Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, previously known as Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle, is an interactive dark ride located in the Planet Snoopy section of Kings Island. It was the last ride to ever feature the Scooby-Doo character in the park. The theme was removed in 2010 after Cedar Fair decided to drop all previous intellectual properties.
As Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle
In 2000, Paramount Parks teamed up with Sally Corporation to make a new dark ride based on the Scooby-Doo franchise which had a longtime history at Kings Island. The ride first opened as Scooby-Doo's Haunted Mansion at Canada's Wonderland, with similar rides in both name and layout opening at other Paramount Parks, as well as Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags St. Louis, before finally opening in 2003 as Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle at Kings Island, replacing the Phantom Theater that closed in 2002. The ride was a huge success, and even won the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) award for Best New Kids' Ride.
As Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
All of the Scooby-Doo's Haunted Mansion rides at every former Paramount Park continued operation under Cedar Fair's management from 2006 - 2009. At the end of the 2009 season, the decision was made to remove all intellectual properties currently in use at the park. This included Scooby-Doo, who had been a character in the park since it had first opened in 1972. All of the Scooby-Doo themes were dropped from Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Canada's Wonderland, and Carowinds, and all versions of the ride were renamed to Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. The theme was changed to a generic haunted house theme, but the ride system and many of the special effects have not been changed..
Story and Ride Experience
As Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle
The queue line features a dark exterior dimly lit by cobwebbed chandeliers. The scenery of the queue line also includes features like boarded up walls with red eyes peeking out. Scooby-Doo and Shaggy appear in this section to inform guests that Mystery Inc. needs their help to defeat the ghosts and ghouls inhabiting Ghastly Manor. Shaggy explains that the riders will board a mini Mystery Machine, and will be armed with a Fright Light Flashlight. He also mentions to keep an eye out for any boxes of Scooby Snacks, and use your flashlight on them if you want to know where Scooby is hiding. Scooby and Shaggy appear numerous times throughout the ride, with minor appearances from the other members of Mystery Inc. Many memorable monsters from the series make appearances, including the Creeper, The Wolfman, Dracula, The Zombie, Frankenstein's Monster and one of the Green Ghosts. Mystery Inc. ultimately manages to save the day, arresting all of the monsters including one who turns out to be an old man named Dr. Ghastley who was found to be creating counterfeit money behind the scenes. However, Dr. Ghastley and the rest of the monsters never made it to prison as a skeleton was seen driving the police van with the real cop hiding in a crate.
As Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
The queue remains unchanged, with the figures of Scooby and Shaggy being replaced with generic ghosts. They do not speak like Shaggy used to. Instead, the ride's premise is explained on a sign shortly before boarding the ride cars, which have been redesigned to look like purple cars covered in green slime, presumably ectoplasm. The "boo blasters" are still the same design as the Fright Light Flashlights, even featuring the flowered pattern of the Mystery Machine still carved into the prop. Any figures of Scooby, Shaggy, members of Mystery Inc, or monsters that appeared in the series have since been removed and replaced with generic ghosts or monsters, with some ride scenes being completely altered. Other monsters, such as skeletons eating dinner, remain in the ride. The new antagonist, Boocifer, appears several times throughout the ride as both a screen projection and an animatronic. In two of his appearances, he has replaced two of Shaggy's former roles prior to the refurbishment.
Changes made by Cedar Fair
A lot of changes were made to the ride when Cedar Fair refurbished it into Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. These changes may or may not have occurred at other versions of the ride at other Cedar Fair parks that were formerly operated by Paramount, and are purely focused on the Kings Island version. The changes include, but are not limited to:
- The queue line used to display Shaggy explaining the backstory of the ride, with Scooby-Doo accompanying him. They have been replaced with two ghosts that do not speak.
- The ride previously began with Scooby and Shaggy peeking out from behind a tree with a face on it. Two menacing ghosts now peek out from behind now, staring at the riders.
- The ride cars passed by a bedroom at one point, with Scooby-Doo popping up in the bed, terrified of the skeleton sleeping next to him. He has since been replaced with another skeleton.
- A mummy was originally seen falling out of his coffin to startle riders. This effect has been removed, and the mummy is now seen shaking a gate, presumably trying to get towards the riders.
- Shaggy was once seen hiding in a suit of armor. The suit of armor now shows Boocifer who says "Looking for me?" in a menacing tone at the riders before laughing sinisterly.
- One scene featured Shaggy being chased in a circle by The Wolfman, shouting one of his catchphrases, "Scooby-Doo! Where are you?!" This scene now features a middle-aged tourist dressed in a light green Hawaiian shirt. He is also now being chased by two skeletons, and the audio clip now says "Ah! Get away from me! Help! Save me! Oh, they're gonna get me! I just wanted to take your photograph!" This effect is more famously used in the Disney Parks' Pirates of the Caribbean attractions, in which two static figures are placed on a rotating platform. The legs of the figures, and therefore, the moving platform, are hidden from the view of the riders, to indicate that the figures are running either from or after the other, in a circle.
- In the scene of Shaggy being chased, Scooby-Doo could be found hiding under a plant in a pot. He has been replaced with a cloaked skeleton that now says "Hey hey! Come play?"
- During the skeleton dinner scene, Scooby-Doo could be found eating food behind the table. The target that activated him now activates a ghostly turkey.
- In one scene, a cloaked animatronic figure could be seen playing an organ, watching the riders as they passed. This used to be Shaggy, who again, was attempting to hide from the ghosts. Like the suit of armor, he has been replaced with Boocifer, who now says "Dance to my phantom music! Dance! Dance!"
- The final scene of Scooby-Doo and the rest of Mystery Inc. unmasking and arresting the criminals in Ghastley Manor has been entirely altered. The scene is now replaced with a factory where Boocifer's potion to enhance ghosts is manufactured. He then becomes aware of the riders, and threatens them, saying "You want to drive me from my home, Boo Blasters? Go ahead, try!" The ride then enters an almost pitch-black segment with strobe lighting effects, where skeletons are seen with glowing red eyes with minimal movements, and attempting to attack riders. Shooting the targets near each skeleton will make their glowing eyes disappear. This is followed by a conveyer belt of potions and an animatronic figure of Boocifer, who says the following "You'll never leave Bleakstone Manor! Never!" before screaming in agony as he is defeated and the dark atmosphere transforms into a lighter tone.
- Scott Innes, who voiced Scooby and occasionally Shaggy for some of the earliest full-length Scooby-Doo movies, returned to voice both characters in this ride.
- The ride is frequently poorly maintained, as several special effects malfunction and usually go unfixed. The most notable of these is that many of the targets will not respond to being fired at. Most recently, the audio clip of the Boocifer animatronic at the end of the ride is no longer working, in addition to the first television screen with his face greeting the guests in a menacing manner.
- Although they did make appearances in the older versions of the ride and in the area surrounding the ride building, the other members of Mystery Inc. never spoke during the ride. However, in the ride's exit, Daphne could be heard saying "Jeepers! I think we have another mystery on our hands!" followed by an evil laugh.