NUS extra sent students Jess and MyKaelah to ride the world’s highest and longest slide in partnership with Virgin Experience Days.
Jess: When we saw we had won an ArcelorMittal orbit experience we were thrilled. *I was thrilled, MyKaelah was less hyped (having never been on a roller coaster, and she was previously under the impression that this was one).
To her relief, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is more like a cooler cousin of the helter-skelter. First, we took the elevator up and walked around the top enclosed platform which provided panoramic views, accentuated by some snazzy mirrors that inverted people across the room (endless entertainment can be derived from this). Having been constructed in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and near London Stadium (the football stadium for West Ham United F.C.), it’s really nice to see the grounds fully from such a high point, and you can also see quite far across London too. We then walked down the walkway (though you can take the lift) to the next level, where the slide is.
MyKaelah: Before going down the slide we had to get kitted out for safety purposes, wearing elbows pads and a chic hat. We were waiting in line behind other eager beavers ready to ride down. We weren’t really sure what to expect, everyone would be chatty whilst waiting for their turn, but as soon as they sat, ready to go, they’d be overcome by a sudden wave of muteness and anxiety. I personally had a lot of thoughts running through my head: how fast would I actually be going? What happens during the descent? What if I get stuck? It also didn’t help that the people going down before us would start off in silence, and then suddenly a scream would make its way back up to us in the waiting area. As I’ve never been on a roller coaster before and initially thought that this was one, my mind was racing over what would happen going down this “ArcelorMittal”.
However, once I went down I realised how completely ridiculous all my fears were. It’s a really exciting ride because you don’t really know what’s going to happen in the descent. There were spells when you were completely surrounded by darkness, but it made the clear parts of the slide that more memorable and amazing. It’s only a 40-second ride down as well but you’re stuck in between sensations of peace where you can enjoy the ride and view and the persistent adrenaline rush as you do move pretty quickly.
Jess: The sudden twists and unexpected drops were an ideal level of exciting without making you fear for your life. After the slide we took the elevator back up to walk down the enclosed walkway that winds around the whole sculpture, to properly take in the views. WARNING your legs will feel like jelly afterwards. Who needs leg day when you can walk down the ArcelorMittal Orbit? (I say this as if I know what ‘leg day’ involves). Walking down was a weird experience as they’ve made it immersive by including soundscapes along the way.
My legs feel sore just looking at this picture
The ArcelorMittal Orbit experience was epic, and you can make a day out of it by walking along the river after or shopping in Westfield after. It was really an amazing experience and if you happen to be in London for the day you should definitely add this to your list of things to do. Plus you may get a cheeky siting of The Vamps like we did (but we can’t guarantee that).