning of the haunt. Of special note included the gentleman in the blackout scene who provided a great jump scare as well as working several rooms through the haunt leading to his scene. Also, the final performer of the haunt made for a great exit statement, creepily drooling while gnawing on a severed limb. This provided a great distraction from the final scare.
Costuming was perhaps one of the strongest elements of the attraction, including complete head to toe character looks, no masks, and realistic distressed yet not overdone makeup. Each performer felt at home and in place in this asylum, fitting in well with their surroundings.
Customer Service: 8.44
Upon locating the haunt within the mall, the staff is very helpful, friendly and professional. However, locating the haunt can be a bit difficult as small dark yard signs at the entrances to the parking lot mark it and driving all the way around the mall may be necessary in order to find the proper entrance. During most operating hours of the haunt the interior walkways of the mall are already shut down, so only exterior sidewalks can be used.
The haunt provides a safe walkthrough with no safety concerns, including the challenging blackout section.
Again, as this attraction is located in the mall there is little that can be done to create an immersive haunt atmosphere. Outside of the mall entrance, the projected sign with their logo marks and identifies the haunt, and inside on the storefront a dummy themed to the asylum is there to greet Guests. Inside the first room where Guests queue, lights and sounds are utilized to create some sort of a haunted atmosphere prior to entering the haunt.
After discussing the future plans with some of the staff that night, it sounds like they are in search of a more ideal location for the haunt. After seeing the creative capabilities of the team inside the haunt, we can only assume that a more ideal haunt location will allow their creativity to flourish creating an immersive overall environment when they aren’t stuck under the fluorescent confines of a mall storefront.
Special Effects: 7.53
THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is well built featuring detailed and distressed scenes with well-placed animatronic effects, props, and other details to create an immersive asylum environment. Added and increased sound effects could add to the environment as well as perhaps enhance or create their own scares. Should THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE get a larger home in the future, it will be exciting to see this level of creative detail on a larger scale with more variety and length to the attraction.
The theme for THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE this year is that of an asylum based story. While this theme is not the most original, as it is frequently seen in haunted attractions, the team here does a really good job at creating a solid atmosphere through scenery, costumes, etc. to effectively deliver on this theme.
Fright Effect: 7.67
Featuring a rather traditional haunt layout with some frequently seen animatronic effects, THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE errs on the side of predictable, but working in their favor are a few deviations from the ordinary including the very effective blackout maze, resulting in the best scare of the night (though overwhelmingly simple). The final sound effect scare, while effective to some I’m sure, was somewhat expected due to being so close to the exit and being able to hear it from the queue. This effect also seemed out of place as there was no accompanying piece that would have explained that type of sound.
THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is more reasonably priced ($13) than most haunts in the area, but also displays a less than average walk through time, clocking in at less than 3 minutes to walk through at our slow pace. Fortunately, scenes are well executed and we did jump once or twice, making the experience worth it for a fun, scary, yet non-terrifying experience.