I love roller coasters. From their insane drops to flipped hoopties to backwards inside-out time-traveling death turns.
But getting stuck on a roller coaster? That’s another thing altogether. Even for your thrill-seeking author.
What Happens If A Roller Coaster Gets Stuck Upside Down?
They have to send a crew out to rescue you. You might get… a nosebleed. According to the IAAPA, the chance of being seriously injured on a U.S. based fixed site ride (aka not a carnival ride) is 1 in 18 million. Roller coasters rarely get stuck, and they very rarely get stuck upside down because of gravity and inertia, but it has happened.
Four times roller coasters got stuck upside down:
- Demon at Six Flags Great America (April 1998) — 23 riders were stranded wrong side up for two hours when a nut became loose and the rear axle disengaged and became stuck. Happy nightmares!
- Mumbo Jumbo at Flamingo Land (May 2010) — A wayward poncho junks up the track causing five passengers to be stuck upside down for twenty minutes on this UK ride. Ponchos. Bad for fashion. Worse for roller coasters.
- Unknown coaster in China’s Shandong Province (September 2011) — A father and son were stuck upside down for 30 minutes. They eventually had to be rescued with ropes because soft soil prevented firefighters from setting up their equipment.
- X-Coaster at Magic Springs & Crystal Falls (July 2017) — The X-Coaster malfunctioned, stranding riders for an hour upside down. It was the second time this had happened, the first time was in 2007 when a bird caused a power outage. That’s just fowl.
- The Flying Dinosaur at Universal Studios Osaka (May 2018) — Thrill-seekers were stuck upside down on this Jurassic Park-themed ride in Japan for two hours.
Cross Your Fingers You Don’t Get Stuck on These 8 Roller Coasters
Getting stuck on these would be so horrifying that the bumper cars would be wildest ride I’d ever go on again.
- Kingda Ka (Six Flags Great America, New Jersey)
A whopping 456 feet, the tallest rollercoaster in the world has a name eerily similar to “kingdom come.” You know, where you might go when you die. You blast out the gate, shoot straight up toward the heavens, then drop down to earth in a vertical freefall. That first big drop gives you enough time to fear, sweat, make peace with your god, scream, and repeat.
- Leap-The-Dips (Lakemont Park, Altoona, Pennsylvania)
This wooden, side-friction roller coaster was constructed in 1902, which means it’s older than math. After a century of being outdoors, exposed to the central Pennsylvania elements, this pile of splinters and rusted nails is surprisingly still in operation. It would suck to get stuck just about anywhere on Leap the Dips, because this time machine will force you to relive what it was like to live in 1902. Why this people-mover is a jazz! What’s cholera? What’s the Kaiser up to in Germany? (Nothing good.)
- Vanish (Yokohama Cosmoworld, Japan)
A steel coaster in Japan’s Cosmoworld amusement park has a drop that looks like it’s going to plunge riders face-first into a huge pond, but actually it sends you speeding through a fiberglass, underwater tunnel for two minutes of thrilling claustrophobia. Take a deep breath before the “vanish” on this one, because if you get stuck down here you’re swimming your way back to safety, or making friends with the sushi.
- Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast (Six Flags St. Louis, Missouri)
Like its namesake, Mr. Freeze is a cold-hearted monster that totally didn’t ruin the 1997 film Batman & Robin. The launch-style start sends the rider from zero to seventy in 3.8 seconds, which is slower than a Porsche 918 Spyder but faster than Arnold Schwarzenegger with those puns in the 1997 film Batman & Robin.We fear getting stuck at the gate just before launch, waiting in anticipation for a send-off that never comes, antsy to get blasted out into oblivion. It would almost be like waiting patiently for a sequel to the 1997 film Batman & Robin, where Mr. Freeze returns with more hysterical bits about being cold. But, alas, it gives us the cold shoulder.
- Loony Tooter (Dream Park, Jordan)
There’s nothing particularly scary about this ride except for the fact that if you were stuck on it, you’d forever be known as the person firefighters had to rescue from the “Loony Tooter.”
- Top Thrill Dragster (Cedar Point, Ohio)
TTD is themed after automobile drag racing, so after the lights go from red to green, cars are launched from zero to 120 miles per hour, which honestly makes Mr. Freeze look pretty tame. Can you imagine, though, if your ride got “stuck” during the acceleration part? Instead of hitting 120, you’re blasting through the state of Ohio at a whopping zero miles per hour. Ah, the lovely state of Ohio. I guess all we can say is at least it’s not Florida?
- It’s a Small World (Disney World, Florida)
While not technically a “roller coaster” by standard definitions, you’ve got to admit that if you got stuck on this Disney attraction and had to hear that song over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, you found the secret entrance to one of Dante’s levels of hell.
- Any Carnival Ride
If you had to pay for your ride in tickets or the ride is portable and can be relocated one county over via pickup truck in time for next weekend’s “fair,” there’s a high chance you’re going to get stuck on that spinning whirly-gig doodad because you’re at the mercy of a hungover 15-year-old carny.
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