Families looking for fun at the Willy Wonka-themed event called Willy’s Chocolate Experience in Glasgow, Scotland, left sorely disappointed on February 24, 2024, after seeing what was in store for them. While ads for the event promised “a day filled with laughter, joy, and the irresistible allure of chocolate,” the only souvenirs most kids left with were nightmares.

What Happened at Willy’s Chocolate Experience?

Willy’s Chocolate Experience was organized by House of Illuminati and marketed as an event with “immersive delights.” The experience was supposed to make attendees feel as though they were touring a fantastical chocolate factory similar to what is seen in the Willy Wonka films. However, images that surfaced online of the event showed that families were met with sparse decor in a drab factory. Some outraged parents called the police and said that their children were left in tears after House of Illuminati canceled the event midway through.

Willy’s Chocolate Experience also promised “giant mushrooms filled with sweets, colossal lollipops, and candy canes that seem to touch the sky,” but reports say guests were just given a handful of candy. ​On top of that, there were several words misspelled on House of Illuminati’s website promoting the event like “cartchy tuns,” “sweet teats,” and “catgacating.”

Billy Coull, who works as the director of immersive events, apologized 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.

How Did Willy’s Chocolate Experience Actors React?

House of Illuminati’s website also promised “whimsical performances” from Oompa Loompas, but the actors hired for the event were shocked at the costumes and scripts given to them for the gig.

“The script was 15 pages of AI-generated gibberish of me just monologuing these mad things,” Paul Connell, who was hired to play Willy, told The Independent on February 28, 2024. “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?”

A rainbow prop at Willy's Chocolate Experience
Stuart Sinclair/Facebook

Paul also added that there were misspellings in his contract, joking that while he doesn’t have a contract, he does “have a legally binding ‘coontract.’”

Jenny Fogarty was hired to play an Oompa Loompa, but when she was handed her costume she realized it was the “sexy” version, according to SWNS.

How Did Parents React to Willy’s Chocolate Experience?

It didn’t take long before parents began voicing their disappointment toward the event.

“It was basically advertised as this big massive Willy Wonka experience with optical illusions and big chocolate fountains and sweets,” Eva Stewart told BBC. “But when we got there, it was practically an abandoned, empty warehouse, with hardly anything in it.”

Another parent, Dan Stewart, spoke with Sky News and said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. It was definitely an ‘experience’.”

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at contact@intouchweekly.com.