There are many places I want to visit in my lifetime: Paris, Australia, and Montreal, just to name a few. All of these places have attractions I would like to see. In Paris, there are mimes and the Louvre. In Australia, there are wombats and boxing kangaroos. In Montreal, there are nightclubs and Canadian people. There are some attractions, however, that I don't need to see. For example...
1. The Cannonball Loop
Action Park, Vernon Valley, New Jersey
If you put a full water bottle on a string and swing the bottle quickly in a circle, the water will not spill out. But the same rules of physics don't hold when humans are substituted for water. The Cannonball Loop was a waterslide with a loop-the-loop at the end, and the few riders that did have a go at it before it was closed down were generally injured. Rumors have it that crash test dummies were decapitated during testing, and that park workers were paid to act as guinea pigs.
2. The Human Catapult
Middlemoor Water Park, Woolavington, England
Count on the country that invented powdered wigs and Marmite to give us a giant human catapult. Visitors to this dangerous UK attraction would pay $66 dollars to fly at sixty miles per hour into a waiting safety net. Unfortunately for 19-year-old Oxford student Kostadine Yankov, the ancient technology was not quite brought up to modern standards. The ride was closed in 2002 when Dino died as a result of injuries sustained from missing the net.
3. The Alpine Slide
Action Park, Vernon Valley, New Jersey
From the makers of The Cannonball Loop comes the Alpine Slide, another seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time feat of engineering. Alpine slides can be safe; however, Action Park did not take the necessary steps to make sure that their slide was up to par. Their one main safety feature allowed visitors to choose between one of two speeds: snail-pace slow or ridiculously fast. Other well thought out features included hay at tight turns to protect riders who flew off the cement and fiberglass track. In the year between 1984 and 1985, the ride resulted in 14 fractures and 26 head injuries. During the time it was operational (it was shut down in 1998), the ride also resulted in at least one fatality.
[You really need to read WeirdNJ's thorough history of Action Park.]
4. Space Journey
Ecoventure Valley, Shenzhen, China
I generally like the things that come out of China: the plastic cars I played with as a kid, my t-shirt, and my roommate. The Space Journey, however, is not one of those things. Unlike my shirt or my roommate, the aptly named ride contains twelve spinning pods that simulate a space journey. In the summer of 2010, the ride malfunctioned, killing six people and injuring another ten. Witnesses spoke of noise, smoke, fire, and spraying machine oil. According to one witness, "all the cabins but the one we were sitting in were destroyed. Some people fell onto the rail and some fell on the ground. Some people died instantly and were just hanging dead in their seats."
The name roughly translates to "Dog-Fart Switchback," but absolutely nothing is lost in translation. This dog poop themed roller coaster, replete with realistic dog and dog poop, features speakers that make farting noises as visitors pass by.
6. Cage of Death
Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin, Australia
With a name like Cage of Death, what could possibly go wrong? At this attraction, spectators enter behind an acrylic barrier submerged in a crocodile tank to get up close and personal to some of the world's largest saltwater crocodiles. Although the Cage of Death has no reported fatalities, the proximity to hungry crocodiles seems like an accident waiting to happen.
7. The Great Expectations Boat Ride
Dickens World, Kent, England
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Great Expectations, one of the greatest books ever to come out of England, was certainly never broken. Nevertheless, someone felt the need to turn the book into a riverboat ride. The owner describes the ride as "dark, smoky, moody"¦ full of smells and mist." The description evokes images of bogs or swamps, both very unpleasant places.
8. Dragon Challenge
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida
I'm sure this ride is great. In fact, I know it's great, because I rode it several years ago when it was still called Dueling Dragons. It's the exact same ride, albeit with a difference entrance and probably a longer line.
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What are your favorite and least favorite theme park attractions?