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Live Active Cultures

Seth rides Skyrush and prays to a brand-new god.

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Unfortunately for thrill-seekers like myself, Hershey has invested their capital in steel structures and advertising, while cutting corners on niceties like employee training and guest comfort. As I got in line, I was apathetically informed that one of the ride's two trains was broken (apparently no one remembered to buy a spare), so the wait was estimated to be two hours. It turned out to be slightly less than that, because about an hour later, the ride stopped working altogether for roughly 30 minutes, prompting half of those queued ahead of me to abandon ship. That's more than twice as long as I'd ever wait for an Orlando E-Ticket; even Disneyland's über-popular new Cars Land boasts shorter waits.

At the end of that wait was the most painful and terrifying 70 seconds of my life. A well-designed ride uses centrifugal force and ergonomic restraints to prevent you from flying to your death. Skyrush's over-banked hills generate substantial "ejector air" negative G-forces, but the minimally padded lap bars (no over-the-shoulder restraints) viciously pinch your thighs just below the crotch, instead of resting on your pelvis.

The resulting experience, which felt like being a rag doll in the grip of Godzilla, is something I'll never subject myself to again. I've voluntarily re-ridden many infamously painful rides, from Vegas' Manhattan Express to Busch Gardens Williamsburg's long-defunct Drachen Fire, but I was so scarred by Skyrush that I had to buy the souvenir photo, just to have documentation of my agony. Now excuse me while I go ride the Incredible Hulk a few times to relax.

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