Intimidator 305 at Kings DominionAs the adage goes, “Be careful what you wish for.” Another thrill machine has opened and there are again reports of grey outs and others of uncomfortable ride experiences like bruised thighs. I’m no doctor and I’m not as concerned about our health as much as I am about the experiences these rides are providing and the satisfaction or disappointment of the riders.

I’m all for thrilling and even extreme rides, but I don’t feel that they  should be painful or produce worrisome effects. Intimidator 305’s trim brake and re-profiling saga was well-documented. That ride was so intense that it led to complaints of black outs, grey outs, stars, etc. I guess we get what we ask for when it comes to tall, intense rides.

UPDATE – I incorrectly assumed that bigger always means more intense. I still maintain that in my experience its been the 200+ foot tall coasters that have greyed me out, but a smaller coaster can produce as much or even more g-forces than a hyper as the commenters pointed out. So, I’m shifting the discussion a bit.

Would you be excited about a 100 foot tall coaster with a hyper layout?

I find it ironic that we (thrill-seeking Americans) always expect taller, bigger, and faster rides. We have this notion of a hyper coaster (200+ feet tall), while overseas there are very similar roller coasters that are only around 100-feet tall. Even though they’re mini-versions of our bigger hyper and giga coasters, they’ve consistently ranked high among enthusiasts who have been to other side of the World to ride them. Piraten at Djurs Sommerland and Kawasemi at Tobu Zoo are two mega lites that were very popular among well-traveled enthusiasts. Unfortunately, we may never see anything quite like these powerful pee-wees here in the States as they might not dominate a park’s skyline the way a 20-story tall coaster does. Hyper coaster-less amusement parks take note!

I’d love to hear from some of those enthusiasts that can speak to the mega-lites. Are the g-forces lower or am I off-base?

At the end of the day, I know what I’m building at my amusement park. You know the one that I’m going to build after my lottery winnings. A cheaper, yet still crowd-pleasing mini hyper. The coaster geeks will come from hundreds of miles around and the general public won’t be scared off by its size or get a crick in their necks as they try to look up at it.

I feel weird even asking this question to my (mostly) thrill seeking readers, but are rides getting a bit too extreme? What’s your take? Leave a comment below. Image courtesy of CoasterImage.

About The Author

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

35 Responses

  1. Rosie

    Hmm I don’t see a problem with it, as long as it’s a good ride plus they’ll always need “shorter” rides (if you can call a100 footer that) for the less extreme riders out there. I mean rides that are around 100 feet or more can still give you a good thrill, I’ve never been on the big coasters that reach 400 ft but I think a lot of them go so fast that you barely notice, Knotts’ Xcelerator actually kinda bored me because it was so smooth that I barely noticed the Gs like I would on their Boomerang. I don’t think I’d wanna black or gray out on a ride though.


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