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Slower, Yet Scarier: A New Roller Coaster Era?

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Slower, Yet Scarier: A New Roller Coaster Era?

Games & Humor

Slower, Yet Scarier: A New Roller Coaster Era?

Slower, Yet Scarier: A New Roller Coaster Era?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5433909/5435686" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jacqui Woods, 22 and Mandy Woods, 20 (right) on the Luna Park rollercoaster ride in North Sydney. Paul A. Souders/CORBIS hide caption

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Paul A. Souders/CORBIS

Jacqui Woods, 22 and Mandy Woods, 20 (right) on the Luna Park rollercoaster ride in North Sydney.

Paul A. Souders/CORBIS

Summertime is a boon for amusement parks, with each trying to bump up their fear factor by offering the sleekest, fastest roller coaster. Surprisingly, a new Orlando roller coaster prides itself on being slow. An innovative design makes up for what the ride lacks in speed.

At a mere 50 miles per hour — less than half the top speed of some of its competitors — Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom makes its way along snow-capped mountains surrounding a realistic Tibetan village.

By narrowing the rider's view, controlling perception and color contrast, the ride creates the illusion of speed.

Video on Two Wild Rides

Links To Virtual Rides

Record-Holding Coasters

Built in 1884, the Coney Island Cyclone in Coney Island, N.Y., is the oldest coaster in the United States.

At 456 feet, Kingda Ka of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey is the tallest coaster in the country. It is also the fastest, reaching 128 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds.

Busch Gardens' SheiKra in Tampa, Fla., holds the current record for the tallest dive. It lifts passengers 200 feet and sends them back down at a 90-degree angle at 70 miles per hour.

People's Choice: America's Favorite Coasters

Results of Amusement Today magazine's 2005 Golden Ticket Awards: