Brave the Tower of Terror, if you dare

Johannesburg’s Gold Reef City theme park on Wednesday relaunched its heart-stopping Tower of Terror after spending more than R10-million to create a ride that will have even the toughest adrenalin junkies walking away with a pounding heart and knocking knees.

Steve Cook, CEO of the theme park, described this ride — the “scariest in Africa” — as a combination of the Anaconda and Jozi Express roller-coasters.

“It’s by far the scariest ride among the plus-minus 30 thrill rides that we have at Gold Reef City theme park. The Tower of Terror is the ride in the park that stands the highest above ground, from where brave visitors free-fall for about 47m, and it reaches a maximum speed of 90km/h, also making it the fastest ride,” he said.

“It is definitely only for brave souls. It is the park’s iconic ride, which is why we’ve made it an eight-seater, and quicker with the highest hourly capacity in terms of riders. It can take 160 riders per hour.”

Those with enough nerve to step on to the Tower of Terror will experience a terrifying drop of 47m from the top of an authentic mineshaft tower.

“Imagine the cable of an elevator snapping near the top of a tall building, sending the lift car into a stomach-lurching plummet, and you’ll have some idea of the bloodcurdling sensation that awaits you in the Tower of Terror,” Cook said.

The mineshaft tower stands a magnificent 32m above ground; after a dizzying drop down to the surface that leaves riders’ stomachs in their throats, they are surprised by another 15m fall below ground. Riders will experience a maximum G-force of 3,7G, a top speed of up to 90km/h (or 25m a second) and a brief period of weightlessness during the 110-second ride, filling even the bravest person’s veins with pure adrenalin.

A brand-new roofless car makes the drop even more terrifying. Its seats feature over-the-shoulder restraints which look like they belong in the cockpit of a fighter plane.

The ride’s hourly capacity has doubled from 80 riders per hour to 160 riders per hour. This means the queues will move faster, giving thrillseekers a chance for a second ride — if they brought a change of underwear, of course.

Cook said he expects the ride to attract many visitors, adding: “Before the complete makeover of the Tower of Terror, it was one of our most popular thrill rides. With the ride being even scarier now, it is expected to attract a huge crowd.”

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