Can anything seem exciting to our jaded modern sensibilities? How about plummeting 100ft with nothing between you and a messy death but a single net? Or dangling 27ft off the edge of a skyscraper? For years now, ride designers have been trying to outdo one another in a race to create the ultimate experience. The result has been a boom in rides that are strange, fascinating, death-defying or, more likely, all three. Here we run down the 5 most-unique rides in existence:
If there’s one thing bound to get the adrenaline going, it’s the thought of suddenly plunging over 1000ft to a particularly gruesome death. Hence X-Scream, a ‘ride’ that takes you to the top of the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower, shoves you over the edge and holds you 27ft out with a single magnetic brake. If you think that sounds terrifying, it probably is. Everything about the ride is designed to seem precarious while remaining exactingly safe. The seemingly flimsy car, the narrow ‘track’, the knowledge that the only thing standing between you and open air is a few inches of metal shaking hands with a rail…
Nothin’ But Net
So you tried X-Scream and found it lacking. Where next for the determined thrill-seeker? Well, a BASE jump sounds fun, but the whole ‘wearing a parachute’ thing seems like just too much ‘elf and safety. You’re here to have fun damnit, not catch forty winks. Why not try Nothin’ But Net for size? Designed to make even the most hardcore enthusiasts piss their pants with terror, this Texan ‘ride’ involves being winched 100ft into the air then falling to Earth with literally nothing to hold you. That’s right: nothing. No bungee cord, no parachute; just the cold, clammy hands of death and a distant safety net. ‘Cause it ain’t fun if it don’t cause PTSD.
Blackout Haunted House
‘Blackout haunted house’? That’s more like it. Probably just a few plastic skeletons, pre-recorded screams and some underpaid adolescent mumbling ‘scary’ made-up crap behind a curtain, right? Wrong. Turns out haunted houses have changed in the last few years, and we mean changed. With simulated acts of sadomasochism, humiliation, violence and all things unpleasant; a visit to Blackout is less a ‘fun day out’ and more a ‘pants wetting nightmare of screaming girly terror’. New York’s premier abuse dungeon for masochistic Saw fans features everything from waterboarding to being force-fed. Hey, we said ‘unique’ OK, not nice.
Quick survey: who hasn’t looked at a digger before and thought ‘damn, I’d sure like to use that as a theme park ride’? Wait, all of you? Evidently none of you are the visionary behind Diggerland, a UK theme park entirely constructed from recycled earth-moving equipment. Now, to clarify, the park is owned by a construction company, so the idea isn’t entirely left-field, but still… the idea of being swung around at 50mph by a repurposed digger somehow just isn’t floating our boats. Maybe we need to get out more.
Thanks to Matt from Alton Breaks for sending us this video collection.
Photo License: Creative Commons image source