I spent $500,000 renovating an Airbnb to look like Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion journey. It’s low upkeep, always booked, and provides truly passive revenue.

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Jeffrey Schiefelbein in his Haunted Mansion Airbnb.
  • As a child, Jeffrey Schiefelbein cherished the Haunted Mansion journey at Disneyland.
  • He began a manufacturing firm, bought a home, and recreated the Haunted Mansion in every room.
  • Now, he rents his haunted dwelling on Airbnb for $679 an evening through the week and $779 on weekends.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Jeffrey Schiefelbein, an Airbnb proprietor with a Haunted Mansion-themed property known as the Ghostly Retreat in Fullerton, California. It has been edited for size and readability.

I’ve always had a love for Halloween. People ask how I obtained into it, and all of it goes again to when I was youthful and was impressed by the Haunted Mansion journey at Disneyland. I do not particularly keep in mind happening it for the primary time, however I do do not forget that it fascinated me.

As quickly as I rode it, I needed to create ghosts and monsters and all these issues. I went on to discovered my very own manufacturing firm, Sinister Pointe Productions, doing common manufacturing work for every kind of various issues — music movies, TV exhibits, movies, and amusement parks. I’ve been doing it for the final 22 years.

Growing up, I thought it might be wonderful to stay within the Haunted Mansion

As I obtained older, my home was even adorned like the Haunted Mansion. At some level I thought, “I can’t live like this — I’m not The Munsters,” however the thought stayed with me.

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A round seance table in a dimly lit room with spooky art on the walls.
The haunted home recreation room.

I thought having an Airbnb can be the right alternative for me to create one thing I’ve always needed to create and make it an funding that folks might come and get pleasure from. I discovered a home in Fullerton shut to the place I stay and close to Disneyland. It took me a very long time to discover as a result of I needed to ensure it wasn’t shut to any neighbors to keep away from doable complaints.

It was a dump that wanted lots of work. I used my manufacturing expertise to begin creating my imaginative and prescient. I went on the Haunted Mansion journey and began taking hundreds of pictures to recreate all the weather from the journey. Then I began incorporating them into the home.

The Haunted Mansion-themed Airbnb.

I suppose if somebody had known as a manufacturing firm and contracted the renovation out, it might have value $1 million. Luckily, I was in a position to get my household to assist me. My brother is a common contractor, my cousin is a cupboard producer, and my uncle is an electrician. I nonetheless had to pay individuals to do the work and for the supplies, so I would estimate we put about $250,000 into renovating the home and yard. Then I most likely put one other $200,000 into the manufacturing, like the particular results, lighting, the sounds, customized wallpaper, and furnishings.  

All the doorways are actual replicas of doorways on the journey

I used my graphic design expertise to recreate all of the wallpaper. I used my particular results data to recreate the altering portraits on the partitions — which I’m actually pleased with. I additionally love that there is a movement sensor so when friends stroll into the home, the Haunted Mansion music begins taking part in to welcome them.

I have no Haunted Mansion memorabilia. There are no footage of Mickey Mouse on the wall. I needed it to look like the precise home — not a home with Haunted Mansion memorabilia in it.

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The Haunted Mansion-themed Airbnb.

It’s been a yr and a half since I posted the home on Airbnb, and it has been an overwhelming success. There are greater than 100 opinions, and all of them say one thing like, “You walk in and your jaw drops.” I constructed it for the followers. For the individuals like me who’re obsessive about Disney and the Haunted Mansion. I suppose you’ll be able to really feel that whenever you stroll in. It’s nice to have the opportunity to carry that pleasure to individuals.

I anticipated it to do effectively. I was pondering if I booked it 50% to 60% of the time, I might pay all of the payments and put slightly cash in my pocket. However, we’re normally booked nearer to 90% of the time, if no more, each month. We had a pair Disney influencers come stick with us after we opened, and it blew up. Other than that, I do not do any advertising.  

We normally lease it out for $679 an evening through the week

On the weekends, it is $779 per evening. Lots of people in my life inform me I do not cost sufficient. When I first launched the Airbnb profile, I was charging one thing like $349 an evening, and bookings began  filling up quick. I had to elevate my costs, however in case you look for offers, typically you’ll be able to nonetheless e book for one thing like $400 an evening.

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The Haunted Mansion-themed Airbnb.

This yr, we’re organising a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay with themed decor complementing the Haunted Mansion design, which can be on show till January 8, so the costs will go up roughly $100 a month on the weekends. 

I’m on the home a few days every week for half an hour to do upkeep and test on issues. We have actually wonderful housekeepers who go above and past to ensure every thing’s good, however I like to ensure all of the particular results are nonetheless working.

Otherwise, it’s extremely low upkeep, and it is the very first thing I’ve ever performed that is offered me with passive revenue. It’s given me the power to solely work on the manufacturing jobs I need to work on, and not have to work 24 hours a day. I’m even planning to open one other property in Florida.

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