Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unsafe Carnival Rides are Scary

I remember as a kid I used to get SO PUMPED when I would see those carnival fliers that a carnival was coming to town. I knew all the carnival "hotspots"...the K-Mart parking lot....next to Wendy's...you know what I'm talking about.

And then I'd usually get someone to take me, or as I got older, I'd get dropped off to meet friends and we'd do the "laps" around the carnival, play a few games, maybe I'd win some garbage that would sit on my shelf or in the garbage forever.

And of course...there were the horrifying carnival rides....

the zipper Pictures, Images and Photos

It appears that this is a main website for the Zipper. The Zipper is one of the most terrifying rides of all because the only thing separating you from a concrete death is a small pin holding together a thin cage of painted metal. Also, the guy running the Zipper is rarely someone that you would want to converse with on a human level. He (I've never seen a she) usually has mid-back length hair, is wearing a flannel that has a few holes in it, sporting unkempt facial hair, a backwards Daffy Duck cap, and may be covered in motor oil. His fingernails are also 4 inches long and he loves listening to Godsmack while rotating the Zipper cages. Or Drowning Pool.

The Zipper also has its very own Facebook. Who'd have thought?

The Domain of Death3 , which has some great reviews on all rides, carnival and otherwise, also has some great info on the Zipper.

my ride Pictures, Images and Photos

Are we in outer space?! Whoa!! The Gravitron is perhaps the most visually appealing ride of them all, with a weird UFO design. While on the ride, you'll notice about 70% of the riders turn themselves completely upside down, and the rest of the people are busy feeling their cheeks separate from the rest of their faces. Also, you have to walk up an awesome ramp into complete darkness where it's you, your friends, complete strangers, and some dude, usually a DJ in the making, in the center running the ride/music selection. The music in here is either techno, metal, or gangster rap. Take your pick, I've seen them all.
This video has the elusive "hip hop" dj:

ride. Pictures, Images and Photos

The Kamikaze ride looks kind of like two opposing hammers that swing past each other and go upside down and makes me want to barf. Fortunately, you get a shoulder harness. Unfortunately, it doesn't look safe to me.

Ring of Fire
old ring of fire ride Pictures, Images and Photos

This ride is basically one huge loop. It's a rollercoaster that is in an eternal loop mode. According to its Wiki page, it says it's not good to operate this ride in frequent lightning. Apparently there is a lot of red tape to operating this ride: hydroplaning, not allowing poor unsuspecting riders to hang upside down for more than 6 seconds, etc. It also makes loud screeching noises as it reaches the top to stop. Yikes.


This is basically an outdoor version of the Gravitron (see above), but it moves up and into the air instead of staying stationary. At Six Flags Great Adventure, it's called "Fantasy Fling". Did that close? I don't remember. RoundUp makes me extremely uncomfortable, because if memory serves, all that's holding you in is centrifugal force and a piece of chain from dog leash.


Apparently, this isn't known to the entire world as the Scrambler, which upsets me. It's actually more well known as "the Twist". And upon reading the Wiki page, there are two distinctive types of Twists: Grasscutter and and Sizzler. The difference? Sizzler kills more riders than the Grasscutter. Just kidding...well...not really.

Pharoah's Fury

Also known as "the Pirate Ship" or in some more extreme cases, a space shuttle that actually goes upside-down, the Pharoah's Fury is a pendulum-style ride that basically goes back and forth and continuously raises in height until giving the feeling that you are practically vertical. The daredevils usually sit on the far ends, because you feel like you're even higher than everyone else and like you're falling out the seat. The older crowd takes the middle, usually. I guess what make this terrifying is the fact that they way the seats are, you are looking at everyone on the other side...which I find weird and uncomfortable. Also, you're held in by a lap bar and that's it. I can't tell you how many times I feared the boat becoming "unhinged" and launching me to my doom.

Ferris Wheel
ferris wheel Pictures, Images and Photos

I hate heights. Like....I haaaaate them. I don't even like standing on chairs...too high. So the ferris wheel just is not a winner for me. Also, the way they are constructed at carnivals makes me even more firm in my hatred of them. It's a sloooow rise up to the top and sometimes, you get stuck up there...or your cart detaches and you crash to the ground. Either way, I'm not having it. I don't care how romantic you think it is.

Fun Slide

The Fun Slide is a ride where you literally do all of the work. You have to grab a filthy potato sack that everyone else has been riding/vomitting/spitting/crying/drooling on, walk up, up, up to the top of the slide, and then wait until it's your turn to possibly go flying off the side to your death, because there are no rails...just yellow greased mayhem all the way down to the bottom, where you roll onto some outdoor carpet that's covering pavement. This is my least favorite of all carnival rides.


In terms of "least protection from death", this ride comes pretty close. Picture being on a swing in a swingset...that starts violently flailing you around and you are basically held there by a long chain. And then the chain breaks. Or the ride collapses. Ok, maybe not always, but the chance is there.

Another ride called the Yo-Yo (a variation of the Chair-O-Plane rides) is apparently very unsafe...This happened last year in May

There's so much uncertainty when you go on carnival rides. First, who or what is that person running your ride? Does he have concern for human life? Also, why is "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" constantly on repeat by every scary ride? Are these rides even safe?

Who can forget Kaitlyn Lassiter, the teenage girl who's feet were severed on the Superman ride at Six Flags in Kentucky?

Not to compare Six Flags with that of the travelling carnival, but there are sure a lot of accidents that occur.
Here's a list of all incidents that occurred at a Six Flags park.

RideAccidents.com is a great site provides all up to date accidents referring to rides.

For the most part, I'm sure these rides run fine and for every accident, there are a billion riders that walk away just fine. I just personally can't trust any ride that is taking my life into its hands that can be assembled/disassembled in a day.


Jim said...

This blog truly hits home because of what happened at the Meadowlands Fair.

Still, another tremendous post. And here I thought you would run out of topics. Shame on me.

Anonymous said...

The reason rides are so much fun is BECAUSE there is danger involved. If you just sat in a little teacup spinning around and around (which you'd probably find some way to criticize)you wouldn't ever go. There are malfunctions every once in a while, but it rarely happens. You've got to have SOME sort of danger involved if there's going to be any fun. There's more deaths by people driving their own vehicles than there are accidents in carnival rides.

The only thing I can think while I'm reading this is, "Have you driven a car?"

Carnival rides are built up to sufficient grade every year. Ride rides before you criticize their safety. There's danger involved, and ergo, fun!

Monster Bash Blog said...

Dear Anonymous,

Are you serious? You made me come ALL the way back to May of 2009 to read this garbage? If you're looking for danger, go set yourself on fire and enjoy the danger involved! WOOO!!!

Not only have I driven cars, I've also ridden carnival rides...ANd the teacups as well...if you'd like, since you like to come back to archived blogs and make these awful, idiotic comments, I can date it back to 1976 and write about the teacups for you. Let me know!

All the best!
Monster Bash Blog