On June 16, 1884, the first roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY. Test your knowledge of roller coaster history with these trivia questions.
What’s the Tallest Roller Coaster in the World?
The tallest roller coaster in the world is located at Six
Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. It’s named “Kingda Ka” and
was built in 2005 by major thrill ride producer, Intamin. The 456-foot
high megastructure has held the title of "tallest roller coaster" since
its initial launch on May 21, 2005.
It also once held the record for world’s fastest roller coaster with top speeds at 128 MPH. Until it got dethroned by another Intamin coaster…
What’s the Fastest Roller Coaster in the World? That title now belongs to “Formula Rossa” - the crowning achievement of Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. The roller coaster - which was built in 2010 - tops out at 149 MPH (that’s 21 MPH faster than Kingda Ka) in just 5 seconds. The cars on the coaster are shaped like Ferrari Formula 1 cars and for good reason - you’ll reach speeds typically only seen in race cars.
How Fast Did the First Roller Coaster in Coney Island Go? That first roller coaster launched on June 16, 1884, climbed a height of 50 feet and topped out at speeds around only 6 MPH! The ride was so slow, that patrons actually sat on long benches sideways while riding. The ride cost a nickel and was an instant success, quickly spawning new roller coasters all around the country.
Who is One of the Most Famous Roller Coaster Designers? Well, that would be Ron Toomer - a mechanical engineer responsible for designing over 93 coasters in his time with Arrow Development (later: Arrow Dynamics). Ron created the first coaster with two loops at Knott’s Berry Farm and even contributed to NASA’s space shuttle. But he had an interesting quirk considering his line of work: Toomer was particularly susceptible to motion sickness. That didn’t stop him from riding his coasters for quality control, though. Toomer is quoted as saying, “I've ridden enough to know what they are like.”
What are Your Chances of Dying on a Roller Coaster? There is a one in 300 million chance of dying on a roller coaster, according to website Ask The Odds. In the United States, there are around two deaths per year relating to rides. So although the rides may seem dangerous, it’s more than twice as likely that you’d be struck by lightning. Still tragedies happen. The biggest roller coaster accident in history happened in London in 1972 when a wooden roller coaster named “Big Dipper” collapsed. One of the cars rolled back into the station when it broke loose from the coaster killing five children, and seriously injuring 13 others.