Now that you’ve seen an abandoned amusement park as well as some of the scariest rides ever, here are a few of the world’s weirdest theme park attractions from around the world. They range from the Sky Roller (above) to a roller coaster that’s located hundreds of feet above ground. Continue reading to see them all.
Rides like X-Scream take advantage of a built environment to create new thrills. Pribonic explains that the ride uses a relatively low-tech magnetic braking system, based around a copper blade that is attached to the bottom of the car. As the ride rolls forward, the blade slips in between a row of magnets before hitting a rubber bumper that brings it to a standstill.
As the ride is tilted backwards, the blade slips out and heads toward an identical row of magnets at the other end. “I take comfort in the solid, heavy-duty, easy-to-see mechanical connections,” Pribonic says. “Everyone is locked in, and everything is locked down.”
4. Giant Discovery
The mechanical stresses that rides like Giant Discovery produce are particularly grueling and require constant oversight. “The stresses are extremely severe when you go through a swinging pendulum motion like this because high-reversing loads are disastrous to mechanical and structural systems,” Pribonic says.
But when everything checks out and the machine is in full swing, riders can expect an intense experience from the combination of crushing g’s and the dizzying rotations.
Riders climb into translucent, pedal-powered tubes that hang from a monorail and face off in head-to-head races or compete against the clock. The 2000-foot-long course snakes through scenic farmland and can be powered through in less than a minute. The pods are equipped with sufficient seven-gear drivetrains and seem similar to recumbent bikes.
Agroventures says on its website that riders can get up to 28 mph as they swing around 60-degree turns. The current course record stands at 57.1 seconds, but we’d like to see what Lance Armstrong could do on this thing.
2. Nothin’ but Net
A specially designed harness is meant to ensure that riders land on their backs, but Pribonic, who is leery of these types of rides, cautions that nothing is foolproof. Being dropped from 100 feet is such a terrifying experience that Chess Stetson of the California Institute of Technology and colleagues used the SCAD Tower in a study aimed at determining how humans perceive the passage of time during frightening events.
The study, published in the journal PLoS One, used a handheld device to try measure the speed of visual perception. The conclusion: “Time-slowing is a function of recollection, not perception.”
1. Sky Roller
This swing-type contraption allows riders to control the number of barrel rolls they do by manipulating the positioning of the wings as they spin around. The concern often is subjecting riders to high g’s for a sustained period, but points out that SkyRoller is self-limiting in many ways, according to Edward Pribonic, an engineering consultant for theme parks and a former design manager at Walt Disney Imagineering.
“The faster you roll, the higher the g value would be,” he says. “But the faster you roll, the g-force duration becomes shorter. Since you’re going through it so quickly, you hit that peak g-force for only a split second and drop out of it.” And while there is no limit on how many barrel rolls a rider can perform, nausea tends to be a nice biological safeguard.