Park Patrons Get More Thrills Than They Bargained For

Riders on Canada's Wonderland Lumberjack attraction dangled upside down for 25 minutes
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 1:22 PM CDT

Thrill-seekers at a Canadian amusement park got more thrills than they bargained for over the weekend when the ride they were on came to an abrupt halt, leaving them dangling upside down for nearly 30 minutes. CP24 reports the apparent malfunction happened Saturday night at Canada's Wonderland, located in Ontario, on the Lumberjack ride, described by the Toronto Star as "two axe-shaped pendulums that swing through 360-degree loops that reach [72 feet] high."

"The face-to-face seats let guests interact with one another and watch the terror on their friends' faces as they loop round and round, changing directions halfway through," the ride's website description reads. That terror came to pass when the ride suddenly got stuck while "inverted" at around 10:40pm, with about 45 people on board, park spokesperson Grace Peacock tells the Globe & Mail. Passengers sat "mostly quietly" as maintenance crew worked on fixing the ride, which was brought back down by 11:05pm, per Peacock.

The CBC notes that two youngsters on the ride, 11-year-old Spencer Parkhouse and his 15-year-old sister, Mackenzie, say they "lost feeling in their feet and their tears streamed back into their eyes" while they hung upside down for those 25 minutes. "When are we going to drop down? Are we ever going to drop down?" Spencer recalls thinking when the ride first got stuck and he wasn't sure what was happening. No serious injuries were reported. All guests were checked out by first aid staffers and released back into the park, including two riders who'd complained of chest pains but appeared to be fine after receiving treatment at the park's medical center. The park was closed Sunday during an ongoing investigation. (More theme park stories.)

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