National Roller Coaster Day

Quick Facts

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2023 DateAugust 16, 2023
2024 DateAugust 16, 2024

National Roller Coaster Day

National Roller Coaster Day is a thrilling celebration held annually across amusement parks in the US, applauding the engineering marvels and adrenaline-inducing experiences of roller coasters. This occasion permits amusement park enthusiasts, vacationers, and coaster fanatics alike to satisfy their thrill-seeking desires, learning more about these gravity-defying rides while commemorating their history and exciting evolution.

Roller coasters, which have been commanding the hearts of thrill-seekers since their inception in the 18th century, have a fascinating history. Initially descended from the ice-covered wooden slides of Russia, these rides made their way into the US in the late 1800s, where their popularity soared. National Roller Coaster Day itself was established in 1986, attributing its respectful inception to the oldest roller coaster in America, the Leap-The-Dips in Pennsylvania, built in 1902.

Important aspects of National Roller Coaster Day involve engaging in roller coaster trivia, marvelling at their varying designs, discussing their structural science and safety measures, and cherishing the variety of emotions they provoke — from pure joy to sheer terror. This thrilling holiday provides the perfect chance to share personal roller coaster experiences and create new memories. National Roller Coaster Day occurs each year on August 16th, ensuring a day of unforgettable, adrenaline-filled fun.

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National Roller Coaster Day facts

  • The first roller coaster created in the United States was the Switchback Gravity Railway. It was invented in 1884 by LaMarcus Adna Thompson and assembled at Brooklyn’s Coney Island. The coaster was gravity-powered and traveled at less than 6 miles per hour. It cost 5 cents to ride.
  • The concept of roller coasters first started in Russia in the 15th century. According to smithsonianmag, Russians built giant wooden slides (up to 70 feet tall) that were covered in ice. Riders could seat themselves on a straw seat and slide down at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. It is believed that the idea for roller coasters spread into Europe in the late 18th century based on a design by Catherine II. Her version of this slide was equipped with wheels fit into wooden rails.
  • The tallest roller coaster in the world is the Kingda Ka at Six Flags located in Jackson, New Jersey. It is 465 feet high and goes from 0-128 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Top things to do for National Roller Coaster Day

  • Visit your local amusement park and ride the roller coasters. Make sure you don't ride on a full stomach!
  • Plan a trip to ride some of the most popular roller coasters in the world. Some popular roller coasters include Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Florida and Steel Vengeance in Cedar Point, Ohio. Others include El Toro at Six Flags in New Jersey and Lightning Rod at Dollywood in Tennessee.
  • Play Roller Coaster Tycoon and build your own amusement park. The video game series allows players to construct their own theme park equipped with roller coasters and attractions.

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