The next major changes wouldn’t come to Clifton Hill till the early 2000s, but just like the firework celebrations of the new millennium, they started out with a bang. The Maple Leaf Village amusement park had closed down and many of the other attractions were becoming out of date. Many of the attractions from the 90s had become stale. It was time for new life. And that breath of fresh air came as The Great Canadian Midway in 2002.
This multi-level arcade also included a restaurant, bowling alley, 3D theater, and a Ghost Blasters dark ride designed by Sally Corporation. Ghost Blasters is one of Sally Corp’s most famous creations. Like its namesake, riders have a “boo blaster” and can shoot targets as they ride through. Unlike other incarnations of Ghost Blasters, this one utilizes 3D glasses to enhance the experience.

The ride also has a story line, with the following excerpt from Sally Corp’s website:

“Comical ghosts, skeletons and other creatures of the night are led by the mighty Boocifer. Lively custom theme music and special effects add to the surreal, whimsical spookiness of the experience as you undertake the challenge to drive the ghostly invaders from Bleakstone Manor, which Boocifer and friends have claimed as their own”.

This is one of Sally Corp’s flagship rides, with ten different versions operating around the globe. Cedar Fair parks have their own version titled “Boo Blasters on Boo Hill”.

There is also a version named Ghost Hunt at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut as well a rendition at a Warner Brothers park in Madrid. The Niagara Falls version is also different in that its facade is themed like a Hotel rather than a haunted house. After boarding your vehicle, you get a few moments target practice in the hotel lobby, in full view of the queue, before enter the attraction proper.

Once entering through a set of double doors, guests find themselves in a garden complete with evil trees and spooky ghosts. As guests ride by, the ghosts attempt to drop a coffin on their head! After blasting your way through a cemetery, it's time to enter the house. Beginning in a library riders encounter some of the skeleton animatronics that move when their target is hit. Next is an armory with medieval suits of armor. Riders then enter into a dining room and seance area before moving into a bedroom. As you ride by, some angry skeletons leap out of bed. The next room features a skeleton pianist, playing a melody that will be stuck in your head for days. It is now time for the final showdown with Boocifer.
The original ending had the ghosts attack the guests with a “Boo Bomb” that exploded in a cartoonish fashion. This was later replaced with a different ending by the arcade owners, HOCO Entertainment.  Instead of the bomb, guests now exit the mansion through a cemetery. Neon painted animatronic skeletons leap at the rider and coffin lids bang as they pass.

This ride is a great example of Sally Corp’s work. The ride’s cartoonish theming and catchy music set a great mood. The fun atmosphere is only matched by the detail in the artwork. It is kid friendly while also being entertaining for adults. Sally Corp CEO John Wood had the following to say “"Harry Oakes (of HOCO Entertainment) had been a friend and a customer for a while and had shown interest in our small interactive dark rides so, when he developed his plan for new attractions, he gave us a call. The rest is ghost history."

Home | Articles | Find Dark Rides | Find Funhouses | Knoebels DVD Waldameer DVD | The Laff Track
Contact LITD | About LITD | The T Shirt Shop | The Laff Achievement Award