The Maze of Madness: The Nightmare Experiment Continues is a walk-through attraction for Disney Halloween Time at Hong Kong Disneyland, which runs until October 31. This is a unique Disney experience you’ll find only in Hong Kong. No other Disney Park offers this type of “experiment.”
This post gives a brief overview, my thoughts, verdict, and tips, which is more than enough to help you decide if this attraction is worth your time or suitable for you. Photos and video are not allowed inside, so I’ll do my best to help you visualize this “nightmare.”
You’ll find this “haunted house” beside the Plaza Inn restaurant at the end of Main Street U.S.A. The odd and curious-looking façade is hard to miss. You walk through in small groups with other guests, so the line moves rather quickly. You’re guided through different rooms each with a different “nightmare” to find Professor Wu (more on that in a moment) that depict twisted and demented views on a variety of Disney films:
- Monsters, Inc.
- Alice Through the Looking Glass
- Beauty and the Beast
The story continues from the previous year — hence the name “The Nightmare Experiment Continues” — with Professor Wu (who created the original experiment) trapped inside a dreamscape. You’ll find the full story (with explanations of each section) in the Disney Wikia. It gives better detail than I ever could. Just a fair warning that it contains spoilers.
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This part has minor spoilers, so if you want, skip to the next section.
I am a horror fan and the idea of a Disney experience that is on the scary end of the spectrum gets me excited. Halloween at Disney Parks focuses on the cute and family-friendly aspect, so I appreciate this different take.
The creepiest part is at the beginning in Stromboli’s Caravan with Pinocchio as a slave, performing in chains. The look of pain and despair in his innocent eyes and his dirty outfit were spot on and made you feel uncomfortable. The clown, who greets you, also upped the creep factor tenfold.
Similar to last year’s version, the part with the Mad Hatter is downright disturbing and borderlines, “Did that just happen at Disneyland?!” The Mad Hatter takes a random guest and “decapitates” them. This happens behind closed blinds and you’ll hear a loud noise, but the closed curtain and red lighting ensures you don’t see anything.
The sections with Monster’s Inc. and Beauty and the Beast were fun, but not disturbing in the slightest. The ending with Hades was heavy on the dialogue (Cantonese) which made it difficult to understand what was happening (Professor Wu tries to hold you captive, but Hades allows you to escape). I found this part of the experiment a bit anti-climatic. But seeing Professor Wu transform into the Devil is something else.
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The one downside is the entire experience is mostly in Cantonese. Some of the Cast Members may speak a bit of English if they see you, but for the most part, you may not understand what’s being said. However, I don’t expect it to be bilingual; that would take away from the experience if Cast Members repeated the dialogue twice. Perhaps in the future, they will offer an English version at specific times.
While this isn’t super scary, it does have some jump scares, loud noises, and moments of, “Is this actually Disney?!” (Which may or may not bother you.)
Since there is a height restriction, I’d say this is not suitable for young children. If you have a fear of clowns, then you may want to reconsider — I did have one guy in front of me fall backward (I had to grab him) as the clown scared him a bit. I don’t have a fear of clowns, so I don’t know how that feels. I’ll leave that up to you.
Here’s a partial walk-through, if you want to give it a look beforehand. The partial walk-through video was taken with permission from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
Even with a few shortcomings, the overall experience is brilliant. The demented take on what we know and love about Disney characters is a breath of fresh air. Other Disney Parks could take a note from this to see how to incorporate something similar.
This is one of the best aspects of Disney Halloween Time at Hong Kong Disneyland and is one experience that is far from a nightmare. If you were to only do one thing at the park during Halloween, make it this one. You won’t find this type of experience in any other Disney Park.
Here are a couple of tips and recommendations for the Maze of Madness: The Nightmare Experiment Continues:
- If you’re terrified of clowns, then you may want to skip this
- If you’re not a fan of jump scares, then stay in the middle of the pack
- Guests must be 102 cm (40 in) or taller
- I wouldn’t recommend this for younger children who scare easily
- Check the operating times as they do change based on the day
- Do it within the first hour it opens to avoid long lines (there’s no FastPass)
- The dialogue is in Cantonese, so I suggest reading the Disney Wikia article afterward to get an idea of what went on
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