What You May Not Know About Monster Mansion
The history and popularity of this classic ride
Monster Mansion continues to draw multitudes of fans, both young and old. The ride spins a wonderful tale of humans being invited to the “Monster Picnic” and the adventure takes place on a boat ride through a flooded mansion. Once in the world of monsters, humans can join in the party festivities with state-of-the-art lighting, magical sound effects, and silly creatures. We are clearly warned, “Stay out of the marsh,” but what fun would that be? As boats veer off course into the dark and threatening environment of the forbidden swamp, the monsters lurking within have a different relationship with humans — and it’s not good!
Six Flags fans are well acquainted with this interactive and imaginative voyage that has spanned generations, but you may not be aware of its interesting past life.
When Six Flags Over Georgia opened in 1967, one of the park’s original rides was Tales of the Okefenokee. Situated in the same 25,000 square foot building, the boat ride floated through a 700-foot channel past scenes that retold the Uncle Remus stories that were filmed as Song of the South. For 14 seasons (1967 – 1980), Tales of the Okefenokee charmed Six Flags guests in those early years.
More magic arrived in 1981. The ride became even more whimsical when it was re-themed as Monster Plantation. An antebellum southern plantation set the stage, and new animatronics — monsters, of course — caused endless giggles, starting with Missy Scarlett, a red-headed southern belle of the monster world.
Gary Goddard was an amusement industry veteran who had previous experience with another theme park operator. Six Flags turned to him, not once, but twice. Goddard did the introduction of Monster Plantation in 1981. The Goddard Group was approached again in 2008 to upgrade and update the ride for 2009. Now called Monster Mansion, each of the original animatronics, 99 in all, were given a complete makeover. New fur and costuming graced the figures while new mechanical components were redone for the inside of the fun monsters. New characters, new murals, and modern audio/visual technology gave the family ride a refreshed look.
*Tim Baldwin – editor of RollerCoaster! Magazine, staff writer at Amusement Today, and Communications Director for American Coaster Enthusiasts – contributed to this article.