|A turn to the right brought riders to a scene completely retooled by Minor, under orders from Simmons. Tracy’s schematic called for a straight run down a dark corridor towards a spotlight as the warning whistle sounds of an approaching locomotive played overhead, suggesting an impending collision. When the car got to the spotlight, it would take a sharp turn to the right, bringing riders out of danger. But Simmons wanted an actual collision, so he had Minor paint the walls of the corridor with scenery, suggesting the car was traveling down a country road, and install subtle lighting overhead. Then he had Minor convert the spotlight into a crossing warning sign with a flashing red light and bell. Dody’s extended locomotive sound hit was retained, so as riders headed toward the flashing signal, they knew they were going to cross train tracks; which way the train was coming was the only question. The turn to the right brought riders into a set of double doors, crafted by Minor to resemble the frontage of an old locomotive.
The next two scenes connected riders with New Orleans' pirate legacy. It was Tracy’s “Pirate Walking The Plank” stunt – a life-size pirate, partially blindfolded, at the end of plank.
Below left: Pirate scene from Tracy's catalog. Right: Actual scene in Crescent Park Riverboat.
|He was flanked by cutout sharks, and the backdrop was a wooden pirate ship with pirates peering out of the portholes, cheering at the execution. As the car approached the scene, the pirate let loose an ear-piecing scream. And with the help of compressed air, appeared to fall off the end of the plank. (Similar scenes were found in Dorney Park’s Bucket O’ Blood and Whalom Park’s Pirate’s Den.)
Riders then headed to ocean’s bottom where they met up with the same pirate,
now decomposed and sitting on top of an overloaded treasure chest. The skeletal pirate beckoned at riders as they approached.
Next up was a voodoo woman who was apparently responsible for all the mayhem. The woman, actually Tracy’s Sorceress stunt, nodded to riders as she stirred a head in her cauldron as two bats flew overhead. The bats were created and installed by Ed. “I felt the scene needed one more element,” he recalled. Below left: Pirate skeleton scene in Crescent Park Riverboat. Right: Sorceress catalog image.