Just in case you have never heard of R.L. Stine’s iconic Goosebumps book series, here is what you need to know. Goosebumps books were extremely popular horror novels aimed at children and teens. Apparently, they would be the most popular children’s books in the world if it were not for Harry Potter.

The books became so trendy that a television series was created based on them. The TV show, which shared the name of the books, ran from 1995-1998 for four whole seasons. You could watch it on FoxKids back when it originally aired, but now you can occasionally find it on streaming services. One of the coolest parts? It was an anthology series, way before those became more commonplace in modern media.

Goosebumps HorrorLand Fright Show

Goosebumps HorrorLand Fright Show was a live production that ran from October 8, 1997, until November 1, 1998, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At the time, the park was still called Disney MGM Studios.

Just like the television series, the live show began with a man in dark clothes walking across the stage to the theme song. He is also carrying a suitcase. The man walks behind the curtain, and then Amaz-O the Magician appears. Amaz-O the Magician is a character from both the books and TV series. He starts his magic act, which eventually goes horribly wrong. The children volunteers from the audience have actually disappeared thanks to Slappy.

Slappy is one of the most famous characters in the franchise. He is a terrifying ventriloquist dummy who can come to life. He is generally the main villain. The horrifying doll summons several more infamous Goosebumps bad guys who trap Amaz-O in a cage. Just before the bad guys try to take the audience as prisoners, the Terror Tower Executioner and two Haunted Masks show up. These guys are also well-known characters in the books. They scare all the bad guys away before revealing to the audience they are actually Amaz-O and the missing kids in disguise. Then, the show ends. Obviously, watching the show itself is always better than reading a description of it. So, be sure to check it out here.

The Funhouse

Near the show’s stage on the Streets of America was the Goosebumps HorrorLand Funhouse. At first, it was basically a traditional house of mirrors but by the second Halloween season, it was more intense. The Funhouse got increasingly more difficult and some of the most famous and terrifying characters were added inside.

Why It Was Weird

  • It was far from Disney-related. First of all, neither The Walt Disney Company nor MGM had anything to do with the Goosebumps franchise. Not only that, but anything in the horror genre does not make sense at a Disney park, even if the horror is geared toward kids and teens. It was likely an attempt at bringing in more teens and young adults that may or may not have been successful. Regardless, it just felt off and unfit for Disney.
  • The costumes were unnerving. If you chose not to watch the YouTube video of the show above, or if you did not see the live show back in the day, this might not make sense. You should at least skip to the parts of the show in the video with Slappy and the other bad guys. The character of Slappy is creepy already, in personality and appearance. Well, how do you believably fit an adult-sized cast member into a ventriloquist dummy costume? You don’t. But they tried. And it is concerning.
  • Goosebumps was almost over. By the time Goosebumps HorrorLand Fright Show and Funhouse debuted, the original book series was coming to an end. The television series was still airing but in between seasons and stories. It would have made a lot more sense to have the show debut right when the novels took off or when the TV series first aired.
  • It only lasted two Halloween seasons. Since the attraction and area were only seasonal, it technically only happened for a total of maybe six months. The whole thing was so short-lived that it has almost fallen into the realm of urban legends. You can look it up online but not find hardly any information on it. Maybe that is what brought you here.