Big Florida Country's tribute to the

Mystery Fun House

 

 

 

 

 

To our Big Florida Country Facebook page To our Big Florida Country Facebook page To our Mystery Fun House Facebook page To our Tropical/Florida Wonderland Facebook page To our Scotty's Facebook page To our Court of Flags Facebook page
BFC On Rides Mystery Fun House Wonderland Scotty's Court of Flags

 

could this be the start of bringing back our beloved Mystery Fun House. A few rumors have been circulating that it could happen. (March 2013)

 

 

 

5767 Major Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

(407) 351-3355

 

Hours
  • Mon - Sun 10am to 10pm
Price
  • $4.95 to $10.95
Payment types accepted
  • American Express
  • Cash
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Parking
  • Free lot

 

Above was from the original Mystery Fun House website.

click java image above to install java to view the original fireworks from the old MFH site

MFH's website www.mysteryfunhouse.net was built around Nov of 1999 and was shut down sometime in July of 2001

 

Original address and phone number when opened.

Mystery Fun House

5767 Major Blvd.

Orlando, Florida 32805

(305) 351-3355

 

 

 

The Mystery Fun House was an Orlando favorite for 25 years

Orlando, Florida 1976-2001

 

 

History of the Mystery Fun House Building

In 1972 two companies came together Major Realty and Gulf Oil Real Estate) to build something called the Florida Preview, it was to be 2700 acres where Universal Studios is built.

In 1972 they built a preview center. That preview center (and any dreams of what the Florida Preview was going to be) closed in 1975 which later became the Mystery Fun House.

It was also where they had a preview of SeaWorld before it was built.

 

 

Small video from inside the Mystery Fun House

WMV

MP4

 

A small clip of the animatronic show

WMV

MP4

 

A family video clip of the old arcade and the Jurassic golf area

WMV

MP4

 

Inside the Mystery Fun House

MP4

 

Mystery Fun House Commercials

MP4

MP4

MP4

 

 

Our MFH Facebook

 

 

The Mystery Fun House will be missed!!!!

Mystery Fun House in 1976

Opening memo

Thanks John!!!

 

 

My Brochure's

Another brochure I now have compliments of Mike DeRose, Thank you so much!!!! Takes me back.

 

My Tickets

 

 

 


 

    The History                               

 

    The Mystery Fun House gave us something different to visit than the theme parks. Some may have thought it was not much, but many of us knew it was great fun. It was something to get your mind working to imagine new things or just scaring you. It was a full day of fun for the whole family.

    The Mystery Fun House was a wonderful attraction that was helped started by David Siegel in 1976 (soon after he owned it outright according to Orlando Weekly). It was managed by Jack Spangler, a good friend of Siegel. It evolved from being just a fun house (ahead of its time in the 70's) to a laser tag facility called Starbase Omega,  a very large arcade with many, many video games, and a birthday party area with food and their own animatronics show. It also had a mini golf course before anyone else had one in the area.

    With countless failed attempts to contact anyone that started the fun house years ago I can only imagine they have some reason not to want to talk about it. They have since painted over more of the history of the building. I wonder if they have any idea the impact they made on so many people over the years, or if it even matters.

    I am adding to this page often. It will continue to grow into a record of memories of so many people from all over the world. If you have anything for me to add please email me anytime.

                                                         Thank you,

                                                                        Scott

Just recently (10-2020) I was contacted by Jack Spangler's son, John. He has since given me some great drawings and video clips. Thank you so much, they will be great additions to the site.


Some articles regarding the MFH

 

A photo caption in Friday's Local and State section could...

June 14, 1986

A photo caption in Friday's Local and State section could have left the impression that Mystery Fun House had closed. The attraction, 5767 Major Blvd., is open for business seven days a week. Only the attraction's name disappeared from a state directional sign on Interstate 4 this week when the sign was replaced by one showing the way to Valencia Community College.

 

Mystery Fun House goes high tech in...

-- TARGET PRACTICE.

February 29, 1988

-- TARGET PRACTICE. Mystery Fun House goes high tech in April when the locally owned attraction adds Starbase Omega, a laser-tag game. Players of the game, which will be housed in a 5,000-square-foot dome, will be issued laser guns that shoot a light beam at a target-sensor shield. Score is kept by computer. The show will start even before competitors step onto the playing field: They arrive via a ''transport chamber'' that simulates airplane movement, complete with audio and visual effects. The attraction's tickets are expected to cost from $3.95 to $4.95.

 

 

Mattresses Cause Minor Fire At Mystery Fun House

AROUND CENTRAL FLORIDA BRIEFS

February 28, 1991

Five mattresses that caught fire Wednesday at 2:33 p.m. at the Mystery Fun House, 5767 Major Blvd, Orlando, caused minor smoke and water damage but no injuries, Orlando firefighters reported.

The cause is being investigated, said District Chief Ron Carroll. The mattresses were in a storage area in the Starbase Omega attraction, said general manager Jack Spangler.

About 10 visitors and four employees were evacuated when the blaze triggered the attraction's sprinkler system, Spangler said. Spangler did not have a damage estimate Wednesday and did not know if that part of the attraction would have to be closed for repairs.

 

 

The Mystery Fun House Is A Great Place To Take Kids

July 12, 1991|By Scott Joseph of The Sentinel Staff

You have passed the structure on Interstate 4 a thousand times. You can see it off to the side of the road, just before the Kirkman Road exit. But do you know what goes on inside the Mystery Fun House? Of course not, that's why it's a mystery.

But is it fun? Let's take a look.

Mystery Fun House is at 5767 Major Blvd. in Orlando. The complex consists of several wings, much like a house that has been added on to over the years to accommodate a growing family.

You enter through the front door of what appears to be a haunted mansion (Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, that scary organ music associated with horror movies, is always an indicator of a haunted house).

After paying admission, you enter a glass-and-mirror maze, slowly making your way to the other side, hands out in front to feel for an opening.

It's on to a room that confuses the senses. The walls are out of perspective, and a ramp that appears to head down actually goes up.

After bouncing off a few walls, you head into an area called the ''forbidden temple.'' You cross a swinging bridge, and there is a hallway that appears to open up beneath your feet, revealing a sort of volcanic pit below. You go through a room that seems to be in the midst of an earthquake.

There's a cage maze where you have to find the rubber bars that will allow you to pass through, a rotating tunnel and a hall of distorted mirrors (find the one that makes you look thinnest).

Once you get past all that, there's a game room. Here you can sign up for Starbase Omega, a tag game you play with light beams. Since there has to be a group of at least six to play, you may be asked to wait for other players if your group is smaller.

Each player is equipped with a reflective badge, a battery belt pack and a ray-gun device. To get to Starbase Omega, you must sit on a transporter that simulates a ride to the planet. Once on the planet - a large, dark room with extra-bouncy carpets and a hovering spaceship - you begin to shoot light beams at each other, trying to hit the reflective badge or the reflective part of the belt pack.

When you hit an opponent, your gun makes an electronic beep, and the belt pack adds points to your score. When an opponent hits you, points are deducted from your score. At the end of the playing time, you return to the ''command post'' where the guns are loaded into a sensor that tallies the scores.

 

By Susan G. Strother of The Sentinel Staff | August 4, 1991

 

The owners of the Mystery Fun House, fearing they would be overlooked by travelers on Kirkman Road, last year erected a 30-foot wizard at the entrance of their attraction.He's an eye-catching sentry, this Wiz, with a flowing purple robe, pointy hat and white beard. But the old sorcerer is not as strong a drawing card as the one that sits across the street - at Universal Studios Florida.''Before, we had to do an awful lot of image and brochure work and hope the people could find us,'' said Jackie Farwell, vice president of Mystery Fun House.

 

Brand-new Baby For King Of The Time-share Trade

Stars Turn Out For Party To Kick Off New Coaster

NAMES & FACES

May 27, 2000

Time-share baron David Siegel and wife Jacqueline have a lot to celebrate this weekend. The couple welcomed a new son - Daniel Alan Siegel - at 12:24 p.m. Friday at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women in Orlando. Daniel weighed in at 9 pounds 9 ounces, and both he and Mom are doing fine, a spokesman said. Daniel's big brother, David Alexander, will celebrate his first birthday with a party on Sunday at the Mystery Fun House in Orlando.

Siegel also hosted a party Thursday for the Westgate Hospitality Organization at SeaWorld to kick off the opening of the new Kraken roller coaster - an event that also brought out Sherman Hemsley, who is taping the TV pilot Love Thy Neighbor for Century III, and the Orlando Magic's Bo Outlaw.

 

Orlando, Fla., Fun-House Attraction May Close after 24 Years.

The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, FL)

By Richard Verrier of The Sentinel Staff | October 24, 2000

Oct. 24--Mystery Fun House, one of Orlando's oldest second-tier attractions, may be shut down.

Time-share baron David Siegel said he wants to sell the 6-acre property at 5767 Major Blvd., across from the entrance to Universal Orlando.

Siegel said it is "likely" the 53,000-square-foot attraction will close its doors within the next few months, though the Jurassic Putt Mini-Golf, the game room and Pizza Hut would remain open.

A fixture in Orlando's tourism corridor, Fun House has drawn 15 million tourists since it opened in 1976, Siegel said. For $10.85, customers can play mini-golf and tour 15 darkened rooms, …

 

The mystery (and the fun) are no more

Jerry W. Jackson
of the Orlando Sentinel Staff
Posted February 20, 2001


The Mystery Fun House attraction shut down Sunday, ending a 25-year run in part because of competition from larger tourist attractions, including its fast-growing neighbor across International Drive (should say Kirkman), Universal Orlando.

Fun House employees said the entire operation, including a miniature golf course and a video arcade game room, was closed for good and that the owner, Central Florida Investments Inc. has put the building and six-acre property up for sale.

CFI is a time-share resort company owned by Orlando businessman David Siegel, who said in October that he wanted to sell the property at 5767 Major Blvd., in part because the land had become too valuable for a second-tier attraction with declining attendance.

At the time, he said an announcement about the pending closing had been sent out a few months prematurely. A For Sale sign has now been posted on the property.

Siegel was out of town Monday and could not be reached for comment. Jack Spangler, a CFI vice president who oversees the Mystery Fun House property, also was unavailable.

Maria Triscari, executive director of the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce, said the closing represents the end of an era for a longtime business on the north end of I-Drive.

"It's always sad when an attraction closes and especially when it's one of the original attractions in the area. There's a lot of nostalgia associated with it, but it's certainly more competitive out there than it used to be."

Triscari said that while Universal Orlando and other big attractions have expanded in recent years and are keeping tourists on their property longer, the competition also has stiffened among the smaller attractions.

"There are just a lot more of them [on I-Drive]," she said, including WonderWorks, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Fun Spot amusement park and the Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, all attracting some of the same visitors who might have gone to the Fun House in years past.

Todd Hansen, director of sales and marketing at Ripley's, on the south end of I-Drive, said the Mystery Fun House had become stale and apparently outlived its usefulness to the time- share parent company.

"It's clear they chose not to reinvest in the property," Hansen said. "I'm sorry to see anyone fold, but they knew it was coming."

Hansen said the decline of the Mystery Fun House is not a reflection of widespread problems on the tourist-oriented business strip. He said business is brisk for companies that market aggressively, particularly in the local area to attract people from nearby hotels.

"Our business is up 20 percent" in attendance and revenue, he said, partly because " we do a lot of old-fashioned, in-your-face marketing," going door-to-door to hotels and working closely with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Employees at the Mystery Fun House said the more than 50,000-square-foot facility still houses some CFI employees who work in various departments for the huge time-share company, including technical support people who install and repair televisions and other equipment for the resorts.


(c) Copyright Orlando Sentinel. All rights reserved. To see more of the Orlando Sentinel, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://orlandosentinel.com

 

By Jerry W. Jackson of The Sentinel Staff | February 23, 2001

For sale: one well-used fun-house attraction. Prime southwest Orlando location. Price tag: $6 million. The Mystery Fun House closed its doors for good last weekend after 25 years. But the owner, Central Florida Investments Inc. sees the nearly 60,000-square-foot building and 6 acres as a hot location for someone wanting to develop a dinner theater, hotels, maybe even another attraction. "We've had some offers, but nothing solid enough yet," Jack Spangler, CFI vice president, said Thursday.

     

    The Chambers by Scott Jensen 

    The Mystery Fun House had 15 themed Chambers inside. (This is what I can remember, some I know is not correct, but with help from everyone, we will get it right. Email me)

 

Video Clip (mostly sound) of the beginning of the MFH

Click Here

 

The Chamber's by Brian Bennett - A detailed account of the Chambers (updated 05/28/2007)

Dear Sir, I currently live in Central Florida, and have visited Mystery Funhouse many times. My first visit was within 2 weeks after it opened. Because I visited it quite often. I can give you some accurate information on most of the Stunts that came and went.

    A. "The Lobby" - This is where you purchased your tickets. The Lobby originally was brightly light. It contained a round table with a Vase that mysteriously circled; as the Tabletop was actually a Spinning Device. Next you had to find the secret entrance into the Funhouse. When the Buzzer sounded You pushed open the panel on the inside left of the Fireplace! When the Panel opened an overhead Strobe lamp was Activated.

    B. The "Glass Corridor" - AKA. the "Mirror Maze" - During the first few months of operation the Maze was brightly lit from the fluorescent lamps in the Drop Ceiling. There was No Audio playing at this time, as the Funhouse was still under Construction. Sometime Later, The lights were dimmed and a Mirrored Ball was added along with an audio track. After the mid 80's a Scull on a pedestal was placed inside of the maze. The Scull would frighten Small Children and brought about some complaints. As I exited the Maze there was a loud Shattering sound, as Glass panels cracked on both sides of me. This always startled first time visitors, but was a lot of Fun. The mirror maze was also my favorite walk-thru at the Funhouse.
   
    C. "Topsy Turvy Room" - (Renamed the "Egyptian Tomb" in later years) - This Walk-thru originally contained 6 different Stunts.
1a - Ball rolls Uphill - A wiffle Ball was freely placed on a shelf. It appeared to roll uphill. During my next visit, the Wiffle ball was missing as it would often get stolen from inconsiderate guests. That's why Modifications were made to this stunt.
2a - Water Flowing Uphill - On my first visit, two maintenance men were filling a Trough from a bucket of water. After they left I watched as the water actually appeared to flow Uphill. This Stunt was later modified and the illusion was disrupted.
3a - Ball on a String - In the Upper corner, there hung a pool table ball (8th Ball) from a plum line. The ball appeared to be floating in air as it would not stay against the corner like it should.
4a - The Clock - The Pendulum would not swing as gravity forced it to rest against the wall.
5a - The Bridge - Located in the center of the room, was a tilted platform. The Platform was actually level, and guests would appear to be leaning, as the Room was diagonally Tilted.
6a - The Vibrating Floor - This would startle first time guests as they exited the tilt room.
    When it was changed into the "Egyptian Tomb", the Whirling Vortex music was change to the song, "Walk Like an Egyptian". The song was activated by pressing a button on the wall next to the Ball Uphill Stunt.
1b - This button also launched the ball inside of the Uphill chamber.
2b - A new cabinet was built and a faucet was mounted. The stream of water curved rather than flowed uphill.
3b - The plum line was removed and a coffin containing a Mummy was added.
4b - The Clock had to be removed because the Pendulum was putting a Gash into the Wall.
5b - The Bridge still remained - As it was one of the Best illusions that, guests had ever seen in any Funhouse!
6b - Because of complaints, the vibrating floor was toned down.

    D. "The Music Room" - (Later became the "Enchanted Forest" and entrance to the "Forbidden Temple") -which consisted of 3 separate chambers (Past, Present, & Future) 
1a. (Past) - This room originally contained several Holographic cylinders. When you looked into the cylinders, you could see a Couple Dancing to the Music that played. The musical tunes played were from 1920 to 1960.
2a. (Present) - This room had a Lighted Dance Floor. Only 2 of the walls were mirrored at this time, making the dance floor to appear 4X larger than it really was. Disco Music from the 70's was playing at that time.
3a. (Future) - There were 2 vertical cylinders with Electro Static touch pads mounted on them. Funky Sounds were made when you placed your hands on the pads. A Keyboard Synthesizer was added later but was removed shortly, due to abuse.
1b. Because The music room was Boring, The "Enchanted Forest" was added. I liked the Old Rickety Bridge that went across the swamp. Before entering the next room Visitors squatted through a mini cave.
2b. Mirrors were later added on all 4 sides of the Dance floor creating the look of Infinity - Hence the Name the "Infinite Disco" which could only be read in the mirrors as it was spelled Backwards.
3b. The Electro Sounds were removed and replaced with a "Wash Tub Band" The Drums and Washtub Bass had to be removed shortly because of vandalism.
1c. The Enchanted Forest still remained, but the mini cave at the exit was removed.
2c. The Disco was removed and the "Forbidden Temple" set was added. It contained 2 Stunts. (The Fiery Pit) and (The Dragon Slide) When approaching the Pit, the Floor would separate exposing hot lava. A pane of glass protected guests from stepping into it. This Stunt would also Frighten Small Children.
3c. The other Stunt was a curved Tube Slide that revealed a Dragons Mouth as you slid down it.

    E. "Moon Scape" - (Later Became "Catacombs" and then "Pee Wee's Playhouse". Your feet sunk into the moon's surface as you walked on a foam pad... How Boring! That's why it was removed and a Fibercrete cavern was constructed. At first the Cavern was well lit. It contained a Crawl-thru-the-Dark Tunnel. When the Horror theming was added, the Cavern became pitch Black inside. Because of Horseplay and Safety, The Cavern was removed and Pee Wee's Playhouse was built. You crawled into it and exited through a Dog House.

    F. "Chamber of the Zodiac" - (Later became the New "Catacombs". - Guests would enter a colorful maze-like room with small rooms leading off of it. You Chose your Sign, looked into a mirror and pressed a button. You listened to a narration about your personal traits... I thought this one was so Boring! - Eventually a mine shaft tunnel replaced it and was renamed "Catacombs"

    G. "Parlor of Palms" - (later became the "Transformation Room" and then the "Chamber of Horrors".
1a. When entering the Parlor, you placed your hands on a wall which revealed your hand prints. You then rested your arm on a table and activated a strobe lamp. A silhouette of your arm appeared. The next set contained an Audio Animatronics Male Figure (Gypsy) Whom would instruct you on how to read your palm. LED's would light up on a Giant Hand, showing guests how to read their Lifeline. This one was also very Boring!
1b. 4 laminated Panels were used to compare your hands with the hands of each other. Ho Hum...
2a. That's why It became the "Transformation Room". With a special Viewer, Guests appeared to grow or shrink as they exchanged places in the distorted room. There also was a Tiny Stool in the upper corner and an Over-sized Padded Chair on the Lower End.
2b. A "Barrel of Fun" was added later at the Entrance of this room.
3a. Eventually the Trans-Fo room, Became "Chamber of Horrors". You walked through a "Jail Cell" and was startled when the police sirens went off!
3b. A new "Transformation Room" was constructed - This time you sat behind a mirror while guests watched you transform into a Ware-Wolf.

    H. The "Wizards Dungeon". This is where you saw the "Pit and the Pendulum" scene. The victims stomach muscles would tighten every time the Swinging Blade passed by. And he would also cry for mercy.

    I. The "Illusions Room" This is was located just before the Handwriting Analysis Booth. On one of the walls was something that resembled modern art; which looked something like this ( |;.",.'| ); above it was a sign that read "What does it say?" Upon further examination the word (FUN) would appear! Nothing great; just Pure Filler.

    J. "Grand Illusions Room" - (later renamed "Inner Sanctum") At one time this was the most Awesome Chamber in the Funhouse, as well as my favorite.
1a. The original show ran 10 minutes and had colored lights synchronized to music. (Flight of the Bumblebee)
1b. The Show was upgraded and was transformed into the Wizard's Magic Show. Using the Trick Mirrors, Images vanished and reappeared. Then it was followed by a 2 minute light show.
2a. Because of popular requests, a new 10 minute lightshow was reinstated... Totally Awesome!!!
2b After the Horror theming was installed, the "Inner Sanctum" became a movie theater; which then showed Horror Flicks. The Awesome Light Shows became a thing of the past... What a real Bumber.

    K. "Play Room" - Later renamed Play Room & "Distortion Den" - This chamber contained a variety of stunts.
1. Turkey Trot - You crossed A portable Spring Suspended platform. - this was removed shortly after to make room for the "Giant Bean Bags".
2. Squeeze Columns - 6 vertical columns were placed in a corner, allowing children to wind their way through. It was a Tight Squeeze for some folks. This stunt may have been removed do to safety concerns.
3. Time Machine - Boys & Girls were transformed into Old Men or Ladies. This was a Great Gag!
4. Peak-A-Boo - Put your face into one the the 2 holes and watch out... (Shark Attack) or (Kaleidoscope)!
5. Unstable Ladder - I was actually able to climb to the top of it so that I could Ring the Bell!

6. Distortion Mirrors - This area originally contained 7 mirrors. The first mirror was called "Merlyn's Magic Mirror". After pressing a button on the frame; the mirror would flex in and out; making your image appear to grow and shrink. The other 6 mirrors were your traditional funhouse types, which were originally placed in this order; (Long-Neck, 8-Foot-Tall, Short-Legs, Midget, Stout, & Skinny) At least twice, the order of the mirrors were rearranged, so that the most humorous images of yourself would progress from mirror to mirror. This part of the playroom was also given the name "Distortion Den" after the Magic Box trick was installed.

    L. "Hall of Laughing Doors" - Later Renamed "Tunnel of Terror" and "Chamber of Laughs".
1a. Originally you entered a hallway with doors on both sides. You chose a door and then opened it. Something Silly or Stupid was on the other side, as you listened to a laugh track.
1b. Because the door stunts were unpopular, they were replaced with a Dark Padded Tunnel, which contained an Infinity Tunnel mirror, a lighted pit, and a vibrating floor stunt. (Tunnel of Terror)
1c. Because there was no Grand Finale in this final chamber, The Dark Tunnel was transformed into a Strobe Tunnel with a continuous Laughing track. (Chamber of Laughs)
2. As you approached the Exit, you had to watch out for those Falling Barrels!


 

Here is a list of the Roaming Stage Props that were displayed at Mystery Funhouse by Bri-Ben57
   

1. "Wizard's Pet Rock" - I don't remember it's original location as, this prop was always turning up in a new locations on each visit. After a maintenance man got done calibrating its motion sensor, He had me pass my hand over the Rock. It would light up and say (Have You Seen The Wizard?) as well as other phrases. Eventually the Pet Rock was installed as a permanent stunt in the Forbidden Temple.
 
2. "Electronic Friend" - Located next to the Pit and the Pendulum, was an animated figure (mad scientist) who was placed inside a glass cage. When you pressed the button on the console, a High Voltage Stream would arc between his hands. Eventually this prop was replaced with a device known as "Jacob's Ladder". 
 
3. "The Spider and The Fly" - The wizard's pet Spider was entangled in its own web, while the Fly was laughing his head off..! I believe this was located right after the Wizard's Dungeon.
 
4. "Gravity Well" - This was placed inside the Illusions Room near the Handwriting Analysis booth. Captivated guests were encouraged to place a coin onto a starting ramp. Then they would watch their Quarters Vanish into a black hole, while waiting for the next show to start at the Inner Sanctum. This was a Turn-Key money maker!
 
5a. "Miss Bubbles" - At the entrance to the Play Room, sat a fake fat lady inside of a circus wagon.
5b. "Tom Thumb" - He was a famous midget whom performed at the P.T. Barnum Circus.
5c. "Bearded Lady" - She was also a created as a midget and was placed next to Tom Thumb.
 
6. "Ball Crawl" - Sometime after around 15 years of operation, a children's play area was installed inside the Play Room. It consisted of a netted cage that was filled with multi colored plastic balls.
 
7. "The Magician's Secret" - AKA (Magic Box) This prop was displayed at the end of the Distortion Den. Guests would learn how magicians use mirrors to create illusions. You placed your torsel partly inside of the box; pressed the button on top; while others watched your body disappear.
 
8. "The Rabbits' Revenge" - After you exited the Distortion Den you watched a Rabbit pull a Magician out of a Hat, while another bunny performed a magic trick. This is also the location where the panels from the disco floor ended up, after the Infinite Disco was removed.
 
9. "Strobe Lamps" - Periodically, a strobe lamp would be placed above a doorway. It would flash when you walked through the doorway, momentarily surprising you.
 
10. "Air Nozzles" - These were placed in various locations all through-out the Funhouse. A Blast of Air would surprise or startle you when you stepped on a pressure plate embedded under the carpet. 
 
11. "Advisory Signs" - These were placed in locations warning guests that parts of the walk-thru may be too intense for some folks. The signs read (Young at Heart) or the (Coward's Way)
 
12. "Falling Barrels" - This gag would sometimes startle guests before they exited the Turnstile Gate.
 
13. "Wolly Rabbit" - This prop was used for advertising and was located at the Old Orlando McCoy Jetport. After pressing the button on its console, an audio-animatronic rabbit would come to life. After he introduced himself; Some music would play; He would then point to a rack of Tourist Folders, containing a map to Mystery Fun House. This was the Most Hilarious prop ever created by the Mystery Fun House Staff..!   Yours Truly, Bri-Ben57

 


 

Here are some scans and drawings from John, Jack Spangler's (general manager of the MFH) son.

 


 

Videos clips from John Spangler's collection

Clips of the fun house

Commercial 1

Commerical 2

Commerical 3

 


 

    Mystery Mini Golf / Jurassic Putt 

    The miniature golf course was not the style you would see these days around Orlando, you have to remember this was built in the 70's but for the time this was state of the art. The Mystery Mini Golf course had 18 holes and featured some themed holes including a mystery tunnel with weird and strange music and lighting. They later changed the name to Jurassic Putt. It still used some of the same holes but added dinosaur's and such.

 

    Starbase Omega 

    The main attraction of Mystery Fun House a few years after it opened was the Starbase Omega laser tag arena. Unlike the average laser tag areas, Starbase Omega had a transport to the "Moonbase" playing field. It was a pretty cool idea for its time.

 

    The Arcade 

    The video game arcade early on was pretty small but had the latest games of the time. I am sure many never knew there were many video games before Space Invaders and Pacman. A few years later when video game rooms were popping up all over MFH added on a full game room. They had everything in video games at the time.

    Magic Shop 

Run by veteran magician, Dan Stapleton, the Mystery Fun House Magic Shop, which served as host to the who's who of world known illusionists. During the early 70's, entertainment producer, Jackson Hamiter trained under Dan and his brother, who was well-known for his "Buxom Bunnies" card tricks.
 

 

 


 

Below is a brochure from 1977. This is from Tracy B.

I have managed to scan the original brochure for you!
My sister is the one with the old man (who was suppose to be our grandfather). That is my real dad in the barrel. That is me next to my sister and real mom with the falling barrels...in other words, I am the small boy in the brochure.
I scanned both sides of the brochure...note the pricing on what was the back of the brochure. The file size for each is large so I will email them in separate emails.
I could probably scan the letter from the talent agency that was mailed to us after the commercial taping. Just let me know if you think you would like a copy.
 
Tracy

2.50 for admission back then, wow.

Thank you Alan

Pics from the 1977 MFH Commercial. These are also from Tracy.

Scott,
Here are the pictures that I told you about.
The first one is of the wizard which is how the commercial started. The one with me and my sister was taken in the disco room.
Not the best quality, but not bad considering the pictures were taken right off the television as the commercial was airing. My dad would call the television stations in advance so that he could know exactly when the commercial was scheduled to air so that he could get his camera ready.
 
Take care,

Tracy

 

We would love to get a copy of this commercial. If anyone may have recorded anything in the Central Florida area with their vcr during this time then you would have also had all the commercials.

 

Willie Wabbit - MFH display at the airport in Orlando years ago.


 

A blow up from the brochure. Sure brings back memories.

 

Local Live's Bird's Eye View of the MFH Site - Great close up aerials

Front View    Rear view    Left View    Right View

Old aerial of the fun house - still has the name painted on the building

 

 

 

The last time I was able to visit was in the late 90's. My friend's took their twin daughters (the dragon and bridge scared them so much). I wish I could have taken my own daughter's. It is sad it could not be kept open. Wizards, games, magic, golf so much to enjoy.

 

THANK YOU! MARTIN SMITH for the scans of the brochure. Don't forget to check out some of his Disney Tribute videos.

 

Name Tag from the Funhouse

Mystery Fun House Menu

Mystery Fun House Trash Can

Pizza Box

Banner

Birthday Card

Flag

Here is a picture of kind of what the MFH's hologram projector looked like except for the dancing couple inside.

Here is a picture of the dancers that were in the MFH hologram

 

Here is a little video clip of the show they had at the restaurant

 


 

Here are a couple of the many online ad's for MFH, they still come up after 5 years of being closed.....

Mystery Fun House - Check out the wizard's fifteen chambers or play a game of miniature golf. Laser tag is another feature offered here at the Mystery Fun House. 10 am to 9 pm Sun - Thurs; 10 am to 10 pm Fri & Sat / 5767 Major Blvd. / 407-351-3355

 

- Mystery Fun House

Fifteen chambers of fun and surprises, 18-hole Mystery Mini-Golf,
Giant Video Arcade, Shooting Gallery, Gift Shops, Restaurant, Ice
Cream Parlor, Old Tyme Photo and much, much more! Starbase Omega "The
Ultimate Lazer Game", equipped with a computerized lazer gun and a
vibrating sensor shield. Beam back into prehistoric times or journey
through space to a far off galaxy. 5767 Major Boulevard, Orlando,
Florida 32819; (407) 351-3356.


 


 

Two movies filmed at the MFH.

Night Terror - 2002 (David Siegel was the executive producer and also had a small part in the movie)

 

Distributor: Magnum Entertainment

Release year: 2002

Country: USA

Language: English

Color: Color

Running Time: 91 min

Genre: Horror

 

Picture of Al Lewis and Mo Rogers for the Night Terror shoot (see the MFH behind them)

 

Parenthood - 1989 (while it was still open Trivia)

 


 

More tidbits of information

Jack Spangler was manager of MFH in the whole 25 years it was open

Court of Flags Resort was next door, it was built the same way the Contemporary Resort was at WDW

Halloween was a special time for MFH also for many of the years. They always had something special going on (Halloween Weekend Bash, haunted house, trick-or-treating, palm readings, magician, costume contest)

In 1993 they considered expanding into other markets nationwide with MFH and Starbase Omega.

About 10 visitors and four employees were evacuated when the blaze triggered the attraction's sprinkler system on Feb 1991

Small fire put out by firefighters in 1997

At most MFH had 60 employees, most part time I am sure.

In 2000 MFH was planning a liquidation sale, they even had permits for a tent to be set up. (not sure if that happened)

Property is for sale

 

Where MFH was located

 

Photo by Darren Liebman

 


 

A walk thru by Scott (adding the list of chambers above)

(This will continue to be updated the more I remember)

The front entrance of the Mystery Fun House is still fresh in my mind, the large Wizard looking down to all welcoming you into his chambers.

The front lobby to buy your tickets was just a small podium, with a few dollars and a press of the door (by the employee) buzzer lock you were in!!!

You walked right into a chamber of mirrors. It was a dark mirror maze that was a lot of fun to try to get out of. At the end of it you got effects of glass breaking with full sound.

The next chamber was a topsy turvy room. It gave you a weird feeling something just wasn't right.

Now here is where things gets fuzzy for me since it was so many years. I remember a moon room (green cheese with black light) I think it was removed to add the newer wobbling bridge with dragon watching over you.

The rest of what I remember I will just mention until I can get it all in order. I am missing much of it.

The rolling Barrel was always fun. If you were strong enough you could get upside down.

Dark tunnels you crawled through, computer system that told your fortune by your signature (original), light show room with all kinds of effects, jail area with spooky effects, carnival looking area with large bags to push thru, an unstable ladder to climb up to hit the buzzer, shooting gallery with air rifle (original), walk thru tunnels with the barrels that started to fall towards you and a rush of air from the floor to give you one last scare before you headed to the exit.

At the exit you walked thru an old fashioned rotating type door. Then you had some games of skill you could play and many many arcade games all over the place. They had a concession area with hamburgers hot dogs and cokes. Mini Golf was outside. 18 holes, it was updated later to be a dinosaur theme called Jurassic Putt. Early on they had a blow up jumping area. Then they added the whole laser tag area called Starbase Omega which included a "transport" to the base to start your battle. Compared to other laser tag's around the area this was the best of the best. one of the older things I remember is the magic shop, they had so many great things you could buy. The stink perfume was great (rotten egg smell).

I miss this place and cannot believe they had to close it.  I think with a little more capital it could have been updated and brought back to life. I would have loved to have taken my daughters.

 


David Siegel 2000

Wikipedia Information


 

Take a look at Florida Everyone Forgot site and see what the place looks like in 2006. They also were nice enough to let me use some pics (below) for my site.

Google link from Dream Weaver


 

The barrel. It keeps spinning whether you were ready or not.

The Egyptian Tomb Chamber. This was one of the newer area's.

The ladder was very unstable. If you did manage to make it up you could hit the buzzer!!!!

 


From another Mystery Fun House Fan!, thanks for letting me post your pics. !!! Here is Tony's website....Tony Cortest

On May 16, 2006 Tony was able to get access into the building that used to contain the Mystery Fun House. It turns out that some of the original fun house is still intact inside of the building collecting dust after 5 years. Thanks to Florida Everyone Forgot for letting us know about Tony. Here is what Mystery Fun House looks like as of May 2006...

I think this is the door to the fun house, where it says push. Not sure what it says below it.

Tony with the dragon, starbase omega, and the ice cream sign

Would these be the barrels that would try to fall on you? If so they were painted since I saw them.

Animatronics, the front plaque, and the front entrance porch.

 

Tony found the rest of his pictures from his visit at the closed Mystery fun House.

 


 

More awesome pictures from John (help him with his project - Lincoln Park)

Thank you so much for the great pics of inside the funhouse!!!!!

The Wizard awaits you!!!!

Ticket please

The mirror maze!!

You could also take the chicken way out......

The Barrel

The ladder

Sports hall of fame closed

Promo shot for the opening in 1976

WizBang Hole in the background - 1983

Mini Golf. The wizbang pinball hole

Mystery Fun House - Circa 1983

1986 Shirt

And after 25 years the wizard is gone....I wonder where it is now.

 


 

From Joel

A few memories:

- I remember they brought in a wax figure in Tivoli Gardens of
George Bush Senior towards the end of my stay.

- There was a section in the funhouse where you walked in total
darkness on a carpeted uneven floor - I know people pissed in there
because that's exactly what it smelled like.

- There was a creepy midget working there who scared everyone - he
worked in this one section when you just emerged from the barrel and
went into some show. I think he was an angry dwarf because it seemed
he was upsetting customers.

- Starbase Omega's moon surface was carpet over layers of
mattresses. Within the first month, the carpet had holes all over -
thus a new layer was installed. We also had alot of glow in the
dark "rocks" - (beanbags).

Maybe I will think of some other things as I refresh my memory - I
worked there in 1986-87.

Mystery Fun House Vampire

 


 

Pics from Robert R. R.

Here are some great shots of things I forgot about, thanks Robert.

 

 

The huge Wizard sign

 

 

 

Misc Pics

 

From the bungee jump platform

 


 

HOW THE MYSTERY FUN HOUSE LOOKS TODAY (10-2006) Pics from me, Scott

This sign still sits up front to remind everyone what was once the Mystery Fun House.

The Front of the Mystery Fun House building (You can still make out the words Mystery Fun House behind the flag)

A picture thru the front door. This was the main lobby to the fun house. It is full of junk now.

The front porch. The maze is pretty much wore down. It has been there since it opened.

The wall murals from the porch.

The mini golf putt putt area and part of Starbase Omega from the rear.

The front walkway. Pretty much wore away.

 


Magician Dan Stapleton

Making his first appearance on stage at Abbott’s, Dan actually visited his first Abbott’s convention way back in 1972. Just after that, Disney World called Dan away (from Wisconsin) to be one of their “demonstrator’s” in their new Merlin’s Magic Shop. Dan then opened his own magic shop, a few years later, in a new tourist spot called the Mystery Fun House, also in Orlando. But in 1978 Dan had his work cut out for him, accepting the position as the star of his own show for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus World theme park where he would be performing fantastic illusions, six times daily, six days per week. Dan had an offer to perform on the high seas and for 23 years, was considered one of the most sought after “cruise ship magicians”. In 2005 Stapleton was awarded the Best Parade trophy for Linking Ring magazine. Dan will bring some of his colorful and entertaining magic to Abbott’s along with a lecture filled with idea’s for the stage and parlor magician in mind. His original “Human Deck of Cards” effect will be spoken about long after the convention is over. Don’t miss it!


 

 

 

 

http://www.stapletonmagic.com

 


 

Found this AD online - scottj

 

 

5767 Major Boulevard - Former Mystery Fun House

Orlando, FL 32819 - Tourist Corridor Submarket

 

 
(742.3 KB)

Property Type:Land Parcel Size:5.69 Acres
Zoning:AC-3
For Sale Price:For Sale Price/Acre:For Sale Price/SF:-

 
Topography:Level
Proposed Use:Commercial, Mixed Use, Hotel, Restaurant

On-Site Improv:Previously developed lot
 


 
 
This parcel is one of the most strategically located sites in the heart of
the tourist corridor of Orlando, the tourist capital of the world. The site
is immediately next to the entrance to Universal Studios, The Double
Tree Hotel, Holiday Inn and I - 4.

The property is an excellent site for an upscale restaurant or two, hotel,
time share, convention center or showroom. The site consists of 5.8
acres and includes six existing buildings totaling 44,247 gross square
footage and 35,734 square feet of net usable space. The buildings were
completed in 1974, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986 and 2007 and have been used
since 1976 as the home of one of Orlando's most favored attractions, The
Mystery Fun House.

The buildings are being used today as a training facility for the
Westgate Resorts employees. The space could be leased or demolished.
There are 261 parking spaces included.
The zoning is AC-3 allowing up to 1,100 hotel rooms, (200 units per
acre) or 190,000 square feet of any prime commercial space. Land use
code is "Recreational/Meeting" (3400).

The most attractive feature of this property is the fact that the existing
buildings can be leased, generating a positive cash flow should the
investor elect not to demolish the structures immediately.

 

 

July 2012 latest look at the MFH building

 

 

If you zoom way into this photo from 1975 you can almost make out the Wizard sitting in the parking lot before the building was ready for it.

 

 

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED WITH SENDING INFO, PICTURES, & VIDEO

 

 

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