12 Fast Facts: Ups & Downs from Roller Coaster History

Ever since their first appearance in the earlier decades of the 19th century, roller coasters have been raising the bar at a rapid pace. The humble mini-train poking along on wooden tracks has been transformed into an insane collection of massive, fast-flying thrill rides that make even the most daring take a deep breath before locking in. Roller coaster production isn’t slowing down soon. Get to know the fascinating ups and downs of roller coaster history before taking your family to the theme park this summer with these 12 super-fast facts.

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  • Roller coasters were inspired in part by “gravity railroads” mining companies used to deliver coal downhill to locations many miles away. The earliest thrill-seekers paid to ride with the goods.
  • The most direct inspiration for the modern roller coaster comes from France, where rides consisting of small trains on wooden tracks were built for amusement, and daring loops intrigued daredevils.
  • In Paris, in the middle of the 19th century, “centrifugal coasters” appeared. These consisted of a long drop to gather speed, with a full loop in the center that guided the car around using centrifugal force.
  • The earliest “looping coasters” were known for being especially dangerous. Many caused whiplash.
  • The first official “scenic” roller coaster opened in 1884 on the now famous peninsula of Coney Island in Brooklyn. Slower, safe and popular, it guided riders through passageways and painted scenes.
  • Coney Island outdid itself with The Cyclone in 1927, a wooden roller coaster that still operates today.

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  • After the Great Depression, amusement parks declined for decades. Roller coasters nearly fell off the map until an upswing in the economy paved the way for Americans to enjoy theme parks again.
  • Disneyland set up shop in the mid-fifties in California. Its main attraction: the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
  • There are nearly 900 roller coasters currently operating in North America. That’s less than half of the roller coasters operating in Asia, and still less than the total number currently operating in Europe.
  • The tallest roller coaster in the world is Kingda Ka at Six Flags in New Jersey. At 456 ft. tall, the giant roller coaster also boasts the longest free-falling drop in the world, kicking off with a 418-ft. drop.
  • While Kingda Ka is also the fastest roller coaster in the United States, it comes in second in the world rankings to Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in the United Arab Emirates. Rossa tops out at 149 mph.
  • The fan-voted best theme park for roller coasters in America backs up Cedar Point’s claim that it’s the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” However, many thrill-seekers say Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey has a higher concentration of the best roller coasters in the world, including Kingda Ka.

Before you think about setting off on your theme park adventure, make sure you’ve got all the gear you need to enjoy a flawless vacation. Shop luggage, totes, apparel, electronics and so much more for your family trip.

Cheap Family Entertainment with Cheap Sports Tickets

sport-ticketsIt’s a lazy Saturday afternoon and you’re wondering what you can do to entertain your family and all of a sudden you get an idea: if I could find cheap NBA tickets, I’d definitely take my family to the game! Then, you remember how expensive tickets are at the team’s box office. You also remember the frustration of ticket “convenience” fees that add excessive costs to the already inflated ticket price. After reading this article, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to save tons of money on great local entertainment for your family!

Use Discounted Ticketing Sites
There seems to be a daily deals site for everything and now, there’s even one for sports tickets! For consumers looking to save money on tickets, this kind of site should be their first stop when searching for tickets. Crowd Seats, the first daily deals site for sports tickets, allows sports fans to get great seats for great games without paying ridiculous ticket prices. Each week, they offer different games with big discounts – a great way to save money on your favorite team. There are even more ways to save money too!

Forget About Fees – They’re NOT Convenient
No one likes paying fees – especially on sports tickets. If you look hard enough, you can find trustworthy sites that don’t charge an arm and a leg in extra fees. Did you know ticket fees can add 30% or more on top of the ticket price?! That’s just simply unfair to sports fans who want to be able to afford tickets. Again, there are some sites that charge fees and some that don’t. Ticketmaster charges 20-30% in fees, at least. StubHub charges excessive fees as well.

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Monday is the Best Day to Buy
Just like airline tickets, you can save money if you buy tickets on a specific day. We’ve found that buying tickets on Monday is the best way to get the best price. It seems like prices fluctuate and are lowest on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Free Parking is Possible
Parking at stadiums can cost $25 or even more! If you have a large SUV or truck, you can pay as much as $50 to park – that’s not fair. An insider tip is to do a Google search for free parking around Stadium Name. Perhaps there is public parking or cheaper lots within walking distance that can help you save money!

Wrapping Things Up…
If you’re a sports fan, you should be feeling pretty confident now that you can find the best places to get a good sports ticket deal. Don’t pay box office prices and definitely don’t buy from sites that charge you fees. You’re the customer, you should be treated well! You’re now ready to find cheap NBA tickets!

This is a guest post by Crowd Seats, the first flash deals site designed exclusively for sports fans. They offer exclusive, time-sensitive deals to your favorite sports games and events at discounts of up to 90% off with no added fees.

Image Credit: Ballpark Shenanigans