Roller coasters race up and down tracks at county fairs and theme parks around the world, bringing hair-raising thrills to children of all ages. Sometimes called “scream machines,” roller coasters have been the main attraction wherever they are for more than a century.
The coasters of today are taller, faster and wilder than ever before, causing operators to offer photos that capture the experience at the pinnacle of its excitement. Just making it to the end of the thrilling ride is cause for celebration for most riders. Others need more and sometimes stage that moment when the camera flashes, bringing us the wacky photos in this gallery.
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For many of us, there are few things more American or summer-like than Brooklyn‘s Coney Island. It’s been the site of family fun, local seediness, freaks of nature, and luxury development plans. Throughout its many iterations, Coney Island has retained its particular mix of beach, carnival, and city resort. Today’s Photo of the Day by Flickr user David Ellwood captures Coney Island’s Cyclone, one of America’s oldest wooden roller coasters and an icon of summer and amusement parks. The Cyclone celebrates 85 years of thrills this year, and hopefully will continue to spell summer fun for years to come.
Perhaps director Fernando Livschitz and the gang at Black Sheep Films were hitting the mate a bit too hard when they conceptualized this trippy video, but the result is a whimsical thrill ride through Buenos Aires‘ historic sites, including the Presidential Palace (La Casa Rosada).
The Mangyongdae Funfair is a North Korean amusement park known for its rusting rides and harnesses that don’t quite lock. For North Koreans, it’s an amusement park the same as Disney World is an amusement park for Americans. Being that there are only roughly 1,500 Western tourists that travel to North Korea each year (compounded by the fact that each traveler must have a guide with him or her at all times), few Western travelers ever experience the Mangyongdae Funfair, and so there are few photos of the rickety, but still-working amusement park surfacing online–at least within the online destinations I frequent. A recent post on Kuriositas.com, however, displayed some great photos of the park. After viewing the photos, I was moved to share that link, as well as a couple other good ones, with you.
And so, here they are, amuse yourselves with photos of this famed destination park.
Buffalo-area theme park Darien Lake was the site of a tragedy on Friday when a man, former Iraq war vet Sgt. James Hackemer, died after falling from a roller coaster. Hackemer was a double leg amputee after losing his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq three years ago.
The accident happened on the twenty story tall roller coaster called Ride of Steel. It has large hills, banked curves, and speeds in excess of 70 mph. The roller coaster’s trains use a lap bar restraints (pictured here).
Hackemer’s nephew Ashton Luffred, who rode with him, shared his account of the horrible accident in a New York Post article. According to Luffred, Hackemer asked guest services which rides were safe for him to ride and he was told that he could ride all of them. Hackemer was ejected on one of the smaller camel back-shaped hills on the trip back to the station.
In statements to the press and on Darien Lake’s home page, the park says that they are investigating the accident with the local authorities and safety experts. The Ride of Steel roller coaster will remained closed until the investigation is complete while the rest of the park will be open.