I’ll admit, I’m not much of a “ride guy” myself as I have a mild fear of heights (which I can totally trace back to being three years old when my dad was tossing me up and down. It was fun for the first few tries, except when he missed catching me; luckily, the couch was underneath me to break my fall but I don’t think I’ve been the same ever since), plus I tend to get a mild case of vertigo sometimes when spun around and around.
But, in the interest of the greater good, it is indeed possible for me to overcome my fears to bring you, the loyal Stampede Blog reader, something interesting to read.
With that in mind, this week, a couple of my fellow Stampede Bloggers (Jessica Wilkinson and Sophy Kors) and myself decided to try two of the rides on the Stampede Midway which may be considered staples by some: the Sling Shot and the Skyscraper. Furthermore, we decided to video record our (mis)adventures, just so you could get a sample of what you’re missing if you’ve never been.
First up is the Sling Shot, which made its Stampede debut a very long time ago. It’s sometimes considered a reverse bungee ride as it shoots you up in the sky while being strapped to a seating apparatus held down by cords on two sides. The elasticity is provided by compression springs at either end of the apparatus. I had never been on this ride before, so I, along with Jessica, decided to try it out while Sophy took control of the camera:
Unfortunately (or fortunately for us?), the audio on the ride’s camera wasn’t recording at full strength at the time so you can’t hear what we were saying, but as you can see, it’s fun, yet a little short (but it doesn’t feel that way when you’re in it). They ask you to remove everything loose on you (so it doesn’t fall off), but I had forgotten to remove my name tag so the entire time, I was squeezing the seat harness tightly, hoping it wouldn’t fall off. Luckily it didn’t, but I guess I’ll know better for next time.
Next up is the Skyscraper, which also made its Stampede debut years ago. It bills itself as a 70 m.p.h. thrill ride, mainly by spinning you around at heights that allow you to see the entirety of Stampede Park.
Because this is a spinning ride, I decided to forgo it just to be safe and volunteered to film it instead, while Sophy and Jessica stepped up to ride it:
As you can see, the girls had a lot of fun, and it definitely will wake you up if you’re feeling a little groggy.
With the Calgary Stampede wrapping up today, there isn’t much time left for us to sample more Midway rides this year, but if you have a chance to come down yourself, why not give these two a try? The Sling Shot and Skyscraper are marquee rides and thus don’t apply to the Midway ride ticket program. Instead, they’re $40 a person, and you can purchase a video of your ride afterwards for a nominal fee.
As for next year, I definitely want to try these rides at night, and based on the video and the reactions of the girls, maybe even try that Skyscraper myself!