Thinking of popping the question? We’re here to help. First of all, before you attempt any kind of proposal at a theme park, you better know that your future spouse would be okay with such a gesture. Most people probably don’t envision their partner dropping to his knee on the local carnival midway, and even a hopeless romantic may prefer a candle-lit dinner to popping the question in front of Cinderella Castle. That said, if you’re going to marry the person, you probably know whether or not they’d be okay with a theme park proposal.
You can probably imagine some of the classic spots: in front of a Disney castle, atop Kings Island’s Eiffel Tower, in the heart of Fantasyland, even before Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure. It’s easy enough to imagine the endless fairytale vistas that could lead to happily ever after.
What we’ve got here is a little different. No matter how well you think you know your partner, we have to recommend against the following spots for a proposal. If we can save even one person from a flubbed engagement, this list will have been worth it! So think twice if you had your sights set on these spots. Or, are we wrong? Any success stories with these not-so-romantic rides?
1. Top Thrill Dragster
Location: Cedar Point
Why We’d Avoid It: As your train pulls up to the launch track on Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, a sense of immense confusion comes over you. First, you’re suddenly, acutely aware that you’re about to go faster than the human body is meant to - from 0 to 120 miles per hour in less than 4 seconds. Secondly, as you wait for the drag-racing stoplight to begin its phased countdown from red to green, you can’t help but wonder… “What if I sneeze when it happens?!” An even more precarious situation would be getting out “Would you ma–” just as the light turns green.
Verdict: The 17-second ride on Top Thrill Dragster may flash your life before your eyes and inspire you to pop the question. Just keep in mind that any potential divorce will likely cite the incident as a verbal agreement under stress and duress, nullifying the contract.
2. Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom
Location: Six Flags Great Adventure
Why We’d Avoid It: Zumanjaro is the world’s tallest drop tower at 415 feet. After a deliriously long ascent to the top of Kingda Ka (the world’s tallest roller coaster, which does look a whole lot like Top Thrill Dragster), riders perch precariously for a few seconds or more, just waiting for the moment of inevitable freefall. Just like Top Thrill Dragster, popping the question up in the stratosphere puts you at big risk of either not getting the question out or not getting an answer quick enough. As if the six manic seconds of weightless, 90 mile-per-hour freefall aren’t bad enough, it would feel like a century combined with the nerves of a half-delivered proposal.
Verdict: The adrenaline pumping experience of Zumanjaro is probably comparable to the adrenaline of a nerve-wrecking proposal. Combing the two might result in instant shoe-vomit (or worse... weightless freefall vomit) and a botched memory you can never recover from.
3. The Haunted Mansion
Location: Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris
Why We’d Avoid It: Hey, some folks are into the dark and macabre. We don’t judge. But think long and hard before proposing in the dreary, dim hallways of the Haunted Mansion. Not only is it a bleak spot for a bright occasion, it’s also got a little sick marriage humor. In the US and Japan, your Doom Buggy sails by a glowing ethereal bride who offers, “Till death do us part” as a hatchet appears in her hand. The VERY different Paris version of the ride, Phantom Manor, does even worse by hanging the groom from the rafters and trapping the forlorn bride in the manor to await her fiancé’s return for the rest of time. Isn’t Paris supposed to be the most romantic city on Earth?
Verdict: Becoming engaged under the watchful eye of a scorned bridge-ghost isn't likely to bring much luck. If you and your spouse-to-be agree on a Haunted Mansion engagement, though, at least you know you've found "The One!"
Location: Alton Towers
Why We’d Avoid It: Like the Haunted Mansion, it takes a special person to accept a proposal offer amid tombstones and mausoleums. What’s worse is that TH13TEEN is a forested family coaster that meanders its way into a chilling crypt where stone guardians loom overhead. When you least expect it, the physical track that the roller coaster train is parked on freefalls five meters. Yikes. You want your spouse to fall for you, but this is a little ridiculous... Even the least superstitious person might decide that it couldn't hurt to wait until you're, you know, off the roller coaster named after the unluckiest of all "unlucky numbers!"
Verdict: As if starting your life together on a coaster named TH13TEEN wasn't bad enough, why don't you just break a few mirrors and step under some ladders while you're at it? Basically, TH13TEEN combines the no-no of a roller coaster proposal, drop tower proposal, and haunted house proposal into one big cornucopia of unlucky “no.”
Location: Kings Island
Why We’d Avoid It: If you and your fiancée-to-be are thrill freaks, there may seem no better place for it than the newest Bolliger & Mabillard inverted coaster in the world, Banshee at Kings Island. The ride has received tremendous reviews during its inaugural season of 2014 for its speed, unique layout, and forceful maneuvers. Only problem is that the real legend of the banshee – a mythological creature – is that any who hear the blood-curdling, ear-piercing scream of this female spirit are doomed.
Verdict: Just to make sure no one gets away without a curse from the creature, the ride plays a pre-recorded banshee shriek at the height of its lift hill. To make matters worse, your partner is bound to shriek down the 150-foot drop…That’s double the bad omen for you… Not worth the risk.