Why aren't walk-through attractions more appealing?
In the interview you mentioned that walk-through attractions are very difficult to make successful. I was wondering why you think they are more difficult to make work than attractions with ride systems? What must happen to make a walk-through have that edgy appeal we all crave?
I happen to like walk-thrus, but they lack the predictible capacity and ability to pulse guests through. They're great when you can do 150 an hour. At 1000 THRC they suck. If you need to have groups go through and tell a story in scenes, it is really difficult. You can end up with this choppy continuity of "walk a while, load, do a scene, then stop the action to walk some more."
The pacing is kind of sluggish and the scenes end up having to be of equal or double length (with twice the guests) for the capacity to work.
In a single file linear, "Continous event" walk through (haunted maze) where it is important to just attack the guest in zones, then you need to create ways separate the guests as to not give away what is ahead. Do the gags intermittently.
The issue always is, if it is really entertaining, people will stop and watch and never move on. A good problem to have until you need more people to see it. So you end up with a "Nice B" Attractions that have a passive appeal like the Tree House. Cool, but the scenes quickly satisfy most guests, they move on.
My guess is that guests are more drawn to rides as they are physical experiences that are visceral as you move thru spaces. (no one like marketing walk-thrus) The Halloween walk thrus are perfect as they really violate your personal space and allow live talent to intrude on it. They deliver on your expectation and can be loaded with live talent for short run events.
You also have issues controlling point of view in WT's. It can be hard to entertain the third person in the back row of a group and give them the big effects. You end up elevating the show to play above the guests just to make the sightlines work. Walk-thrus can be awesome, but there are more pitfalls. Let's all "crack the code" and do the ultimate walk thru! At WDI I proposed a number of them related to either big theatrical finale scenes (monsters, dragons) that emptied the line. It can be done, it is more difficult.
Good Q Nate, thanks for the interest.
CEO Sotto Inc.
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