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Top Roller Coaster Myths & Rumors!


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It would be fun to grab a radar gun and test various coasters advertised speeds versus actual top speeds (acknowledging that conditions can alter performance), but i'm sure the parks would not be cool with that. hardly a "myth", anyway.

 

you could theoretically try to test the "drop an object from the top of a loop and catch it at the bottom" using a foam ball with a park's permission, on a closed ride, of course. could result in some pretty funny shots of a dude completely failing to throw / catch a foam ball while traversing a loop, or a nice shot of a coaster train shredding the thing. probably wouldn't present any danger to the ride if it was soft enough.

 

this one's boring, but you could also verify the advertised height of various lift hills using simple triangulation -- use measuring tape to stand x feet away, measure the angle of line of side to the apex using a protractor, do some basic trig, and that gives you the height of the object. i dunno, that's more of a 6th grade field trip exercise i guess.

 

expanding on a previous poster's remark: determine how safe it is statistically to ride a roller coaster versus various other forms of "transportation" such as car, plane, merry-go-round, bike, etc. (i suspect it's statistically far more dangerous to drive to the park than ride its coasters).

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About ten years ago a group of us were at the "Lucy Days" a Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz event in Jamestown, NY. While there we had heard the rumor about TV Land ( the cable net ) and CBS will be teaming up to build a theme park based on classic TV shows and game shows. I remember the woman at the Lucy gift shop telling us that a wooden coaster will be built and it is to be called ....JEOPARDY !! I know "WT..?????" I

 

Another ride she had mentioned though non-coaster was a ride based on "I Love Lucy" and that Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. had already gave the OK ( yeah right !! ) Anyway the Lucy ride was to be a Calypso'-like ride with the cars looking like restaurant booths ( Tropicana Night Club I guess )..spinning around while the sound system is blaring Desi Arnaz "Babalu".

 

Even back then I knew this was a myth. Received the vibe when I had asked the woman in the gift shop where will be the location for this "park"? Her response was Syracuse, NY !! Quite a few of others bought it though. Wouldn't surprise me at all if there are a few hardcore Lucille Ball, perhaps maybe even a few Alex Trebek fans out there who are still waiting for this park to be built so they can ride the spinning Babalu and JEOPARDY..the coaster.

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"Coasters go faster in the back."

Ummmm what? I am missing something? If the car the farthest back was going faster than the others I would be VERY scared. You tell that friend of yours that a coaster isn't like a highway; your car can't pass someone else's.

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This would make a fantastic MythBusters episode...

 

I've got one from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. This is a rumor I heard from many people after Superman: Ultimate Flight stalled right before the heartline roll. I've heard many guests, on many different occasions, say that the train stalled out upside down in the heartline roll. Of course, it's easily verifiable and debunked, but I had dispel that myth for quite a few worried people.

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Not sure how it could be tested, but one that still comes up is Canada's Wonderland is moving to Niagara Falls. Maybe dig up the full page ad the park took out in local papers to say they were not going anywhere.

 

I've heard that one as well. Another variant of it was that the park was going to move to Woodstock, Ontario. I believe the whole thing sourced around the fact that the land Canadas Wonderland sits on is now worth a fortune.

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On my last trip to Disneyland one of my friends told me that there's a trick that you can do on Big Thunder that might count for this thread.

 

Something like if you sit in the backseat of the train, when your train starts to go down and turn around the hill with the goat holding the dynamite, you can toss a penny over the goat and catch it when your train goes around the goat to the other side. Something along those lines. Not sure if this is one that has gone around much too.

 

If you time it, I could see it working! Don't want to try it for fear I might hit another rider in the face, lol.

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Joining this thread a little late...and showing my age once again...but growing up in the Midwest there was always a rumor of a rattlesnake falling from a tree into the log flume at SFStl and killing a kid...and then, years later, the rumor that the park actually had video of the husband pushing his wife from the stand up coaster...each of those came back to me many years later while reading through these tonight...all the KI death stories as well...and I'm certain I've read one way or another on this one but the decapitation on the Matterhorn back in the day story/rumor/or truth...

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"Coasters go faster in the back."

Ummmm what? I am missing something? If the car the farthest back was going faster than the others I would be VERY scared. You tell that friend of yours that a coaster isn't like a highway; your car can't pass someone else's.

 

1 -it's a very common misperception and certainly fits the criteria of Robb's request.

2 - Please respect Robb's request from a few pages back to not crap on other's suggestions in this thread.

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There was a rumor with the High Roller that used to be at the Stratosphere that a wheel came off of the train and crashed through a window in the restaurant.

 

Crazy as how this is impossible based on the shape of the tower and that the restaurant is 6 floors below where the coaster used to be.

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The old Speelunker's Cave at SFOT was/is rumored to have been closed down once after a woman complained that something fell across her neck during the ride. They closed it, turned on the lights to check, and found a snake. When they did a thorough cleaning, they pulled dozens (or hundreds, depending on who's telling the story) of snakes out of the cave!

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I am sure there are some crazy rumors/myths surrounding the old Action Park. That place was full of ridiculousness, like the employees apparently manipulating the go karts to go 40+ mph, and the looping water slide.

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- if you drop a penny off the eiffel tower, it will accelerate to lethal velocity by the time it hits the ground (brought to you by people who paid attention during the lesson on gravity but fell asleep for the unit on wind resistance and aerodynamics)

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Forgot one...

 

Over the years I have heard from a number of Colorado old timers about the young man who back in the mid to late 1950's was decapitated on the Wild Chipmunk Coaster during a company picnic at Denver's Lakeside Park. Actually last year I had met a 94 year old man who swears not only did it happen but he was there when it happened too. According to him it was a King Soopers Supermarket picnic ( the chain had rented out the park for employees and their families only ). That part I have my doubts. In the 50's King Soopers was a very very small and struggling grocery chain. At one back then according to my dad Kings had filed bankruptcy It wasn't until 1972 or so when Kroger took over when King Soopers became what they are today..a big chain, at least in Colorado anyway. Back in the 1950's King Soopers couldn't afford to rent out Lakeside much less Elitch Gardens. Now did someone actually get the head cut off on the Wild Chipmunk ?? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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One of the best we have in the UK is at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, most people seem to think PMBO has an inversion in it, it doesn't and never has had, so where they get it from I'll never know.

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I don't know if this one counts but the Netherlands has a great one themselves. Here we hear once in a while the rumor of the Python Plus at the Efteling. Apparently the layout of the double loop double corkscrew wasn't exited enough, so they where planning to remove the corkscrews turn them so the went under the lift and through the first loop, and the ride would have some camel-backs, tunnels, a side wider and a second lift added to it. I always love it when it comes up.

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The belief of many local visitors of Waldameer and Water World is that the original Ravine Flyer still exists to this day! No I'm not referring to the picnic grove that was the original station, I'm referring to a coaster in the park that still operates. I have looked all over the park for the original Ravine Flyer still in operation, and finally I found it! I guess I was wrong the entire time about the origins of our junior coaster! Ravine Flyer was renamed "Comet" after Waldameer chopped it in half, removed the bridge going over the road, and put some turns in to complete the circuit. The final product was a junior coaster. Who woulda thunk it? So be sure to put a note in your credits, as many of you have ridden the original Ravine Flyer originally built in 1922.

 

As for the story about the accident, many embellished accounts float around to this day...

...some guy got drunk and thought it would be fun to jump off...

...he had a planned suicide...

...the rider that fell off was actually a baby someone someone snuck onto the ride...

...he didn't die from the fall, but he was struck repeatedly by oncoming traffic...

The boring, but true story is as follows: A young man (late teens or early 20s) lost his balance when he rose to calm his sister when the train valleyed over the section that crossed the road. He didn't die immediately, but passed away due to a head injury shortly after being transported to a hospital.

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