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REVIEW: The Derry Canal Days Festival and Fun House

(Note: This attraction was active from August 15 - September 8. Though it’s been a while since we visited the Fun House, we thought it would be a good one to include in this season’s haunt reviews.)

Two years ago, Warner Brothers built a replica of the exterior of Pennywise’s sinister lair, the Neibolt House, on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. This attraction functioned as a promotional event for “IT” along with offering a multi-room haunted house which was free for the thousands of attendees who patiently waited in line for hours on end. With the release of “IT Chapter Two”, Warner Brothers once again used the same PR approach by creating “The Derry Canal Days Festival and Fun House”. This attraction included a maze of ten rooms which drew inspiration from scenes from the movie.

The event’s size exceeded the capacity of the venue. There was a lack of crowd management, and people had to wait in the hot sun for hours (unless they had a few of the reserved tickets or tickets from the TCL Chinese Theatre). The entry rules weren’t clearly stated, and many women were turned away because they weren’t allowed to bring in purses. However, this was a free event so people were forgiving of the disorganization.

Once inside the gates, there were various carnival games and a large ferris wheel - all enshadowed by the impressive Fun House exterior. There were many photo ops, along with a chance to throw bean bags at Pennywise. After enjoying the carnival, we were led into the Fun House by a carny tour guide who took us into a vortex tunnel through a giant replica of Pennywise’s red clown mouth.

After the vortex tunnel, we walked through the hall of mirrors while seeing projections of Pennywise walking past us. We then entered into rooms which reproduced scenes from “IT Chapter Two”. There were numerous enjoyable special effects, including hidden magnets which moved rats and roaches around the chinese restaurant table and the red bubble which engulfed the sewer. When we finally came face to face with Pennywise underneath the bleachers in the last room, we were quickly whisked out and into the gift shop.

The Derry Canal Days and Fun House was no match for last year’s IT maze at Warner Brothers’ “Horror Made Here”, however it was an entertaining way to enjoy previews of “IT Chapter Two”.


October 03, 2019


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