Ever since I was a kid, there was The Monster Plantation.

A 'dark ride' at Six Flags Over Georgia, The Monster Plantation was a portal into a different world. A wold full of silly monster, and the ultimate evil known as ‘The Marsh'.

Over the past few years there had been rumors that Six Flags was considering tearing it out. Which did make sense, after all the ride was pretty worn out. The animatronics didn't work so well, the paint had faded, and really… it seemed like nobody cared anymore. The park never seemed to take care of it and the ride became a shadow of it's former self.

Most people remember the ride as a fun ride with equal parts friendly and scary. You would wait in a long line, to get on a boat which floated into the charmingly distressed antebellum mansion. As your boat entered, riders were greeted by the ride hostess ‘Mizzy Scarlett' who would greet everyone in an exuberant and excited speech. As the boat turned the corned, the Marshall would greet the guests and warned them to stay out of the marsh (more on that in a minute).

It was then you were shown the ‘monsters picnic', a cartoony spectacle of monsters doing silly things set to a silly song. However before you knew it, you were soon entering the marsh (despite the Marshall trying his best to steer you away). There in the marsh, several menacing monsters threatened you and bellowing out “HUMANS” in effort to scare the guests (it worked). But don't worry, the marshall always saved the guests before any harm was done. With Mizzy Scarlet letting you know how grateful she is that you're ok, a few monsters wave goodbye and the ride was over… almost.

Before visitors are granted exit, they are greeted with a giant dragons mouth that consumes the boat. Which THEN is the real exit and the guests float out the side of the plantation safe and sound.

Every kid at school raved about how scary the marsh was after visits to Six Flags. In fact none of us actually rode the ride for the fun and friendly monsters. No, we rode the ride for the scary part. The marsh was all of our worst nightmares in one intimate setting. Urban legends told of kids who jumped out of the boats to avoid going into the marsh, only to drown in the murky swamp water. Indeed the marsh was the scariest thing to ever set foot on the face of earth contained within the depths of the Monster Plantation.

Until puberty hit and the whole ride became too silly to bear, except for a nice break from the scorching summer weather (it was the only ride in the park with air conditioning). It's been over a decade since I even rode the ride, yet every trip to Six Flags I've made it a point to walk past the mansion house. Just for nostalgia I suppose, the worn down look of the mansions facade managed to look worse as time went on. The park never seemed to put any effort into fixing up the old ride, and it showed. Perhaps the evil of the marsh had tainted the ride, forcing the plantation into a state of despair.

When the rumors of the park removing the ride began to float around, there seemed to be an outcry from the public. Despite the rides lack of quality in some time, the people still loved it. Even myself, who had not rode it in 10 years was upset. Initially reports of a new Scooby Doo ride was to be installed, only to more outcry. Soon followed rumors of an arcade in its place, and more outrage! Eventually the rumors silenced, the plantation was still standing. Perhaps the rumors were just that, rumors. After all, how often does the internet tell us the truth?

Until last fall when Six Flags made an announcement of good and bad news. The bad news was that The Monster Plantation was to be closed, the good news was that it was going to be REBUILT! Instead of simply mowing down the building (as the park did with the original Okeefenokee Swamp ride where the plantation stands), the park is refurbishing and adding on to the ride.

Now to be known as The Monster Mansion, the ride will be bigger and better than ever (or so they claim). I kinda wish I was there for the last ride of the original Monster Plantation. Just to pay it my last respects and face the evil marsh for one last time. However I am also kinda glad that I didn't. The years haven't been good to the ride and it showed. Paint peeled from the walls, the monsters began malfunction, some of the monsters didn't even work any longer. They even seemed to forget to turn on the marsh at times. The last time I rode it, the dragon at the end didn't even work. Talk about a dull surprise, just float on down a dark cave that sorta looked like something was there in the shadows.

So maybe it's better that I remember the plantation for when it was at it's best, and not at it's worst. I just hope the Monster Mansion can live up to the legend it has to follow. Sure, it may be a few years before I even ride the damn new ride. Six Flags is pretty expensive these days and well… it's just not as fun as it once was. However, whenever I do make a return to the park.. I expect the new mansion to live up to a lot of standards.

I also expect the marsh to scare the crap out of me.