A week ago, we thought no one would ever best a Disney-obsessed railroad engineer who built a miniature replica of Disneyland’s Fantasyland in his basement. And then we discovered Dan Schmidt—who, for the past couple of years, has created a working version of the Haunted Mansion ride in his garage for Halloween.
As reported by Inside the Magic, since about 2014, Dan Schmidt, a design director for the Great Wolf Lodge resort chain, has been turning the garage of his Madison, Wisconsin home into a spooky thrill ride inspired by the Haunted Mansion attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the Mystic Manor ride at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Schmidt’s attraction might not be as grandiose or elaborate as the ones Disney has built, but he also doesn’t charge kids $100 (£76) to ride. Like the candy he gives out on Halloween, his haunted ride is completely free. The locals just have to be willing to give up valuable treat-collecting time to wait in line to have a go.
Aside from a pair of lenticular changing portraits his family got from Walt Disney World as souvenirs, everything else in Schmidt’s haunted garage is made by hand. That includes decorations, moving monsters, and the ride itself, the track and carriage of which are strong enough to support a child riding with an adult. It’s a seasonal thrill for Schmidt, who is able to reclaim his garage for his cars once Halloween is over. But we’re hoping that he’s got a pool in the backyard too—and the inspiration to create a miniature version of the Jungle Cruise for the rest of the year.