4th dimension roller coasters position riders on either side of the track rather than above or below it. The seats spin on a horizontal axis. There are only a handful in the world, but they are easily the most insane and intimidating roller coasters around.

Arrow/S&S 4th Dimension Roller Coasters
Six Flags Magic Mountain’s X was the first 4th dimension roller coaster when it opened in 2002. X proved to be a costly and problematic project and aided in the demise of the long-running steel coaster company Arrow. The company went bankrupt as it was completing the ground-breaking coaster. Later, S&S Power purchased the company and went on to produce another 4th dimension roller coaster. In 2006, S&S opened Eejanaika at Fuli-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Japan. It’s name loosely translates to “Ain’t it Great!”

Intamin AG’s ZacSpin Roller Coasters
Top Swiss coaster designers, Intamin AG entered the 4th dimension game in 2007 with Kirnu at Linnanmäki in Helsinki, Finland.  The ZacSpin or Ball Coasters, as they’re known, take up a much smaller footprint and allow for completely uncontrolled rotation of the seats where the S&S coasters have programmed rotations. So, the ZacSpin’s allow for a completely different ride each time probably depending on the weight distribution in the trains. Since, Kirnu, Intamin has built Inferno at Terra Mitica in Spain and in 2009 will open Insane at Gröna Lund.

While there are only five 4th dimension roller coasters in the world, they really are quite amazing. I doubt I’ll ever forget my experience on X2 last summer. It’s kind of difficult to compare these thrill rides to traditional roller coasters. They are kind of a fusion of a spinning flat ride and a roller coaster. If you ever find yourself in Southern California, head on over to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I gaurantee you’ll have a memorable experience or two on X2. The ride wasn’t perfect, but light years away from boring. Read my full X2 review.

Learn about hyper, floorless, dive, suspended, inverted and more types of coasters. Read more Coasterology 101 posts.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of X2? Would you like to see more 4th dimension roller coasters? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

6 Responses

  1. Heiko

    I have been on Eejanaika in the Fuji-Q Highland last year, once in first row, once in last row. I loved especially the last row: The first drop is amazing: after the lift hill, the train picks up some speed on a pre-drop, then you go ever a small bunny hill to the first drop. In the last row you already experience negative g-forces on that bunny hop when the seats are flipped and you face to the ground while still beeing pushed downwards! Just for this, it is worth to go on Eejanaika… The rest is a impressive, fun ride, though slightly confusing with all the rotations. One of the best coasters I've ever been on!

  2. Minkowski

    According to how numbers work, this is a 3 dimensional roller coaster – 1) up/down 2) forward/backward 3) right/left. No clue why it’s referred to as a 4 dimensional coaster, seeing as how 4th dimension is relative to time space. Whomever labeled this as such clearly should sit down with some Einstein and basic physics. There is no 4th dimension other than time space relativity when it comes the 3rd dimensional movement.

    • Joel

      Good point. I think this is where marketing terms and what might sound cool outweighs real science. At least that’s what the designers would probably say.

  3. Me

    I have a few questions ASAP answers please! I have ridden on X2, and I have some thoughts.:
    First of all, why can’t 4th-dimensional roller coasters be wooden?
    How do the cars of 4th dimension roller coasters stay connected to the track?
    And finally, what makes the seats rotate? How?
    Also, X2 was pretty awesome, but the only comment I have is that the very front and very back seats are a pretty rough ride. Try to get somewhere in the middle!
    Very fun though.

    • Joel

      While I’m not sure that it would be impossible for a 4th dimension to be wooden, I do think it would more difficult than using steel. The cars stay on the track the same way they do on all roller coasters. There three sets of wheels riding along the track.

      For more on how they work, check out this great video from Coaster Bot: 4D Roller Coasters Explained


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.