Working with Sally

Dark Rides allowed us to add some animatronic Scrooge 

was really starting to look much more rundown than it should in a park that’s constantly upgrading and improving its signature attractions, and its rider capacity was lower than we needed with all the growth we’ve experienced this century. We were determined to keep the original interactive concept of living Humbugs that were pestering Scrooge, and his efforts to tickle them to make them happy and improve his own Christmas spirit. We expanded the building’s footprint, enclosed the entire experience from queue line through the exit, and improved the scoring system. Replacing our two- seat cars with family-sized vehicles meant we had to eliminate the unique ramped two-story ride path, but luckily nobody seems to miss the climb and drop that used to be there.”

Ride twice After the pre-show, riders embark on one of seven new four-to five passenger tracked vehicles from Bertazzon for a ride experience that weaves throughout several areas of Scrooge’s old-English home. They travel over 275 feet (84 m) of track throughout the 3,400 square-foot (316 sq m) ride area. Sally provided the “Giggle Gadget” laser shooters and scoring system, as well as the sets for 14 different intricately decorated scenes throughout the house, which include more than 60 target Humbugs and three dozen animatronic features. Not all humbugs look or sound alike. Sally has added three different character profiles for visual variety, plus eight different giggle tracks. As a nod to the ride’s history, one of the original giggles remains. “Our guests have really enjoyed the fact that a


family of four or five can ride together in the car and compete more directly with each other for high scores,” notes Gainer. “They also like how dynamic the ride is, with a lot of motion, and animatronics, and sound, and how enjoyable it is even if when they’re just taking in the scenery and not trying to tickle the humbugs. The reactions have been really positive and gratifying.” “Working with Sally Dark Rides allowed us to add

some animatronic Scrooge figures to help tell the story,” Gainer adds, “and several other state-of-the- art features in the show and interactive elements.” Gainer rides the attraction frequently. “Even though

I’ve been involved in the every step of the ride planning and development,” he acknowledges, “every time I get a chance to enjoy it as a passenger I’m still amazed at how much there is to take in with the creativity and all the little details that just make you want to ride again. Most guests will ride at least twice when they visit, including just once to enjoy the scenes without trying to post a high score.”

Juggling schedules Fans of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and literature aficionados will appreciate the details and multiple references to the original work throughout the pre-show and ride. If guests look closely, they may find excerpts from the text written on rolled up scrolls in various rooms of the house, as well as an appearance by Scrooge’s ghostly business partner, Jacob Marley. As a fun fact, Sally’s own VP of Creative Design, Drew Hunter, provided the voice for both the portrait of Jacob Marley as well as Ebenezer Scrooge.


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