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The past few years Six Flags has really had a lot of fun announcing
their new rides for all of their parks in one giant announcement
with the CEO James Reid-Anderson showcasing all of the additions to
the chain. I really like this because as a CEO it
is obvious that he gets it. To run a chain of amusement parks
you at the least have to be part showman willing to give your
customers one more thrill; no matter if it is big or small, to bring
them back through those gates for another season. Being a showman
as part of the CEO's job description and what the chain of parks is really here to provide, which is a
good fun time was lost on countless previous Six Flags CEO's who were more
concerned with "branding", "tie-in-promotions" or "increasing per
capita expenditure". Yes in the big scheme of things as a CEO those are
important but you're not going to succeed unless you keep giving the
public what it wants which is something that is exciting, new and
My local park which is Six
Flags St. Louis and I feel that it really needs a nice skyline
changing coaster to help compete in a marketplace with Outlaw Run to
the West and now Thunderbird to the east. A nice big B&M Hyper or
Giga coaster would fit the bill if you ask me. Under the
current Six Flags regime for the most part they have been replacing
aging rides with modern variants at Six Flags St. Louis. For example replacing the aging
Riverview Racers swing ride with Sky Screamer, or replacing rides
that had seen the end of their lifetime like what they did by
finally removing the long dead Hannibarrels and replacing them with
the amazingly fun Tsunamu Soaker. While these additions
have not been as exciting as a
giant new earth shattering coaster like I would prefer bringing the
park up to where it needs to be is something that is needed before
going all out for a world class coaster.
One ride that has been really showing its age has been
the Scooby-Doo and the Mystery of the Scary Swamp dark ride.
This simple boat ride has seen numerous transformations, retheming
and additions through the years, so much that the original ride
mechanisms from the boats, to the pumps and to the lift were all
needing insane amounts of maintenance just to barely remain open.
The ride that began as Injun Joe's Cave back in 1971 was limping and
sadly needed to be replaced. For the last couple of years it
was no secret that Scooby-Doo
was on its last legs and that at the end of 2014 was going to be its final ride.
As you can see all of that was the station for Scooby-Doo is now
gone leaving just the ride building.
Throughout 2014 rumors went abound as what to expect from Scooby's
replacement. There was a crazy rumor about a Walking Dead
shoot 'em up zombie type ride to something with Bugs Bunny in
well as a few others. No one knew until the big Six Flags
corporate announcement at the end of August exactly what it was
going to be.
I have to be honest here. After previous Six Flags
administrations pretty much forgot Six Flags St. Louis I always look
to this park getting the shaft at announcement time while other parks build coaster after
coaster. I was expecting a cheap replacement for Scooby-Doo
but nothing really to wow this grizzled amusement park veteran.
There is still a little bit of the old Scooby theming left around
Back to where I was. I
knew it was going to be a dark ride but I expected
something more "off the shelf" and really not that expensive to replace Scooby-Doo. I figured we would get a dressed
up or themed version of your standard "Ghostblasters" dark ride
where the car is attached to the tracks and you shoot at targets on
some scenery as you go around the track. That is not what we
are getting here at all.
First lets take a little more of a look at how they are transforming
what was a old boat ride into a state of the art fully interactive
Copyright 1999 - 2017
Paul B. Drabek