Vote of the week: What's the longest you've been stuck on a theme park ride?
Published: October 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM
How much time could you handle being stuck in here?
Perhaps you've been lucky (or you just don't visit parks that often), and you've never had a ride stop for more than a moment while you're on board. But anyone who's ever worked attractions in a park knows that shut-downs happen somewhere in the park every day. Typically, a shut-down only lasts a few minutes, until a crying child is calmed, a misunderstanding with a wheelchair party overcome, or a falsely-flagged sensor reset. But as we saw earlier this week Universal Orlando's Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rocket, a shut-down can last hours when people are stuck in a location not easily accessible by park employees.
Please share your favorite theme park ride "break-down" story, in the comments.
Speaking of comments, a comment on our post on that incident reported that It's a Small World also was shut down at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom this week, for about 45 minutes. Visitors stuck on that ride (where the famous theme song continued to play for 30 of those minutes) were offered an additional Fastpass to the ride of their choice as compensation for their ordeal.
That got me thinking: How long would you be willing to endure being stuck on It's a Small World in order to score a Fastpass for any other ride? Let's assume that it's a busy summer day, and all other Fastpasses for that ride have been distributed, so this is the only way to bypass the stand-by line. And let's also assume that the Small World theme song is playing the entire time while you're stuck. How long would you wait, stuck, on Small World to get an-otherwise impossible Fastpass to Tower of Terror? (Probably a few minutes, right?) To Toy Story Midway Mania? (Probably longer?) To the Swiss Family Treehouse? (Zero-point-zero minutes for that one, I'm guessing.)
Taking a page from fantasy sports geeks, this could be the new metric for measuring an attraction's popularity. Let's call it "MSOSW" for "minutes stuck on Small World" — the number of minutes you would be willing to endure on a stuck Small World ride to get an otherwise unavailable Fastpass to that attraction. Which attraction would you assign the largest MSOSW? Which ones would get a zero? How many strange looks can we get in the park while talking about various attractions' MSOSW value? Surely no more than baseball geeks talking about VORP, right?