Drop Zone at Kings DominionThis might seem like an unusual topic for an edition of Coaster Questions, but I probably don’t give flat rides and other non-roller coasters enough attention. Let’s face it, a theme park that had nothing but roller coasters wouldn’t be complete. Every park needs a nice supporting cast of smaller thrill and family rides.

For me, drop rides have always been a favorite. They can really get the adrenaline going even more than some roller coasters. The long slow climb, ride ops that tease before dropping riders, and that exhilarating fall all add up to a memorable experience.

I’m not a huge fan of flat rides that spin too much. So, I wasn’t sure I’d like Dollywood’s Dizzy Disk ride when I decided to ride it last summer. Consisting of a half-pipe of coaster-like track, a round carriage that has riders facing outward, the ride spins the carriage as it rolls back and forth on the track. Thankfully, I didn’t get dizzy at all and I got a little pop of air at the top of half-pipes every once in a while. I’ll definitely ride one of these if I happen to see one again.

California’s Great America has an extended version in Tiki Twirl (Formerly Survivor: The Ride). It has a small hill in the middle of the half pipe that likely provides another opportunity for some airtime. It’d be great to see one of these at Carowinds.

What’s Your Take?
What are your favorite non-roller coaster rides? 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.

43 Responses

  1. mitch

    I’ve always loved Jurassic Park (Orlando and Hollywood) because it’s always been one of my favorite movies and the ride is so unique and well themed.

  2. Robert

    Gotta go with the Intamin drop towers. I’m a sucker for tower rides, and while the S&S variations are nice, nothing beats a natural free fall for me. The towers at Kings Island and Kings Dominion are awesome rides. Skyhawk at Cedar Point and the recently removed Catapult at Six Flags New England are also pretty fun (Sad to see Catapult go. Probably the most forceful ride I’ve been on and there was never a line.)

  3. Mrod

    I enjoy the zipper, I get school girl happy whenever a carnival comes through town just to ride it. Haha. But I think I’m gonna have to give it to lex Luthor as favorite non-rollercoaster ride, as of late at least. It’s the only ride at MM that turns my stomach into knots when standing in line. Ps the west facing drop side of the S:EFK tower is definitely better than the east facing side for drop of doom. And yes if you score a ride when superman just shot up the tower, it sways and it’s probably the most thrilling experience at the park. 400ft in the air, anticipating a drop back to earth, a swaying tower, and California sun in your face.

  4. Charlie Lockyer

    By far SkyHawk at Cedar Point. Dorney Park’s Screamin Swing is a good one for the not insane people at half the size.

  5. MBrilhart

    Log flume rides and non-shooter Dark Rides are always at the top of my list right after roller coasters. I’m not a big fan of shooter dark rides because unless you hit a target, nothing good tends to happen. Plus they’ve brought about the downfall of the classic dark ride, which has always been something I enjoy. I don’t want to have to shoot things to activate the scares and surprises in the ride.

  6. Coaster Nut

    Definitely Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney World. The accelerated drop in the dark, along with the great thematic elements, make this a ride I dread… but LOVE!

  7. Tom Ewart

    Have to say Big Shot in Vegas is a favorite and Harry Potter isn’t too bad either. Thought Transformers was too much like Spidy.

  8. Matthew

    My favorite is a WaveSwinger. Then my second is probably Giant Swings like Skyhawk at CP or SlingShot at Kennywood.

    • Matthew

      No wait Enterprise rides are my second favorite. Giant Swings are third. Non-roller coaster ride.

  9. Rosie

    let’s see
    Disneylands Star Tours was always a cool experience

    i like flume rides, log jammer, jet stream, splash mountain,that one mining ride they had at knotts

    i love the zipper and the kamikaze at the fair. i dunno what’d you classify them as.

    carousels are some of my favorites. never too old for them.

  10. Ryan

    Either the gliders or a disk’o coaster like the one at kings island. CEDAR POINT IS GETTING BOTH IF THOSE (screams)

  11. Matt McIrvin

    I like a lot of rides that are quite sedate–probably held over from my childhood when those were all I would ride!

    Skyrides are great; the ski-lift-type ones are OK, but I really love the old Von Roll gondola-type ones that would go really high and often actually serve as transit between different areas of the park.

    Many parks have been removing these in recent years, and it makes me sad. Hersheypark and, I think, the Disney parks used to have them, and don’t any more (Hersheypark still has the little ski-lift-type one). I think Busch Gardens Williamsburg still does.

    I also miss Hersheypark’s Giant Wheel, a weird variant on a Ferris wheel that had two wheels on the ends of a colossal seesaw lever, as a solution to the problem of rapid loading and unloading. The riders were in hanging gondolas, and one wheel would be on the ground in a horizontal position loading riders while the other was operating vertically. You could also make the gondola turn if you wanted to. (I think the Great America parks had a variant with three wheels!) Now they’ve got an ordinary Ferris wheel instead, which I’m sure is fine, but I haven’t ridden it.

    I don’t like violently spinning rides, in general, but Wave Swingers are nice. And I’m also fond of flumes and rapids rides.

  12. PC

    for me Frisbees like MaXair (Cedar Point) and Delirium (Kings Island) are the best. I wish carowinds would build one. Also I like the top spins like the Crypt at Kings Dominion. Even the old school wave swingers and himalyas ride give me life. As far as my home park screamweaver is it for me I can ride that back to back. lol

  13. PC

    For me MaXair and Delirium the giant frisbees are the best. Im also a fan of the top spins like the crypt. For spinning type the old school himalyas and wave swinger are awesome. For my home park screamweaver does it for me i can fall asleep on that ride from the breeze lol


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