CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s Christmastime, and Delegate Michel Moffatt wanted to treat his wife and two children with a nice trip to Orlando’s SeaWorld.
On their way to see family in Naples, Florida, the Putnam County family decided to visit the aquatic theme park over “The Most Magical Place on Earth” because the lines at nearby Disney World are just too long this time of year, he said.
It was about noon Monday when Moffatt and his family boarded SeaWorld’s SkyTower, a 400-foot-tall observation tower with a double-decker rotating pod that offers a panoramic view of the park’s 200 acres.
Everything was great. Moffatt, his family and the rest of the 50 passengers aboard the ride had a seabird’s eye view of Orlando as the pod lazily spun its way up the 40-year-old structure.
“It’s a beautiful sight from up there,” the Putnam County Republican said.
The ride up and down the SkyTower is brief, but little did Moffatt know that the six-minute ride would eat up his family’s entire afternoon.
Once it reached the top of its spire, the pod slowly began its descent. That’s when what SeaWorld officials are calling a “mechanical failure” happened.
“We started going back down and, at about halfway, it just stopped,” Moffatt said. “It suddenly came to a stop.”
Thinking their predicament odd, Moffatt and other riders asked the on-board ride operator what was going on. Moffatt said he was told there was a mechanical issue and that the ride would be up and running within 15 minutes.
That time passed with no results, and Moffatt, who described himself as naturally curious, took to social media to find answers.
“I started tweeting…