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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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Amusements in the 19th and 18th centuries saw an evolution of places that had huge amounts of entertainment for the public.
The general public could view amusement park shows, like freak shows, conjuring, magic shows, and acrobatics. People also had opportunities to participate in various competitions and have a walk through menagerie or take a scenic railway.
Some amusement parks have attractions and rides which are specifically used for education purposes. The first theme park to successfully complete the task of combining education with entertainment for fun was Disney's large-scale park. There are many educational amusement parks, such as Epcot or Holy Land Experience, that center around Christianity. One of the famous parks is Dinosaur World which educates everyone on dinosaurs and their history, while SeaWorld gives a round tour of aquatic life and has fun tours to teach children. Busch Gardens is also an amusement park that focuses on education about animals. Some theme parks are family-owned. One of the unique amusement parks is Knott's Berry Farm. They used to sell berries on the roadside, eventually opening a restaurant and serving fried chicken. To keep the huge crowds waiting, they opened a Ghost Town in 1940! They built this Ghost Town from actual buildings, relocated from Prescott in Arizona and Calico in California.
Read on to know more fun facts about roller coasters and how they have evolved over centuries.
The amusements parks that we know today have undergone many innovations from periodic or traveling fairs to pleasure gardens and then exhibitions worldwide. The oldest known fair was in England, known by the name of Bartholomew Fair, and it dated back to the year 1133.
The Russians built the very initial gravity rides in the year 1600. They had wooden ramps.
These wooden ramps would be covered with the help of water which soon turned the ramps into ice ramps.
The passengers would have had to climb the high 20 ft (6.1 m) ladders and sit on the gravity sleds, and with the helpers, they would slide down the ramp in a speedy manner.
At the beginning of 1800, a French builder brought a ride called the 'Russian Mountains' to the city of Paris.
However, since France is not as cold as Russia, the idea of ice ramps did not work. Hence, they applied wooden rollers, and that is how the word roller coaster came to exist.
In the year 1870, the United States made its first debut gravity ride by using an old mining railway.
This ride is also known as the 'Switchback Railway' by Mauch Chunk, which is located in Pennsylvania.
The first roller coaster to use a chain lift to get the car rides up the hill was invented by Phillip Hinkle in 1884.
Beecher also built the first roller coaster in North America, which had the ability to go through an upside-down loop in a flip-flap manner and was known as the 'Flip Flap Railway'.
However, the speeds at which the roller coaster traveled often gave the riders a whiplash and made the riders sick and unwell. Hence, this flip-flap riding technique was shut down soon after.
The golden age of roller coasters was during the '20s when people enjoyed going to the amusement parks, especially for this ride. However, it came to an end during World War II.
People enjoy their trip to amusement parks due to fun activities at their disposal, like rides, games, and other fun events. Funfairs and carnivals are a popular choice for families looking for a fun day out. Let's look at the popularity of roller coasters through the years.
John Miller developed the first underfriction roller coaster in the year 1919, which was just before the world went on a roller coaster rage.
During the '20s, roller coasters were one of the most famous rides that people frequently paid to experience; hence this period is often referred to as the 'golden age of roller coasters'.
In the year 1927, on Coney Island in New York came an infamous ride by the name of 'Cyclone', making it one of the most well-known rides today.
The roller coaster industry was significantly impacted during Word War II.
Instead of building new roller coasters, people were tearing them down due to money problems and a lack of public participation.
Another reason for the rapid decline of the roller coaster industry was the Great Depression during the '30s. This was when the golden age came to an end.
As the years progressed, roller coasters were re-built and were successful to varying degrees.
In the year 1932, the United Kingdom started a Scene railway which was a revival of amusement rides.
It is one of the two railways for scenic routes, still operating in the UK.
The UK also started the iconic roller coaster of Great Yarmouth, known as 'Scenic Railway' or 'The Scenic', which was very successful for the roller coaster industry as well as the amusement park industry.
In the year 1959, Disneyland introduced a roller coaster design using tubular steel tracks that changed the world of amusement parks.
The rides that we see at theme parks are usually mechanized, and they are some of the most famous attractions. The carousel was first developed from the cavalry training methods that were initially used during the Middle Ages. Roller coasters have changed the face of all amusement parks we know and see today.
Roller coasters are usually categorized into two main categories, these are wooden roller coasters and steel roller coasters.
Steel roller coasters are modern and hence use tubular tracks, whereas wooden roller coasters have flat steel.
Steel roller coasters are well known for giving the passengers the thrill of upside-down tracks for a longer period of time.
Wooden roller coasters, which use flat steel, have the usage of negative gravity forces, and they are well known for the air time that they give.
'Rocky Mountain' construction also introduced new types of roller coaster tracks, such as the I-B0x as well as the Topper. These new types of roller coaster tracks have some major advantages.
The advantages of these types of tracks are that they have lower maintenance costs and can make the riders go upside down in quick loops.
There are also new types of roller coasters, which are known as hybrid roller coasters. They have a mixture of wood and steel or other metal elements.
One of the most noted and well-known examples of hybrid structure is 'The Cyclone' roller coaster of Luna Park, which started operating in the year 1927 in Coney Island, New York.
Some other well-known roller coasters which make use of hybrid structures featuring wood and steel are 'Arrow Dynamics' and 'Six Flags Over Texas'.
Despite the wide usage of hybrid types of roller coasters, many industries continue to classify these roller coasters by the type of track they are using, either steel or wood, or other metals.
One of the newer inventions in roller coasters is known as floorless roller coasters, which remove the floor beneath the ride cars to give the riders another element of thrill.
Most of these amusement parks have the option to pay as you go inside. The cost of such parks is not very exorbitant, making them go-to places for many families. The guests may purchase specific rides at individual costs and also play games. The cost of such games and rides is based on the complexity of the ride and the amount of public attraction it receives.
Most of the steel wooden coasters that we see in amusement parks are usually fitted piece by piece on-site.
These steel roller coasters can have various big or small components that are manufactured in a factory but are assembled on-site as required.
The area where the roller coaster needs to be installed is first cleared, and this area is properly surveyed as these constructions will most probably be permanent.
The holes required to be dug in for building the strong foundation and support system are dug carefully.
Wooden roller coasters are trestle-style structures that are used to support the track, which will be held above the ground.
The wood used for the construction of these roller coasters is usually made out of Douglas fir or yellow pine. It is also painted to avoid any deterioration to the wood.
These wooden components are made to support concrete and then joined using nails and bolts.
Aluminum or fiberglass is usually used to make the outer body of these cars on which the riders sit.
'Leap-The-Dips' is a wooden roller coaster that is an inspiration even today. This roller coaster is in Pennsylvania at Lakemont Park. They employ a side friction method for this roller coaster ride.
The infamous 'Six Flags' roller coaster was manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard.
Vekoma and Chance rides are some of the major manufacturers known for their good products.
What are the good things about roller coasters?
Some cool things about roller coasters which are also the reasons people enjoy them are, overcoming fears and the thrill brought on by unique combinations of speed and heights of the ride. Roller coasters enable people to experience a natural high!
Who invented roller coasters?
The person who invented roller coasters is LaMarcus Thompson, from America, and he revolutionized the modern roller coaster we know today. He is also known for being the father of the American roller coaster.
What was the first roller coaster called?
The first roller coaster which operated in America was in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, known as 'Switchback Railway'.
What is the fastest roller coaster?
The fastest roller coaster ever is the 'Formula Rossa' which can attain a top speed of 149.1 mph (240 kph) and can also go straight up 170.6 ft (52 m) in just 4.9 seconds! Hence it also carved a place for itself in the Guinness Book of World Records!
What is the largest roller coaster in the world?
The fastest and tallest roller coaster in North America is known by the name of 'Kingda Ka'.
What was the first roller coaster used for?
There is no information on the exact use of the first roller coaster, except that people enjoyed these wheeled cars and tubular track paths, which were priced at just a nickel to enjoy a ride! The first roller coaster was in Coney Island, New York, and was called the 'Switchback Railway'.
What is the slowest roller coaster?
The slowest roller coaster in the world is known by the name of 'Tiger and Turtle' in Duisburg in Germany.
Where is the tallest roller coaster in the world located?
Out of many theme parks in New Jersey, the Six Flags Great Adventure Park has an amusement ride named 'Kindga Ka', which is the tallest roller coaster known on the planet.
What is the safest roller coaster in the world?
It is unknown which is currently the safest roller coaster in the world but steel roller coasters are classed as safer than wooden roller coasters. Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK has unveiled plans to build the world's safest roller coaster, this announcement happened in the same week that theme park Alton Towers was fined for the 'Smile' roller coaster crash.
What is the roller coaster that kills you?
There are hypothetical roller coaster cars known by the name of 'Euthanasia Coasters'. These rides are specifically designed to kill all of the passengers riding in these cars.
Why do roller coasters have two hills?
A second hill is usually designed on a roller coaster to make the ride longer and convert the available potential energy into kinetic energy so that people would enjoy the thrill! Making the roller coaster cars shorter would also make the ride less exciting.
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