Rides Were Not The Only Thrills Had at Worlds of Fun. This is my account of the events this past Saturday.
Shane and I went to Worlds of Fun this evening to hang out instead of going tomorrow on Father’s Day. I love the park at night and they stay open until midnight on Saturday’s. But on the way there I forgot to look and see what the weather was going to be like. And it looked like a line of storms were coming in from the west. I was hoping they would either hold off until after midnight or just pass to the south of us. Well they didn’t and it made for one thrilling evening.
About 9:00 pm we decided to head to the Mamba so we could ride it before it got to bad. We figured that would be one of the first rides to be shut down if the weather got bad. We were the second group waiting in line when they called out they had to shut down the ride due to the weather and wasn’t sure when it would be back up and running.
We were originally just going to try to wait it out but decided to go and grab a funnel cake. Seemed everyone else had the same idea to get out of the rain. Since it was getting later in the evening they did not have a lot of funnel cakes ready so they were playing catch up with everyone there ordering them. It was taking so long, and getting really hot, so I told Shane I was going to go outside and just wait.
Outside I took shelter outside a gift shop across from the funnel cake store. The wind started to pick up and bit and started to rain. Not hard at first, but I could see on the radar that the storm was barreling towards us. Shane texted me to ask if the rain stopped. I told him I think this is just the calm before the storm. And boy was I right.
About 5 minutes later the wind and rain really started to pick up. The wind gusts were massive. And it was picking up merchandise and tossing it against the buildings. The lights started to flicker in the park. I started to see more and more park rangers getting together near us to try to figure out what was happening. Then the lights went out. And I could hear the wind howling. And then it started to sound different. A sound that send chills through my bones. And then I heard a park ranger say out loud what I was thinking.
IS THAT A TORNADO?
He instructed everyone to get inside. Shane was still inside getting his funnel cake so I went inside the gift shop I was standing outside of waiting. The shop was dark and filled with people. I frantically texted Shane to let him know I was in the shop across the way. I started to make my way back to the entrance so I could see Shane if and when he made his way towards me. I was scared now. This wasn’t just a storm. This felt like something worse. As I made my way to the front, texting Shane I would be in the door way, I heard park rangers telling us to head to the Tivoli and take cover.
Thank goodness I have been at the park enough in my life to know the Tivoli was not far from where we were. I hated being separated from Shane. I was afraid something really bad was going to happen. As I got into the lobby of the Tivoli it was pitch black. No emergency lights what so ever. Thankfully cell phones have a flashlight function or it would have been near impossible to make your way to the theater. Once I got into the theater I dialed Shane on my cellphone.
RING. . . . RING . . . RING. . . HELLO?
“Shane, where are you? They evacuated us to the Tivoli.”
“You see me? Thank God!”
Shane made his way towards me and we sat down on the benches in the theater. I grabbed his hand and snuggled up against him. I was freezing. Losing weight really sucks when it comes to trying to keep warm. He told me that he got his funnel cake and ate two bites before they told them to come to the Tivoli. So he just put it down on the counter and walked to the theater. He looked a bit sad. He told me it was a really good funnel cake.
Leave it up to Shane to find some humor in the situation and lighten up the mood a bit. I love him for that.
We waited for about 40 minutes before they told us there was a break in the storm but another cell was not far behind. We could either try to get to our cars now or wait until the second one passed. Since the storm was coming from the west, and that was the direction home, we decided to wait out the send wave before heading out. We waited about 30 more minutes and they told us that it was probably a good idea if everyone just headed home. The storm for the most part had passed.
As we emerged from the Tivoli we noticed the lights in the park were still out. And as we headed to the main gate, the sound system came on to let everyone know the park was closed. We made our way out to the car and sat in the dark for a bit before heading out. Lights were out all over the city. It wasn’t just the park. We headed out of the park towards home. We had to make a U-turn because the way we were going home had some downed power lines and couldn’t pass. We finally made our way home using GPS to help guild us.
This was by far the most thrilling time at Worlds of Fun either of us have had for quite some time. And scared me more than any ride at the park. I’m just glad that we got out safely and no one was hurt.