There's nothing that says summer like a trip to a theme park on a muggy day. The late start, the journey for parking, the overpriced concessions, the person who gets mild heat stroke while waiting on line for the new rollercoaster that was just built, only to have it be closed down for "maintenance" right before it's your turn to get on.
OK, so that's a bit of a depressing picture, and aside from all of those annoying things, sliding down a huge water-ride or enjoying a carvinal at night with your closest friends and loved ones is the kind of stuff that summer magic is all about.
Seeing as how all the fun from theme parks come from a sense of controlled chaos, there's, of course, going to be an infinite capacity for drama and things to go wrong. Terribly wrong in some cases.
Take the recent accident that occurred in Six Flags, Missouri while a rider was barreling down the Typhoon Twister water slide. It's got everything you could want in a water-based theme park attraction. Twists. Turns. Starburst-ey colors, the works.
Well a rider had to somehow go and fly out the tube, which caused the ride to be shut down for all other guests while they figured out how to prevent other people from falling out in the future. She was sent to the hospital as a "precaution", KHQA reports.
Horror accidents are not uncommon, and there's a long and sordid history of theme park accidents in the USA. Like the Derby Racer Rollercoaster in Revere, Massachussetts which was responsible for 3 deaths and countless injuries.
It was ultimately demolished in 1936, following a court-order from the state.
Any proud resident of the Tri-State area is probably familiar with the horrors that occurred at the infamous Action Park. It's so notorious that there's a Facebook Page/Group dedicated to people who "Survived" the theme park and its assortment of dangerous rides.
Though there's no shortage of terrors that ranged from electrocutions, drownings, and serious slide-rash, the scariest ride by far was the cannonball loop.
Test dummies for the ride were decapitated/amputated while performing trial runs, and the design was so terrible that there was an escape hatch at the bottom for people who got stuck. It was only open for a month before it had to be shut down due to constant safety concerns.
The Perilous Plunge at Knott's Berry Farm in Concord, California is responsible for one fatality when 40-year-old Lori Mason-Laurez came loose from her restraints and tumbled down 100-feet to her death.
The ride stayed open for a while after the accident but was shut down in 2012.
Out of all the senselessly dangerous rides that resulted in someone dying, the Human Trebuchet has to be the most obvious one.
Trebuchets are literally medieval weapons, and this water park places you on one and launches you through the air where you land in a safety net. Well one time, someone missed the safety net and they died. Probably best not to use siege weaponry as a theme park attraction, but what do I know?
Deadly and injurious rides aren't the only crazy things to go down at theme parks, Reddit is filled with stories of theme park workers who witnessed some things that went down that were traumatizing for entirely different reasons. Like this one person who saw costumed theme park workers getting it on - while still in costume.
Worked at a Six flags as a sound technician, so I spent most of my time backstage with the characters and actors. One time I walked backstage to find a headless Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo [going at it], costumes just unzipped, not off. Not exactly a horror story but definitely scarring.
These lifeguards who created a "code brown" for people who can't help but relieve themselves in the swimming pool.
I once worked at a water park as a lifeguard supervisor and it was an everyday thing that someone shit or threw up in the pools. We even called it a code brown so we werent straight up saying "uhhh yeah, another turd in the kiddie pool."
Then there was a time lightning struck a rollercoaster and this guy had to climb up and unload people right smack dab in the middle of a scary storm. Oh, and a psycho, knife-wielding dad.
Operated rides for 4 years. 2 moments stand out. The scariest moment I had was when lightning struck a utility pole below me (my position on the ride was about 50ft up) knocking out power to my ride and forcing me and my supervisors to unload the ride in the middle of a lightning storm. The second was a guy who was very upset that I wouldn't let his kid who was a foot under the height requirement ride. I told him no early in the day, but one of my coworkers let the kid ride while I was on break. The family comes up later and the father who was noticeably drunk, jumps two gates and over the tracks to threaten me with a knife. I called security and he ran.
And when Christian Rock is in the air with a bunch of repressed teenagers, sparks are bound to fly.
So once a year we have this event where a bunch of Christian bands come and perform in the park. Church and youth groups will come from all over the country to see them. Apparently these large groups of devoutly Christian teenagers have a lot of pent up frustrations... We would catch them getting each other off EVERYWHERE. I'm talking heavy petting to [intercourse] and everything in between. Behind bushes, in the bathrooms, on ANY slow moving or show-type ride - it got so bad that at the last event they actually shut down most of the slower rides during it because the damn fools would always get caught canoodling. I always like to think they had a deliciously awkward time explaining to their chaperones what happened.
Apparently though, the biggest problem is poop.
Oh, and people poop everywhere in theme parks. I've seen a grown woman squat behind a bush and then scurry away as if there's not a bathroom every 100 feet...
I'd much rather deal with poop that a decapitated body hurdling down a slide at Action Park, though.