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Ever feel like you had a near death experience on a coaster?


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I have had two very scary experiences...both at my home park. Once my husband and I were riding GASM and on the second drop the buzz bar came all the way up and we were practically standing straight up. It was the scariest ride I have ever had and we held on for dear life the rest of the ride.

 

Then another time we were riding Mindbender and the big clunk that always comes at the bottom of the lift was louder and more extreme than normal. Going up the rest of the lift our car was teetering back and forth like a wheel had been broken or that something fell off the car. Needless to say, my hands were not up that entire ride when they usually are. It was pretty scary!

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The only coaster I've ever had such an experience on was Space Mountain at WDW when I was 6 years old. That was the first coaster I had ever ridden, and due to the fact that it was completely dark in there, I could have sworn up and down that there were at least a few 90 degree drops somewhere along the track. I truly felt like I had survived something totally life-threatening. I can even remember that my hands ached from holding onto the lapbars so tight.

 

Since then the only coaster experience I've ever had that has really scared me (and not in a good way) was when I rode Firehawk at KI the first year it was open. I was with a friend and one of her friends, and we had the opportunity to ride it several times in a row w/o having to wait in a long line, as it was in the fall and the park wasn't very crowded. We rode it maybe three times and on that last ride something totally creeped me out, not sure what it was but perhaps it was the parts of the ride where the g-forces push the rider hard against the harness + the fact that the harnesses aren't rigid like those on most coasters (that's a good thing in general for Vekomas as there can be no head-banging). The worse thing was, the more I rode it the more creeped out I became, not the other way around as is usually the case (if there is a ride that might scare me when I ride the first time). I ended up having to fib that I had a bad headache and sit it out while they rode a few more times. To this day I have a hard time riding any Vekoma flyer more than once because of this feeling.

 

I have had a few unpleasant experiences on some flat rides here and there, most recently on the Paratroopers at Indiana Beach. Every time the ride made a single revolution there was this place where I kept hearing a loud "thunk" that just didn't sound right to me and I had no desire to ride that ride again that day. I have ridden many of these kind of flat rides and never heard any kind of really loud noises like that.

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Well this year at Kings Island Halloween Haunt me and my friend went on a late night ride on Vortex. Well when we sat down in the car and pulled down our restraints until my just stop, and I swear I don't remeber a operator checking my restraint or anyone else's. When the car departed I flip out and started saying my restraint isn't lock good. This guy behind me told me to calm down and hold on for dear life, and after I got off I was shanking becuase that was the most craziest ride I have ever got on Vortex. I guess they check it and I didn't pay attention watching them, but I swear I seen no one check them.

 

They actually did this to my friend once. He didn't even have the seat belt thingy fastened and they didn't notice. He's crazy, though, so he didn't really freak out at all.

 

And I don't know if they count, but I love to leave my restraint as loose as I can on Diamondback, and a couple of times I have been in the processing of slipping during the first hill. Then the restraint always closes another few notches at the bottom of that hill and I'm safe... and sad... lol.

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Blue Streak at Conneaut Lake Park this past summer. First row of the last car. I honestly thought I was going to get hurt from the cars bouncing around so much due to the horrible condition of the track. Definitely not worth the 3 bucks and I will never be riding it again unless serious improvements are made (el oh el).

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The back seat of the Georgia Cyclone. (When it was rideable, and much less rough than it is today.) I had the lapbar up relatively high and the seatbelt fairly loose. The first couple of drops scared me. But what scared me most was knowing the CRAZY drop was coming up. I actually tried to lower the lapbar mid-ride -- something I've NEVER done before!

 

Both rides on the Kissimme Skycoaster. And both SCAD tower rides I've had. If you check out Robb's video from IAAPA that year (I forget which volume that was - maybe the same video as the wedding?), I'm the one saying that I was pretty horrified!

 

Several rides on some of the most head-banging machines (like the Premier launched coasters before the lapbars) made me feel like I'd died! If they get those restraints on Goliath at SFNE, I won't be in any hurry to get on it!

 

And I fully expect several more on the China trip!

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Not a coaster but a flat ride. We were in China and it was on a Giant Frisbee. The restaint still had about a 1/2 inch of play when it was locked. It was a little un-nerving at the top of the ark to fall against the restraint and have it move a little. I had to keep telling myself that it still had the safety seat belt thing if the restraint should pop open but I was glad when the ride was over.

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The Wild Mouse at Dorney Park. 4 adults, easily a combined weight of 800+ lbs. We were hitting the corners so fast that the thing felt like it was going to rip off the tracks. We were all screaming for dear life!! Now, I am no wild mouse novice. I know that this coaster is supposed to feel like it is going over the edge, but this was ridiculous. I felt that perhaps we were over the weight limit because I have never had a wild mouse experience like it.

 

You remember when this was?

 

I'm just curious since now it's braked a ton and they won't even let 4 adults ride in a car... wonder if they got stopped sometime

 

This was in 2001, the year Talon opened.

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Ninja @ SFMM in June. At first I'd been holding the OTSR against me, but I let go of it and noticed it coming up, and I thought "Holy $&%!, I'm gonna die". But I'm alive nevertheless :rofl:

 

JPRA @ Universal. I was pretty much restraintless.

Although I suppose Ninja was sort of a feat when it came out, I think that Ninja is my least favorite ride of any theme park ever. It could just be because of the giant lift hill at the end ,only to find out that the ride is over...

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Oh my god, this happened just a month ago. I know this startles a lot of people, but there's at least somewhat of a story here:

 

At Disneyland, riding Thunder Mountain, assuming it's going to be just another coaster through a rocky landscape (I had never been on a Disney coaster before). It's night time and I can only see what's purposely lit up, which makes this worse. Well (you guys probably all know this) there's a part where you go by a couple wolves and a possum is hanging on a branch above you. I saw the possum, but didn't see the baby possums that are spinning around until the last second!! literally thought it was some piece of debris heading for my face, so I jumped from being startled and somehow bonked my girlfriend in the head (:( I feel so bad for that still)

 

Well she had no clue why I jumped and whacked her head, so we decided to ride it again and this time I was going to point it out. I didn't tell her what it was, I just said to look up at something moving next to the hanging possum. We get to that part of the ride, I scream and point "there!" and she sees it just as they swing around the pole. She screams and jumps out of her seat louder and farther than I have ever seen her do before!

 

Needless to say, those stupid baby possums scared the living crap out of both of us, on separate occasions! Disney ftw

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I used to go to SFGAdv every weekend back in 2006-2007 and the more I rode the rides, the more I got comfortable doing the "knee up" to reduce stapling. Well I did it once on Nitro and the lap bar was about 2-3 notches above me, so I had a reasonable 1-2 inch gap between me and the lap bar. I was in the back row mind you, and I was fine and dandy on the first drop and over the hill that turns you out towards the hammerhead. On the first legit airtime hill right before the hammerhead, I legitimately thought I was going to fly out, that's how much I floated out of my seat, but I still didn't grab the restraint, needless to say, it was one of the best rides I had on Nitro, but after that I kept the restraint at about 1-2 notches above me. lol

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On Roar at America my lap bar released as we were going up the lift hill. That was before I knew about forces and that I wouldn't fly out, so I was scared for my life. On top of that, the rides incredibly rough and felt like the train would derail at any second. Also, on the same day it started to thunder and lightning while I was going up the Wild Ones lift. It was absolutely terrifying.

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I recently rode Ultimate with the restraint maybe 4-5ins above me, the ops thought this was ok and dispatched the train, by the time I got to the 2nd lift I decided it was time to be responsible and secure myself properly for the ridiculous second half of the ride. I could have ended up in orbit on the 2 silly hills after the forest run!

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When I got on Mean Streak for the first (and only) time, I sincerely thought i was going to die! It was just this past summer. The way that thing rattles, it makes you sincerely think that the train has derailed itself. The scariest part was that on the the hill after the turn which goes around the lift, it was glass smooth (mind you i'm talking about mean streak!) for about 2 seconds, and it felt like we were floating. Scared me shitless man

 

The rolling Thunder hill on El Toro! NO EXPLENATION NEEDED! PERIOD.

 

Also, my dad has a story too. when he went to busch gardens in '91, his restraint on loch ness monster didn't click in, and on the first drop it came all the way up.

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Scariest and also funniest coaster mishap for me was on Hades at Mt Olympus. The final brakes failed and the train went sailing over the last hill into the station where the station brakes did grab. The jarring stop caused the cars to buckle up on each other.

 

The funny part is if you've been to Mt. O you know the ride ops are almost entirely from eastern Europe and speak very little English. After we came slamming into the station the female ride op freaked. She picks up the phone and shrieks in a very thick accent "it run too fast!". The mechanic comes up to the station, releases the station brake for a moment, the train rolls a little forward and the cars unbuckle themselves and it appears all is well. The mechanic apologizes to everyone and asks if anyone would like to go again. We were the only ones to say heck yes, let's do that again, lol.

 

The section I'm talking about starts at 1:27 here:

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The closest I've come when when I was young, maybe 8 years old, I went to USH for the first time in Hollywood. On my 4th ride or Jurassic Park, My mom and I were put next to a morbidly obese person. He looked like he could be a sumo wrestler. The problem was that there is a single lapbar for each row of the train, so the lapbar went down to the man, and was really far away from me. During the ride, I stood up even with the lapbar locked due to the huge distance between my lap and the bar. I was freaked out and held onto the bar as tight as I could on that drop!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My near death experience happened to me Not by riding X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but by a horrifying discovery after I've gotten off the coaster.

 

As a rider and amusement park flyer, I'm very aware about securing loose articles when riding coasters. I would be wearing my bathing trucks that doubles as shorts and store all my loose articles into a zipper pocket. But during my trip to California, I only brought one pair of shorts that had two buttoned pocket in the front. Before we boarded, I had my sunglasses in the right side pocket and in my left I had a couple of quarters ( to use the Footsie Wootsie machine - hey, I love to use them whenever I'm at an amusement park) and the car keys to the rental I was using during my trip.

 

X2 was wild and I don't think I'll ever ride another coaster like that again. Still, I was an X-cellent ride!

 

But that thrill was short lived after I got off and checked my pockets. I don my sunglasses, then checked my other pocket. Although my car keys were still there, half of the quarters I had in that pocket were gone!

 

As I began to slowly walk to ride Deja Vu, my heart started racing like I was running instead (which I wasn't; I can't run even if I wanted to) as a horrific issue came to me - what if I lost those keys on X2? My vacation would've been over. I don't think those keys would ever be recovered (I lost a wallet before while riding a coaster and never gotten it back), but they could've been replaced, but the car rental place would charge me an arm and a leg for the key replacement, not to mention the time delay and tons of inconveniences (I had a hotel room in Bakersville that night) . Although I begin to get back to normal as the day went on; still, that moment was so horrifying it could also have been a near death experience for me.

 

So after that, I will make sure that one article of clothing has a zippered pocket so all my articles will be secured and I won't be having that experience again.

 

"Too bad that didn't scare you from riding anymore rides, then I would've been one happy pillow!"

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^I wouldn't recommend trying that on Tatsu. That very same thing happened to my Dad on Manta at Sea World. Lost the keys to the motor home and if you have ever ridden it, you know that most of the ride is either over water, shrubs, or rocks!

 

One persistant employee was able to luckily find them and deliver them to Guest Services before we left for the day though (she was awesome and I commended her in an E-mail to Sea World after the fact).

 

So even though we could have (and should have) gotten the FFBFWM&G to store the keys, we REALLY lucked out by that employee finding them! My Dad went out and had multiple keys made up for the motor home and went out and bought zippered cargo shorts and pants just for theme parks!

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The extent of my death defying experiences on a coaster has been being stuck on the brake run for perhaps 5 minutes. No restraints popping up, e-stops on MCBR, nothing. That said, when I ride an Intamin megacoaster, the Expedition GeForce derailment inevitably appears in my thoughts. Similarly, Intamin rocket coasters- Kingda Ka and Xcelerator creep into my thoughts. Demon's axle failure and stalling at the top of a loop too. I never feel unsafe, but it's hard to entirely avoid thinking about it.

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