Friday, January 2, 2015

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop

Today's blog post starts in Buena Park, California, and ends in Marne-la-Vallée, France.  Once upon a time, over at Knott's Berry Farm, where the Sky Tower stands, there was a parachute drop ride considered a classic amongst all guests.  In relatively small, two person cages, riders of the Parachute Sky Jump were hoisted up over two hundred feet, held at the top for just a few seconds, then allowed to freefall the twenty stories back to the ground before being braked to a gentle stop.  I remember being terrified of this ride as a child, though I eventually worked up the courage to ride it.  I never quite got over the trepidation of the impending plummet each time I rode, however.

The Parachute Sky Jump closed in 1999, so it forever lives in the lore of nostalgia, but it was the first thing I thought of when I entered the Toy Story Playland mini-land of Walt Disney Studios' Toon Studios themed area.  This version, while not quite as tall and also not quite as adrenaline filled, is still a popular hit with children making their first foray into the real of thrill rides.  The ride itself is not exactly pretty either, but there are still some pretty vistas to be had for it.  And certainly, for me, the throwback to my childhood was certainly a pleasant feeling as I observed families enjoying the ride.

Parachutes ascend 80 feet into the air on a mission with the Green Army Men.

And then they fly down in controlled freefall.  This repeats a few times per cycle for a fun experience.

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