As you may have read from my TR, or Matthew's, day one of shooting for The Learning Channel took place on Son of Beast. The second day took place on Drop Zone, and the third day............??
Tomb Raider: The Ride
I had driven to and back to the park from Columbus two days in a row. Ironically, the drive back on those two days was fairly easy, but the drive down in the mornings was a bit difficult due to the lack of sleep from planning the nights before.
Josh Woszy decided to attend the Friday shoot on Tomb Raider and drove down to Columbus on Thursday night after I got back from the day of shooting on Drop Zone. Once Josh arrived, we got something to eat, played a little DDR, and then crashed out later than we had hoped.
I had set my alarm to wake me up at 4:15AM. This would give me enough time to get ready, wake Josh up, have him get ready, eat breakfast, and pick up my friend Tracy on the way to the park. I was planning on being at the park at 6:15AM to welcome riders to the shoot.
My alarm woke me up at 4:15AM as expected. I got up, took a shower, woke Josh up, and say myself down and ate some breakfast. Everything was going as planned. Once Josh was ready, he sat down at the table where I was eating. We both were not awake yet and were still waking up. I turned on TV and we started to watch a bit of a video on MTV 2.
Just as I was getting ready to finish my breakfast, I look up at the clock that is diplayed on my cable box. Usually when there is a power outage, that clock corrects itself. I look up at it and it reads......
I stop eating for a second and look over at Josh. He looks at the clock, looks back at me and says, " Ummmmmm"
I stand up and shout" Oh MY GOD! What happend? We HAVE to go NOW!"
Somehow the alarm clock in my room was wrong and I overslept.. As I quickly gathered my belongings while calling Tracy to make sure he was ready, I noticed other clocks were displaying other times also.
The only thing that could have happend was a small group of angry trolls came in, changed the time and left before I woke up. That's the only explanation. Well, either that or a power outage. Even a power outage could not explain why my alarm clock was wrong because it has a fresh new back-up battery and should have corrected the time once back on.
Josh and I quicky hop into my car, drive to Tracy's, pick him up, and head down I-71 towards PKI. We didn't get on the road until after 6:00AM so I knew I was going to be REALLY late considering I had a hour plus drive ahead.
The drive down was a blur. I wasn't exactly speeding, but I wasn't exactly going slow either. On the way down I started getting calls from riders who were already at the park. I was thinking they were wondering where I was at but it turns out they were just wanting to know why the parking gates weren't open yet.
I called PKI's Jeffrey Siebert and asked him to check on the status of the parking gates. I also told him I was going to be a bit late. He told me he would take care of it. We arrived at the park at around 7:10AM. Due to the delay with the parking gates, everyone was still signing away at their release forms so we didn't miss anything or were late for the shoot. Phew!
After everyone was signed in, we made our way back to the Tomb Raider plaza. Muffins, donuts, and juice were offered for us. We then were informed by Jeffrey that there would be a delay in the shoot due to something out of our control.
The wait was longer than expected, but I only heard two people complain about it. A few people ended up leaving but we still had a lot of people for the shoot. As a matter of fact, I could not believe how many people showed up. Fellow enthusiasts, co-workers, and people who I had never met before. We still didn't have enough riders to fill the entire ride vehicle of Tomb Raider, but we almost had it filled.
After waiting an hour or so, we were moved into the Antechamber, then into the Brama shrine of the attraction to wait until everything was a go. This was a welcome benefit because it was just starting to rain outside.
The wait inside was longer than expected but Jeffrey did his best to keep up entertained by playing the pre-show movie for us a few times, then giving us some rare info about the ride. While the wait was long, I am thankful that no one made a scene. Everyone looked tired and bored, but they knew there was a payoff at the end of this. However, I have a feeling those shrine chants are going to be sticking with everyone for a few years or so.
At around 12:00, we were allowed to enter the ride room. We quickly took our seats while other adjustments were made to the cameras. Soon after we took our first ride on Tomb Raider. Half of the people on the vehicle had never ridden it before so screams were heard all over the place. Since the vehicle had extra lighting added to it for the shoot, some of the darker effects were lost, but other effects seemed to be intensified. It was a fantastic ride as usual.
After our ride, we were told to take a brake and come back a bit later. We ended up eating more muffins before walking back into the ride room and taking the same places as before. The second ride was even better than the first it seemed. I have ridden this ride over 10 times now and each and every time I see something different. The lava pit was the star of the show this day. I could not believe how real it looked. The water was cranked up a bit, the steam increased, and heat was even felt. I hadn't even noticd the volcanic-like terain above the actual lava before this day. With each ride on this thing, it gets better and better.
After two rides, James, the director of these shoots, told us that we were finished and thanked everyone for attending. Everyone exited the ride and I said goodbye to James and the rest of the crew. One of the crew members even wanted infomation about joining ACE so I gave him some info.
While I am sure some expected to get more than two rides in, everyone seemed to understand that this wasn't an ERT and we could have easily gotten no rides at all. Tickets were given out to us as we were leaving and we were told we could stay in the park for the rest of the day.
The only problem was the park was filled with school children, it was pouring rain, and it was cold. This was enough for Tracy, Josh, and myself to consider leaving. After looking at the long lines, we knew we weren't going to ride much, so we went into a nearby arcade. Josh soon left to get a ride on the Flyers while I stayed in the arcade a played a few games of DDR with ACE member Chris Rettig.
Soon after, Tracy and myself walked down to the Flyers, found Josh, and decided to leave the park. One the way out we were amazed by the amount of buses we saw in the parking lot. I meam, it litterally looked like a sea of yellow and orange. Easily 400 or so, bright yellow, children containers. I have never seen anything like it before. That was a good indication to leave if anything so we left PKI, and headed back to Columbus.
At this time I would like to thank all of those folks that showed up at the shoots, did what they were supposed, and had fun in the process. Thanks also goes to PKI's David Mandt, Jeffrey Siebert, Chris M, Jessica, Jill, Chris, Tony, and a few others for giving us the chance to take part in these 3-day shoots. I had a fun in the process.
Also, thanks to the video crew including James, Amy, Alex, Shawn, Paul, and others who were awesome in providing direction and motivation during the shoots. I know this series is going to look GREAT because of your hard work.
Thanks for reading,
After going back to the park today and getting a few Gold Pass turns on TR:TR, I think that there should be either a remix of that 'Zooooom' tune in the antechamber or give everyone meditation beads before they enter. I think a lot of people will tire of it quickly.
Otherwise, I'm with Sean on this one....twas a good time.
The show is actually a mini-series on thrill rides called the "Ultimate Thrill". If I am not mistaken, it will highlight one ride from each 3 day shoot or so each show.
Friday was the first time cameras were allowed inside the actual ride building and in some of the no access areas.
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