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Park News

Scooby who?

Cedar Fair rethemes dark rides

Having chosen not to renew its Scooby-Doo licence with Warner Bros, the American park chain Cedar Fair has rebranded the dark rides at four of its properties. Sally Corporation, which created the original Ghost Blasters attractions, has re-themed them into Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. Located in the children’s areas of Canada’s Wonderland (Ontario), Carowinds (North Carolina), Kings Island (Ohio) and Kings Dominion (Virginia), each ride features a new storyline, characters, music, audio and special effects; even the cars have a new look. “We discussed other uses for the facilities, but in the end we knew that a Sally dark ride experience would continue to be a good fit,” declares Cedar Fair corporate vice- president for planning and

Boo Hill Castlle at Kings Island

Five years for Etheredge

Wild West World founder Thomas Etheredge (pictured) has been sentenced to five years in prison – 30 times longer than his park survived – for defrauding investors. A jury in Wichita, Kansas, heard from nearly 40 witnesses, then convicted the 55-year-old Etheredge in February on seven counts of securities fraud. In 2006 and 2007 he raised capital for Wild West

World in nearby Park City. The attraction closed after just two months and he declared bankruptcy.

Etheredge was accused of failing to disclose to investors that he had prior criminal convictions and was an investment risk. Seven investors gave him between $50,000 to $300,000 each to help develop the park.

OD Hopkins, 1926-2010

OD Hopkins died peacefully in East Blue Hill, Maine, on April 3. He was 83. Hopkins’ working life spanned farming, logging, road and bridge contracting, pre-poured concrete and ski lifts, before he began building amusement rides. After retirement he turned to boat building. His amusement company, OD Hopkins Associates Inc, operated in Contoocook, New Hampshire, for more than 30 years, and became an expert in water rides. Products included Shoot-the-Chutes, Flumes, River Rafts, plus steel coasters. Hopkins Rides remains, now in Florida. OD was born in 1926 in Beijing to Delnoce and

A classic Hopkins Log Flume


Robert Hopkins and moved to New Jersey aged two. In 1950 he married Rosamond Coffin, and together they had three children. Following her untimely death in 1963 he married Jane Ashley, but that marriage dissolved in 1973. In 1978, OD married Hope Smith and that marriage lasted through his retirement. He is survived by Hope, his three children, Hope's children Holly and Brad, and 11 grandchildren.

MAY 2010

design, Rob Decker. “Sally brought us new technologies to the project that we had considered too costly in the past.”

Created as a family ride, Boo Blasters pits guests against the mighty king of ghosts, Boocifer, as they try to retain their hold on a stockpile of “Scare Tonic” and zap the ghosts away. The blacklight- based attraction features 16- scenes.

“Boo Blasters is a simple concept, and simple is often good,” says Decker. “Guests understand the interactive dark ride concept. It’s a laugh in the dark as much as it is a fun gaming experience.”

The concept for Boo Blasters is based loosely on Sally’s Ghost Blasters II at Elitch Gardens, Denver. Significant changes, however, include colour enhancement to create a 3D effect, special glasses for which are sold separately. Also included inside the ride is fog screen projection, an intense and a black light to white light finale, signalling the demise of Boocifer. “We were proud of the Scooby-Doo rides,” says Sally Corp’s John Wood comments. “They had a good run and were very popular. However, Cedar Fair’s decision to make a change has brought a fresh new look and feel to the rides.”

Dollywood introduces Adventure Mountain

America’s largest rope challenge course has opened as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The $6 million Adventure Mountain attraction was supplied by Ropes Courses Inc. Spanning two-acres of mountainside terrain in the park’s Wilderness Pass area, the attraction comprises four courses ranging in skill and ability, from easy to expert. In total there are more than 140 obstacles, located anything from a few inches to 36ft above the ground. Adventurers encounter rugged rope trails, net ladders, swinging bridges, a tyre traverse and moving beams.

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