It occurs to me that I TOTALLY forgot to mention a ride we went on earlier! Before Apollo's Chariot, on the way, we stopped to ride Escape from Pompeii. This is the park's version of Splash Mountain. You go up in your boat, go in, and then all heck breaks loose. Then you 'escape' down the big waterslidy thing and get a bit wet. We were happy when we didn't get too wet... until some man paid the quarter to shoot a stream of water at us while we went by. Scott moved out of the way. I was not so fast.
So, I was damp for a little while. But it was pretty warm, so that was ok. (Glad I put my stuff in ziplock bags!)
Anyway! Back to the right timeline for these posts.
We found ourselves in the Oktoberfest part of Busch Gardens after crossing the creepy bridge. There was the sight of one of the new rides, called Mach Tower. It seems to be their "problem ride"-- I'd seen a lotof comments online about how it was never open, and, indeed, it seems that it hadn't worked quite right for a while when they first put it in, so the week prior to our trip was the "It's Open Again!" announcement.
Not surprisingly, they were still only testing it when we walked over, and said it would be open in a little while. So, instead, we went on the 3-D, "haunted house" adventure-- Curse of DarkKastle.
This was probably the longest line we waited on. Maybe it was because it was one that younger kids could go on? Who knows. But at least the wait was nice and air conditioned inside, and had some decent scenery. The room where we finally got onto the cars was done like a stables, and from there, you "entered" the mansion.
The gimmick, of course, was the 3-D, but it wasn't really done super well. There was a plot to the ride-- Good Ghost versus Bad Ghost-- and it was entertaining enough, but we weren't too impressed. There was part where you spun around a bunch, though, and I did like that, at least.
When we got out of the darkness of that ride, we found that the skies had grown a bit cloudier. Ignoring this, we went and found Mach Tower open.
Mach Tower seating was... dumb. It's a big circular pole, so everyone sits around it in a circle. For whatever reason, instead of just having people go around and fill in the seats on their own, they hand out these colored cards corresponding to one of four quadrants of the ride. Well, I got blue and Scott got yellow. "Just sit right at the edge, and you'll still be next to each other!" Except that some kids apparently hadn't gotten very good directions about seating or something, and took the edge spot for one of the colors. So, being the last two on, of course, we ended up sitting not anywhere near one another.
The ride was neat enough, though. It spun as it rose slowly up, so you got a really good view of the whole park. Cool! And then you reached the top, and it dropped you down real fast. Short and sweet, but we didn't really bother going back on.
After that, we found a neat little bridge that went ride under Loch Ness Monster! Hooray. I took a lot of photos of the track from there, because I thought the view was so cool.
We also saw some turtles, swimming around. They seemed to be expecting some handouts, but we had nothing to give them.
The skies, at that point, were looking pretty overcast, but we continued to ignore this. Emerging up some stairs from the other side of that walkway over the water, we found that we were right near Loch Ness Monster, so we decided to go on it. And to wait and sit in the front row.
Well, during the wait for the front two seats, it started raining. When the kids in the train before us came back soaked, we knew we were in for a special ride.
Let me tell you, riding a roller coaster in hard rain is like being pelted with tiny rocks, haha. Being in the front probably didn't help. I'm pretty sure I heard one lady behind me laugh when I yelled out, "Oh, god, it hurts so bad! Why did we do this?!" When we entered the tunnel, I was pretty pleased, hah.
We survived that and decided to use the rainy time to go eat the sandwich we had in the car. And, whaddya know, by the time we'd taken the tram to the lot and eaten, the rain had basically cleared up, though some clouds still remained to further drive away crowds. Hooray!
Tune in next time for Part V!