Curiosities about roller coasters that few know

Due to the adrenaline and emotion that they allow you to experience, roller coasters are one of the favorite attractions for lovers of theme parks. The best thing is that they can be found all over the world, and they range from the lightest and most fun to the most chilling and challenging. If you are a lover of roller coasters, surely the following curiosities will arouse your interest in them even more.

1. If all countries were as cold as Russia, roller coasters might not exist.

In the 17th century, the Russians froze water on top of a 70-foot-tall wooden structure to make an ice chute. Passengers sat on straw-filled blocks of wood and ice and, with a slight push, slid down. Paris wanted to have fun, but soon realized that the whole idea falls apart in France’s hotter weather. So they added wheels to the sleds and a track to the ride in 1817, effectively creating the modern roller coaster.

2. The fastest roller coaster in the world is very fast.

The Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates reaches staggering speeds of 149mph in less than five seconds. If you don’t want to travel abroad for a similar thrill, the US is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest roller coasters.

3. The first roller coaster in the United States was very slow.

Called the Switchback Railway, the New York attraction opened in June 1884 in Coney Island, Brooklyn, and reached a whopping 6 mph (hey, what do you want for a nickel?). While ridiculous compared to today’s coasters, it raked in an average of $600/day, about $15,000 today! In addition, it sparked the country’s obsession with amusement park rides.

4. There is still a roller coaster in use that is over 100 years old.

The oldest roller coaster in the world, Leap-The-Dips in Altoona, PA, was built in 1901. It was nearly destroyed when it closed in 1985, but 11 years later it was named a National Historic Landmark and restored to working order three years later.

5. Height restrictions exist for a good reason.

«During normal operation, the physics will keep someone in their seat on almost every roller coaster,» says Robert Niles, editor of Although roller coasters run smoothly most of the time, emergencies cause operators to hit the safety brake. «The restrictions are there in case of a sudden stop,» says Niles. But the restrictions may not protect someone who doesn’t meet the height requirement. He may not want to turn a blind eye when he sees his son on tiptoe.

6. During the high season, the attractions in the main theme parks can be tried at least three times a day.

Engineers are often used in different areas of the ride to check for loose bolts, rust, oil, and anything else that might prevent things from running smoothly. To simulate passengers, they even strap sandbags to the seats and send them hurtling down the runway.

7. Most roller coasters do not have a motor.

They move by converting potential energy (what they have when they’re sitting on top of the track) into kinetic energy (the kind they have once gravity makes cars fall). As the cars climb back up, the kinetic energy is converted back to potential to keep the ride moving. «Imagine riding a bicycle,» says Ted Bunn, chairman of the physics department at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “If you go downhill, you can use the energy you earned to go uphill, at least for a while. Is the same».

8. A group of boys rode 74 roller coasters in 24 hours.

They broke the world record. In a single day, Philip A. Guarno, Adam Spivak, John R. Kirkwood and Aaron Monroe Rye went to 10 parks in four US states, flying between them by helicopter. They did it to raise $40,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

9. You are more likely to die falling out of bed than seriously injured on a roller coaster.

Roller coasters are scary, but aside from random incidents here and there, they’re not really dangerous compared to other daily activities. According to the US National Safety Council, you have a 1 in 24 million chance of being seriously injured on an amusement park ride. You have a higher chance of dying if you fall out of bed in the morning (a 1 in 423,548 chance, in case you were wondering).

10. One of the most famous roller coaster engineers had severe motion sickness.

His name was Ron Toomer, and despite being known as the king of steel roller coaster design, he would not go on the more than 80 rides he designed for amusement parks like Six Flags, Busch Gardens, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Cedar Point. . He is famous for saying that he has ridden enough roller coasters to know what happens.

11. The longest roller coaster

Japan’s Nagashima Spa Land is home to the longest roller coaster in the world. The Steel Dragon 2000 has a runway that covers 8,133 feet.

12. The most roller coasters

Six Flags Magic Mountain in California currently has the most roller coasters in its park with 19 attractions within its park.

13. The first steel roller coaster

In 1959, the first steel roller coaster was created. The Matterhorn toboggan roller coaster was built for Disneyland in California.