View Full Version : History of Animatronics...?

Fear Unfathomed
09-16-2009, 12:09 PM
Out of curiosity, does anyone know the history of animatronics in haunted houses or where I could find such info?

Like the first haunted houses to use animatronics, how they've progressed since then, etc.

Anything on this would be helpful!


09-16-2009, 01:12 PM
I'm just guessing, but its probably Disney!

Mad Wax Sculptor
09-16-2009, 02:56 PM
There were cheesy animated characters in the old dark rides way before disney. They just refined the animated figure

chuck weber
09-16-2009, 03:32 PM
I remember like yesterday going to Willow Grove Amusment Park (Willow Grove, Pa) in 1960 and going thru the FUN HOUSE there. There was an angry dog that shot out of a dog house and spit air at you. A buzzer and bright light also went on. (great startle effect for it's time).. It was only about 3 ft by 3 ft behind a caged box, but it worked! (floor pad activited) In the next room was a coffin. another floor pad job. when you stepped on the pad, the coffin opened and a vampire dummy popped out.

In the dark ride there "THE GHOUL'S EYE" (classic laff in the dark type) there was a witch stirring a cauldron that popped on when the car hit a switch on the track. There was a flying bat that swooped down at the car- black light dayglo paint treatment- there were other motorized effects also. So, it had to be before 1960 that this stuff had to be in those scary attractions.

Hope this has enlightened you. Those were great times.

Fear Unfathomed
09-17-2009, 02:09 AM
Thanks everyone!
If you got more info, keep it coming. :)

And yeah, Disney did have a lot to do with leading the way in regard to animatronics, but I'm curious about the non-theme park animatronics, like their specific relationship with haunted houses...

09-17-2009, 07:45 AM
1939 NY Wold's Fair Elektro