Mrs. Awesome and I recently had the joy of visiting Captain Cline’s Pirate Ghost Ride in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I’ve been wanting to visit this thing for years (actually, when I wanted to visit it originally, it was Captain Cline’s Pirate Adventure Ride) and have always seemed to miss out on it. Probably because I don’t visit the beach area much during tourist season, and the ride is only open during that time.
But I happened upon it a couple of weeks while it was actually open, and there was no way in hell I was missing it this time!
Mark Cline is one of those great Americans still producing roadside attractions. If you’re old enough, you remember when you didn’t take the interstate everywhere, but took highways, and noticed all sorts of cool roadside attractions as you drove by. Places independently owned, like Dinosaur World and Cline’s own Foamhenge. Cline’s work appears in attractions across Virginia, especially around Natural Bridge, where he works out of Enchanted Castle Studios.
In Virginia Beach, Cline has a Mummy’s Tomb ride, which became a Time Machine ride and, when pirates got big, a Pirate Adventure ride, and now…finally…a Ghost Pirate Ride!
I can’t lie, I half expected this to be like House of 1000 Corpses, where someone would push us around in a car and that someone would pop out of a dark corner and chop us up. Luckily, no such thing happened, and I remain alive to give it a positive recommendation!
So yeah, no one pushes you around in a cart – it moves along just like a Disney Haunted Mansion type ride, taking you through a classic-type ride that is like nothing you’ve ridden in years. Cline and his crew produced everything themselves and, sure it’s cheesy as all hell, but you have to admire it. The ride isn’t going to knock you out with it’s state of the art technology or anything, but it’s just a reminder of times gone by, and a great taste of Americana.
You ride through different scenes (all creepy, whether that was intentional or not), including a Mummy’s tomb, a swamp with alligators and a freakin’ T-Rex, and even come face to face with a giant, extremely impressive, KRAKEN! All along the ride, you bang through large doors between rooms (sure to cause you to jump multiple times), and go through parts of total darkness where you’ll wait for Tiny to come at you with an axe. Sure, it doesn’t make any sense (probably because it’s got 4 different themed rides worth of stuff all jammed into one ride), but it’s a hell of a lot of fun, and you’ll feel like a kid again going through it.
If you’re in Virginia Beach, you owe it to yourself, and your inner child, to take a ride on Captain Cline’s Ghost Pirate Ride!
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