Monster Mansion (formerly Monster Plantation and even previously before, Tales of the Okefenokee, prior to the 1980s) is a mill chute ride at Six Flags Over Georgia located in Austell, Georgia. Aboard 6-passenger boats, riders pass through nine scenes along the 700 foot-long flume, passing by over 107 original audio animatronic characters.
|Six Flags Over Georgia|
|Replaced||Tales of the Okefenokee|
|Type||Free flow boat ride|
|Designer||Gary Goddard and Al Bertino|
|Lift system||7 feet|
|Length||700 ft (210 m)|
|Site area||25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2)|
|Number of drops||1|
Tales of the Okefenokee - 1967-1980
From the park's opening in 1967 until 1980, the building that currently houses Monster Mansion was home to Tales of the Okefenokee, a boat Mill Chute-type ride inspired by the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Six Flags owner Angus Wynn was reportedly unsatisfied with the animated figures in the 1967 season, saying they were "too small" and "looked like window displays". So for 1968, the original "Tales of the Okefenokee" attraction was redesigned by puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft, whom Six Flags had worked with previously on puppet shows for both Six Flags over Georgia and Texas. Most of the original sets from the previous iteration of the ride remained the same, with the Kroffts' focus being more on the animated figures, sound, and music. The attraction took inspiration from Walt Disney's 1946 film, Song of the South, and the Little Golden Books based on the film, with several elements mixed from the creations of Jay Ward, Hanna-Barbera, and Rankin/Bass Productions.
Monster Plantation - 1981-2008
Six Flags turned to newly-formed Goddard productions to help them come up with a new attraction for the 1981 season. Production team member Al Bertino later said that the idea for the attraction came to him while he was playing with his granddaughter, who was pretending to be a monster.
The ride invites guests to visit the Plantation for a 'Monster Picnic', where humans are now allowed to visit. The monsters welcome their new human friends with music, games, and a carnival. The Marshall, Billy Bob Fritter and his canine-like partner Fritter Bitter warn the humans early on to "Stay out of the Marsh". Despite his warnings, the guest's boat ends up at a fork in the river that leads them right into the Marsh; where dark and terrifying monsters dwell. Just when riders feel that the end is near, Marshall Billy Bob wards off the creatures with a blast from a confederate cannon and guides riders back to safety.
On September 27, 2008, Six Flags reported that the ride would close.
Monster Mansion - 2009-Present
In April 2008, impressed with the newly opened Glow in the Park Parade at Six Flags Mexico, Six Flags management approached designer Gary Goddard about the possibility of renewing the Monster Plantation ride at Six Flags Over Georgia, which Goddard had originally created over 25 years earlier. Over the Fall and Winter of 2008, the Monster Plantation was completely overhauled by Goddard's company.
Many of the original creators participated in the renewal, including Phil Mendez who originally designed all 107 characters, and Dick Hamilton, who had written the theme song. Monster Mansion follows the same basic plot and premise as the original Monster Plantation, but infuses the attraction with modern technologies, effects, and storytelling techniques. During the renewal, each of the original characters were re-built from the inside out, including new mechanics, fur, and renewed costumes based on the originals. Eight new characters were added, and all original murals were discarded and new murals, designed by Disney Animation production designer Phil Phillipson, were installed. Every light and speaker in the building was also replaced.
Renamed "Monster Mansion", the new attraction made its debut to the press on May 14, 2009 and to the public on May 16, 2009.
The ride track for Monster Mansion is 700 feet in length, with 613 feet of that being enclosed within the show building. Monster Mansion's main show building is 25,000 square feet in size.