Yesterday evening my boyfriend and I went to a local fair, and we were having a great time. Around 9:30pm we decided that we were going to ride the ferris wheel for the second time before we would head out; we had rode the ferris wheel earlier that day, while it was still light outside, with no problem. I figured it would be cool for us to go and ride it when it was dark outside and all the games and rides were lit-up for night. Only issue I thought would pop up is that the line was super long, but the line seemed to be moving pretty fast considering the amount of people waiting.
Earlier, during the ride and while I was waiting, the ride operator would bring two 'cars' (not sure what the correct term is) to the platform and let them off so two new groups of people could go on. This time the operator seemed to work it a bit differently, even though it was the same guy. The operator would let two cars off, two new groups on, turn the ride on for a short period of time, and then let ONE car off. He made it obvious when he was only going to let one car off. I did not think much of this, but it was something that I picked up on.
It is about 10:10 when my boyfriend and I get on. It is stop and go for a little bit as he keeps stopping the ferris wheel to let people off and off. Eventually he gets a new cycle of people and the ferris wheel starts to go around and around. I am enjoying the view because hey---lights and being able to see the entire fair is pretty cool. After awhile the operator starts the stop and go thing again, so I assume that it is time for the next cycle of people to go on.
This is where things start getting weird.
I noticed that it is getting super windy,and not just went I am at a top. For the most part that day, it was not very windy, if at all. So the fact that the wind was starting to pick up was worrying me slightly. Eventually my car, and another car, get to the platform below and the ride operator starts giving a quick speech on how to open the door, where to exit, etc. I open the doors and I the second I put my feet on the platform/walkway to the exit the operator yells at me to stay on. I am confused because the directions were given to both cars---if he wanted one of the cars to stay, why did he not just say something? I get back on the ride.
My boyfriend asks, "What for?" in response to us saying on. The guy looked at him and then turned away to press the 'on' button on the ride. It is stop and go until the next cycle of people get on....except us. We keep going around and around, wondering why we are still on. At this point it is starting to drizzle and the wind is really picking up no matter where I am on the ferris wheel, which is not exactly making me feel safe by any means.
It is now pouring and the line for the ferris wheel was gone as people at the fair were rushing to either go inside a building or get to their parked vehicle. I have a panic attack because I felt like I was going to be trapped on the ferris wheel, and my boyfriend tries to calm me down or distract me. In the distance I see a flash of light that looks like lightning, but I am not 100% sure if it was lighting or not.
The ferris wheel continues to go around a few more times until he starts to let the current cycle off, the only difference now is that here is no line anymore so there is really no next cycle of people. I am still having a panic attack and all i can think of is how I want to get off the ferris wheel and that if I do not I feel like I am going to have to take drastic measures. Eventually my car and another car get to the bottom, and he tells the other car of people that hey can get off.
When my boyfriend asks when if we can get off, the guy says we cannot as we need to stay on the ride. Apparently we are helping balance the ferris wheel and that we would need to stay on. I have never heard of this being a rule for a ferris wheel, so I am not sure if this is true or not. This is the point where I have had it---I did not know if I could mentally handle being on the ride any longer. I snap and tell him, "I am having a panic attack and I want to get off this RIDE NOW!" At this point the ride operator lets my boyfriend and I off and gets the other group of people, who had just gotten off, to come back to be the balance for the ride.
When we got off it was 10:30.
I just do not know what to think about this. What if the other group of people did not want to get back on? Would my boyfriend and I be stuck on the ride until it was time for closing or the rain stopped and more people want to get on? I was considering getting off and having my boyfriend do the same whether or not the guy liked it---he has no ride to keep us on the ride. He should of told my boyfriend and I in the first place that we were the balance and that is while we needed to stay on.
I wanted to go talk to someone about this, but all the ticket and information people had already closed down for the night as the fair was going to close within the hour. I am going to look into sending an e-mail or finding someone to contact when I get off of work later today. I just find the situation frustrating. I also feel pretty stupid because I panicked and I feel like I am blowing the situation out of proportion.