Sunday, January 17, 2010
It's a Smurfy World After All: Smurf's Enchanted Voyage Ride
Cincinatti, Ohio is home to Kings Island, a theme park that used to feature the Hanna Barbera characters as mascots. There was a whole section devoted to them---Hanna Barbera Land. If you watched The Brady Bunch, you may remember that the family visited the park and Jan switched Mr. Brady's architectural plans for a Yogi Bear poster. Stupid Jan! Greg also got a job dressing up like Hair Bear from show The Hair Bear Bunch.
Hanna Barbera Land featured a boat ride called Enchanted Voyage (1972-1982), which took passengers through a TV set and past animated versions of many different HB characters. When the Smurfs became popular, Yogi and friends were evicted, and the ride became The Smurf's Enchanted Voyage.
The figures in the ride were very simple, and much like Christmas window displays. Some had no motion at all. The pictures shown here were taken by my Dad in 1988.
The Christmastime Smurf scene was the ride's finale, and the boats went up a very small lift hill and went down a very small drop. In the original ride, the scene was a carnival scene, hence the exciting drop.
For 1992, the Smurfs were evicted and the boat ride was ripped out. The ride became Phantom Theater, which was an omnimover Haunted Mansion-style ride. It was still part of Hanna Barbera Land, but featured no cartoon characters.
In 2003, the ride then became Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle, a ghostblasters dark ride. By then, Hanna Barbera Land had begun the transformation to a Nickelodeon theme, and Scooby Doo was the only surviving HB character. However, the end has come for Hanna Barbera at Kings Island. Snoopy is taking over the entire area, which will now be called Planet Snoopy.