This is seriously one of my worst nightmares. The thought of being stuck far up in the air for hours, hanging from some broken amusement park ride, not only freaks me out but brings back vivid memories of my own amusement park high wire break down.
When I was about six or seven, about the same age as my daughter is now, we went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We rode the “Sky Glider,” one of those rides where you travel across the park in a small seat while high above the crowds. Mid-way through the journey, the ride got stuck and we were stranded there for about 20 or 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I was up there with a daredevil pal who found some kind of sick joy in rocking the car, which made me envision that it would jump off the thick cable and go careening to earth. I was all colors of traumatized. And since that day, I have never been able to ride on another one of those “Sky Gliders,” which has totally stunted my professional ski career (you won’t see me jumping on a ski lift anytime soon).
Now that’s my story, but it totally pales in comparison to the 20 riders who were stuck 300 feet above the ground while riding on the Windseeker ride at Southern California’s Knott’s Berry Farm. And it wasn’t just for 20 or 30 minutes. They were stuck for three hours, with legs dangling while the sun set and the park shut down for the night. Eventually, the maintenance crew was able to get the ride working again and the riders were safety brought back down to earth.
“I have a fear of heights so that first half-hour was a little bit daunting,” one stuck rider said when talking about how her husband helped her keep calm. “But he’s a great coach. He talked me through it.”
I just wonder if there were any youngsters on the ride, although you have to be on the taller side to ride the Windseeker. Will they gain a fear of heights from the experience?
Have you ever been stuck on an amusement park ride?
Photo Source: Wikipedia