Lights On: Inside Boo Blasters on Boo Hill at Carowinds
For those who might be unaware, Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is actually located in an original Carowinds building that has stood since the park’s opening in 1973 — it was known as Harmony Hall. With Carowinds celebrating its 50th Anniversary next season, it was a great chance to see inside one of the park’s remaining opening day structures!
Harmony Hall was a 600 seat saloon-style theater, located in an area of Carowinds that was originally known as Country Crossroads. It featured a variety of shows, including country hoedown shows in the 1970s, the animated “Country Bears” show, and “Phantom of the Opry.”
Harmony Hall closed its doors between the 2000 and 2001 seasons to make way for a new dark ride – Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion.
Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion was an interactive dark ride from famed dark ride creators Sally Dark Rides.
Versions of Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion operated at four Cedar Fair (then Paramount) parks, opening in various years from 2000-2004: Canada’s Wonderland (2000), Carowinds (2001), Kings Island (2003), and Kings Dominion (2004).
In total, there were seven “Scooby Doo” installations — with two more opening at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags St. Louis in 2002, and Parque Warner Madrid in 2005. The Madrid version is the only one still operating with Scooby-Doo IP. St. Louis became a Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and Fiesta Texas became “Pirates of the Deep Sea.”
The Carowinds version originally featured eight 4-passenger vehicles that ride along a “buzzbar” with interactive laser blasters and targets. Like many rides of the style, riders try to accrue points by hitting the targets with the blaster.
After Cedar Fair purchased the Paramount Parks in 2006, the Scooby-Doo branding and IP was eventually removed. In 2010, each of the rides received a new story and new name — Boo Blasters on Boo Hill.
The ride’s antagonist was now named “Boocifer,” but the general idea of the ride was still the same – aim your blaster at the ghosts, fire, and earn points.
In recent years, Carowinds has updated the ride system for Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, changing the ride station to a continuously moving station as opposed to ride vehicles stopping for unload. In doing so, Carowinds was able to add an additional vehicle to the track, bringing the total to nine vehicles on track.
During our tour, we learned from Steve Jackson, Director of Maintenance and Construction for Carowinds, that plans are underway to upgrade the scoring system, with new blasters, targets, and scorekeeping methods. This has not been confirmed as “happening” yet, but the park is working on it!
Even in the dark, there’s an incredible level of detai paid to the decor inside the attraction.
It’s wild to think that there once was a theater inside this attraction!
The pipe organ was a carry-over from Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion
The bright and vibrant black-light colors look impressive, even with the lights on!
Maybe I was never looking close enough, but in one of the final scenes, there are dozens of targets in a darkened room. I didn’t realize they were all attached to skeletons!
I can regularly get Master Blaster when I’m playing — what about you!