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In for a thrill? Experience the Tower of Terror

In for a thrill? Experience the Tower of Terror

Gold Reef City is everybody’s favourite entertainment park in Johannesburg. Not only does it remind us of the history of the City of Gold (literally), but the theme of mining has been seamlessly and beautifully incorporated into the actual theme rides themselves. Golden Loop, Jozi Express, Miner’s Revenge are all reminiscent of the not-so-fun gold mining activities upon which Johannesburg is built. One of the favourites at Gold Reef City, however, is the Tower of Terror…

If you dare get onto this ride, you had better have a fair understanding of what you’re in for. You strap yourself into one of two rows of seats at a mine shaft – this is the tower. And then you wait for the terror. As the railed cart moves towards and then up the tower, you and your fellow riders commiserate with each other while your hearts rise into your throats – you all understand what the others are feeling because you all have the same worried looks on your faces and the anxiety brewing uncertainly in your blood.

You’re slowly, slowly pulled up the tower and then the cart painstakingly rounds the top of the tower. You wait for the drop, wait for the thrill, wait for your hair to stand on end with the power of the g-force, but it doesn’t happen. Everyone has uttered their “Woah!”’s in anticipation of falling down the shaft and as soon as silence overcomes you in a puzzled sense of “what now?”, time stands still…

… and gravity sucks you down the tower face first and into a mineshaft at over 100 km per hour – a 50 m drop that takes less than a second, but feels like 10 minutes of scary as you are plunged into darkness before exiting the mineshaft in a – thankfully – more horizontal ride. As soon as you’ve regained a reasonable sense of consciousness, you take mental stock of all your valuable body parts to make sure you’re still alive; that you haven’t left anything behind on the vertical drop.

“Again! Again!” some of your fellow “terror-ees” shout, but you’re convinced you’ve had enough. Perhaps it’s time for a bit of a lie-down at the Gold Reef City Hotel and possibly you’ll face the excitement again tomorrow…