View Full Version : Hayride Conductor? Please Help!

Heritage Haunt
02-07-2010, 12:27 PM
Hello, last year at our haunt we did our first Hayride, along with 3 mazes(RanchHouseNightmares,PsychosFunhouse,and TheVillage) this year we have decided to drop the mazes, due to lac of help and time restrictions. So we are just doing an Hayride. The Hayride will be about 2 miles long and about 25 to 35 min. We will have sets,swings,guillies,etc...all the hayride essentials, but my question is should we have a conductor/host/(a charachter on the ride) talking about the different events. I have seen many Haunts doing this ex(HeadlessHorseman) and others that don't any oppinions? Ideas? Thanks!

Allen H
02-07-2010, 01:34 PM
I think it is a good idea to have a wagoneer on with them. They can direct attention to the opposite side to enforce a scare, they have a great view of what is going on so they are a bonus for safety.
Another huge plus is that they are a great way to convey the back story of the show to the guests.
In the past I have also been able to use wagoneer roles as a way to utilize actors that are not quite mobile enough to run around the haunt. An elderly or overweight person may have a great look and acting ability, but not the stamina to perform in the haunt setting. The role of a wagon rider might be a good fit as they can sit down for a good portion of the night.
Allen H

Jim Warfield
02-07-2010, 02:59 PM
How could you not have a person on the wagon? Someone have a real problem it would nip most situations in the old bud if the Co. had a knowledgble body working there.
How many things could happen or go wrong??? Let me count the ways....
Sickness, vomiting, epilleptic seizure, someone playing around jumping off and on the wagon, some idiot bothering other patrons, ruining their experience they Paid for.

02-08-2010, 12:48 PM

LOTF started with a haunted hayride three seasons ago. We made the hayride into a story where one scene lead to another and used a traditional story structure. Customers went into a briefing tent to be oriented to the story with a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2GRG2xNVTY), then the boarded the wagon which was a guided tour. Our wagons fit 40-45 customers, so we also had a security/staff person on the back of the wagons. Exactly as Jim had suggested, the guide is able to entertain the crowd and brings a personal feel to the haunt...

Our problems with the guide system... our wagons were too big to have everyone on the wagon hear what was going on. So the best option is to have the guide with a microphone so everyone can hear them... Megaphones are tacky, and the sound quality sucks... The next thing.... we had 3 good quality guides who were present every night. We had 6 wagons running each night... it is hard to find good guides to sell your story. The 3 guides we had were AMAZING.... but the rest of the wagons experienced a lackluster show (in comparison).

So now we're moving into a higher tech option with self-powered speakers on the wagons. We are moving away form the traditional guide and moving to a pre-recorded soundtrack where the tractor driver is the narrator. We are now evolving our story to the next chapter... and also advancing our ride.

My suggestion to you. If you're going to have a hayride 2 miles and more than 30 minutes.... you must have a guide! You need to keep your audience captivated in between your skits. Whether you have a soundtrack with music or a live guide... you need to keep teenagers from texting, and conversation to a minimum... When you loose your audiences' attention... you lose much of the ability to scare them.

Also, if at all possible... slow down your hayride ground speed, and cut your distance down. We started with a 1.5 mile loop... now we're down to about .9 miles. It cuts down on electrical costs (generators, extension cords, etc) and it also keeps your hayride nice and tight!

Whatever that's worth... hope it helps

Heritage Haunt
02-08-2010, 06:39 PM
Thanks 4 the ideas...i do believe we will be using guides/hosts/conductors on the hayride!(Myself included as one) Thanks and any other ideas are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Allen H
02-08-2010, 07:07 PM
Be very careful about how much work you "plan" to do, unplanned work will come up, I try to plan my night so I have nothing to do and I end up very very busy.
Allen H

02-09-2010, 09:50 AM
I think it's always a good idea to have a rider on each of the wagons as security. They need to make sure the people riding are safe and also the actors that are coming up to the wagons, things happen and an actor could slide and fall under a wagon and you need that person to keep there eye out for anything that may go wrong. It's very hard for your driver to know was is going on around them and you want them to only worry about driving and let the rider be able to contact the driver if there is a problem

Allen H
02-09-2010, 09:47 PM
Legends, I had not thought of this before, but make sure you check out gore galore's scream cube. If you had a recorded back story on it then each of your riders would get the same show, they just lip synch along with the track. Having it be portable and attached to the actors stops weather issues with units attached to the wagons.
I think these would be great for hay rides.
Allen H

02-19-2010, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the idea. Those scream cubes seem to have a lot of versatility... sweet idea. That would be around 550 +/- .

If you have power available (via converter) you could mount a standard p.a. system. here is an example of the ones we use... we use an older model that is a little cheaper but you get the idea. They're self powered... easy to handle... and quite easy to mount on a hay wagon. http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHB412DSP that you can hook a mic (or wireless mic) to and also have an ambient soundtrack behind the mic. If you commit to a guide on a wagon it is clutch that they have the ability to interact with the crowd


Heritage Haunt
02-24-2010, 07:58 PM
Hey, for the conductors, im in need of another charachter idea...I am a ringmaster, what wouold u sudgest 4 the other 1?(costume/character wise)