For the third year in a row the When It Was Cool family traveled to just outside of Atlanta, GA to visit one of the largest and most impressive haunted house attractions in the United States- Netherworld. This year, Netherworld has moved to a new location in Stone Mountain, GA. The elaborate sets, impressive actors and make-up, and over all quality of Netherworld remains as great as ever. In fact, I would say that the haunted house itself is even better than before.
Upon entering the building you are immediately immersed into an amazing world of the supernatural and macabre. We never felt rushed and had sufficient time to take in all of the impressive sets and structures inside the Netherworld main attraction. Of course, Netherworld is more than just Hollywood quality sets, there are plenty of monsters throughout the winding pathways to jump out and scare you at just the right time. Thankfully, Netherworld doesn’t over rely on jump scares- they don’t have to. The overall atmosphere is sufficiently frightening to keep you on the edge of fear.
There are a great deal of animatronics but they are of such high quality that they never take you out of the experience and many of them are indistinguishable from the live actors. Again, the make up and effects are of such a high caliber that you are literally inside a surreal world where you barely have to suspend your disbelief.
There were a couple of different attractions this year at Netherworld including a bizarre zone which featured aliens, robots, and an incredible set that made you feel like you were inside a movie. While Netherworld does feature some of your standard haunted attraction fare like strobe lights, spinning tunnels, and rooms designed to disorient you it never overdoes these tropes.
I wish we could give Netherworld 2018 an overall glowing A+ review but there were some problems. None of them related to the haunted attraction itself, in that respect Netherworld is virtually perfect and we can’t recommend it highly enough. However, the infrastructure has some issues. This haunted attraction is clearly taking in a lot of money. There was a sea of people the night we went. Thousands and thousands of people waiting in line at a minimum of $20 per person. So, yes, they are making a ton of cash. Yet, they seem to be spending virtually none of it on personnel.
There were so few security personnel on scene we barely ever saw them. Parking is an utter disaster with thousands of cars in and out of Netherworld and, I dare say, maybe five or six people (and that’s being generous) to guide them in. There needed to be at least a dozen more ushers or people to help organize this mob. People around us were getting very frustrated at the lack of direction. No one really knew what to do, where to go, or what line to be in. For an attraction that plans on serving thousands of people the portable bathroom offerings were abysmal and unkept.
There was one incident where a group of youths jumped a fence and broke in line front of several hundred people and no security there to do anything about it. The scene was nearly ugly and people were left very upset by this. The parking area, what little there is, was unlit and virtually unpatrolled. I’m not sure which law enforcement agency has jurisdiction in the area but their presence was minimal. I have literally been to pee wee football games with more security than Netherworld had. With all the money they are taking in this season they seriously need to step up their infrastructure game next year or we will have a hard time recommending this attraction again. In the meantime, I would suggest people go in groups and be vigilant as you’re pretty much on your own and I certainly would not drop kids or youngsters off alone to pick up later.
Overall, Netherworld hits it out of the park with the haunted attraction. I honestly don’t know how they could do it better beyond the infrastructure and staffing shortfalls. Hopefully next year they will address some of these issues before something bad happens and ruins an amazing “must-see” Halloween season event.
We have recorded a special audio podcast where we talk in more detail about the sets, scares, and problems at Netherworld. If you support When It Was Cool for just $1 you can download or stream this episode right now at this link - Netherworld 2018 Audio Special.
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