It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

Another Conneaut Lake Park memory

zorndeslammes mentioned in my previous Conneaut Lake post that he'd miss the Blue Streak coaster as well as the dark ride. Oh, yes, the dark ride. I remember it as Dr. Moriarty's Wild Ride but it had another name before it went down for the count.

I wrote it up in a trip report. It involves the most incredible wall of ABC gum it was ever my misfortune to encounter. Kinda gruesome. Beware.

Oh, and rides? Well. My first was on Dr. Moriarty's Wild Ride (with
the INFAMOUS GUM WALL!) I was amazingly underwhelmed by the ride
facade. Looked like Dr. Moriarty and the Michigan's Adventure
Corkscrew had a baby and this was it. A concrete building with an
opening for to put the people. Oh, and a sign. And a painted wall
behind some chicken wire and a skeleton or spider of some sort. Not
too much bally, now, is there? I am used to dark rides with some kind
of facade. Dr. Moriarty didn't provide any for me. Perhaps his true
horror lay within.

I fell in love with this ride's homebrew feel. The cars are big heavy
things set into a track channel on the floor. The track on top of the
floor is made up of random pieces of metal -- anything the park could
use, frankly, to keep the wheels from gouging out the wood floor.
This means sheet metal, old bits of signage, anything -- and the
resulting ride can be interestingly bumpy at times. Your car rocks
from side to side and you can't help but wonder if it was an
intentional piece of "trick track" or just done that way. The dark
ride isn't even powered by electricity all the way through; cars are
"dispatched" by a mighty shove from the ride op and hopefully that
shove is enough to get you to the lift chain. The car before me got
stuck and the op had to go down and shove some more before the happy
kids were on their way.

So you're shoved on your way by the op and your heavy heavy car hits
the lift hill just right. You crawl up the lift hill past the painted
wall and then you notice it.

The gum.
All of it.

It starts out with a few early additions -- a speck of red here, a bit
of minty gum there -- and works its way up to this gigantic incredible
living 3D Jackson Pollock masterpiece. The walls and the ceiling are
just covered with the substance. It looms around you and hangs over
you, threatening to fall on your head and get in your hair. You ride
past, silently and still, holding your breath so as not to inhale any
more minty fumes and keeping perfectly still so as to not move
suddenly to one side and disturb the gum wall. You are paralyzed for
fear of touching any of the stuff. It is a sight mere humans are
simply not prepared for, in my opinion.

It is also the scariest part of the ride.

There is a turnaround out over the midway with absolutely nothing
happening (usually you pop out a scary door and past some scary stuff
and pop back in the ride, right? not here) and down the dip, which is
a nice enough dip for a dark ride, and then you scoot into the bowels
of the Dr's wild ride for a bunch of downhill switchbacks and some
decent dark ride stunts and a lot of loud spooky sound effects. I
don't remember how many stunts were actually triggered by the car. It
doesn't matter, though -- after you pop back out and the ride op drags
your car to a slow halt, all you will remember is the gum wall.
Tags: amusement parks, dark rides

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