Today I learned for the first time that back in the early 1980s an interactive Ghostbusters ride was actually in development for Six Flags theme parks! It was called The Hauntington Hotel, and it's truly a shame that it never happened. Had it gone through it would have been the first interactive video game/theme park ride. Thanks to /Film we have some concept art for the ride from 2600Connection, which you can check out below.
These pieces came along with an interview with Roger Hector, who managed Atari’s Advanced Products Group. He later worked with Electronic Arts, Walt Disney, Sega, and Namco Bandai. This is what he had to say about the attraction that was never built:
"It was another 'first' of its kind as it was the first interactive theme park game/ride, giving its riders a ghost busting gun mounted in front of them, and a variety of sophisticated 'ghost' targets to shoot at, and receive a score and prizes. In this way, it was a huge game that required many plays to learn and master. The target ghosts were a combination of physical animated props with CG displays that were combined through mirrors, and they reacted/exploded when hit. The guns were a combination of laser pointer and IR emitter that kept track of hits and displayed the player’s score. The whole thing was created, designed, engineered, and prototyped at Sente, and the ride system was in the hands of a prominent roller coaster engineering company, Intamin. But before it could be rolled out in the Six Flags parks (1st one was slated for Texas), Bally sold the Six Flags division in 1987, and the project fell into a corporate black hole, never to be seen again, which is too bad, as it was really pretty cool, even by today’s standards. I hadn’t seen anything like it until 20 years later when Disney installed the Toy Story Midway Mania ride at Disneyland in 2008. I don’t think any of it has ever been seen before outside the company. We had a very strong concept & storyboard artist named Don Carson, and below is some of his work, along with some of my sketches. This is far from complete, but it’s all I could find. The photos below only show some of the many scenes & features. Howie and his team prototyped the technology, and the layouts and sets were all there. At least you can get an idea for it."
The ride would have been two and a half minutes long and was planned to "feature a variety of high-tech and low-tech gags for the scenes. Every target would react to being hit, and guests would get to find out their score when exiting the attraction."
I really wish this ride had been built.