Facility size: 10,118 sq. ft., 940 sq. m.
Animated Characters: 40
Ride Design: R&R Creative Design
Note: All Sally dark rides are flexible in size and configuration
Santa Cruz’s Very Haunted Castle
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Santa Cruz, California
Opened June, 2010
As Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk officially opened the new $9 million Haunted Castle on June 4, 2010, over forty frightful animatronic critters and characters (human and non-human) from Sally Corporation, and a variety of scary special effects, sprang to other-worldly life, eliciting screams and giggles from visitors.
Ups & Downs
Culminating over four years of planning and building, the new Haunted Castle erected on the site of the old Haunted Castle—which started out as the home of Dante’s Inferno in 1931, utilizes nearly 10,000 square feet of space beneath the Boardwalk for the ride.
In an unusual twist, the new ride loads and unloads at the Boardwalk level, descending to enter and ascending to exit the spooky attraction. At the start of the ride, the old-fashioned hearse-style ride vehicles (from I. E. Park) travel backwards down a spiral ramp haunted by floating ghosts. Passing through the entrance hall, where the ghostly (projected) king extends a royal welcome, visitors travel through various areas of the castle…dungeons, the kitchen, a wine cellar, and the dining room before, surprisingly, passing through a fireplace into a swamp and over a bridge, then finding themselves in an eerie graveyard before braving rabid dogs in the royal kennels and barely escaping a falling guillotine as they exit the castle.
Spooky, Scary Fun
R & R Creative Amusement Designs. Inc., in concert with Boardwalk technical and facilities staff, was responsible for the overall concept and design. The aim was to create a family ride that was spooky and a little scary, yet fun. There are some good scares, but no blood and some really funny scenes.
Old and new came together seamlessly to create a winning attraction for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk visitors: the ride consistently runs at capacity, according to Boardwalk management, and guest reviews are extremely positive.