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Orlando's Skull Kingdom Closes

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Published: December 27, 2006 at 2:44 PM

International Drive monument and haunted attraction Skull Kingdom has closed its doors. Seemingly for good. And whats even more it seems that the property will be demolished and its props costumes and other properties auctioned off. Skull Kingdom has been about the only year round haunted attraction not only in Orlando, but pretty much the US. In later years, to compete, they included a dinner show. Could this be yet another sign of the death of the tourist traps along I-Drive?

Readers' Opinions

From Mike K on December 27, 2006 at 3:00 PM
Its a shame to hear that Skull Kingdom will close, I have never gone there but have wanted to for a while. Do you know of any reason that they closed?

Ghostly Manor in Sandusky, Ohio I know is open year round, but it is the only one I know is open that much in Ohio. They are very successful year round. http://www.ghostlymanor.com/

It seems that everything on I Drive is going more upscale and the area around the Convention Center seems to be doing extremely well.

From Erik Yates on December 27, 2006 at 3:48 PM
There is no official confirmation that I've heard other than employees saying that they've been released and have had first choice of costumes to take with. The only reason I can think of that they'd close is falling attendance.
This is a series of closures from the Hard Rock Vault, to countless smaller closures of resturants and small dinner shows along I-drive...more empty space than full upscale venues. Of course the Pointe Orlando area is scheduled to have a re-grand opening this spring, and there are countless condos and "resorts" that are currently under construction in the Convention Center area. But I wonder how much of this wil be filled immediately.
From Anthony Murphy on December 27, 2006 at 11:12 PM
I gotta be honest, I hate the FL tourist traps and I really hope they all close down! Sorry for sounding so harsh, but they are trying to make a buck off of Disney World, Universal, and Seaworld!

We went to the Pirate Dinner Show one year and hated it! Skull Kingdom looked pretty intersting however.

From Mark Hollamon on December 28, 2006 at 6:03 AM
It's sad in a way. Kind of like Orlando's Route 66. I do agree that a lot of the old attractions were geared to drawing the WDW crowd after they went to MK, but things have changed a great deal since those early days and their is more than enough to keep tourists at the resorts their whole stay.

I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of the cheesy tourist gift shops bite the dust as well.

From Erik Yates on December 28, 2006 at 6:51 AM
I think thats the reason that WDW has changed so much, they realized that people were going off property and spending money...disney's money. So they made their own tourist traps inside the park to keep that money within the walls.
I loved Skull Kingdom, it was a great place to get a haunt though in recent years it was lacking due to falling off attendance.
Going back to the tourist traps, thats how a lot of the folks in the area made their money, without bowing down to putting on mickey suits for minimum wage. There is no real industry in Orlando, and its starting to becom that way across Florida with the death of citrus. Tourism is the only industry left. And it was great to see little mom and pop places spring up. After all if we didnt have Medieval Times disney wouldnt have built Arabian Nights. The ones like those really worked, the other ones like Splendid China....well they didnt.
You can see all the forgotten tourist traps at forgottenflorida.com
And its a shame to see whats going in the place of Skull Kingdom.....condos. Like the need for those outweighs everything else.
From Shane Morgan on December 28, 2006 at 10:28 PM
This saddens me as well. During the past few times I had been back to Orlando, Skull Kingdom was one of the tourist attractions that always stood out as I walked along I-Drive. Although I had never been inside, I always wanted to go.
From Robert Niles on December 29, 2006 at 9:19 PM
Erik's on to something. It seemed to me, on my recent visit back to Orlando, that the tourist market has split in two. Thanks to Disney's efforts with Magic Your Way, now you either spend the entire week at Disney, or you spend your week visiting Orlando going elsewhere. Obviously, from attendance data, the vast majority of Orlando visitors seem to be doing the former. So that leaves the rest of the area attractions to fight for the rest. Universal and SeaWorld are taking most of those, and the little guys are really struggling. I saw more closed attractions and even hotels on this visit than ever before.

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