I've often wondered about the overall haunt size to throughput ratio. I posted a message here not too long ago asking this question but received no responses yet. Anyway, overall size is one thing. The time spent with each scare as well as the linear passage lengths would obviously play a roll in throughput as well.
In response to the poll question, would anyone like to share their overall square footage and average length of time it takes to go through their haunts? Another piece of info that might be helpful is the linear footage your patrons have to walk from start to finish. All of this combined information should give everybody and 'average' throughput formula to work with. Many variables will obviously apply but it could be a very basic rule of thumb.
Formulas For A Haunt
Issue number one: How many people /per/hour to = the income you need?
Haunt design comes in here. A lavish over-decorated haunt is incredible and will be selling itself as word gets out. bringing in free customers , free of you having to spend tons on advertising, word of mouth does it. BUT More to see and contemplate every linear foot slows down the patrons because they want to look at everything (to get their money's worth) So then what? Scare them from behind to distract and get their feet running? Then they run right into your lavish sets, break stuff/ Hurt themselves? Not good.
People spread out, usually unless they really know each other, and then look at the distance a "room" is. How many people can comfortably stand there to see that room, if you are putting them through as groups. "Conga-Lines" are not usually something that customers want to be in or pay to be in because scares are lost then customers feel ripped off.
In my house I have seen more problems arrise when more customers are in a group or even in the house. A group size of 8 to 10 with a tour leader and a tour follower, who also efects most of the scares, is the best method I have found because customers will do things and wander that will not be safe, efficient for customer flow .
Everything is a balancing act between so many factors most of which are fluid and quickly changing, and then we try to establish control, and keep it over these single-minded and surprising creatures the human beings!
Add alcohol consumption to the mix and you will not know what to expect next, but it will be time consuming handling it whether handling them is just verbal or if it turns physical (or potentually dangerous ).
We try to keep the roaring , idiot drunks out. If I wanted to own a bar I would have bought one, but I sure didn't.
I tend to think that 1 to 2 hours of time at a Haunt. This would be the time the patron gets to start experiencing scares/entertainment/linewalkers and mood setting until they leave. To me multiple attractions are great, profitable, and add much to total attraction, but can also make a Haunt not so scary in that there are the cool down times of deciding what's next. Many 5-8 minute walk through attractions piled together to me don't seem to work that well. Just too short and can not get the patron to get the feeling of a false reality. One or 2, 20-25 minute or so main attractions done right with several complementing side attractions has been a winning combo for us. This also leaves the customer feeling satisfied with value for dollar. That's my 2, no 10 cents.
Agreed! On average, people take about 10 minutes to get through our walk-thru haunts. They're smaller, but they do the job. However, we have had people take damn near 20 minutes to get through the walk-thru haunts... and some runners take 5 minutes and blow by EVERYTHING.
Originally Posted by Joedog
Unfortunately for runners... our hayride drivers dictate the pace, and there's nowhere to go.
Every haunt is different, but 30-40+ is perfect for a big haunt. I like to go somewhere I can spend an entire night and be entertained. I don't want to show up, go through, and make new plans elsewhere.
I agree 30-40 minutes is ideal. During my haunt visits I always time my tours for each attraction. When I visited your place the hayride was 17 minutes, and the houses were about 3 minutes each. They were not very long but I still felt I got my moneys worth.
Wow, that's quick! I wish I knew you were coming. Glad you seemed to have a good time. Come back and see us again... we have big plans for our 5th anniversary.
Thanks Patrick. I was on such a tight schedule that night going to three different haunts. Next year I'll plan to come on a regular night.
What is a hide and seek party at your place. Last year at my Halloween Walk I hosted a birthday party and I was thinking of doing the same thing this year.
Originally Posted by Jim Warfield
I think the ideal time varies because of intensity. I like 20min, long enough to be immersed and short enough that no one gets numbs to the effects or attacks. Pacing is key.
Thanks for this thread!
Guys this thread has been great. I have been asking myself this very same question and I have enjoyed seeing all the variable responses. My haunt is 2200SQ FT inside, with another 1000 sq ft outside. I utilize every square inch of both in and outside to set the tone, and creep people out. The total experience is at 30 minutes including the queue. I have seen people inside get through in 15 minutes, and others sprint through in 3 minutes.
This year we will be growing in attendance, and the whole throughput issue will be put to the test. I am also adding another attraction outside which will be an interesting experiment.
Thanks again everyone for posting this as you answered this question for me and others I am sure.