National Roller Coaster Day on August 16th recognizes the excitement and thrills of roller coasters. Amusement park lovers embrace the chance to conquer their fears and ride the loop-de-loops.
History of Roller Coasters
The origins of roller coasters date back to 15th century Russia with sledding tracks made of ice. These crude rides were known as Russian Mountains. In 1784, the first wheels were added to the tracks, creating a true roller coaster. During the 1800s, roller coasters gained popularity in France and later spread to Great Britain and the United States.
The first roller coaster in America opened on Coney Island in 1884. LaMarcus Adna Thompson’s Switchback Railway consisted of a wooden track with six car trains pulled to the top by a hoist. At the peak, passengers would coast down 600 feet of track reaching speeds up to six miles per hour.
In the 1920s, roller coasters received safety enhancements like lap bars and underside brakes. John Allen introduced the first tubular steel coasters in the 1960s, allowing for more inversions and barrel rolls. Technology continues to push the limits of speed, height, and loops.
How to Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day
- Ride an old favorite coaster at your local amusement park. Relive the adrenaline rush of that first drop and loop.
- Try out a brand new roller coaster you’ve never braved before. Feel the excitement of conquering a fear.
- Learn about roller coaster history and design. Appreciate the evolution from wooden wonders to steel thrill machines.
- Watch roller coaster videos online. Experience the vicarious thrill of virtual rides.
- Visit an amusement park you’ve never been to before. Discover new coasters and park experiences.
- Make it a family day at the park full of coaster fun. Create lasting memories riding together.
- Share your coaster experiences on social media. Post pics of your roller coaster adventures.
Timeline of Roller Coasters
- 15th Century – Ice sled roller coasters originate in Russia
- 1784 – First wheeled roller coaster opens in France
- 1884 – Switchback Railway opens at Coney Island, the first roller coaster in America
- 1920s – Safety features like lap bars introduced
- 1960s – John Allen pioneers tubular steel coasters
- 1976 – First complete-circuit upside-down roller coaster opens
- 2021 – World’s tallest hybrid coaster, Jersey Devil, debuts at 130 feet
Quotes About Roller Coasters
“Roller coasters remind you that reality is there, they anchor you to physics.” – Ian Frazier
“I want to get on a roller coaster, because it’s a perfect metaphor for life.” – Jane Seymour
“The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” – John Green
“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore
Hashtags to Use on National Roller Coaster Day
Celebrate the thrills with these hashtags:
Scream if you love coasters on this adrenaline-filled holiday! Conquer your fears as you scale new heights and plunge down steep drops. From wooden classics to record-breaking steel coasters, embrace the rush of your favorite rides. Capture those soaring sensations and celebrations to share. Strap in for a wildly thrilling National Roller Coaster Day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is National Roller Coaster Day?
National Roller Coaster Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated annually on August 16th for thrill seekers to enjoy roller coasters at amusement parks and share their excitement on social media.
When did the first roller coaster open in America?
The first roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island in 1884. Called the Switchback Railway, it consisted of a wooden track with a 600 foot drop and reached speeds up to 6 mph.
What is the tallest roller coaster in the world?
Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is the tallest roller coaster in the world at 456 feet tall. It reaches speeds over 128 mph.
What roller coaster has the most inversions?
The Smiler at Alton Towers in England holds the record for the most roller coaster inversions at 14.
Where is the most popular roller coaster located?
The most popular roller coaster is Millennium Force located at Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio. It has been voted best roller coaster for 15 years by Amusement Today.
When did tubular steel roller coasters debut?
Engineer John Allen introduced the first tubular steel roller coasters in 1959, allowing for more inversions and barrel rolls.
What safety features were added to roller coasters in the 1920s?
In the 1920s, safety features like lap bars and underside brakes were added to roller coasters to protect riders.
What gave the first roller coasters their speed?
The first roller coasters starting in Russia used gravity and downhill slopes to gain speed, rather than motors.
Where did the first wheeled roller coaster open?
The first wheeled roller coaster opened in France in 1784 after initial sled-like tracks originated in Russia.