You could always utilize a "Motion SImulator" as an elevator or time machine or just a crate on a pulley system depending on your era. You can build a simulator for under $2,000 and it is a great affect and can even be added upon and made into more each year.
Depending on through put, would depend on your actual length of the show within the crate/elevator/ etc.
Holler and I can give you some links or just check out Fright Props - http://www.frightprops.com/motion-platforms.html
We use this system to make our Coffin Ride, Hellevator etc. Good Luck!