By Paula @ Holiday World
Published

…well, maybe not we.

I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with getting older, but those circular rides make me sick.

Sorry, I can’t “spin” this into something positive, but it really doesn’t matter, does it? You either like to put centrifugal force to the test or you don’t.

I’ll pass.

Back in 1992, the Kochs offered to take all the park directors to the annual IAAPA convention. Whoopee! We eagerly read through the printed materials detailing the multi-day event. Lots of workshops and seminars. An opportunity to network (oh, boy! was that ever the big buzzword back then) with management from other parks. Plus, we’d get to visit a big park near the convention site.

Huh? Why would we want to do that?

Oh—of course! To network some more, stroll around the park, munch on some goodies, maybe watch a show.

Rides? They have rides? Will it hurt their feelings if we don’t ride?

What the heck am I doing working for a theme park? Most rides terrify me. When we “employee tested” Liberty Launch a few years back, no one wanted to sit next to me for fear of permanent hearing loss. And I’ve already told you about testing The Raven a few weeks back.

My first park experience was at Quassy Amusement Park, or as it was then called, Lake Quassapaug. I was three or four and was determined to go on the kiddie helicopter ride. It looked wonderfully exciting and I begged and begged until my parents agreed to let me ride.

Big mistake.

When the ride started up and my pudgy little hands grasped the bar, I held on as tightly as I could. Unfortunately that bar was in the position that lifted my cute little helicopter to its highest position. Miles and miles above terra firma. My parents and brothers looked like ants from my terrifying vantage point.

So I did what I still do in such situations: I screamed my lungs out.

They actually had to stop the ride to let me off. I guess the other little kids had the opportunity to get a second, longer ride, so maybe they weren’t too mad at me. I’ll never know for sure, though; there was no way I could force myself to look back to check.

Happily, there are many, many children and adults out there who love rides that spin around. One mom emailed me recently to tell me she and her son always ride the Virginia Reel together—it’s their favorite ride. (Heaven help me – I can barely think about that ride!)

The Roundhouse is gone (you know that, don’t you?). Don’t get worked up about it, though, because we’ve replaced it with Revolution. It’s basically the same ride, actually, only a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, and with a slightly higher tilt.

And a spiffy light package:

Thanks to Tori, our director of rides, for providing this photo. She snapped it over the weekend, when it was incredibly cold and obnoxiously windy. What crummy conditions for training!

We’re all so pleased that replacing the Roundhouse with Revolution means we can still use Tori’s little joke: After you get soaked on Raging Rapids, be sure to spin dry on Revolution!

If it’s all the same to you, Tori, I believe I’ll drip dry.

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