View Full Version : What to add on as an extra attraction?

02-09-2011, 05:41 PM
We would like to add something extra besides the haunt to keep them at our place a little longer and get an extra dollar or two out of people but don't want to have to pay many actors/staff to work the side attraction. I am leaning towards a "sideshow" type attraction with different animals, ferries, mermaids, etc. and other odd things to look at. I have found some information on this type stuff but if anyone does this and has some info or advice please let me know. If you have any ideas for me or anything that works well for you as an "add-on" attraction please let me know. I am hoping to find something at the show, so ideas are encouraged! Thanks!

Jolly Pumpkin
02-09-2011, 06:09 PM
It's quite simple. You hire a magician, someone who does a freakshow, band or whatever and they provide everything. You increase your ticket price by a dollar or two. That person or people gets a dollar or two out of every ticket you sell and you're able to promote their show on your website, promotional events etc. So, if you get 10,000 people a year and they get a dollar per ticket, that means they receive $10,000 and you get more people to your haunt because you're offering more. It's that plain and simple.

Jim Warfield
02-09-2011, 06:40 PM
Yes! Suck in the public with a nude Magician and a all-nude freak show! What a briliant concept!
(But don't magicians need clothes to be able to hide stuff, ex cetra?)
Maybe this is an idea whose time has not come just quite yet?
Whose goofy idea was this anyway?

02-09-2011, 08:24 PM
Like the idea of the sideshow. Whatever you do please do not do a 3D attraction. They always feel cheap and I feel ripped off. Never seen a good one yet.

02-09-2011, 11:38 PM
For the 2009 season Dark Tech Effects created a seance show for an add-on attraction at Spookywoods. You can read more details and see pictures on our website here:

This was a great add-on for Spookywoods and people were lining up to see it. It only took two actors to run the show, as most effects and lighting were pre-programmed by us.

Here is a quick review of the show:

"I’m always looking for ways to keep my haunt fresh in the customers’ eye, which is one of the hardest things to do since we started in 1985. When I was contacted by Bill Rodriguez offering show control programming we decided to build a side attraction called Morbid Curiosity. This side attraction is a 15 minute Sťance. My customers are lining up for over an hour to get a chance to see this one of a kind experience. Bill was so meticulous in coming up with every little detail and made our new side attraction a huge success from the first show. His expertise in this area was amazing to see and a very easy process for us to let him go wild with the technology. If you’re looking to set your haunt apart from the competition, look no further than Dark Tech Effects to take you there."
-Tony Wohlgemuth, President (Kersey Valley & Spookywoods)

Dark Tech Effects is currently creating a more in-depth Seance show and will soon be offering this to our clients... But please do not hesitate to contact us if you're looking for that next big add-on or an over the top pre-show.

Greg Chrise
02-10-2011, 02:13 AM
Of course if you have one of those haunts that only sees 300 or 500 people per year the magician will do the ultimate trick and make himself disappear.

Generally side attractions and events if standing alone and charging money only see 10% to 12 % of those willing to pay to get into the haunt. This can be a good number and may entertain people standing around that don't by in.

If you are seeing 10,000 people you need to add a whole second haunt to the tune of another $8 entry fee.

Generally though I haven't been anywhere that I didn't want to see the crowd go on somewhere else so the parking spaces would fill with new money. Unless you are working with 40 acres or more.

If you really do want people hanging out there all sorts of side lines that aren't too costly

get your picture taken in a coffin, even a polariod to show mom if they make those anymore rather than some expensive digital process.

Have an old lady give psychic readings.

Have a booth where you shoot haunt props with paint ball guns for about $5 a load. Use carpet and tarps to muffle the sound.

have a mini museum of horror movie memorabilia or mortuary finds

add a gift shop of masks and dollar item souveniers, cups t shirts

engineer scavenger hunts and group participation finding articfacts even for adults.

Greg Chrise
02-10-2011, 04:36 AM
If you really want people hanging out, you could have

A haunted car show
face painting for the kids
evil petting zoo
carnival games like knife throwing

Simply add lots of common areas to hang out like camp fires or bon fires, refreshment stands, vip rooms that might be as simple as tents or roofed sheds with heaters (this becomes an entire marketing tool to get large businesses or social groups to have a night there.)

Silly games like haunted miniature golf
haunted version of hopscotch of death

Play ground and inflateables for the kids/night care center

Then for good measure

Have where you can get a haircut, do laundry and wash your hearse.

Or you can simply make your haunted house very satisfying and have happy customers. It depends on what kind of weather you have in the fall that might determine if people will really hang out. You might have an entire midway and everyone leaves right after the haunt as they are already exhausted from the combination of working all day and then having the haunt experience. They may just walk past millions of dollars worth of stuff and go home if the facilities are not super comfortable and freindly.

Are you a 2 porta pottie show or a 12 porta pottie show?

Allen H
02-10-2011, 06:39 AM
I am Director of SCREAMS halloween park, and we have the kind of show where folks hang out, all night. we have
Several shops with masks, Tshirts souvineers
Food we have great food that we make as well as outside food vendors for roasted corn, kettle corn
We have a stage that has Scaryoke
Multiple attractions of course
We have a snake show from a local reptile handler
We have a bar ( that makes them stay and keeps folks happy, but comes with other problems)
Roaming characters-really are a show by themselves
Several areas with picnic tables so folks can sit

If you want folks to saty, then make them comfortable, another attraction will make them stay in line for that. We have a big parking lot and want them to stay and eat and spend the night here. Make sure you have places to sit that are well lit, and atmosphere is very important to making folks feel welcome enough to stay.
Allen H

02-10-2011, 07:02 AM
There are several sideshow/freakshow-style acts that play the clubs in Charlotte (Milestone) and Spartanburg (Ground Zero). You should contact the clubs to see if any if you can get contact info and see if any of them are local to the area. I would be willing to guess that at least a few would play for tips or a small stipend in exchange for the opportunity to work every weekend for a month. Especially in front of a willing crowd.

Good luck...

02-10-2011, 09:26 AM
another good one is get a coffin ride, that does well at our place....good way to get an extra 5 bucks per person.


RJ Productions
02-10-2011, 11:55 AM
All good suggestions so far!

An issue to consider if you are adding a second attraction is are you...
1: adding a secondary attraction or
2: adding a second attraction?

It may sound like I'm repeating myself but I'm not! They are different, being so, are are handled and priced differently.

1:SECONDARY ATTRACTION- A secondary attraction is an addition to the main attraction. It is smaller in scope, footage, manpower and mainly experience. It is good if you can tie it into the main attraction, themed as a extention of the main attraction or at least tied through storyline into it. The key here is that is usually NOT a stand alone attraction. It needs the main attraction to draw the crowd and is only expected to grab some of its audience. Pricing it reflects this. It is a lower entry price and is usually dependant upon purchasing the main attraction.

IF the main attraction is $10.00 and the secondary $6.00 you put people in the position where they are drawn there by the main attraction, are now confused so only buy the cheaper entry...you LOSE $4.00! Price it that you must purchase the main attraction first to be able to purcahse the add on attraction and you keep the $4.00 and have a high percentage of ADDING another $6.00!

We have an Asylum. Back in like 2000 we added PitchBlack, a total blackout maze. Only required 3 actors. You had to buy the Asylum THEN you could add on PitchBlack for an additional fee. It was promoted as a "treatment" created by Dr. Grey f the Asylum staff. Your biggest fear is the fear of the dark. PitchBlack emerst you in total darkness to "scare the fear out of you" then helping to cure your other phobias. A totally different attraction and experience yet tied together in the storyline.

Again it is smaller and would not warrant the same pricing as the main attraction so it was meant to gain an extra couple bucks out of the audience. Only a percentage would purchase it. But then again you could use it as a tool early in the season. "Go to the Asylum this Thursday and receive FREE admission to PitchBlack!!" Maybe allow them entry to the secondary attraction with their ticket stub from the main. This might bring them back a second time either alone or with friends. They talk to friends who decide to go, they might just accompany them to use their ticket stub and get into the secondary attraction. This also increases the odds that the new friends will now buy the secondary attraction to experience with their friends and maybe even the old friends buy ANOTHER main entry instead of just waiting for the new friends to go through! Anything to increase your odds at gaining entry fees to you attractions!!

2: SECOND ATTRACTION- A couple years later we build a second attraction. It was another stand alone attraction, so much so that we had it at a completely seperate location. They were still tied into the storyline and your ticket got you a discount to the second attraction. Bad point was that you had to drive to the second location. Good point is that you can pull from a different primary location. Ran it like this for several years. Another bad point was that you require a complete second cast ( if you are overstaffed at one attraction if was difficult to get them to drive over to the second), a complete seperate set of licences, permits, location fees, power fees,etc.

A couple years ago we decided to put both attractions together. Saves alot of fees and other hassles. But we did not stucture our price as we did with PitchBlack. It was promoted as ONE location with TWO complete attractions. So you up the individual prices, then offer a discount for a combo ticket. Make sure it is a value so they tend to purchase the combo. 1 for $10.00 or 2 for $18.00 isn't as much a value as 1 for $12.00 or 2 for $18.00. Then if they do only buy one attraction at least you are still making a couple extra bucks.

With two equal sized attractions you still get the "so which one is better?" question. We made sure they were totally different experiences so they had an "either-or" as opposed to a "more of the same" experience. Given that sort of choice we add..."for only 6 bucks more you get TWO complete haunts" to increase the number of combo tickets sold. We also push that we know once they go through one they will want to go through the second so just buy the combo and if they don't have enough time tonight they can always come back and use the second half of the ticket tomorrow or next week! Again to instill that they can return and hopefully bring friends!!

SO...decide if it will be a SECONDARY or a SECOND attraction, treat it, promote it and price it accordingly for your best impact.

Good luck!


02-10-2011, 03:28 PM
Thanks for the great ideas so far......Jim I am trying to contact nude magicians that juggle bowling pins, but I can't find them in the yellow pages....need to google it i guess....

Keep the ideas coming I like a lot of them, my family owns/operates an inflatable/mechanical ride amusment business so I guess the side show type things just keep standing out in my head because I am half carny! haha

I like the idea of splitting ticket profits with performers if they provide the labor and act. I'm not really doing the add-on so much as to make a profit, I just really want the people to come and feel like we have something else to offer.

Thanks again!

Mad Wax Sculptor
02-10-2011, 11:17 PM
Bottom line when faced with increasing revenue its harder and more expensive to grow more customers than more haunts. Add a few more haunts and tie it all into one combo price. Example go from 1 main haunt to 1 main haunt and 2 smaller haunts. Take your ticket from $10 for 1 to $20 for all 3 . You will see people are more willing to spend more money and go for the bigger deal if its a good value. Having multi haunts gives you an edge over single haunt events. Honestly people want a good value and a good time . Everyone wants an evening of entertainment and escape for a few hrs . They can get it from you or the guy down the rd its up to you.