Friends, growing up when I was of the mind to visit something spooky or monster-themed at this time of the year, I really only had one choice – the school Halloween festival. I most certainly craved something more however as I was raised reading a history of Disneyland book and you can guess which attraction I wanted to see most – yep – the Haunted Mansion. In my youth however we just didn’t travel much…like at all. Which might explain why I had never heard of the Monster Plantation, a dark water ride located at Six Flags Over Georgia.
In truth the Monster Plantation took the exact spot and adopted the same ride format as 1967’s Tales of the Okefenokee. That particular ride was based on the series of Uncle Remus tales by Joel Chandler Harris, furthermore just a year after Tales of the Okefenokee opened it received a redesign by none other than Sid and Marty Krofft!
[Via] Fish Taft
Then in 1981 it underwent another change, although this time instead of the likes of Uncle Remus’ characters it became the setting for a group of monsters out on a picnic. Visitors floated by animatronic creatures on a 700-foot channel, through a flooded antebellum Southern plantation – the home of Mizzy Scarlett.
That redesign by the way was headed up by Gary Goddard and Al Bertino, you should know Goddard thanks to the likes of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future and Skeleton Warriors. While both men had worked at Walt Disney Imagineering – having recently left the company – Al Bertino is legendary for not only having been an animator at the company but in addition he helped to create the Haunted Mansion, America Sings, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and The Country Bear Jamboree – whose character of Big Al is a tribute to Bertino!
It appears that in the Monster Plantation, Humans are quite welcome but there is more than a few times that visitors are warned to stay out of the Marsh. Which is totally understandable as folks want to see the various monsters at play during the picnic, right?
Although much like in the case of Disney’s Splash Mountain – that was opened in 1989 – things go wrong and the visitors to the Monster Plantation end up going off course – right into the Marsh!
Back in 2009 the Monster Plantation received an overhaul once again. Becoming the Monster Mansion but the AMAZING thing is that Six Flags approached the Goddard Group once again to handle the redesign. In addition they had original design artist Phil Mendez return as well as Dick Hamilton, who composed the theme song for the Monster Plantation. Ninety-nine of the characters featured in the dark ride received complete overhauls, being re-built from the inside out, with new skins, fur, etc. being updated – but still based on those original 1981 designs.
If like me you would love to be able to visit the Monster Mansion but have no opportunity, you are in luck as YouTube comes to the rescue!
[Via] The Carpetbagger
Now that you’ve had a chance to see the ride for yourself, why not take a few minutes and watch this 1980’s film on the making of the Monster Plantation?
[Via] Vanilla Coker