Monday, October 13, 2003

Just... no.

TV news just informed me (it's too small or too recent a story to make it to web news sites) that a roller coaster car got stuck on Disney's "California Screamin'" roller coaster today. At the top. Stranding a bunch of people up there. Nobody was hurt, but still. I think we're all taking safety a little extra seriously when it comes to Disney coasters right now.

I'm particularly troubled by this one 'cause I really dig that coaster. I'm a real big roller coaster wuss (no surprise -- I'm a wuss in general) and, ever since being dragged kicking and screaming onto "The Revolution" at Magic Mountain in seventh grade, I've avoided looping coasters like the plague. A little while ago, I was with some friends at California Adventure and decided it was time to grow the hell up, so I rode California Screamin'. And loved it. I've probably ridden that sucker half a dozen times this year. I've decided California Screamin' is pretty much the most perfect roller coaster out there. The ride is smooth as silk, it has great little zero-g moments, the loop is nothing particularly scary, and the whole experience is so perfectly controlled, you feel completely safe in it. I don't know how else to explain it -- it's just that the ride is never out of control. It starts with a big unexpected burst of power sending you up a hill, and ends with an equally unexpected stop -- both of which just emphasize how much the Imagineers are controlling every second of your roller coaster experience. There's even this cute little bit in the middle where you're going up a hill and it slows, acting as though you aren't going to make it -- then it kicks in with an extra bit of power as if to say, "Ha ha!  We just faked you out." (Not surprisingly, this last bit has been removed since the accident at Big Thunder. I think maybe the people in charge decided they didn't want anyone thinking, even for a moment, "Uh oh, we're not going to make it up the hill.")

So, now I hear that the coaster stranded some people at the top for no known reason.

I am not happy about this. The words "no known reason" have no place in a discussion of roller coaster behavior. Obviously, these words are better than others (like "casualties" or "terrorism") but I don't like the thought that Disney's coasters are doing things outside of Disney's plan.  Cripes.


rinakatay21 said...

Yeah, I don't dig the coasters either. When I was in HS, my good friend and I were on the Georgia Cyclone and as we went down the biggest hill, and popped up out of our seats...the bar that closes down on us came loose and there we were with nothing holding us all. Talk about freaking out. That was enough thrill for me to never get on one again.

andreakingme said...

I'm an adrenalin junkie. I love roller coasters. LOVE 'em!

But this would make even moi pause because I am Weenie Girl when it comes to heights. (I know it doesn't make sense that I like roller coasters and don't like heights. Not a lot about me makes sense, though.)

I rode Magic Mountain at the Florida Disney park (world, land, I can never keep them straight) and I was disappointed because I couldn't SEE anything. Apparently, I like to meet Terror face-to-face.

pegluh said...

It's the Phantom of the Disney Coasters. Insane man wants Minnie. Mickey has no comment.