So among the smaller attractions at La Feria, what did we get to? I've mentioned the carousel. One just beside Cascabel 2.0 was the Jules Verne Orbinaut X10. It's a motion simulator. I don't remember the last time we even saw one; could it have been as far back as Dutch Wonderland in 2010 or 11? Well, we couldn't resist. It was small, and cramped, and hot, and the movie in front was just on a flat-screen TV. And showing the computer screen for some media player with a MP4 or some other ordinary old movie format. The ride was the flying of our ship over a strange alien terrain filled with dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes and collapsing mountains and all. And rendered in this gloriously 90s-style computer-animation that didn't look real, per se, but was fun and oddly nostalgic. And the motion matched the animation well enough that it worked.
Another one, tucked beside part of the Montaña Rusa track where we thought there might have been a queue entrance? And also beside one of the food stands labelled ``Hamburguesas Crispy Chicken'', which seemed like a fascinating heap of words to put together? (My photo of the place shows three overstuffed shelves of Doritos and Cheeetos in the window.) Casona Del Terror, with a delightful-looking vulture standing on the ride sign. The haunted house. They let in groups of people at a time, although only after photographing everyone --- using a real digital camera operated by a person --- standing in front of a green screen.
The house was packed, with lots of props, lots of stunts, some of them things we'd heard about being in old-time haunted houses but fallen out of favor in American walkthroughs because they're too likely to break or too fussy or too easily vandalized. Or possibly dangerous; they didn't just have floors with slats set on shakers. I think they also had roller bearing floors, so you would step on and slide forward or back and good luck keeping your balance. Rooms built at angles, animatronics popping out unexpectedly ... and some real dark places with strange noises. This was probably the most intense haunted house at least since the ghost-ship walkthrough at Morey's Piers, which gains some of its power by going on for as long as fourth grade.
This did not. We were with a younger bunch, and whether they were really frightened or playing it up for the sake of making a bigger noise around their peers, they started rushing through the rooms. And we tried to keep up; it's bad form to get separated in a group like that, not least because either the actors converge on you, or because the actors have done their business on the group ahead of you and all you get are the actors resetting their stunts. So by the end of the house they were running and we were trying to run fast enough to stay in sight while still staying in the house and, well, we didn't spend enough time in the attraction. And we forgot to look at whatever scary thing they put behind our pictures. We probably wouldn't have bought souvenir photos (we just don't do that), but in our haste we lost the chance.
We admired the log flume, and the people enjoying the big splashdown just beside Ratón Loco, but didn't want to go on that. Not without it being a lot warmer than it was.
We had, many times over, passed by what looked like a log cabin, with a covered porch and dozens of people sitting, waiting to go in. The name: La Cabana Chueca del Sereno. bunny_hugger's Spanish didn't prepare her for this. My translator app didn't help much either. ``Cabana'' we were fine with, but the rest? The logo was a guy with a walking stick standing at about a 20 degree angle. The slogan on the ride sign, underneath its name, read: ``¡No dejes que la malédiction caiga sobre ti!'' Between the two of us we got a tiny bit farther: something like ``don't let evil fall on you''? Another haunted house? That seemed odd for a place not a minute's walk from the Casona Del Terror. But it wouldn't be that weird, especially if they decided to have a haunted house that's more family-friendly than the Casona Del Terror. Or if the park just had someone who liked haunted houses.
The long string of benches were almost full. But there were some seats free. We could probably get in the next ... show or group or ... whatever it was. What could go wrong? We would at least learn.
Trivia: The first space shuttle launch happened while eight hundred machinists and other workers, employed by Boeing, were on strike for delayed raises and cost-of-living adjustments. Boeing replaced the strikers with supervisors to meet the launch schedule. Source: A History of the Kennedy Space Center, Kenneth Lipartito, Orville R Butler.
Currently Reading: Learning From The Wounded: The Civil War and the Rise of American Medical Science, Shauna Devine.
PS: Getting to the part of the Columbus Zoo that we most wanted to see, given that we only had a couple hours there before we had to get back to bunny_hugger's parents.
``Excuse Our Mess!'' You can see what a borderline disaster area the Sea Dragon roller coster is, here on the approach to the ride.
The first drop of Sea Dragon, with a nearly full ride. The first car's seats were closed off; apparently, the restraints got stuck closed. (When a roller coaster's restraints malfunction it's almost always they get stuck closed.)
The end of Sea Dragon's first hill, where it rises again and turns back around. And it's an angle on a roller coaster that it seems like I never get, although there's no reason I shouldn't.