Thursday, June 07, 2007

Inside Smurf Mountain...sort of

As I've stated here many times before, my favorite amusement park attraction growing up was Smurf Mountain at Kings Dominion in Virginia. I liked roller coasters and water rides and all those spinney rides, but a trip to KD wasn't complete without a train ride through Smurf Mountain. I've searched time and time again for information on the ride (which no longer exists.) There's been a few mentions of the ride on various message forums and it's often cited as being one of the rides replaced by the park's mega-coaster Volcano. But it wasn't until a search about a week ago, that I finally uncovered some pictures that were taken inside the ride. Now, Smurf Mountain had two sister attractions: The Smurf's Enchanted Voyage at Kings Island in Ohio and Smurf Village at Canada's Wonderland. They were all similar experiences except on Voyage you traveled in a boat and in the Village you walked through. The person who posted these pictures says that are from both Kings Dominion's Mountain and Kings Island's Voyage, but either way it's still a look at how the ride existed!




The shot of the track in the lower right of this picture suggests that it's from Smurf Mountain. The Christmas/Winter scene was near the end of the ride when you slowly came down a small incline. There were plenty of Smurf houses all decked out in Christmas lights and there was Smurfy Christmas music playing throughout!




This scene was closer to the beginning of the ride in the spring/summer scenes. There were many Smurfs playing all sorts of summery games and relaxing in the sun. Here's Lazy Smurf doing what he does best.





This shot kind of gives you a feel for how three dimensional the sets looked and how it all kind of immersed you into the world of the Smurfs.




Here's another Winter scene. Here you can tell the picture was taken in Kings Island as the boat canal is lower than the set pieces. Throughout the ride some of the Smurf figures were animated but only by simple articulation in their waist, arms, or head. They were similar to the simple animations you see in a mall's Santa Claus display. They were not sophisticated audio-animatronics like you'd find at a Disney park.



The Smurf's mountain still stands today but is not inhabited by the Volcano Blast Coaster. Legend has it that a couple of Smurfs still live in the mountain, and that if you look up in the right spot on the Volcano ride you can catch a glimpse of them while smurfing by at 70 M.P.H.





1 comment:

Gerry said...

I worked at KD summer 91 and some of summer 92. Although my main assignment was the Anaconda coaster, I helped out on Smurf Mountain for a week driving the train. It was an easy job although I had to keep a close watch to make sure no one leapt off the train.

It's great you found these pictures because I've also had a hard time finding them.

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