I have a vivid memory of seeing the live-action Scooby Doo movie in the cinema. Aside from little me marveling at how rubbery Scooby looked, all I could think was – “I want to go to that theme park!” Sadly, Disney movies get all the love, and no such horror theme park exists. But a few attractions have popped up over the years inspired by scary shows and movies – here’s five you might not have heard of!
5. Revenge of the Mummy
An enclosed roller coaster based on the Mummy film franchise located at several Universal parks, Revenge of the Mummy first opened in 2004. Guests enter the ride by entering the massive Museum of Antiquities facade, then board a mine train style ride which reaches speeds of 45 miles per hour. Winner of several Golden Ticket Awards – the coasters each cost $40 million and can be found in Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Singapore.
4. ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
Dubbed the scariest ride to ever grace a Disney park, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was a “theater-in-the-round” attraction in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom. Probably the only Disney attraction to warrant an age restriction too, the scary show has developed a cult following since closing in 2003. Much of Alien Encounter took place in total darkness while the attraction operated on the guests’ non-visual senses as the escaped Alien menaced viewers. Sadly, the attraction is long gone and was replaced by Stitch’s Great Escape!
3. Jaws: The Ride
Probably the most well known ride on this list. Jaws first found theme park fame in the Universal Studio Tour rides, before getting a starring role in 1990. The Florida attraction was scrapped to make way for the Harry Potter theme park, but Jaws is still going in Japan. The ride took place in a boat, with a tour guide who runs into trouble when you encounter the infamous shark. The skipper aims and misses at the shark, the boat gets bitten – the ride managed to scare a few unsuspecting younger patrons in it’s day!
2. Skull Island: Reign of Kong
Skull Island: Reign of Kong is a ride at the Islands of Adventure theme park which opened in 2016. Guests enter under a giant sculpture of King Kong, then board an expedition truck with one of five different drivers, each one containing their own backstory and dialog for the ride. The trucks then take bumpy ride through woodland, swamps, and jungle scenes in an attempt to escape Kong. The effects of Reign of Kong have been praised as groundbreaking.
1. Saw – The Ride
Yup, they’d never dare put this one in a Disney or Universal park – but here in the UK we have a roller coaster based on the Saw movies. When it opened it featured the steepest drop in the world, and the eerie line area features Jigsaw’s equipment and Billy on his tricycle. The ride itself drops riders alarmingly close to blood-soaked spinning blades and a pit of strobe-lit spikes. Found at Thorpe Park, this one has to be the ultimate horror roller coaster experience.