I get inquiries all the time in my inbox about where to turn to gain insight into the attractions industry. There literally hundreds of resources out there and today I’m happy to share a brand new one that I think TPU readers will enjoy. Scott Swenson is, in my opinion, one of the brightest minds in the haunt industry today and he recently started his own podcast: A Scott In The Dark.
If you’re unfamiliar with just who Scott Swenson is, he is the creator, designer, and/or writer of several haunted attractions around the country. Most notably, Scott lead the charge at Busch Gardens Tampa Howl-o-Scream for many years, and has more recently become known for the The Vault of Souls, my personal favorite haunt event in Central Florida.
Admittedly, part of the reason I enjoy The Vault of Souls as much as I do is getting the chance to talk with Swenson after the experience is over. What I genuinely love about the attraction is there are dozens of tiny details and connections that may fly over the head the majority of people exploring the bank’s mazes. However, if you take the time to explore and piece it together, many of the storylines of the characters you encounter are intricately weaved around each other.
Hearing Swenson speak so passionately and eloquently about the industry that he clearly admires is invaluable and captivating. In the first episode of A Scott In The Dark, he covers what he considers to be the basics of designing and running a haunt attraction. Clearly a stream of conscious with connective tissue, the broadcast is both insightful and filled with some great stories from his experience designing haunt attractions. More importantly, some of the lessons mentioned could be applied to the attractions industry and go beyond haunts. As an example, when you’re listening to Scott talk about creating a theme that fits your budget, keep in mind that those same principals can be applied to nearly any other type of attraction, from an escape room to a Disney E-ticket.
If you haven’t already, go check out A Scott In The Dark and subscribe. I personally look forward to future episodes where Swenson can get into the more nitty gritty ins and outs on how to properly put together an attraction from all angles: casting, marketing, flow and so much more.
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