X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain

What is a 4th Dimension, 4D Roller Coaster?

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.