View Full Version : Big Haunt or Multi-Element?

Josh Wells
11-04-2009, 09:07 PM
What are your thoughts on taking a haunt that is about a 20 minute walk-thru and spliting it into two seperate attractions? Do you think it would upset customers if you took the haunt that was $13 dollars and 20 minutes long (and has been so for a decade) and said it was now two haunts for say $15 or $20 (Even though they're now only getting half of last years show in each attraction?

Jim Warfield
11-04-2009, 09:28 PM
The smarts of your audience.
Higher ticket prices will be harder to sell and more critisism will usually follow.
It's not like you are selling them water and they are dieing of thirst.

freak 'n' stein
11-05-2009, 08:13 AM
BAD idea!!!!

prime example...

A local haunt that was a start-up last year was, by review, a decent haunt for it's first year. This year, they took their building and split it into two attractions, each being no more than 5 minutes and upped their ticket price to $18. Mind you that when I say they split their building in two that they weren't working with a lot of space to begin with! They claimed to be "bringing a first" to the area by having more than one attraction. Well we visited them this year to see what all the hype was about and I must say everyone in our group was VERY dissatisfied! Many customers who came to our show and other haunters in the area who we are friends with were also not very happy with this haunt and were more than elated to let us know how they felt. They would've been better off leaving the haunt as one large walk through...which like I said still wouldn't be that large.


Mr Nightmarez
11-05-2009, 09:32 AM
10,000 Sq Feet +

The rule of thumb has been to keep a haunt around 7,500 feet or less. (But everyone has their own set of standards!) To make more money and add to the attraction level - splitting it up is a good way to go. (3,500 would be my minimum) and I would say make it 3D.
Splitting it into 2 makes since if you can up sell or even help alleviate the long line for your premiere haunt.

2 haunts will sell better at $10 each than asking $20 for a 10,000 -15,000 square foot haunt

We split our show but it's the Cave and Top Tour @ $20. Is perspective like a guy paying $19.99 instead of $20! Only a penny difference but your mind wants to go for $19.99! lol

Mike Goff
11-05-2009, 10:40 AM
We have a multi attraction event: 1 - 5000 sq.' castle, 1 - 4200 sq' industrial 1 - 3500 sq.' victorian, and a Haunted Cornfield.

I believe that if our time and resources were channeled into one haunt the show would be better than it is now, which would draw people from farther away. I also believe that the show would get a much more favorable review from critics and consequently word of mouth would be more favorable.

Example: this year Ohio Valley haunts rated three of our haunts at #15 and #25 and # 49 respectively. Had they all been combined into one show, I feel very confident that we would have scored much better.

I used this as an example, not to start a debate on the validity of reviews, but to demonstrate, that the level of expectation for a single haunt is less than that of a multi attraction event.

I think that 5 years ago there was a novelty to scream parks, the fact is, most scream parks that I have been to, kinda suck, and I think that people are catching on to that. Its the shotgun vs. rifle approach.

Because of this dilema, we find ourselves in an impossible situation, where we try to make each attraction a stand alone show. Most haunts have strong areas and weak areas, the strong areas can carry a weak area, but a strong attraction will not carry a weak attraction.

I love all of my haunts as if they were my children, but I do envy the guys with one 15,000 sq.' show.

My advice, if you can't make 2 shows that can stand alone and be better than every other haunt in your market, then you had better not split it up.

Just my humble opinion, I think that 10 bucks for a 3500 sq' 3D house is abusive.

11-05-2009, 11:01 AM
You need to look at it thru the eyes of your customers and not a haunt owner. Think about your plan, is it something you can pull off and WOW them with or are you doing it just to make a few extra $ ? If you split it you need to make the two themes completely different , which means new props, costumes, and can mean a lot more money to put out when you normal would, so you might not make more. If you don't make them feel very different you may have a lot of bitching because people will see as you trying to make an extra buck. This is going to sound corny but I feel that if you are truly building a haunt because you love it and are passinate about the design and giving people the best show you can you will almost always have a great outcome and people will have fun and come back year after year.

11-05-2009, 05:12 PM
You shouldn't reduce the time spent in the original to make the second. If you can redesign some things so the first is still 20 minutes, and then add the second, then do it.

I have a 40,000 square foot building which I foolishly tried to use all of last year.

So this year, I tightened up my 40,000 square foot haunt into a 15,000 foot haunt, but it took longer to get through, the corridors were tigher, darker, more of them packed into a smaller space, the rooms were 6 foot by 6 foot instead of 20 foot by 20 foot, but they were scarier because of the confined space.

Then I made a 10,000 square foot dark maze. Totally different type of scare. One was a Haunted Hosptial, the other was a "Basement" so the themes were seperate enough to make it work.

With a slightly lower attendance than last year, I still increased my revenue because of the second event.

Our haunt is Dr. Buzzsaw's Haunted Hospital, and then the story line went that Dr. Buzzsaw discovered this basement that had been bricked in and unleashed the evil underneath. This was Buzzsaw's Basement.

Jim Warfield
11-05-2009, 06:11 PM
Walk them through with green lights on from the left, walk them through a second time with red lights on from the right side of everything, then run them through the same route again with very few lights on so it's darker.
Your 4,000 sq ft. haunt just became a 12,000 sq, ft. multi-haunt!!
I do this changed lighting in just one room and you might be surprised how many people are totally fooled by this! This helps alot since there are 6 doors in and out of this room, "Presto-Change-o!"
Gottem coming and going, going and coming! Forth and back!

11-06-2009, 01:32 AM
I would say leave it as one unless you can improve them greatly like mentioned above. A local haunt around here did just that. One year they had a haunt that took every bit of 30 mins to go though, which I thought was a very decent haunt. The next year they split it into 3 haunts with different themes each taken maybe 10 mins to go through while still a decent haunt I thought the previous year was better. This year they were still 3 haunts however it took longer to get through but, the haunts in my opinion were the worst i have ever seen them do in the 5 years i have been going. not sure if it was because of a new location and more space, or they didnt have the time to get it all setup in time. but there was a lot of dead space which killed it in my opinion.