I love dark rides. All of them, from the grimy-bang-door carny grinders to the "we'll never really disclose the final budget" mega-productions, and everything in between.

So this dark ride aims to pay homage to the simple "ghost train" classics, while finishing with some real state-of-the-art grandeur.

Dante's Inferno"Dante's Inferno," a shout-out to the defunct Coney Island Astroland spook house, would appear to be a pretty standard Pretzel-style attraction, with gaudy flash out front, clankety-clank cars, and very low-tech stunts. At first.

The ride building – what we can see of it – is fairly small, about the size of your standard two-level traveling carnival attraction, with a Hieronymus Bosch-inspired facade of cartoonishly grotesque imagery. A couple of creakily animated fiberglass demons, looking a little worse for the wear, do their best to beckon us closer.

(The final portion of the adventure would be in a large show room buried below ground level, entirely hidden from view.)

We board our little cars, and crash through the first set of metal bang doors. It’s dark and spare, and the first few scares are simple: a sudden flash of light, a loud noise, a ratty figure springing forward. Pretty tame.

Once through the second set of bang doors, things start to get a bit more interesting. The environments are a bit richer and the animated figures more realistic.

The next set of bang doors are two hulking medieval wood and iron gates that part before we hit them. And directly beyond this portal, we begin to climb a lift hill inside a rocky, misty tunnel. Ominous orchestral music begins to play through the on-board sound system, low at first, almost subliminal, then louder as we rise.

Exiting the lift tunnel onto the upper level, we twist and turn through a warren of narrow caverns, a fully rendered space dimly illuminated by an unearthly, flickering light. There are no major jolts up here, just intimations of something awful to come: distant growls, screaming, echoing from some unseen place… fleeting shadows…

We turn to enter a long grotto, rolling towards a dark void. And as we approach this blackness, real flames start licking across the ceiling. Then, lights out. A dark musical score (Death metal? Orchestral? A combination of the two) begins playing through the on-board audio. The only light now comes from somewhere deep down inside that void. And then that last light dies, leaving us in total darkness, still moving forward.

And down into Hell we plunge.

We’d race through this final show room, hurtling around a nightmarish landscape of craggy rock, exploding fireballs, and truly demonic monsters, as scary a vision of Hell as local community standards would allow.