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This attraction was reviewed on October 21, 2018 by Team Giraffic Shark.

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Final Score: 8.2

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THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE returns to the West Oaks Mall in Ocoee, Florida this year in a new (and larger) location than 2017. THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE continues to grow and develop, with hopes to eventually finding a permanent location in order to expand and fully develop their attraction.

For a rather transient attraction built in a matter of weeks, THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE packs some detailed sets, a decent amount of scares, and a fun activity for those in the area looking for a little spooky fun to round out their Halloween season.

Cast: 8.26

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Cast at THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE was generally relatively strong, providing good scares and some good dialogue. However, with more time to coach and direct the actors, and deliver one solid storyline, with specific dialogue, the attraction could have been that much stronger. Similarly, if the Cast had more opportunity to workshop scares and determine what works best for each scene based on theme and layout, the attraction could have had more effective and impactful scares as well.

Costuming: 8.31

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Costumes at THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE were simple yet effective and complete. With further developing of the themes and scenes, further costume development will also help deliver the story, but what we saw was effective and got the job done.

Makeup was used well in most places, including the freaky noise clown, with distressed clown paint, which is a nice change of pace from most clowns at haunted attractions. Costuming and makeup have continued to improve at THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE, and are expected to continue on this trend for years to come as the haunt develops further.

Customer Service: 9.59

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Customer Service is nearly perfect at THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE. Yard signs have been added along the perimeter road at the mall, helping direct Guests to the proper entrance (near JCPenny), which would be otherwise very difficult to find. Upon parking, a projected logo of the attraction is seen over the entrance door, and signs clearly direct Guests through a few sets of doors in order to get on the main floor of the mall.

Employees at the ticket booth and front of the haunt are friendly, helpful, and engaged in Guest interaction. There are no trip hazards in the attraction, and the few stairs are clearly outlined and well lit to avoid any challenges.

Atmosphere: 7

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THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is located within the West Oaks Mall, and therefore little can be done to change the atmosphere of the fluorescent-lit mall atmosphere. THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE did what they were able to considering their limitations, including placing an animatronic outside their haunt and theming the ticket cart, in addition to placing a performer or two roaming the general mall area. Black curtains line the black storefront, and upon entering those curtains, the haunt begins, as you enter the realm of nightmares.

Special Effects: 8.25

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THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE was built in just a few weeks due to some challenges with building codes, which almost threatened their opening this season (and did delay their opening). Because of this accelerated build time, some elements seemed a little less detailed and finished than 2017. However, the amount of work that the team was able to pull off in a short time was very impressive. Lighting for this year was much improved, including some tight focused lighting, highlighting details and hiding areas that Guests are not meant to see. The laser swamp effect was a near perfect effect technically, however was under-performed by the actor in that scene, not achieving maximum scare. Animatronics and other specialty effects were well placed, though sensors and triggers could have been finessed a bit more with more time, in order to trigger at just the right moment.

The creative team at THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is clearly very talented, and we look forward to seeing them develop in the coming years, especially once they have a permanent location to spend more time building and testing/adjusting all of the effects and details.

Theme: 8.28

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THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is themed as just that, a nightmare of every type, triggering Guests by featuring things out of their nightmares. It would be great to see the attraction really grow on this concept, delving further into additional fears and nightmares (snakes, spiders, other critters, darkness, claustrophobia, falling, being lost, dying, etc.). Simulating panic at the end of the nightmare by an aggressive finale leading to a wake- up moment prior to exiting the haunt, or as you are exiting the haunt, would really solidify the theme further, continuing the great framework that’s already started.

Scare Factor: 8

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THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE has some good scares within their attraction between some talented performers and some well placed effects (animatronics, sound effects, etc.). More time spent perfecting the layout and cast training would help solidify and maximize the scares, creating an even scarier attraction.

After exiting, several other groups ran (and even laid down to catch their breath), so it does seem like some find this experience VERY scary. The attraction did happen to scare our seasoned team several times, and from the screams heard from other groups, it is apparent that folks with less haunt experience definitely find THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE truly ‘nightmare-ish’ in the best way possible.

Entertainment & Value: 8.03

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THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE is aptly priced at a spooky $13 dollars which is a fair price for a somewhat short, yet detailed walk through. THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE will frequently appear on Groupon with a deal for an even cheaper ticket price.

Though this is a shorter walk through, the variety of experiences and detailed sets and costumes make for a worthwhile ticket price. However, don’t expect to spend the entire night at this attraction.

If you find yourself in the Orlando area looking for a Halloween attraction at a reasonable price, head on over to Ocoee and check out THE NEVERENDING NIGHTMARE at the West Oaks Mall.

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