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Haunted Attraction Network

Author: Haunted Attractions Network

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We connect the global Haunted Attraction industry through education, news, and events. Subscribe to our podcast for education and interviews with innovators in the Halloween space.
482 Episodes
Haunted Calgary has launched a creative service to celebrate Father's Day, "Creepy Character Deliveries". Surprise your dad with a signature Haunted Calgary creepy character delivering a gift directly to his front door. Packages range from $50 - $100 - with a basic package offering a dozen donuts, a card, and a "disturbing diddy" sung by a scareactor. With the VIP package, your creepy character will even show up in a real Cadillac hearse. This opportunity is currently only open to residents in the Canadian cities of Calgary or Airdrie.A new terror has surfaced at SeaWorld Orlando with Howl-O-Scream coming to the park for 27 select nights between September 10th - October 31st. This separately ticketed event will feature haunted houses, scare zones, a musical dance show, and other spooky activities. The event mirrors the name of the popular Busch Gardens event, also operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Guests will be able to buy a combo ticket to visit both Howl-O-Scream events. SeaWorld Orlando will also retain the daytime, family-friendly Spooktacular event, which starts on September 18th. Lionsgate has once again partnered with Egan Escape Productions in Las Vegas for "Escape the Blair Witch". This summer, brave souls will be able to immerse themselves in the terrifying world of The Blair Witch Project franchise in this theatrical-quality escape room. The attraction will be co-located with the teams' other joint production, The Official SAW Escape: Las Vegas. Alton Towers Resort has confirmed the return of Scarefest for the upcoming Halloween season. Scarefest features multiple scare mazes, rides in the dark, a family-friendly "Freaky Fun Zone", The Alton Towers Dungeon, and more. The event will run October 8th-10th & 15th -31st; day passes start at £38 per person.Elvira is celebrating Pride Month in style with her new Pride collection. The Elvira x Pride exclusives feature t-shirts, mugs, magnets, and more. She has also teamed up with Kreepsville 666 to create a new Pride-themed t-shirt, enamel pin, tank top, and fan. 13% of all proceeds will be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center.Three organizers from The Hidden Haunted Attraction in East Liverpool, Ohio are giving back to the Tri-State area through the Tri-State Trillium Foundation (T.S.T.F.) Scholarship Awards. In 2020, Christopher Pritt, Dawne Bednarek, and Debra Smith, founded the T.S.T.F. to recognize students in Ohio, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania who have impacted their communities through volunteering. The foundation has just awarded its first three recipients and applications for Class of 2022 seniors will be available soon. The Hidden Haunted Attraction is the T.S.T.F's main fundraiser. It had a record season in 2020 with close to 3,000 attendees during the haunt season.Get ready to peak beyond the magic of Disney Parks around the world in the new Disney+ series Behind the Attraction. Each episode will feature the creative process behind different Disney Park favorites - including how Imagineers filled the Haunted Mansion with 999 happy haunts and the ups and downs of creating the gravity-defying Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. All 10 episodes will be available to stream on July 16th.
Quick Hits, a roundup of some of the new experiences catching our attention, and a discussion on app extensions.Stories: Spain reopens borders to vaccinated tourists; Walt Disney World makes masks optional for guests effective June 15; Fantawild opens new Glorious Orient park in Ganzhou; Cedar Point opens Snake River Expedition; Hasbro unveils new Monopoly experience set to open in London; Musion delivers world's first hologram dining experience; Maya Hawke’s ‘Stranger Things’ Character Robin is Getting a Scripted Podcast and Novel Prequel; Youseum opens TikTok museum at Westfield in the Netherlands
The Haunted Attraction Association Online Auction kicks off on Wednesday, June 9th. Like the annual in-person auction at Transworld's Halloween & Attractions show, this online auction will feature a variety of fantastic products from HAA preferred vendors. The auction will raise money for the HAA to provide members with an array of benefits.The next Haunt Master Masterclass is “Music, Sound, & Story” with renowned composer Chris Thomas. The class will be held live on June 15th from 7:30-9. Learn "How to use all 3 elements in your attraction to create a memorable atmosphere." This masterclass is included in your Haunt Master membership, with recordings available after the session.Funko, the company known for their collectible vinyl pop figures, is now branching out into Halloween costumes. These new masks are modeled after their signature vinyl figures. Designs include Pennywise, Batman, Stay Puff (from Ghostbusters), and more. More details have been announced for Walt Disney World's Disney After Hours Boo Bash. This new Halloween event will feature special character cavalcades throughout the evening including "Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade", "Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade", "Jack's Nightmare Cavalcade" (The Nightmare Before Christmas), and Maleficent as a fire-breathing dragon. Guests can visit some of their favorite characters dressed in their Halloween finest and spot some rare characters like Miss Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion. The Cadaver Dans will also make an appearance. Tickets will go on sale June 15th.Busch Gardens announced that Howl-O-Scream will return for 2021 with eight scare zones and five haunted houses - including two new houses. Killer entertainment can be found on stage with “Fiends!” returning to the Festival Field and “The Rolling Bones” performing electrifying rock covers at Dragon Fire Grill. Attendees can also ride their favorite Busch Gardens rides in the dark. Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event taking place on select nights from September 10th - October 31st. Tickets are on sale now.Terror on the Coast will host its first casting call of the season on Saturday, June 5th. They are looking for people with unique talents that have a passion for scaring others. First-time scareactors through seasoned performers are welcome to audition. With COVID restrictions lessening, Halloweentown at St. Helens, Oregon plans to return in full force for 2021. The event will feature four new attractions this year - Whispers in the Woods (a scavenger hunt for hidden painted faces within trees around the city), The Art of Wade Lapp’s “Walk With Pumpkins” (a shuttle out to Sand Island for another Halloween themed scavenger hunt), the Pumpkin King Tunnel (a laser light show tunnel leading to a 20 foot Pumpkin King statue), and the Dark Market (a Halloween-themed shop that opened in May). Returning favorites include the Haunted Hotel Haunted House, Museum Of Peculiarities And Oddities, and more. Tickets are currently on sale and the event runs September 18th - October 31st.
Scott is joined by special guest Spencer Terry, the president of the Haunted Attraction Association, to discuss the changes planned for the HAA in the future.
This week is full of updates from around the world. The EEOC gave guidance for mandating vaccines, while Universal Orlando became the first theme park to make masks voluntary for all guests. Seaworld Orlando enters into Universal’s territory with a new Halloween event; is allowing 100% ownership by foreign investment; Butterbeer is coming to New York; The Studio Tour in Tokyo is under construction; Japan’s TeamLab expands into food experiences; and Disney is cashing in on Pride month.
Every year the Haunted Attraction Association (HAA) gives a state of the industry presentation. This year however, was a little different (and not just because of the pandemic). Before this year’s presentation, the incoming leadership team sent out a survey. The results revealed some issues.“Overall, how would you rate the HAA and how we're supporting the industry right now? Low is 1 and 4 is high. The average right now is a 2.5 for this specific question. This is no surprise to us, because one thing that we talked about in our internal assessment is that we need to be doing more and we're not doing it,” commented Spencer Terry, the incoming President of the HAA.So, the Haunted Attraction Association knows they need to do more, but what does that mean exactly? Well, Spencer has a plan. A plan to not simply address these concerns, but to pivot the industry culture. Let’s dig deeper.
Disney is reopening to out of state guests in California and Universal Orlando Resort is raising wages to compete on staffing. Companies are betting on the future of in-person experiences, but meanwhile media companies are trying to consolidate to combat Disney +. But what’s the big deal? IP is critical because it has extendibility. This week we summarize the state of media consolidation and discuss how attractions are using IP to extend experiences.
This Fall Great Pumpkin LumiNights will take place at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia. 2021 has proved to be the park's biggest opening season yet, and with its success, park officials have decided to add the new Halloween event. Great Pumpkin LumiNights will feature "larger-than-life" pumpkin sculptures throughout the park. The event has already been implemented in the company's sister theme parks - including Dollywood. The family-friendly experience is a $700,000 investment for the park.On June 30th, Mary Shelley's House of Frankenstein in Bath (UK) will open to the public. This interactive experience/museum is bursting with unusual artifacts and vintage items, multi-sensory environments, and assorted body parts. Guests will step into the dark world of Mary Shelley to learn about her tragic life and come face-to-face with an 8-foot recreation of the literary monster that continues to fascinate the world. After the popularity of their Christmas projection show on the Armoury building in Chatham (Ontario, Canada), The Armoury in Lights event organizers have decided to add a Halloween show for 2021. The Halloween event will take place October 14th - 30th with three shows each night. Each show will be 90 minutes - twice as long as their 2020 shows - and feature projections, dancing, and performances. Last year the event switched to a drive-in format and it will remain that way for 2021 - and new for this year is an illuminated entryway featuring works from 10 artists. Applications for performers and artists will be available soon.In the market to buy a haunted house? Waco Haunted House in Central Texas is for sale by co-owners John & Danea Anderson. After 30 years of operation, the Andersons hope to sell it to a new generation of haunters. The sale price will likely be around $600,000 and will include 2 haunted houses (over 7,000 sq. ft. per house), a 60' mobile home/office, store & warehouse, ticket booth tower & concession building, company van, 3 hearses, storage trailers, and more. If the right purchaser comes along, the haunt can be up and running again for the 2021 season.The house of home haunter Kit Espada (East Providence, Rhode Island) was damaged in a fire this past week. Espada hosts an annual Halloween display in her yard, collecting donations and non-perishable food items for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank Association. Some of the homemade props stored in her garage went up in flames, but luckily no one was harmed in the fire. Espada had planned a clown theme for her 2021 display, but with many of her props damaged or lost in the fire, she is doubtful it will happen. A GoFundMe has been set-up for the Estrada family by members of the haunt community.Descanso Gardens in La Cañada, CA announced the return of Carved for this October. The Halloween event features a mile-long trail lined with thousands of professionally-carved, jack-o-lanterns and sculptures made of natural materials. Other activities include pumpkin carving demonstrations, a hay maze, themed food, and a house made of pumpkins. Tickets for this 3-week event will go on sale in September for members and October for the general public.As we prepare for the haunt season, scareactors may want to strengthen their skills for dealing with aggressive guests. The newest entry in The Practical and Theatrical Scare Actor blog has some helpful advice for ways to respond to difficult guests who are aggressive and belligerent. Continuing our scareacting education, the Youtube Channel Spikima Movies released a video on the art of the Jumpscare. Using examples from the films of David Lynch, the video explores how set-up, setting, sound, and pacing can create the perfect jumpscare to startle audiences. There are many tips that can be applied to haunts and immersive theater as well.
Part 2 of our Transworld Halloween & Attraction Show interviews. Featured in this show: Graphitti FX, Psychotic Circus of Savannah, Demski Creations, ScareIT Badges, and Swag Smart.
Maximus Bryant does all the work on this one! Max gets some of the show vendors, actors, and creators on this podcast from the Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show.He chats with:John Moran from Brimstone Haunt Creature Corps Mask-R-Aid Polaris BreachFX Mia Demaree from Grim Trails Fred Hearn from Hell's Dungeon Franken Fab Paul from Haunter's Against Hate Dead Rabbit Studios
The CDC has released new guidelines for fully-vaccinated individuals. Fully-vaccinated people can "resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance". The 2021 SCAR Awards have been announced. Winners include Creepy Caves Resurgence at Chessington for Best Halloween Scare Experience, The Walk at Over Farm for Best Adjustment to COVID, and Survival Zone for Best New Event/Attraction. Visit their website or view the announcement video to see the full list of winners.The Haunted Attraction Association has named its new board of directors. Cody Bailey is the Vice President, Terri Bernstein is the Treasurer, and Jim Bugos is the Secretary. Spencer Terry (General Manager of The Fear Factory) has been unanimously elected president of the Haunted Attraction Association. Spencer is excited for this new role, saying “I’m following in some very large footsteps and am honored to lead a very talented and dedicated team of industry experts as we shift, refocus, rebrand and increase the membership of the Haunted Attraction Association".The Haunted Attraction Association presented their 2020 OSCARES Awards at Transworld's Halloween & Attractions Show. The full list of winners are:BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARDSBennett’s Curse - MDFear Fair - INScreamWorld - TXTerror Behind the Walls - PAVENDER EXCELLENCE AWARDSFrightNight Studios - Michael BurnettBloody Mary Makeup - Bobbie WeinerLittle Spider Creations – Marc BrawnerBoneyard Productions - John DenleySPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDDan HowerHOME HAUNT AWARDRick Romano - Failed ExperimentsPRESIDENTS AWARDRandy YoungLIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDBob "Crazy Bob" TurnerBEST NEW PRODUCT AT TRANSWORLDGo Ghost Hunting App by Zombie Army ProductionsA UK woman was left mortified after 10 policemen paid her a visit over a Halloween prop. After Cara Louise left a homemade corpse prop out in her garden, a neighbor called the police to investigate the suspicious body-shaped bag. After questioning the mother-of-two, police confirmed that the item was in fact a prop for her children's "It"-themed circus party. Cara has been a good sport about the incident, giving this advice for all home haunters: “I have a tip for all parents who go all out at Halloween like myself — dispose of props or put them away safely".Disney has some exciting news for fans of the 1993 film Hocus Pocus, a sequel is coming to Disney+ in the Fall of 2022. Original cast members - Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy - will reprise their roles as the Sanderson Sisters for the upcoming film. The sequel centers on three young women who accidentally bring the Sanderson sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.
Since we have just passed the "Halfway to Halloween" mark for the 2021 season, Scott wanted to share some thoughts about time management. By working "time smart", your event won't creep up on you.
This week, we’re circling back to cover updates on some big topics from previous shows. The EU is reopening to international travel, staffing struggles have escalated, and Disney doubles down on demand bets by raising prices.Stories covered: The EU Reopens; Cedar Point to pay $20/hour; Disney Cruise Line Releases Pricing for the Inaugural Season of the Wish; Hong Kong Disneyland has posted its worst net loss on record at HK$2.66 billion.
We talk a lot about the haunt community and how important it is. For many haunters, the largest community gathering is the Halloween and Attractions Show in St Louis. But- it’s tough to describe this show to you. Instead, we are taking you inside the perspective of three different attendees. Three days in St Louis told via audio diary from three quite different attendees – a first timer, a first-time vendor, and a veteran. Featured in this episode: Brian Foreman from Haunter’s Toolbox and ScareIt Badges, Max Bryant, Scott Swenson, Scott Tater Lynd, Doug Schaefer, and Dalton Dale.This show is supported by Gantom Lighting & Controls; Gantom illuminates attractions worldwide with the world's smallest intelligent spotlights. Demo some lights and chat with Gantom's design team for free from the comfort of your home:
Scott shares his experience at the TransWorld Halloween, Christmas and Escape Room shows in St. Louis. This episode includes interviews with Scott's friends Matt Scott from Von Grimm Productions, Phil Raybourn with Raybourn Creative and Brian Foreman with Scareit Badges (and, of course, Haunt Topic Radio).
Attendee registration is now available for the Midwest Haunters Convention. This event is open to the public. All haunters and Halloween enthusiasts are welcome to attend this annual convention that features classes, haunt tours, exhibitors, and networking opportunities. This year's event will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 25th - 27th, 2021.Although Le Manoir de Paris had to temporarily close due to government COVID restrictions earlier this year, the Manoir Halloween Festival will make its terrifying return on October 22nd - 31st, 2021. This year's event will have a brand new theme, four haunted houses, five "scream zones", and more. Le Manoir de Paris has been an immersive horror attraction for over ten years with its flagship Legendes de Paris, which features illustrious figures including The Phantom of the Opera, Quasimodo, and the Man in the Iron Mask. For Halloween they double the number of actors and add even more attractions, special effects, lighting effects, and entertainment. Tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks.Celebrating their 10th anniversary, The Yorkshire Scaregrounds has announced the dates for this year's Halloween event. 10 Years of Fear will take place select nights October 8th - 31st. The event will feature five horror experiences (Factory of Fear, Totally Tropical Terror, The Haunted Hotel, Hospital Hell, and Black Death) and two new scare zones (Forest of Freaks and Undead Central). After a year away due to COVID-19, UK haunt fans are excitedly waiting the event's return this Fall.Tickets go on sale today (May 14th) for a live-to-film concert experience celebrating Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. The event takes place at the Banc of California Stadium on Friday, October 29th, and will feature Danny Elfman reprising his role as Jack Skellington and other special guest stars. Pre-show activities will include a costume contest and trick-or-treating. Count Chocula and Frankenberry are turning 50 this year! General Mills is celebrating this Golden anniversary with a special Monster Mash cereal. This berry-flavored cereal will combine marshmallows from Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and even Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute. Be on the lookout for this special edition cereal this fall. A Halloween Skeleton has changed the life of a family with a special needs daughter. Amelie Talauta was diagnosed with global development delay when she was four years old and her communication skills were minimal. Six years ago her parents bought a skeleton Halloween decoration and Amelie immediately befriended him. Now "Hugo Sebastian Wellington III" and Amelie travel everywhere together - Hugo even has his own wardrobe. Hugo's presence has helped Amelie become more comfortable in social situations and her communication skills have improved. You can learn more about their adventures by following Hugo's Instagram.
This week’s major news is – of course – the CDC announcement that fully vaccinated Americans can stop wearing masks and maintaining social distance in most settings — both indoors and outdoors. While this is great news for attractions, it’s going to take some adjusting with your team. We discuss the Disney/Universal response and how you should open the dialogue at your attraction. Plus – as demand surges at attractions, the support infrastructure of tourism is straining.
We’re past halfway to Halloween and that means many haunts are finished design and entering build. But before you begin, have you avoided the common design flaws? Today Leonard Pickel from Hauntrepreneurs walks you through the top common haunt design flaws. Leonard is a legend in the haunted attraction space, and with his background in architecture has been designing haunts for over 40 years. This session was presented live to the haunter’s toolbox haunt master members. Haunter’s toolbox hosts a monthly masterclass like this, which you can participate in for a yearly subscription of $99/month. Thank you haunter’s toolbox for letting us broadcast this session.More about Leonard: about Haunter’s Toolbox:
Seasonal events have always been used to encourage FOMO and drive attendance – and they work. Despite the staffing concerns we discussed last week, attractions are pushing Fall 2021 for all they’re worth. Attractions, restaurants, and streaming services are jumping on the Halfway to Halloween bandwagon – and you should too! This is the perfect time to begin pre-sales and get audiences a preview of the Fall. Clearly they’re ready for it.Stories: Disney After Hours BOO BASH to Replace Halloween Party in 2021; Disney conjures up recipes for a ‘Halfway to Halloween’ celebration; The Muppets take The Haunted Mansion with new interactive YouTube world tour and Disney+ show; Inferno Lodge: People Living in the Red Forest; The forbidden Wedding.
Florida's Orange Country announced "all settings" - including theme parks - are allowed to move forward with reducing the required social distancing from six feet to three feet. This new guideline will allow for increased capacities in parks and attractions.Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Cedar Fair parks have released updated COVID-19 protocols as they prepare to reopen this month. Many of the parks will not require temperature checks prior to entry or the wearing of masks in outdoor (unless social distancing cannot be maintained). Universal Studios Orlando is now accepting video audition submissions for Halloween Horror Nights. The submission deadline for Scareactors and Big Foot & Hybrid Stilt Walkers is Sunday, May 9th.Disney celebrated Halfway to Halloween this week with two fun announcements. Walt Disney World will host a new separately ticketed Halloween event this year: Disney After Hours Boo Bash. The event will take place August 10th - October 31st and include Halloween-themed cavalcades, special performances by the Cadaver Dans, decor, lighting, music, treat stops, and more. Disney+ announced that The Muppets will host their first-ever Halloween special, Muppets Haunted Mansion. The Muppets will visit the historic Disneyland attraction, The Haunted Mansion, for a special airing on the streaming service this Fall.The Lakeville Haunted House (Lakeville, MA) is scheduled for demolition after it has sat abandoned after closing in 2019. The haunted attraction had operated for 27 years before the closure. At the upcoming May 10th town meeting, voters will be asked to approve spending for the demolition & removal. After a one-year hiatus, the Portsmouth Halloween Parade (Portsmouth, NH) will return this Halloween after the City Council unanimously approved their permit request this week. The parade typically draws thousands of people to the downtown area and is described as a "grassroots, all-inclusive celebration of community, creativity, and free expression".
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