View Full Version : Thinking of trying to put together my first HAYRIDE...HELP!

03-20-2009, 10:44 PM
I am thinking of doing an outdoor haunt/hayride this year...and I have never done anything like this before. I have an array of pneumatic props I have collected I would like to incorporate into it...things I normally use at my home haunt...but I just sat down with buddy who owns a bunch of land, a couple tractors and has the desire to try this too...so...why not right?
Does anybody know if many "hayrides" use animatroncs...especially ones triggered and not actor controlled? I would like to utilize as much of this as possible, and limit my use of actors....thou I know how impt. they are ...
I have no idea how I could get the electricity and pneumatic lines to run as far as I envision this would require, so multiple air compressors and generators would need to be acquired...what about insurance? Permits? It seems overwhelming....but this seems like a place to start..... would really like to set this apart from the routine, boring farm based hayrides that are so common here in upstate NY. Your ideas are greatly appreciated.

Allen H
03-21-2009, 05:40 AM
Due to time between tractors one big compressor and a holding tank for each pneumatic should do the trick. If you make a hairpin track ,one where both sides are close to each other, then actors can hit the hayride coming and going, seemingly doubling your numbers. A big wall or blind of somekind hides one side from the other.
I will post more later when I am not pressed for time, good luck!
Allen H

03-21-2009, 11:09 AM
This will depend mainly on how much area you plan on covering. We use a "loop" style track next to a large campground. We have scenes in the middle (of which you can sometimes see from both sides),and scenes on the outside of the track. Our track is probably 100 yards wide and 1/3 of a mile long, and we generally have 15 to 20 scenes. The biggest problem that we tend to have with our hayride is power. If you already have power distributed over the land, great! If not, then your best bet would be generators. One thing to keep in mind is that the further away from the generator the scene is, you will use more power getting it there, and you will need a heavier electrical line. One year we tried using a 75,000 watt generator from the local army base, and we still didn't come out ahead because we were trying to get the electricity to go too far. Basically, we use 5 to 6 generators positioned so that each will power 3 or 4 scenes. Depending on the types of pneumatic props you have, you may benefit from having several compressors, too. Believe it or not, an air compressor takes alot of juice to get going, so if it is running alot to keep up with demand, you may need a seperate generator just for it. My boss feels the need to have our scenes lit with several 120w floodlights. Adding that up between 15 scenes and that is 4700w of continuous drain, just to power the bulbs. Once they are in the dark, your audiences' eyes will adjust, so don't go overboard with the lights. Fog machines also take a heavy toll on electricity, we don't even try to use them anymore. You may benefit from having some scenes completely dark until the audience gets close, thereby decreasing the amount of electricity used at any givin time. There are several ways of doing this. If you are familiar with BooBoxes, their small ones work great for sensing the trailer and triggering the prop. The basic version(PicoBoo) runs around $60 each. A cheaper solution would be to use a standard home security light from a local hardware. I disassemble them and rewire it to a plug. (If you want more info on that just send me a message.) As far as the insurance and stuff goes, I can't help much there. Common sense is your best friend. And finally, voulenteers. As much as I appreciate the help, most of the ones we get are kids. When October comes around, it get's cold. And when the kids get cold, they lose focus and play more than keep in character. My advice is to do away with as many volounteers as possible. If you do need them, keep all your cords, wires, lights, strings, and anything else off of the ground where they are. It also helps to have one adult with them. If you have any other questions, feel free to message me, and I hope that this helps!

Scary Harry
03-21-2009, 07:11 PM
where in upstate ny are you located?

03-21-2009, 07:23 PM
Planning a hayride can be a huge task there is many areas to cover.

We have gone two ways before:
5-6 small genorators or on large 75 kw generator

We just updated are electric so that it is one large 75 kw generator. we found that it was much easier to take the time and money to run heavy wires in plastic conduit to all the sets,(Some of the wires are the size of my thumb). Unfortiatly you must own the land to run the wires in conduit because it is perminat. We try to run one 30 amp circuit to every set which is normally just enough power. Now to turn all of the sets on all you have to do is turn one key.

We run polyethinine air tubing. it is the cheapest and most durable way to run the tubing. We run one large 100cfm compressor and branch off to all of the sets in 1in line. The biggest trick is to have reserve tanks by all of the sets.

Trail Design:
We run a hair in type track. We found that this is the best so that we can place the genorator and compressor in the centor and branch every thing off. also you dont want to have the trail go stairght for to long you always want to be winding in to the corn feild or into the woods. Are trail is about 1.5 miles long wich makes for a 45 min. hayride.

This part is very important because if some one gets hurt and you don't have insurance you are up the creak.

I found that a mix of actors and animatronics work best. you must remember that you are out side so all of the electric components of the prop must be water tight. The props also have to scare a whole wagon of peolpe not just two people

You must check with local officials

Are hayride this year will consists of about 30 sets we try not to have any dead spots. every year we add a few new ones.

I use a mix of 12v and 120v flood lights it all depends on the look you are going for.

I found that on a hayride if you are going to use fog you need a lot because of the open areas. we run about 15-20 fog machines which mean we go threw alot of fog juice.

Good luck PM me if you have any other questions.
Hope this helps!!

03-28-2009, 09:30 PM
Thank you guys!! I am doing my research and will be in touch as my questions arise. This place is great, and your help is soooo greatly appreciated!!

03-28-2009, 09:35 PM
sorry Harry...I am in Rome, not far from Syracuse!! Wanna get in on a hayride? haha

Scary Harry
03-29-2009, 08:01 AM
If you need some help get in touch with me, I may even have some stuff to sell you. I 'm just north of albany,