Smurf’s Enchanted Voyage was a theme park attraction at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio from 1982-1991.
The Omnimover dark ride transported passengers through a series of displays featuring animatronic Smurf characters frolicking through the seasons of the year (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter), including holiday scenes from Halloween and Christmas.
Before the Smurf’s Enchanted Voyage, the ride was called Enchanted Voyage (1972–1981) and featured animatronics characters based on Hanna-Barbera characters, like Fred Flintstone, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, Wacky Races and The Banana Splits. Smurf’s Enchanted Voyage was replaced by Phantom Theater.
The Smurfs characters also appeared at the International Showplace at Kings Island where them performed such productions as “The Smurfs are Here” (1984), “Song of the Smurfs” (1985), and “The Curse of the Gargamel” (1986).
Around 1984, the Smurfs began appearing in North American theme parks owned by Kings Entertainment Corporation. Each park featured a Smurfy attraction and Smurf walk-around figures.
Here is a list of those parks featuring Smurf attractions.
- 1984 – Smurf Village replaced Yogi’s Woods at Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario which opened in 1981. It featured “Smurf Village”, a walk-through attraction, as well as Gargamel’s house. It also had an out-door theater in which live children’s shows were held, and “Lazy’s Snail Trail,” a ride in which you sat in buggies being pulled by snails with a Smurf on the back of each buggy. Smurf Forest closed at the end of the 1992 season.
- 1984 – Smurf Mountain opened at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, replacing the Land of Dooz attraction. Located at the back of the park, the attraction featured a slow-moving train that entered the mountain and once it reached the top of the chain-lift, the train traveled through numerous scenes of Smurfs at work and play. All the while, the Smurfs’ “la-la-la-la-la-la!” song played as you progressed though the ride. Smurf Mountain closed in 1995.
- 1984 – Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina added Smurf Island, which was a children’s play area located on the 1.3-acre island surrounded by the Carolina Sternwheeler. Smurf characters roamed the island and led guests to the hidden Smurf village with four Smurf houses that children could enter. Smurf Island was eventually closed, and later demolished to make space for the BORG Assimilator, a Star Trek themed flying roller coaster.
- 1987 – Great America in Santa Clara, California, Smurf Woods featured a pint-sized steel coaster, The Blue Streak (now called Woodstock Express), as well as a Smurf village with mushroom houses. Smurf Woods was closed in 1995 and replaced with Nickelodeon Splat City. The area was renamed Planet Snoopy in 2010.
While the Smurfs were popular worldwide in the 1970s and ’80s, they faded from the spotlight over the years. But Sony Pictures’ Smurfs 3D-animation and live-action feature film “Smurfs” (2011) helped the small blue creatures fueled a comeback. The Smurfs celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2008.
One big blue smurf made its debut as a balloon in Macy’s 2008 Thanksgiving Day Parade. The balloon measured 57.6-feet long, 38.7-feet wide and 47-feet tall was filled with 15,050 cubic feet of helium on Parade day. The over-sized Smurf flew above the parade to announce the upcoming movie “The Smurfs” (2011). Smurfs also appeared on the “Smurf’s Mushroom House” float the same year.
To celebrate the premier of the movie “Smurfs” (2011), a Smurfs Village was set up at Merchant’s Gate, Columbus Circle in Central Park, New York. The site featured a 40-foot-tall inflatable Smurf and 3-D mushroom houses. Activities were free, including face painting, a photo station where visitors can take pictures with their favorite Smurf, and Smurfs merchandise giveaways.
It was announced in 2012 that Bahrain planned $5.2m Smurf village project called Mushroom Villaggio, which takes its name from the Smurfs’ mushroom-style houses. It will be built in West Riffa at the Prince Khalifa bin Salman Grand Garden. In September, 2014 plans to build a Smurfs’ village in Bahrain were scrapped following two years of delays. In 1989, Big Bang Schtroumpf, a Smurfs-themed amusement park opened in Lorraine, France, but closed soon after.
Around the same time, construction of a “Smurf”-themed park was scheduled to take place in the city of Chengdu, the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, over the next three to five years. The amusement park will be built with an investment of about 3.2 billion U.S. dollars.
In 2013, Papa Smurf Balloon wished a Happy Smurfgiving to one and all when it debuted in the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York November 28, 2013 to celebrate the upcoming movie “Smurfs 2″ (2013). The balloon measured 51-feet tall, 36-feet wide and 46-feet long. The Papa Smurf balloon floated down Central Park West.
In the summer of 2014 The Smurfs appeared at Wild Wave Theme Park in Washington where the The Smurfs (Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and Clumsy) made their way through the park, meeting guests.
Smurf attractions are planned for Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland (retheming Critter Country) in 2013, Disneyland Paris in 2014, and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2015.
For those who want to discover a real-life Smurf village of sorts, the citizens of the town of Juzcar in Southern Spain painted all the houses in the village smurf blue and have incorporated images of Smurfs on the exterior of their buildings. In 2011, Sony Pictures used 1,000 gallons of blue paint and transformed this hillside town from alabaster white to a smurfy blue. Sony used the town to host an event to promote the cartoon movie “The Smurfs 3D”.
NOTE: The Smurfs are tiny blue creatures (“only three apples high”) created in 1957 by Belgian cartoonist Peyo Culliford who made their first appearance on October 23, 1958 in a story of Johan & Peewit in Le Journal de Spirou.
When these “smurfy” elfin folks debuted in America on the sixty-minute Hanna-Barbera cartoon THE SMURFS/NBC/1981-90, they became an immediate success.
The Smurfs lived peacefully in a forest in a tiny medieval-like village far from the prying eyes of civilization. Their only enemies were Gargamel (Paul Winchell) an evil wizard who tried in vain to capture them with spells from the “Great Book of Spells” (“So many uncast spells! So many uncaught Smurfs!”); Scruple, his scheming assistant (Brenda Vaccaro); and Azriel, a wicked black cat (Don Messick). Week after week however, Gargamel’s plans to snatch a Smurf were continually foiled.
The Smurfs were guided by the wisdom of their village elder named Papa Smurf (Don Messick). Like the Seven Dwarfs, each Smurf had a name that reflected some personal characteristic such as the brainy Brainy (Danny Goldman); strongman Hefty (Frank Welker); workman Handy (Michael Bell); the greedy Greedy (Hamilton Camp); the vain Vanity (Alan Oppenheimer); the ill-tempered Grouch (Michael Bell); and the vivacious Smurfette (Lucille Bliss), the only female in a village of many male Smurfs.
The series spawned a number of successful specials including “The Smurfs Springtime Special” (1982), “The Smurfs Christmas Special” (1982), “My Smurfy Valentine” (1983), “The Smurfic Games” (1984), “Smurfily Ever After” (1985), and “‘Tis the Season to Be Smurfy” (1987).
The Smurfs inspired countless dolls, and other promotional tie-ins as well as a number of copycat series with their own civilizations of little creatures (THE LITTLES/ABC/1983-86, THE MONCHHICHIS/ABC/1983-84, and TROLLKINS/CBS/1981-82)
The idea for the Smurfs cartoon series came about when then NBC president Fred Silverman saw his young daughter happily playing with a Smurf doll during a visit to Aspen, Colorado.
Lucille Bliss (Born March 31, 1916) performed the voice of Smurfette at 90 years of age in 2006.
In the world of electronics, “Smurf’s Village” is the third-highest grossing game for the iPad.
Kings Island Amusement Park
6300 Kings Island Drive
Mason, OH 45040
Smurfs Ride at King’s Island Winterfest 1988 (Video)
Smurfloand in the town of Juzcar in Southern Spain (Video)
Smurfland – Collectalbes Site (Website)
Smurfs Movie Trailer (Video)