This GIF reminds me of my near-death experience on The Millenium Force…
I saw this animated GIF and couldn’t not blog about it. The look on that dude’s face goes from pure excitement to pure horror. It is truly an “OH MY GOD I’M GONNA DIE” face. His panicked efforts to get his head back through the harness reminded me of a similar experience a few years back when I rode my first roller coaster.
Before I get to that, I need to give you a little background information. I live in Ohio and have been spoiled by being surrounded by some of the best theme parks in the world. Granted, they’re all a few hours away, but when it comes to school field trips, spur of the moment road trips, and “summer break is getting boring, what should we do” moments…. 2.5 hours is nothin’.
Unfortunately, while I was growing up my parents considered 3 hours too far to drive. That means during my childhood the only experience I had riding roller coasters was the piece of shit wooden roller coaster at Wyndot Lake that had a (maybe) 50 foot big hill, and was 25 seconds long. Only one group of people could go at once, so it took forrrr-evvvvv-errrrrr in line, but it was always the high point of my trips there. I was perfectly content with that roller coaster. I had no idea what I was missing.
In middle school, The Millenium Force was in the news all the time since it was the newly-built highest and longest roller coaster in the world. THE WORLD. In Ohio. Let that soak in for a minute. It’s all anyone in our class could talk about. For our 7th or 8th grade (can’t remember which) field trip, we all paid our fees, we rented a bus, and headed off to Cedar Point around 8 AM. Since the internet, or rather… MY internet… only consisted of Neopets and AOL chat rooms, I’d never seen a picture of Cedar Point’s skyline and had no idea how to find one. I’ll never forget the feeling in my stomach when we drove across the bridge and I laid my eyes on the skyline. It’s pretty impressive. And by “impressive” I mean “terrifying.” No old told me it was that high. Of course all my friends wanted to go and ride that first, so we went into the park and headed straight towards The Millenium Force.
Waiting in line for 3+ hours, you have a lot of time to think about what is about to happen, for most people this is a great experience. For a 11 year old first-time rider like myself it’s traumatic because you’re thinking of every possible nightmare situation possible. I was positive I would die that day, but I wanted to seem “cool” so I was trying not to freak out. This actually makes things WORSE, at least to me.
By the time we reached the boarding area, my friend wanted to wait a little longer and ride in the front. I told her no way, so we rode somewhere in the middle. THANK GOD BECAUSE I TRULY BELIEVE THIS DECISION SAVED MY LIFE, lol. I buckled my seatbelt and reached forward to pull the bar down. It was stuck in the upright position. My friend assured me it would be lowered when the worker gave the thumps up. After he went through the instructions no one listens to, the worker gave the thumbs up, and my friend’s seat bar lowered…. mine didn’t move. I called the worker over and he said something to the conductor and mine lowered. I felt much better. Checked it 10 times and felt OK. The Millenium Force is pulled up the hill by a cable so it starts moving pretty quickly. I felt us lurch forward, and at the same moment MY BAR WENT LOOSE. It wasn’t holding me at all. I can’t explain it. All I know is I FREAKED. THE. F*CK. OUT. I went into self-preservation mode. For me, that means SCREAMING YOUR HEAD OFF. I can’t even….. the memory still haunts me. We were already out of the little boarding station and by the grace of God the worker heard me yell (because there are a LOT of people that yell at the beginning for absolutely no reason) and they stopped us from going any farther up the hill. Everything after that is a blur, all I know is they fixed it and I was soooooo embarrassed so I stayed in my seat because I didn’t want to draw more attention to myself and I finished out the ride. That ride was the longest 2 minutes of my life. Looking back, I have no idea why they didn’t take everyone off our section and check the safety mechanisms, or at least put me in another goddamn seat. The good thing is I AM ALIVE TODAY AND CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT.
So yeah, THAT WAS MY FIRST ROLLER COASTER RIDE EVER. Ever. Can you imagine? It was horrible. I was positive I was going to die. I was sure the last thing I would see as I face planted into the ground would be a nacho cheese stain in the pavement, and the last thing I would smell would be the lovely scent of sweaty white trash.
I will leave you with a POV video of the Millenium Force. It makes it seem slower than it actually is… so keep that in mind. It’s just very smooth. Anyway, the moral of the story is I DEFINITELY WOULD’VE DIED.