Today's History Lesson
There was a time when no amusement ride could possibly bring about more screams and excitement than the roller coaster! Of course, with advancements in entertainment backed by ingenious technology, that summation may no longer hold water, or does it? The roller coaster, aka Switchback Railway, is the lead story for this day in history. Do you know how this ride got its start? Do you know the location for the Roller Coaster Capital of the World®?
This Day in History: June 16, 1884
|Thompson's Switchback Railway, 1884.|
One of the early inventions, which was actually the first roller coaster designed as an amusement ride in America, was the Switchback Railway fashioned after a mining hill company's downhill track used to deliver coal. On this day June 16, 1884, the first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York and was a smashing success. It was the brainchild of LaMarcus Adna Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride.
That was only the beginning...
The roller coaster of yesteryear has evolved into the most insane designs ever imaginable. Roller coasters are categorized as the tallest, fastest, steepest, deadliest, longest, most unique, strangest, and most surprisingly boring amusement ride on the planet.
Flying Turns at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, provides seats in a wooden chute without any tracks making very tight turns. Three two-person cars travel through a 1,300ft-long (396m) polished wooden trough. There are three lift hills to keep the vehicles safely spaced. The chains are lubricated with water to protect the wood from oil spills.
Opened February 2014
El Loco opened in February 2014 the Circus Circus Adventuredome in Las Vegas. The hair-raising new coaster has a turn that banks to the outside.Thrill seekers experience a 72-second, adrenaline-pumping adventure complete with G drops, gravity-defying turns and over-the-edge twists.
Opened April 18, 2014
The world's longest inverted roller coaster opened April 18, 2014 at Kings Island, Ohio. The new "Banshee" coaster features a 167 foot lift hill, seven inversions and over 1,000 feet of track. The 2 1/2 minute ride reaches speeds of up to 68 miles per hour and riders will experience a zero-gravity roll.
Opened June 14, 2014
Coney Island's Thunderbolt officially opened June 14, 2014. The new attraction, which sits on the same lot by the Boardwalk as the original Thunderbolt, starts with a terrifying 90-degree drop from 115 feet and zips along 2,233 feet of track at speeds as high as 55 mph.
Opening June 19, 2014
Goliath is a wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. It was designed by Rocky Mountain Construction and is expected to open to the public on June 19, 2014.
Just like new businesses and apartment buildings can gentrify a neighborhood, the addition of new roller coasters can bring unprecedented new life to amusement parks. Here's a look at the biggest and baddest new roller coasters speeding into American parks in 2015.
The Roller Coaster Capital of the WORLD® is right here in the good ol' USA! Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is the largest amusement park in the world and home to the biggest & baddest collection of wood and steel. Since 1892, roller coasters have been at the heart & soul of this great place. From the Switchback Railway to Top Thrill Dragster. Cedar Point has been the very proving ground for the most technologically-advanced thrills in the world. Low to the ground...High above the clouds...
Launched. Winged. Floorless. These machines take us to places we've never been. And we honor the 17 existing scream machines that have paved the way for thrill seekers around the world.
All mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg! What was once the tallest will no longer be as of 2016.
Orlando to receive 'the skyscraper',
the world's tallest roller coaster!
the world's tallest roller coaster!
We have come a long way, baby!
Enjoy the thrill of the ride!