1. Russian Origin
The roller coaster has its origin in Russia where sledders were sent sown high 70-foot slopes on the Russian Mountains by ice slides with wooden frames in the 16th century. The Russian Mountains became famous attractions during summer as wheeled carts carried riders down the large, surging wooden ramps. Roller coasters became famous in amusement parks.
2. The First Roller Coaster Ever
The roller coaster that is considered the first ever commercial piece to be successful was launched in 1884 on the popular Coney Island in New York. LaMarcus A. Thompson then construction the 1st roller coaster railway dubbed the primitive Gravity Switchback. This railway attracted long queues of eager riders to become an instant success and generated 600 dollars each day. The idea behind the gravity ride quickly spread and led to creation of diverse roller coaster designs early in its invention. Similar rides plus new varied designs were constructed across the world.
3. Roller Coaster Patents
Several patents for roller coasters were issued early in its invention. The U.S. Patent Office issued patents for the circular and switchback roller coasters between 1872 and 1886. Other roller coaster patents were issued for the scenic railway, figure eight, and the Golden age.
4. Ultimate Coaster Attractions
During the 1920’s revolutionary designers like Harry Traver, John Miller and Herb Schmeck worked to create the ultimate gravity roller coaster ride attractions. Wild thrilling machines such as the infamous Coney Island Cyclone in New York, Crystal Beach Cyclone in Canada, Rye Beach Aeroplane in New York and Boardwalk Giant Dipper on Santa Cruz Beach were set up. After a decade, innovations like Flying turns by Norman Bartlett emerged. About 2000 roller coasters were erected and none of them remains today.
5. The Decline of Roller Coasters
Roller coasters declined significantly between 1940s and 1960s due to social and economic changes. Amusement parks faced low business and declined and deteriorated from one coast to another and so did the roller coasters.
6. Accidents in France
People who visited the Russian Mountains from France brought the roller coaster idea back to their country opening the first wheeled roller coaster in 1804 in Paris. The coaster craze spread quickly in France. However, the popularity of coasters grew faster than the rate of inventing safety devices and accidents became common. In mid 1800s, the injuries led to general loss of interest among the public and the Russian Mountain roller coasters were destroyed.
7. The Roller Coaster Revival
The roller coaster revival was ushered in by appearance of wooden Kings Island Racer in Ohio’s Cincinnati area in 1972. The love for coasters by the public was restored and amplified by the release of ‘Rollercoaster’ film in 1977. The American Coaster Enthusiasts was founded in 1978 as a global organization that is committed to appreciating, conserving and enjoying the art of contemporary steel and classic wooden roller coasters.
8. Largest Coasters
Some coasters often called mega coasters extend farther or are taller than normal roller coasters. The Phantom’s Revenge in Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh and the Beast located at King’s Island are examples of mega coasters. Hyper coasters such as the re-known Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point are known to be 200 feet tall. Desperado in Las Vegas and Steel Force located in Dorney Park fall under the hyper coaster category.
9. Millennium Force Gigacoaster
The Millennium Force roller coaster is the first gigacoaster ever constructed in the world. This gigacoaster is found at Cedar Point and stands at 310 feet tall.
10. Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster
The Top Thrill Dragster opened in Cedar Point in 2003. This roller coaster blasts trains up to 420 feet high and uses hydraulics to thrust them to top speeds of 120mph from 0 speed within seconds.