On August 16 of every year, passionate roller coaster fans board their favorite rides to celebrate National Roller Coaster day. The first roller coaster debuted at Coney Island in 1884 and was a unique ride. It reached a maximum speed of 6 miles per hour, was 50 feet tall, and people actually rode it sideways. Now roller coasters can be over a mile long, have multiple loops, and even offer drops of over 120 degrees.
1. Motion Sickness Awareness
Roller coasters might provide people with a huge thrill, but they can also cause a lot of motion sickness. Just as the man who has designed many of the roller coasters that people enjoy today. His name is Ron Toomer and he suffers from extensive motion sickness. He’s ridden all of his roller coasters, but only once or twice at most. He’s always said that he doesn’t need to ride them more than that to understand what they’re like.
2. That’s Some High Speeds
Roller coasters have been pushing the boundaries of human endurance since they’re very beginning. The latest roller coasters are able to put down some massive speeds for people to enjoy. The 2010 Formula Rossa, for example, is able to reach a speed of 140 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. This leaves people experiencing a 4.8 G-force, or pressures that are about 5 times the weight of Earth’s gravity. The Kingda Ka in New Jersey doesn’t do too bad at 128 mph either.
3. Get Some Height
Kingda Ka also holds a record as one of the world’s tallest roller coasters. With a total ascent of over 450 feet, it takes people up in a wide sideways arc at high speeds that literally plasters people to their very seat. The tallest wooden roller coaster in the world is 197 feet tall and appropriately named “Colossos.” Two of the world’s tallest wooden roller coasters, however, are also in the United States for people to enjoy.
4. Around For a Long Time
The idea behind roller coasters dates back to Russia in the 15th century. They would build long ice slides that were up to 80 feet tall. In winter, the slides would get covered with frozen precipitation and people would be able to bring their sleds and go over the track. Even today, there’s a roller coaster in Pennsylvania that was built in 1902 that is still in operation.
5. Get Your Thrills
If you love roller coasters, then you’ll want to make your way to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles. It’s the world record holder for total roller coasters in one park with 18. There are two other parks, one in Ontario and the other in Ohio, that offer visitors 16 roller coasters to enjoy on a single visit.
Roller coasters are an integral part of amusement parks. As designers continue to push the boundaries of physics, they will continue to venture further away from their humble beginnings to amazing marvels of modern architecture and science.