Who wants to hear a story about a terrible/delightful theme park ride I went on during my vacation last week?
All of you, I’m assuming.
The park in question was Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. It is a wonderful cave system that I’ve been visiting since I was a little kid. Back then there was no park, just the caves on top of a hill behind Glenwood Springs, Colorado. You got picked up from the Hotel Colorado in a rickety white van, ferried up the mountain, led through the caves, and brought back down.
Things have evolved since then.
There’s now a whole theme park to go with the cave tours. An alpine slide, the highest altitude roller-coaster in the US, a huge swing over the edge of the cliffs, a couple places to get food, a giftshop, all the usual goodies you’d expect for a small park like this. Every couple years or so they’ve added another ride. The most recent of these is called “The Haunted Mine Drop.” It was voted best new ride of the year last year by some tourism thing.
Now, when you see this ride from the outside all you see is basically a large shed. There is no indication of what’s inside. As you wind your way in there’s lots of jokey evil company videos about how this mine is hiring and just keeps losing works for some reason. Oh, and if you steal their gold they’ll kill you, haha, they are a mine and know where to hide the bodies after all, haha. Rather Portal like vibes. But still no indication of what you’re actually going to DO. Or, more accurately, have done to you.
Finally you go through a finally door and find a row of six seats, with some boxes for you to store your stuff about six feet in front of them. So you drop off your stuff and go sit down, still with zero indication of what’s about to happen. It doesn’t look like there’s anywhere for this row of seats to GO so maybe they just...tilt around or something? Whatever. You sit down and buckle yourself in with only two car seat-belt style lap belts. Only those. No over the shoulder chunky bits of plastic. No handholds anywhere. Just a couple strips of fabric, one of which is actually secured exactly like a car seat-belt and the other which has some sort of notched bolt that is...maybe? more secure. Obviously this means it can’t be that intense of a ride...right?
The room goes dark. Another jokey video plays, apparently as a distraction so you won’t realize what is happening to the floor. Because there is no more floor, which you only realize as the ride, with zero warning, throws you 110feet down a mineshaft. You float up as you’re pulled down by the ride, because those car seat-belts are not enough. You accidentally grab the stranger next to you because your hands very much want to do SOMETHING productive about this situation, but they have nowhere else to go. There’s a pile of bones at the bottom. The children who rode with you are crying. Slowly the ride pulls you back up and the chipper theme park worker asks you if you had fun as the floor rolls back into place so you can leave. You exit through a door opposite the one you came in through, coming out between two bathrooms, probably so that you can’t warn anyone still in line what just happened.
It’s a tower of terror ride that starts at the top and hides its intentions right up until the drop.
10/10 would ride again. Would also scare my friends by not telling them what was going on.
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