The Irish will forever be proud of their rich and illustrious culture. From their crazy holidays, to wacky antics, to their mythical legends, the Irish always have something to boast about, and they sure do boast. Busch Gardens is a park rich in mind-blowing, multi-sensory attractions, but Ireland had always been lacking that signature attraction that each of the other countries seemed to feature like Scotland with Nessie, or Italy and Apollo, or even Germany and Alpengeist. Well, Busch and many others think they’ve hit a homerun with Corkscrew Hill, but is it really as good as everyone else says? I wish the answer was yes, but it simply was one of the biggest disappointments of my visit.
Located in the Ireland section towards the back corner of the park, the attraction itself is completely hidden from view off-ride, with just a nice-looking entrance greeting future riders. Not only that, but the incredibly favorable reviews of the attraction and hype increases the ride’s popularity (it’s just so mysterious prior to your first ride). But the logo definitely makes the attraction look inviting and draws the people in and boy does it ever. Featuring an extremely long, winding queue line through a very-nicely themed cave that really captures the atmosphere of the attraction by separating riders from the outside world, I only rode this once due to a slow-moving half hour wait. Maybe it was just a bad day, but to add insult to injury, the AC was burnt out when I visited leading to a horridly uncomfortable wait.
Finally I escaped the stifling cave and entered the attraction’s very elaborate pre-show which is unlike any other I’ve experienced, and I really mean it! Greeted by a leprechaun in a dimly lit room, you follow him from room to room where the plot of the attraction is slowly introduced building up the suspense. At last, everyone stands on a brightly-lit circle where the anticipation slowly builds for the attraction that follows. It’s just too bad the ride failed to live up to the hype and wasn’t nearly as innovative as the pre-show.
Once seated in the nicely themed theater that really maintains the ominous tone sustained through the pre-show, the film begins, where I could easily see the high quality animation utilized during the attraction, which is definitely the high point of the attraction. Along with the beautiful picture, the crisp audio really enhanced the experience significantly. However, this motion simulator has two major weaknesses- the motion itself and a rather ridiculous story. In my opinion, the motion was just too repetitive and it seemed to be recycled throughout the whole film and really lack any originality. Because of this, I was unable to get completely immersed in the attraction, which really sapped the enjoyment from such a promising attraction. Also, the story was just pretty wacky and hard to follow in my opinion, leading to most of the attraction being extremely confusing.
Corkscrew Hill is undeniably one of the park’s most mysterious attractions; however, the atrocious wait for a rather poor motion simulator really stood out in my opinion. Simply put, it flat out just wasn’t as enjoyable for me as it seems to be for others. But that being said, the attraction does have some good points, namely the great 3-D animation, the audio, and the unique pre-show. So do I recommend this motion simulator? Well, because of its uniqueness, it’s worth giving a shot after you’ve hit all of the park’s other major attractions first.