‘Psycho’ Was Once An Awkward Theme Park Attraction

Like Harry Potter Land, but with more stabbing.
‘Psycho’ Was Once An Awkward Theme Park Attraction

Lots of famous movies have made for excellent theme park attractions: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter lets you poke around Hogwarts castle, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge gives you a chance to actually fly the Millennium Falcon, and the E.T. Adventure Ride gave a generation of children their first taste from the sweet goblet of resisting police arrest. One movie that surely doesn't seem like a natural fit with a day of family-friendly amusement is Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, the beloved slasher classic that turned 60 years old last week:

But that didn't stop some genius '90s Hollywood executives from creating a Hitchcock-based crowd-pleaser at Universal Studios Orlando. Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies was filled with props from Hitch's body of work, but the centerpiece of the attraction was a Psycho-based show featuring a recreation of the Bates Motel, the only temporary lodging more terrifying than your average hidden camera-filled Airbnb. 

The show was, supposedly, to illustrate how the famous shower scene was crafted. The "director" (who seemed less like a master of suspense and more like a master of doing another bump of coke to get through shooting another goddamn Apple Jacks commercial) would restage the iconic murder set-piece along with a faux Janet Leigh, to whom he was unnecessarily hostile. Although, in retrospect, that may have been the most accurate part of the entire show. Then a volunteer from the audience was selected to play the knife-wielding "Mrs. Bates."

This meant that if you were a kid visiting Universal Studios in the '90s, there was a solid chance that you might get to see your dad dress up like an elderly woman and pretend to repeatedly stab a blonde stranger in a nude bathing suit. Sadly the attraction closed down in 2003 and was replaced with the arguably equally emotionally-scarring Shrek 4-D

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Top Image: Universal


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