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Theatre / Ghostbusters Spooktacular

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Ghostbusters Spooktacular was a show that ran at Universal Studios Florida in the early to mid '90s. Based off of the popular film series, the show featured a somewhat-recreation of the first film's pivotal climax of the Ghostbusters's battle against Gozer. First going live on June 7, 1990, the show was one of the park's opening day attractions.

There were two different versions of the show in its run. The first one depicted a straight-forward behind-the-scenes look of the movie, where a female tour guide would show guests replicas of the film's sets as well as explaining how some of the special effects were done. The show would then take a dramatic turn as the set would come to life, with Gozer awakening to capture the tour guide before the Ghostbusters show up for real to save her.

The second and often more-remembered version of the show replaced the first iteration in 1993. It gave a sizable expansion to the attraction, adding in a pre-show as well as more of an actual storyline. The second version started with Louis Tully introducing the guests to the Ghostbusters' new branch location in Orlando, Florida. With the backstory of the Ghostbusters wanting to expand their business across the country, Louis would demonstrate to the guests the work and equipment needed to become a Ghostbuster and open up a new branch for the business.

In the main show, the demonstration would get interrupted by Walter Peck, who possessed a warrant to shut down the entire business due to the belief that the Ghostbusters are frauds and ghosts don't exist. In his attempt to manually shut down the facility, Walter inadvertently ended up releasing the captured ghosts to wreak havoc, with Gozer being the big ringleader of them all. The Ghostbusters would then make their appearance, stopping the loose ghosts and defeating Gozer in his Stay Puft Marshmallow Man form once again.

The show closed on November 8, 1996 and was later replaced with Twister...Ride it Out (which has also since been closed). Ghostbusters would temporarily return to the park 23 years later with a 2019 Halloween Horror Nights haunted house. References to Ghostbusters can still be found in the park today, though in an extremely-limited fashion.

Tropes shown in Ghostbusters Spooktacular include:

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    Both Versions 
  • The Bad Guy Wins: An alternate version of the show was run during the earlier years of Halloween Horror Nights, where Gozer actually defeats the heroes.
  • Big Bad: Gozer served this role in both versions.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The titular heroes show up just in the nick of time to stop Gozer.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: All of Gozer's minions go down within seconds.
  • Demoted to Extra: After the attraction was closed, the Ghostbusters' presence in the park was limited to a small street show that ended as well in 2005. Now, the Ghostbusters only appear in the park in the form of third-party merchandise.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Occurs several times before Gozer breaks free.
  • Drop the Hammer: While he doesn't use it, the clown ghost wields a giant cartoon mallet.
    • Bowdlerize: The original concept art had him with a large knife.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: While not in this exact show, there was another Ghostbusters show in the park, called StreetBusters, that had the team facing off against Betelgeuse, who at first possesses them into singing various pop songs, until they manage to break free of his control and capture him.
  • Large Ham: Gozer is practically an Expy for Prime Evil.
  • Mind over Matter: Gozer uses his powers to pull the tour guide/Walter towards his temple.
  • Mooks: Gozer in this attraction has his own mini-army of ghost mooks, all of which are easily beaten by the protagonists.
  • Scary Jack-in-the-Box: An evil ghost jack-in-the-box was among Gozer's mooks.
  • Skepticism Failure: In both versions, there's a character who makes it clear that they don't believe in ghosts, only to get proved severely wrong just moments later.
  • Who Dares?: Upon being realized, Gozer yells out, "Who dares defile my temple?!"

    Original Version 
  • Adaptation Distillation: This version was basically an excuse to recreate the finale of the first film - though within a span of 10 minutes and with some extra dangers thrown in.
  • Badass Boast: Towards the climax, Gozer yells the typical "None can stand before me!" line.
  • Comically Missing the Point: This exchange when Gozer is forcing the tour guide towards his temple:
    Winston: Hey, she's taking the girl!
    Peter: I hate it when that happens!
  • Damsel in Distress: In the original version, the tour guide becomes this once Gozer gets a hold of her.
  • Demonic Possession: Gozer is eventually able to straight-up mind control the tour guide into entering his temple.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When Gozer appears for the second time in the original version of the show, the tour guide adamantly states that she's not going into its gates, as well as referring to Gozer as "missy".
  • Get Out!: Gozer shouts this at the tour guide shortly after being awoken by her.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: An overly-cheery version of the Jack-in-the-Box tune plays just before the clown ghost pops out.
  • Rescue Romance: When the Ghostbusters save the tour guide, she mentions that she has no idea how to repay them, to which Peter gleefully responds, "Well, why don't you and I talk about it? My house at 8:30!". Averted in that she rejects Peter's advances.
  • Silence, You Fool!: Gozer yells this after the tour guide won't stop talking back to him.
  • Tempting Fate: After disposing of Gozer's mooks, the classic "I think that's the last of them" line is said, only for Gozer to show up yet again.

    Later Version 
  • Accidental Misnaming: Just before Walter Peck is about to shut the facility down, Louis, in panic, accidentally says his last name as, "Pecker".
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When faced with Gozer, Walter completely drops his professional attitude and begs for help from any source possible.
  • Audience Participation: In the pre-show, Louis Tully picks three volunteers for certain activities, the first to hold some sort of pink goo, the second to wear a machine that's supposed to read their mind, and the third to hold a piece of ghost-hunting equipment that ends up spraying the audience with water.
  • Big Applesauce: Averted, as unlike other Ghostbusters works, the show was specifically set in Orlando, Florida; with the heroes mentioning it several times.
  • But Wait, There's More!: When showing off the "Ghostbuster starter kits", Louis mentions, "But that's not all! Because if you act right now, we'll throw in these handsome ghost blasters for no extra charge!"
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Walter shows his identification and association with the state, Louis thinks that this means their going to get their "first big government contract".
  • Covered in Gunge: The ending of the show had Walter coming out covered in marshmallow, mirroring what happens to him in the movie.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading: In the pre-show, the mind-reading machine shows that the (male) participant is thinking of something like himself being in a wedding dress or himself being surrounded by supermodels.
  • Distressed Dude: Walter Peck serves this role when Gozer holds him hostage.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Louis specifically tells Walter not to shut down the ghost containment, which he does anyway.
  • Fainting: Walter faints out of exhaustion at the end of the show.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Shortly after the ghost containment is opened, total darkness and air blasts were used to give the illusion of the ghosts attacking the guests.
  • I Want My Mommy!: After Walter shuts down the ghost containment, Louis simply mutters, "Mommy..."
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: The Ghostbusters commercial in the pre-show is just as cheesy as it was in the movies.
  • Look Behind You: After realizing Walter's intentions, Louis responds, "Hey! What's that?!", before shutting the power down for the whole building.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: In the attraction, Walter is now a part of the "State of Florida Consumer Protection Bureau".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While clearly not the hero from the story's perspective, Walter ends up releasing the ghosts when he attempts to shut the facility down.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Walter is much more of a threat in the attraction, getting very close to shutting down the Ghostbusters business, along with unintentionally releasing Gozer in the process.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: A goblin ghost appears as one of Gozer's minions.
  • PortmanTitle: Spook + Spectacular = Spooktacular.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Louis handles the ghost blaster he's holding very poorly, resulting in him blasting a hole through a wall.
  • Red Alert: The building is set into one after the ghost tank is opened.
  • Say My Name: Just before being forced through Gozer's gates, Walter begs for help, eventually screaming, "GHOSTBUSTERS!".
  • Schmuck Bait: Louis tells a kid not to let the pink goo touch the floor, saying disastrous things could happen as a result. Subverted in the end as the kid doesn't drop it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Upon seeing Gozer, Walter attempts to make a run for it before being stopped by the former.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The building's ghost containment is what was keeping the ghosts from breaking free.
  • Sequel Escalation: The second version added more of an actual storyline to the attraction, along with the addition of a pre-show.
  • Speak of the Devil: Gozer appears not too long after Walter repeatedly ignores Louis' warnings to not say his name.
  • Updated Re Release: What this version was to the previous one (clearly).