What was the longest amount of time you have spent waiting in line for something? What was it, and was it worth the wait?
I’m having trouble with this one. I’m sure it was a ride at Alton Towers, but now I’m not so sure. Its the only thing there was a line for. Even when The Deathly Hallows had its midnight launch I just bopped straight into WH Smiths at 00:03, picked it up, paid and ran home. It was easy. In fact, when Return of the King was on at the Odeon down the road, I was there early, but there wasn’t really a queue, just a whole bunch of geeks getting interviewed by the Mercury.
No… pretty sure it was Alton Towers. It was for the ride Air. It was new at the time, and its that one where you get strapped in and leaned forward so it feels like you’re flying Peter Pan style (though I don’t recall Peter Pan ever having to wear massive straps! :p).
The queue started at one end of this huge jungle feature filled with fake lions, bamboo and waterfalls. I remember cutting myself a piece of bamboo and making myself a blow tube. That entertained me for quite some time, shooting pieces of twig and gummed up bamboo pulp at people further down the queue. They weren’t especially happy, but they couldn’t see me, so that’s fine.
The first section of the queue was two hours. Seriously and every three minutes or so, a carriage with ten screaming adrenalin fans would go shooting over head. I saw three shoes get lost in that part of the queue.
Then we spent another hour in a tunnel. It was just a section of the queue that had to go directly underneath the ride, so it had a roof (probably to protect from falling shoes), but it was far less entertaining in there. I’d lost my blow tube, I was hungry and my feet were starting to ache. -_- And the inside walls of this tunnel had nothing interesting on them to look at; just lights and the occasional bug.
Outside the tunnel the queue started to move quickly. We decided that it made no difference if we were at the front or not, so the queue forked into two. People who insisted on going at the front of the carriage had to wait longer, while the rest of us just clustered on in batches of eight. That last section took half an hour and by that point I was too far towards needing the toilet to maintain any sort of excitement.
Finally we’re there, lining up in pairs before a plastic pair of automatic doors which open up (like saloon doors) when the last occupants of the carriage had gone. We ran out, climbed in, strapped ourselves down….
The ride lifts you up so you’re feet are off the floor. Then it tilts you forward until you are suspended face down over the mucky floor tiles. All the blood is rushing forward in your body and you know you’re going to have a huge bruise across your boobs because that’s where the rescue bar was. Your feet dangle into space. Some idiot starts screaming – even though you haven’t moved yet – and then woooooooooooosh!
Spins, turns, loops, jumps, wriggles and flips. The ride goes nuts and if you can keep your eyes open long enough there is a great view of the park to be had. You can see all the other chumps in the queue and you grin because they still have an age to wait. Someone behind you in the carriage shrieks that they’ve lost their glasses (moron). Someone else insists they are going to be sick any second….
90 seconds later the ride is over. Seriously. 90 seconds. It might not even have been that long. To this day I feel that I desperately want those hours of my life back, for the simple fact that the wait was not worth such a short payoff. Sure the ride was good, but that is pretty much half of your day gone in a place like Alton Towers. Especially when it takes so long to get from one side of the park to the other. Next time, I’ll leave the new rides (they’re really not so great as the old favourites anyway) and ride things like Oblivion and the Banana Boat multiple times.
Because I can.
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.