Roller Coasters are easily the most popular amusement park experience, which explains why you rarely find a park without one. LaMarcus Adna Thompson patented the first roller coaster on January 20, 1865. For almost one hundred and fifty years the invention enthusiasts know and love has excited them and kept them coming back for more. Whether its thrills from the speed, the drops or another part of the ride, there are many enjoyable aspects to roller coasters.
Few things in life provide built-in thrills the way roller coasters do. Their sharp turns can really make riders feel their speed and their typically sharp and steep drops often prove enjoyable climaxes to the fast climbs the precede them. The thrilling sensation of traveling up high then plunging swiftly downward has kept roller coaster riders hooked decade after decade.
All roller coasters are all similar at the most basic level. One true advantage of this ride is the seemingly endless number of variations that can be created. Designers are always coming up with different looks and styles to intrigue those who frequent amusement parks. Inversions, another name for the upside-down loops on some roller coasters, have added significantly to this variety. The deep, heart-pounding and stomach-shifting drops on roller coasters provide very scary and fun thrills for riders. Some coasters even take place indoors in total darkness, adding to the suspense of what might happen next.
Another advantage of roller coasters is that they come constructed in two different ways. While modern coasters are always made of steel, some older wooden coasters are still in operation, like the Giant Dipper in Belmont Park, a small amusement park in San Diego, California. The Giant Dipper was built in 1925 and restored for the modern era of coaster enthusiasts. Wooden coasters are a good choice if riders want to feel a sense of the past or if they desire a ride that's a little more wobbly. Riders on these coasters tend to feel the track much more. As if April 2011, steel coasters are more prominent and advanced, allowing for greater speed and smoother passage through hairpin turns and plummeting drops.
Roller coasters exist all over the world, so even the most jaded adventurer aboard these rides can find one that provides a new challenge. According to the Ultimate Roller Coaster website, "The world's fastest steel coaster, Formula Rossa, is designed to simulate the feeling of being in a Ferrari F1 car. Due to the extreme speed riders are required to wear goggles." Kingda Ka at Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey is the tallest coaster in the world and has "a vertical ascent up a steel tower that peaks at 456 feet or 45 stories." Kingda Ka also has the steepest drop, at 418 feet. Formula Rossa is in Dubai at Ferrari World.
James Parducci has written professionally since 2001. He is a columnist for “Comic Box” and has been published in “San Diego Mission Valley News” and the “San Diego Comic-Con Souvenir Book.” Parducci also wrote the limited comic series “Nighthunter.” He is currently pursuing a B.A. at the University of Maryland University College where he majors in English and is on the dean's list.