Visitors expecting Wonka experience greeted by empty warehouse ends with police being called
A screenshot from TikTok of one of the artificially generated advertisements from the event.

Visitors expecting Wonka experience greeted by empty warehouse ends with police being called

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In a plot twist worthy of a classic Roald Dahl tale, the ‘Willy Wonka Event’ that took place Feb. 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland left attendees feeling more sour than sweet. Promising a golden ticket to chocolatey wonderland for the price of $44, the event fell flatter than an over-baked soufflé. Disappointed guests were left feeling more like Augustus Gloop in a river of disappointment than Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.

A screenshot from TikTok of a photo of the event space.

With the release of the newest Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel, Wonka, hitting theaters and home streaming, an event advertised as an immersive experience for kids themed after the famous story was announced in Glasgow. When guests arrived they were greeted with a sparsely decorated warehouse that didn’t even come close to the advertisements and the best part is, there wasn’t any chocolate. 

Stuart Sinclair, a father who attended the event with his three children, described the event, which left children in tears and police on scene, in an interview with CBS News stated, “It was all described as a massive immersive experience, great idea for the kids, chocolate fountains… Just sounded really, really good, a nice day for the children and the family,”

He continues on to describe the experience, which many reported only took five minutes in total to complete. “When we got there, as you can see by the pictures and stuff, it just was not that at all. There were four or five props, a few jelly beans for the kids. Half a cup of lemonade. Just was not what was promised whatsoever.”

A popular photo going viral after the event.

The event went viral garnering a lot of attention on the popular social media platform TikTok where the actors from the event began to come forward claiming that none of them were even paid for their time. Paul Connell, an actor who was employed at the event to play Willy Wonka himself, goes into the details of the event from his perspective.

“The script was a 15 page monologue, pretty much, of AI generated gibberish…One of my favorite lines is– There is a man who lives here, his name is not known, so we call him the Unknown.”

The man behind the event was 35 year-old Billy Coull who runs House of Illuminati, the organization that hosted the event. The company’s website can no longer be reached. Coull, after receiving immense backlash from the event, put out an apology on the House of Illuminati Facebook stating, “My intention is to learn from this experience. Your support and understanding during this time means the world to me.”

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