Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

NBC News: A Willy Wonka-inspired experience ‘scam’ was so bad that people called the cops

Cooked Crack

Recommended Posts


People who attended a Willy Wonka-inspired “Chocolate Experience” in Glasgow, Scotland, were promised “extraordinary props, oversized lollipops, and a paradise of sweet treats” — all promoted with dreamlike, candy-colored images on its website.  


When ticketholders arrived at the event over the weekend, they instead found a sparsely decorated warehouse with nothing resembling the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” franchise the event invoked in its advertising.


“It was just ridiculous. I mean, just very amateurish. Absolutely nothing like what was described,” said Alana Lockens, who paid £35 per ticket, or $44.40, to take her two young kids to the experience. “For the sake of my children, we were trying to be happy and smiley so that they wouldn’t pick up on the disappointment and just tried to make the best of a bad situation.”


Outraged attendees immediately began posting their experiences online, calling the event underwhelming and a “scam.” Some people quickly likened the event to the infamous Fyre Festival, a chaotic and pricey island concert that was falsely advertised as a “once-in-a-lifetime musical experience.”


By Saturday afternoon, the experience had been canceled and local police confirmed to NBC News that they were called to the scene after attendees who felt conned began demanding refunds. And further examination, along with interviews of people hired to work the event, hints that artificial intelligence-generated media may have played a key role in creating its veneer.


Ever since the ongoing explosion in generative AI technology made it easy for internet users to instantaneously create web copy and images from text prompts, many sellers and services have begun using AI-generated content in their marketing. Deepfakes of celebrities and influencers advertising certain products have also circulated in recent months, tricking some potential buyers.


Paul Connell, another actor hired for the event, said some scenes in the script were “absolute nonsense” and impossible to replicate without special effects. The actors said event organizers soon told them to scrap the scripts and just improvise as the characters they were supposed to play.


At one point, Connell said, the actors began to suspect that the event was a sham and that they were unlikely to receive payment for their work. But after they discussed the situation among themselves, he said, they decided to stay and try to entertain the children as best as they could.









  • Haha 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent one deployment when I was probably 22 or so trying to bulk up. Another guy on the det was all about fitness and body building and said he could help me out.


He had me track what I was eating for like a month beforehand because I was telling him how I could just eat whatever I want and do anything but not change my weight of about 140 lbs and lean. Anyways, I was eating like 4000 calories of junk. I did his diet plan and was taking workout shakes and whatever. Worked out almost every day. After like 8 months, I was like 143 lbs and 💩 10 times a day. I definitely looked better naked but it wasn't worth all the effort.


Yesterday I was 144 lbs. I still fit in the uniform they gave me in boot camp.

Edited by TheGreatBuzz
  • Thumb up 1
  • Super Duper Ain't No Party Pooper Two Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Angry Oompa Loompas and no chocolate: Wonka actor breaks silence on Willy’s Chocolate Experience chaos


A stand-up comedian hired to play Willy Wonka at a widely criticised chocolate factory experience has spoken out after furious parents demanded refunds.


Willy’s Chocolate Experience organiser Billy Coull apologised for his “vision of the artistic rendition of a well-known book that didn’t come to fruition” and offered 850 people their money back before closing the Glasgow experience on Saturday.


The Wonka-esque impersonator Paul Connell, 31, spoke to The Independent about how he got the gig and how the chaos unfolded.


“I’m constantly applying for more acting jobs and comedy work, then I got a phone call on Thursday saying, ‘Congratulations you are going to play Willy Wonka, we will send you over the script and dress rehearsal is tomorrow’,” Mr Connell said. “The script was 15 pages of AI-generated gibberish of me just monologuing these mad things.


“The bit that got me was where I had to say, ‘There is a man we don’t know his name. We know him as the Unknown. This Unknown is an evil chocolate maker who lives in the walls.’

“It was terrifying for the kids. Is he an evil man who makes chocolate or is the chocolate itself evil?


“They even misspelt my contract but I do have a legally binding ‘Coontract’ [sic]. But I stayed up all night learning it, thinking this would make sense in the dress rehearsal when I see all the tech.”


But at the Friday evening dress rehearsal hours before opening, he turned up to find the “immersive and enchanting” Willy Wonka experience was, in fact, an empty warehouse with a few plastic mushrooms.


“In some ways, it was a world of imagination, like imagine that there is a whole chocolate factory here,” he said. “I spoke to the people running it and thought, surely by the morning it won’t look like this, and then I turned up in the morning and it absolutely did.


Click on the link for the full article

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know why but I'm loving this whole story. It's just ****ing awesome.


I think my enjoyment is tied to those kids having such high hopes just to have them crushed so completely. Maybe I should talk to someone about that.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, TheGreatBuzz said:


I think my enjoyment is tied to those kids having such high hopes just to have them crushed so completely. Maybe I should talk to someone about that.


Shared paid. It's like being a fan of this team for the last 3 decades. 

Edited by The Evil Genius
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a similar experience on a "Polar Express" train.  Not as bad, but similarly unpleasant experience.  The cocoa was just chocolate milk.  Workers were underpaid and overworke teenagers.  Some poorly parented child nearby (one of their parental units appeared drunk) almost lost their fingers by playing with window.  I think we had gone in prior years and it was more fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/28/2024 at 9:05 AM, Destino said:

Oh man this is hilarious.  It looks like Willy Wonka’s meth lab.

Normally when people go to an abandoned warehouse for raves they take drugs and hallucinate colorful psychedelic experiences. The problem here was that the children and their helicopter parents didn’t load up on MDMA before entering the warehouse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Glasgow's Willy Wonka Organiser Says His Life Is 'Ruined' After Failed Event


The fallout from the ill-fated ‘Willy’s Chocolate Experience’ held in February continues to haunt Billy Coull, the event’s organizer and owner of House of Illuminati. Featured in a recent Channel 5 documentary titled “Wonka: The Scandal That Rocked Britain,” Coull revealed the devastating impact the event had on his life.



Originally intended as a joyous day out for families, ‘Willy’s Chocolate Experience’ event quickly turned sour when it was abruptly shut down on its inaugural day. Held at Box Hub in Whiteinch, Glasgow, UK, the event faced swift backlash from dissatisfied attendees, prompting police intervention.


“I was getting hundreds and hundreds calling me the most awful names saying I’m a villain, I’m a horrific dad, I’m better off dead, I should kill myself. I was devastated and I was sick to the pit of my tummy, I had a whole host of emotions,” Coull said.


Coull also revealed a detail about his process for the event’s planning. He disclosed that while he had written the script himself, he had utilized artificial intelligence (AI) to check for spelling, grammar, and continuity, citing his struggle with dyslexia.


Click on the link for the full article


His statement is total BS.  Clearly the image is AI generated, and if he was using it for spellcheck, it failed miserably.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...