At the top of the backlot is the last of the tram animations: The Spinning Tube. If you’re feeling sick, beware of this ride. Me and my mannequins, however, are up to the challenge!
My fellow student drivers and I listen closely as our instructor, Dennis, shares his expertise in accessing the tube. He must have been “tube spinning” for years I imagine–he probably dreams about it.
We park at the entrance to the Spinning Tube and exit the Glamour Tram. Dennis takes us on foot through this slippery tunnel where the walls look as if they’re completely made of ice.
But it’s not the ice that makes the tunnel slippery. Rather, hydraulic oil leaks create the unstable walking surface. Once Dennis has walked us through the space, the next step is driving through, but only with the animation turned off. At first glance it doesn’t look that hard–just a simple road through a tunnel–and I’m feeling pretty confident about it.
After our dry run, we’re now ready to navigate the tunnel with the tube animation turned on. As with all the other animations, we trigger it by way of a tiny garage-door-opening genie. The detonator box is hidden in a snow bank.
I’m the first student to attempt this part, and my tram and I are ready to go. A light signals us proceed, and Dennis watches my every move from the guide’s seat.
The spinning tube begins to spin my brain in circles!
I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel until–oh shit!–I realize it’s just a mirror! Are we going to crash?
Not a moment later, the mirror parts and the tram exits into the bright, mid-day sunlight. “Fine Job!” says Dennis.
This tends to be where drivers receive the most esteem. The tour guides butter you up with flattery while the tourists (who aren’t vomiting!) applaud.
The young man above looks ready to blow…
My mannequins appear to have enjoyed this immensely!
Mastering the tube is the last part of the Glamour Tram training course. Afterward, each of us is presented with a “certificate of proficiency” in safe handling and operation of a Hollywood Glamour Tram.
This is a big moment for me. I’m officially part of a team now. The few, the proud, the Glamour Tram driver!