Ghostbusters Spooktacular

Picture
One of the biggest attractions at Universal Studios Florida, when the park first opened, was the "Ghostbusters Spooktacular".  This 11 minute, live action show featured all 4 ghostbusters battling it out with Gozer, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and various other ghosts on a rooftop set, identical to the one featured in the first movie.  The show would start off with a Universal tour guide discussing some background information on the Ghostbusters films, when all of a sudden Gozer would appear out of nowhere and proceed to attack her.  Eventually the Ghostbusters arrive to save the day. 

Picture
Original 1990 map showing the location of 'Ghostbusters Spooktacular'
A couple of years later, Universal Studios decided to change it up a bit, creating a brand new storyline to the "Ghostbusters Spooktacular" show.  The storyline involved you, as an audience member, attending a free business seminar on starting up your own ghost busting company.  For the introductory price of $29,999.99 you could buy into the Ghostbusters franchise and be on your way to catching ghosts and making the big bucks.   The Louis Tully character (originally played by Rick Moranis) was added to the new storyline, replacing the generic female tour guide.  Here, Louis plays the junior assistant Vice President in charge of finance for Ghostbusters Inc. and is there to discuss business opportunities with you and show off some new equipment.  Unfortunately villainous Walter Peck shows up with a court order to shut the Ghostbusters down, which results in him shutting off the Ectoplasmic Containment Center releasing all of the ghosts.
Picture
The rest of the show was essentially the same as the old "Ghostbusters Spooktacular", with the boys going after Gozer and Stay Puft on the rooftop of Dana's apartment building.  Unfortunately though, these action sequences had to be shortened in length due to the rather long pre-show that was tacked on.  In this new version, the Ghostbusters don't show up until the final 2 minutes of the show...compare this with the original version which featured the Ghostbusters in action for approximately 6 minutes.

StreetBusters

Less than one year after the park opened, in March of 1991, a 2nd Ghostbusters show was added to Universal's list of attractions called "StreetBusters", which ran in conjunction with "Spooktacular".  This outdoor event featured The Ghostbusters going head-to-head with the certified "ghost with the most", Beetlejuice, in front of the New York Public Library.  This "StreetBusters" show was nothing short of being absolutely terrible and involved The Ghostbusters singing and dancing to late 80's/early 90's pop songs! 

The following year in 1992 Universal decided to give Beetlejuice his own show titled "Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue"...a 20 minute stage show that makes a complete mockery out of the Universal Monsters and what many horror fans would consider downright blasphemous! LoL  I believe "StreetBusters" and "Graveyard Revue" ran periodically side-by-side until Universal finally put a stop to "StreetBusters" all together in 1993.

The "Spooktacular" demise

Picture
Sadly the main attraction, "Ghostbusters Spooktacular", closed its doors forever in 1996 to make room for a new show called "Twister...Ride It Out", based on the hit Warner Bros. film which is still operating today.

Luckily sfmghostbusters.com recorded the entire "Ghostbusters Spooktacular" show, including all of the pre-show stuff for people who weren't lucky enough to have seen this attraction when it was still operating.  Take a look...

Extreme Ghostbusters:
The Great Fright Way

Picture
In 2002, after a 6 year absence from Universal Studios, The Ghostbusters made their triumphant return with a brand new street show titled "Extreme Ghostbusters: The Great Fright Way" based loosely on the 1997 cartoon series 'Extreme Ghostbusters'.  This new show featured 4 new Ghostbusters who take on Beetlejuice in front of The New York Public Library.  Sounds familiar right?  Yeah this was basically the same bullshit show we saw during the short lived "StreetBusters" performance that ran from 1991-1993.  Here Beetlejuice takes control of the ghostbusters bodies and forces them to sing and dance to songs such as: “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark, “Bye Bye Bye” by ‘N Sync and “Oops I Did It Again” by Britney Spears!  ...Again making a total mockery out of the Ghostbusters franchise (Beetlejuice is good at that).

"The Great Fright Way" continued to run for the next couple of years, until 2005 when Universal decided not to renew their contract with Columbia Pictures for the rights to use the Ghostbusters brand...Thus putting an end to The Ghostbusters forever!

The Ecto 1 Car

With Universal Studios discontinuing all Ghostbuster related attractions at their theme park, the Ecto 1 car was stripped down and left in the studio's backlot to rot with the rest of the garbage.
Picture
Luckily Paul Francis, a collector and Ghostbuster enthusiast from Tennessee, was vacationing in Orlando in 2005 when he heard that the car was for sale.  Paul made Universal Studios a generous offer to take the automobile off their hands which they graciously accepted.  Since then, a lot of time and money has been put into the Universal Ecto 1 to make it as screen accurate as possible.  The fully resorted car has since appeared at several conventions and charity events across the United States. 

For more information on the Universal Ecto 1 car be sure to check out Paul's website at www.TheEcto1.com.
Picture
A stripped down Ecto 1 in the backlot of Universal Studios Florida
Picture
The fully restored Universal Ecto 1 car


Part 3: King Kong


Special thanks to: sfmghostbusters.com and theecto1.com for supplying information and/or content.
 


Joe
12/22/2010 8:55am

well done. I started going to Universal just over a year ago when I met my wife and made Orlando a regular destination. I hadnt been to Universal since I was 9 in 1992 so I had a lot of stuff in my head that I wasnt seeing. I miss all the classics of Hitchcock, Ghostbusters, Kong, and of course BTTF the Ride. Getting to read all the history and see the footage brings back the Universal that I remember and loved

Reply
12/22/2010 1:20pm

Thanks Joe! Yeah the park has certainly changed a lot over the years. I too really miss these early attractions that are no longer there. I plan on doing more of these blogs in the future for Kongfrontation, Nickelodeon Studios, Back to the Future, The short lived "original" Jaws Ride and some of the others...

Reply
Rick Cino
01/01/2011 2:29pm

Just as a note,

Yes I too am a GB fan! But, just to give you a heads up, GB3 has been approved and filming will begin in Spring 2011 as per Dan Ankroid interviews here in canada and many other media and leaks! Both Ecto-1 and Ecto-1A are currently being fully restored and will be in GB3... Just awesome eh!

Reply
Michael
02/19/2011 10:44pm

Sounds like I moved to Orlando near the same time that you did with similar circumstances with moving from the Midwest. Michigan though in my case. I too love the parks and their history. My trips in the early to mid 90's down here and then my years since living here have been great. I miss the parks from the 90's most though. It was a different and much more vibrant time. I can remember how excited I was in those years coming down here on spring breaks. I miss some of the shows like Ghosbusters and Hitchcock, and rides like Kongfrontation, Back To The Futures, Hanna Barbera, and all of Nickelodeon Studios. Personally too, I miss all of it even more working locally as a television producer. There was so much more going on here with all of that back then. I have many friends who worked on the movies and regular TV shows produced here from around 1989 to 1999. I'd love to see it come back, but I think we'll only have our great memories from it all. Nice blogs. I have a hard time finding some of the images and video you have on here. Amazing with the vastness of the internet how little that can be found of some things.

Reply
02/22/2012 1:38am

Thanks for sharing such an excellent blog. Its really interesting..

Reply
MovieMassacre
05/08/2012 7:22pm

A year later...Dan Aykroyd was obviously wrong lol. Wishful thinking on his part I guess. I think it'll get made eventually but who knows when.

Reply
MovieMassacre
05/08/2012 7:24pm

Thanks for reading Joe! The park has changed so much over the years...it's kind of depressing. And now we just lost The Jaws ride. :(

Reply
Jim Sutterlin
05/14/2013 6:00pm

I wondered if the original Ghostbusters show still existed. I guess now I know. I was involved in setting up all of the behind the scenes Hydraulic systems of the original show. The original show was very complex.

Reply
MovieMassacre
05/14/2013 6:19pm

Wow, that's really cool Jim. Doesn't surprise me at all that it was a complex show to pull off...that's probably why they cut it down to just a 2-3 minute show a couple of years after it debuted. What sucks the most about losing that attraction is that they replaced it "Twister: Ride It Out" which is about the lamest theme park attraction I've ever been on.

Reply
Jesse Wilson
11/05/2013 9:30pm

I remember this quite well growing up in Florida in the 90s. I was picked as a volunteer like the kid holding the ectoplasmic goo at the beginning. I remember being afraid of it falling on the ground and getting in trouble. I'll have to see if I can dig up any photos or video from that. This is was one of my favorite attractions at the park. Next to Kong, BTTF, E.T. Jaws, and of course the holy ground of Nickelodeon studios. I can also vividly remember watching Beetlejuice walk around messing with tourists and then the Ecto 1 would pull up and they'd basically fight him off. What a great and lucky childhood I had.

Reply

Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply.