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Great night last night - over 300 kids - which isn't bad living in the country near a small town. The neighbors all jokingly said I owed them for all the candy they had to buy because of our house. That plus watching the kids try to pick something from the cauldron (candy pot) got me thinking. It isn't that I'm a scrooge but I do limit the kids to one piece of candy (and I don't use the cheap stuff). I stand out all evening in the decorations (in costume) so I can really interact with the kids and their parents. I let them pick what they want out of the candy pot. I would love to have a automatic candy dispenser so I didn't have to watch the candy and can have more fun with them. Has anyone built or seen a dispenser that would handle all kinds of packaged candy not just M&Ms or Candy Corn? I know we just finished cleaning up but.....

Figured someone in the group would have thought of this already. Thanks in advance.
 

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You could rig up a pressure plate which actuates a lever to release a piece of candy; we had a repeat customer (about 12) tell me that my husband made him do a dance for his candy last year (he smiled as he said this), so maybe you could make them dance on a square until it releases? I'm thinking along the lines of the triggers they sell at Spirit for the jumping spider and such...attach it to a small motor or piston which moves just enough to let candy out of a container.
 

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Great night last night - over 300 kids - which isn't bad living in the country near a small town. The neighbors all jokingly said I owed them for all the candy they had to buy because of our house. That plus watching the kids try to pick something from the cauldron (candy pot) got me thinking. It isn't that I'm a scrooge but I do limit the kids to one piece of candy (and I don't use the cheap stuff). I stand out all evening in the decorations (in costume) so I can really interact with the kids and their parents. I let them pick what they want out of the candy pot. I would love to have a automatic candy dispenser so I didn't have to watch the candy and can have more fun with them. Has anyone built or seen a dispenser that would handle all kinds of packaged candy not just M&Ms or Candy Corn? I know we just finished cleaning up but.....

Figured someone in the group would have thought of this already. Thanks in advance.
On a totally different train of thought...

With the neighbors "complaining"about needing to buy extra candy, pool resources! Invite those neighbors to participate in the operation of your haunt,while they pool their candy to a central distribution point. Bag up the candy so there are multiple pieces in each bag and hand out a bag to each kid. In return those neighbors get to put up a sign in their yard,saying they are helping with your haunt and they can collect the candy there.

EDIT:It sounds like the automatic candy dispenser you're looking for is something along the lines of an office snack vending machine, rather than a gumball type candy dispenser
 
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