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Scariest Ride Ever --- That shouldn't have been.

Have you ever had a reason to be scared on a ride that shouldn't have been scary at all?

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted November 12, 2007 at 6:21 PM
I just got this idea from another thread... Was there ever a time you were scared on a ride for something that wasn't supposed to be scary? Like a defect you noticed, or someone else's unsafe act.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Logan Decker
Posted November 12, 2007 at 6:33 PM
yup!!! I was at six flags kentucky kingdom and I was on Thunder Run. After the train had went down the first drop the lap bar totally came undone! It really scared me! I was sitting in the second to last car for the people that visit this park and ride this coaster!

From Danny Melillo
Posted November 12, 2007 at 6:45 PM
It's supposed to scare little children but on JPRA someone stood up at the drop, so I stood iup to sit her down and then had to get my ass down in my sit as fast as I could.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted November 12, 2007 at 10:47 PM
I thought that I was going to hit the wall on Test Track because I thought it was "out of sync"

From Christy Shuman
Posted November 13, 2007 at 8:05 AM
The wild maus at the NC state fair. It spins as you're riding. I had no clue it was as intense as it was. I was spun so hard and so fast, I really felt like I could have blacked out, and I have never even come close to blacking out on a ride ever.

From Ashley Stuchlik
Posted November 13, 2007 at 9:53 AM
I had a scary ride on the Fire side of Dueling Dragons two weeks ago. I was sitting in the front row and right after we went through the first inversion I felt something hit my leg and looked down to see the belt buckle that you strap into the shoulder restraints had come undone. Now I know they really don't do THAT much as far as securing you in, the shoulder restraints lock before leaving the station, but the fact that it came undone and I was sitting in the front row flipped me out. I never get scared on rides, but this one messed with my mind a bit and ruined the whole front row experience for me. Will have to try it again on my next trip and hope for a better ride experience!

From Gareth H
Posted November 13, 2007 at 10:15 AM
That would scare me too. I've often wondered what I would do if the buckle came undone and the shoulder bars did too. Guess I'd just cling on for dear life and pray, a lot.

From Jonny Read
Posted November 13, 2007 at 10:36 AM
That Sun Wheel or witever its called at California Adventure - Scary as hell when you sit on the carriges that roll along the tracks!

From brian lochridge
Posted November 13, 2007 at 11:22 AM
Any ride at a State Fair. Any time I know a ride is taken apart and put back together so many times, it scares the hell out of me.

From Chris Walton
Posted November 13, 2007 at 12:03 PM
LMAO, I agree Brian, that's why I don't go to fairs.

From Iris Hernandez
Posted November 13, 2007 at 12:20 PM
I was on the "Ring of fire" ride at a fair and I heard this loud pop and seconds later my harness came halfway undone while we were hanging upside upside down, needless to say that was the most scariest ride moment of my life. I was hanging on to my friends harness with one hand, screaming to the top of my lungs. Thankfully that ride is enclosed in a cage like thing and I wouldnt have fallen completely off the ride anyways, but oh it would have hurt like hell. And the ride just kept going cuz they didnt our screaming was out of the ordinary. When the ride finally stopped I was freaking out and they didnt do anything to try to console me, not even a sorry. THey checked the harness and just put it out of commission for the rest of the night. THey are lucky i didnt sue them. Have been on that ride since.

From Tyler W.
Posted November 13, 2007 at 1:52 PM
The scariest roller coaster i've ever been on was at the Virginia State Fair. It was the wild mouse coaster wehere is spins as you go around. The reason I was so scared was because when we went around curves the car leaned onto two wheels and felt like is was about to tip over!

From hulk RC3
Posted November 13, 2007 at 2:46 PM
The sling shot was definitley the scariest ride ive ever been on.

From ricky mulvey
Posted November 13, 2007 at 3:06 PM
At Cedar Point I was on Mean Streak and at first I put my lapbar down it rebound up and got stuck. Of course the attendents being as diligent as they are missed it the whole ride I thought I was going to pop out! I probably would have been fine but it was pretty scarry.Also at Disney world I experienced the "break down effect" on Test track which gave me a jolt.

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted November 13, 2007 at 3:53 PM
Note: Technically, the carnival rides are actually supposed to be safer BECAUSE they are taken apart and put together so much. Meaning the carnies (sorry, don't know the PC term for that) have to handle all the pieces and should catch any defective bolts, cables, etc. BUT, it doesn't do much to make you feel safe at the fair, does it?
That Zipper ride can and does come open sometimes and while it makes it scarier to go on, people have been known to be killed or seriously injured on it. And yes, I know that the percentage of injuries is small, but that doesn't make it any less scary.
I like these answers because everyone always wonders "what if?" when they get strapped into a ride.

From Tyler W.
Posted November 13, 2007 at 4:35 PM
I've always wondered what would happen if my harness came up on the second hill of Apollo's Chariot...

From Jason Jackson
Posted November 13, 2007 at 7:28 PM
Any ride that can pass me on a truck at the highway and has to be put back together again at the next stop is scary! I don't trust carnival rides! Only the theme park rides!

From Dustin Kern
Posted November 14, 2007 at 11:42 AM
They are inspected by the state every time that they are put together and do not allow the ride to operate unless it passes. These rides have to be safer in the sense that they are inspected in more than just one state every week. The only reason that they don't look safter is that they don't have the time to keep the rides asthetically pleasing.

From Brian Emery
Posted November 14, 2007 at 12:08 PM
Now Dustin - you are assuming the State Inspectors know what they and looking at……….

Hahahahahahaahahaha

From brian lochridge
Posted November 14, 2007 at 12:21 PM
When the state inspector is the Governors brothers friend form mechanics school, I don't trust them. "you got that ride put together yet?" Walks up and looks at the ride. "looks good to me, open her up"

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted November 14, 2007 at 2:47 PM
Most times, the accidents that happen at the traveling carnivals involve some sort of operator error (rides put in motion with someone in the way, pin not put in safety latch, etc.) rather than the ride itself falling apart.
That's the reason I do go on them, though. I know this is crazy, but if a ride is SO safe that my brain knows there's no way I can get hurt on it, it takes away the scare/fun factor. That's why I was bored with X-Scream on top of the Stratosphere in Vegas. The casino cannot afford to drop people 900ft to their deaths. Now on that Zipper ride at the carnival, you ride the thing the entire time thinking "I hope that guy put the pin in the door, 'cuz if this thing opens up, I'm dead!"
As a kid, the YoYo at our local park broke once and dragged some people on the ground. (I think one person got a broken leg.) I never rode it before, but after, it was more fun because it was a swing ride AND it was scary.
(please don't recommend psychiatric help, it's not happening...)

From Anthony Murphy
Posted November 14, 2007 at 3:47 PM
Sometimes the ricketyness of it adds to the ride. I mean look at the Matterhorn in DL. It feels like you are going to fall off that ride, making it more popular.

As this website point out, there is not overarching Theme Park safety government group. Maybe there should be one!

From Gareth H
Posted November 14, 2007 at 4:06 PM
I have no idea what ride it was, but it was a 2 person cage that spun independandtly on a big wheel full of the cages.

You had a bar in there that you could push in to lock the cage, so it didn't spin independantly but spun with the bigger wheel.

Anyway, when I was about 13 I went on this. The carnie op didn't pull the safety bar down far enough and once the door is closed you wern't able to pull it anymore is it locked from the door (Make sense??)

So anyway, I thought it was cool anyway. Cocky little 13 year old on a ride with no safety bar (Thats how far away it was).

Everything was going well until the ride started. Long story short, got thrown around badly. 4 minutes of hell and a broken nose.

That put me off going on that ride ever again...

From Danny Melillo
Posted November 14, 2007 at 6:53 PM
I think you are referring to a Zipper.

From Jason Jackson
Posted November 14, 2007 at 8:12 PM
The permanent parks have extensive internal and external safety inspections. I would ride a ride at any of those parks prior to a ride at a carnival (at least in Virginia!)

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted November 14, 2007 at 8:32 PM
Danny, I was thinking Gareth was referring to the Zipper, too, but the safety bar comes down with the door and the rider has no control of it, so it sounds a little different. That's what's so scary about the Zipper, though, the lap bar is attached to the door and if the operator forgets to put the pin in, the door can fly open and out comes the rider. My father wouldn't let me ride that when I was little because a few people had been killed on it back then (in the 70's). I finally decided to ride one this summer - fun, but a second ride would've had me puking. I looked it up online (afterwards) and a girl and her friend were thrown out of one recently and one girl died, so I guess it wasn't just my father being overly cautious.
Gareth, that's the bad part about those rides, your screaming in pain wouldn't sound any different than anyone else on the ride so the op wouldn't have stopped it for you.
Jason, I always thought that about park inspections, too, but you would think that cables are regularly inspected on drop towers, too, wouldn't you?

From Derek Potter
Posted November 14, 2007 at 8:51 PM
I avoid carnival/fair rides. They are inspected closely in some states at some festivals, but not all, and probably not where I live. The scariest ride I've had was the King Cobra in it's last year of operation at Kings Island a few years back. The restraints were a little loose, and I thought that the rolling stock was going to fall off of the trains. Needless to say I survived, and the Cobra was gone at the end of the year.

From Dustin Kern
Posted November 14, 2007 at 10:14 PM
What he's talking about is a Ferris Wheel with the oval shaped cages. You enter the 'cage' from the side and there is already a bar in there. When the bar is in the normal position the cage reactes the same as any Ferris Wheel. When the bar is pushed forward, it locks the cage and doesn't allow gravity to rotate the cage so that you flip upside down.

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted November 15, 2007 at 3:46 PM
Dustin, I was trying to find it on www.flatrides.com last night and I figured it was one of the "o-planes". Do you think it's the Eyerly Rock-o-Plane? I've never seen one in person. Looks fun.

From Mark Walker
Posted November 16, 2007 at 4:43 AM
It's A Small World!

From Adrienne McDonald
Posted November 16, 2007 at 10:23 AM
The only rides I can think of so far is one at Magic Springs, the Hawk swingy thingy that you sit in & it swings back & forth on a pendulum type device, eventually goes around & around. When it started backwards at the highest point, I started sliding out of my seat & those otsr don't really lock down to hold you in like they should or could & I thought I was going to fall out so I started to shriek & ppl on the ride kept turning around & telling me to shut up! Seems funny, they didn't say anything to the others who were screaming out of fun (or fear). The second ride was the swings at Dogpatch USA. Not the typical carnival, lower profile swings but the TALL freaking swings. These were on a steep hillside & swung out above the trees. I was fine til I looked down & thought the chains would detach & would fly off so then suddenly I became afraid of heights & was so for like 20yrs. I finally got over it by riding coasters. Still afraid some but not as bad. I was like 11 yrs. old so I started yelling down for the operator to stop the ride & "let me off!!". They had the same type at Magic Springs long time ago back in the '80s that swung out over the water. It was called Zypher. They were next to the pavillion which used to house the bumper cars which have been moved up the hill to a smaller pavillion & the swings have been traded in for the smaller version which kinda killed the excitement of swinging out over water. There are a lot of things I wished they hadn't changed with that park. I dunno if THIS counts or not but when I rode the Desperado, at certain parts on the track, the car seemed to jerk or 'jump' at some of the directional changes. I thought it was going to come off the track so it had me worried at some points but thankfully, I made it back to the station. I had to close my eyes on some parts of it, lol. :)

From Franki Brock
Posted November 16, 2007 at 1:19 PM
When i came down to visit some family in Naples FL we decided to go to country jam. Its a local fair when a country artists comes and it has carnival rides. I dedided to go on the zipper and right when we were at the top and up-side down the electricitry went out and we were stuck there for about 5 minutes. I thought I was gonna die!! The only good thing about the night was that Josh Turner performed!!

From Virtual Saturna
Posted November 26, 2007 at 8:30 PM
The Zipper has been mentioned a few times.

I last rode a Zipper many years ago, and the carnie did not put the safety pin in the door. It's pretty obvious what happens if the door comes open. Luckily it did not, but it was absolutely terrifying and of course no amount of screaming about it gets any attention.

Three days ago I was on X at Magic Mountain and I would have to say I was terrified, and in pain the whole time. every time the seats would spin or be upside down, my entire lower body would fall out of the seat. Helplessly I would watch as my feet and lower body dangled out of control out of the ride seat. I had to grip for dear life on the shoulder restraint handles for the entire ride as it felt like I was not properly restrained at all. To top it off, at the end I was treated to the most violent, intense head bang I've ever felt in my life. Three days later I have terrible neck soreness, a massive headache, and the back of my head is bruised.

One note about fixed versus transportable rides- According to the official yearly government studies and statistics on injures and deaths from amusement rides, the majority of injuries and fatalities occur on fixed rides by a reasonable margin.

From brian lochridge
Posted November 27, 2007 at 10:25 AM
The reason the stats are so off is because the majority of the accidents on fair rides are never reported.

From amish robots
Posted July 29, 2009 at 7:53 PM
I don't know about where you live, but we operate our rides in ohio, northern kentucky and indiana. And they are NOT insepected by the state at every single spot before we open. They are inspected (so far as i know) once per year by the state, and it is a very thorough inspection. Other than that, our own designated employees inspect every ride every single day that we operate, and do the paperwork for insurance purposes. Obviously this level of inspection depends on the employee assigned to the task. We also get fairly regular inspections from whoever the insurance company sends to do it. Obviously, it all depends on the company running the rides. Ours has operated for 15 years without any serious accidents. That is better than most fixed parks can claim. The vast majority of ride accidents occur though, not from design flaws, or even maintennance, but from operatof error. When you go to a festival, pay attention to the ride operators! if they are "asleep at the wheel" if they are not paying 100% attention to the ride as it runs, do not put your children, or yourself on the ride. If the rides look to be in poor condition, it probably does not bode well for the sort of people running them! I am proud to say that I work for one of the best in the business, and I am not at all ashamed to be called a "carnie"; it is what i do, and it is who i am. And the outfit i work for is probably the safest in our area: http://miraclerides.com

From Manny Barron
Posted July 29, 2009 at 8:10 PM
Snow White's SCARY Adventures..'nuff said.

From steve lee
Posted July 29, 2009 at 8:47 PM
Amish robots, thank you for the inside perspective on a part of the industry that gets a lot more flack than it deserves (the guys who operate the games, however, deserve every bit they get)

However, you did fail to answer one question that many of us have...

Why do you smell of cabbage? And why are your hands so damned small?

From Brandon S
Posted July 29, 2009 at 9:38 PM
I'll go with a different perspective than Amish robots. My grandfather was an electrician and he would sometimes get called in to inspect some of the electrical stuff on carnival rides. He, apparently, thought those rides were so dangerous, he made my grandma, aunts, and mother swear never to put any of their kids(me) on those rides. I don't know about any of your fairs, but our fair in Ohio is so dangerous. At least one person has died there for the past 3 years. And that's just how long I can remember for, it could be longer.

From Amanda Jenkins
Posted July 30, 2009 at 8:39 AM
At our fair about ten years ago, I rode a new ride (at the time) called Wild Thing. The ride rotates causing the seat units to swing out. The ride simultaneously raises into its elevated position. When at the top the boom then rotates through 360 degrees giving a completely inverted ride. Music was blaring loudly throughout the ride so no one could hear me screaming for help. Plus it was at night, so no one could really see what was going on.

My shoulder harness had come undone (which was the only thing to hold one down) I had completely slid out of the seat and had to hold on to the bars to keep from falling completely out. While holding on for dear life and praying to God that the ride would end soon, and trying each time to get my rear back into the seat; through each inversion I was being vomited on by someone who had decided to eat before riding.

Never before or after has a ride scared me to such a degree. I could barely walk from shaking so hard, to get something to clean the vomit off of me. Everyone was shocked when I informed them that the shoulder harness was not working for my seat. I have never ridden another fair ride that was "thrill" type. I save those for theme parks that have good track records for least number of accidents.

From Crystal A
Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM
I have never been as scared as when I rode the NY NY Roller Coaster in Las Vegas, NV. It sounds like it is going to fall apart and the seat restriaint system was not exactly effective looking. It felt like you could fall out at any minute.

From TH Creative
Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:50 AM
This reminds me of an old SNL Weekend Update bit with Norm MacDonald. There was some PR hype that circulated around that after Michael Eisner test rode 'Alien Encounter' at the MK he came out and said it wasn't scary enough.

MacDonald: "News reports surfaced the week that after riding Disney World's new attraction 'Alien Encounter' company CEO Michael Eisner told designers to make the ride "scarier." Alien Encounter will open next week. It's actually the same attraction only it will be missing three bolts."

From TH Creative
Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM
Rao is afraid to ride the Jungle Cruise.

From James Koehl
Posted July 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM
"Horizons" at Epcot. What was so scary about that? I was seated next to two Germans. Towards the end of the ride, the seats turned and were side-by-side as it went through some kind of hallway (it's been a long time). While in the hallway, the ride stopped. I assume they were loading a handicapped visitor. Suddenly the Germans started to fart- loudly- and the smell was beyond terror. And they laughed. And farted again. And laughed some more. Probably the worst experience I have ever had at a park. It was probably only a few minutes, but it seemed like hours.
I avoided the German building the rest of my visit.

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