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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > What's the future for coaster?

What's the future for coaster?

xPoizon

Posted:
8/17/13 at
7:42:51 PM

It started with wood
Then steel, looping, wild mouse, racing, stand up, boomerang, launched, inverted, floorless, flying, mega, giga, impulse, motorbike, winged, wooden with inversions, on and on, etc.

My point is: what is the next big thing? Stand up wing coaster? Taller? Faster? Or a completely new idea like when the invert first came out?

The sky's the limit, so let me know what you think?

Re: What's the future for coaster? by antikythera antikythera Profile at 8/17/13 7:50:08 PM
Realisticly, I'd like to see them somehow perfect the materials that make up the coaster so that trains and the track/supports last longer.

They are always coming out with new wheels that provide a smoother ride and require less maintenance. I can see them doing the same with the supports and track.

Take a look at I305. As bad as Intamin has been this year with their motors blowing out and cables snapping, they managed to build a 300ft coaster lift and first drop with only three points of support.

To me, that's pretty impressive and only shows how far we can go to make great coasters that take up a small footprint.

Personally, I think it will fall into two camps: those companies that want to make new ride experiences and those who will want to create more reliable rides. I think some will fall into both camps, but succeed on different levels.

* This post was modified at 8/17/13 7:51:27 PM *

Re: What's the future for coaster? by AngryGumball AngryGumball Profile at 8/17/13 8:23:13 PM
The only limitations I can really see on our future, especially here in the states are how intense our rides will be...part of my wondering why we have yet to see an Intamin Megalite in the US...wouldn't mind seeing one in CA, where until the past couple years, we lack in any real airtime machines.
Re: What's the future for coaster? by rollercoastersfreak rollercoastersfreak Profile at 8/18/13 2:54:42 AM
I agree with the Mega Lite needing to be in the US. I rode one here in Japan a couple months ago and it was a great ride. Lot's of airtime. I think the US also needs to get a ride with a greater than 90 degree drop. I rode a coaster in Japan yesterday with a 121 degree drop and it was the craziest thing I've ever ridden. One of my friends though came up with a new idea for a coaster that sounded interesting. Instead of seating forward or backward. Sitting sideways. It sounded like it could be an interesting idea. Or another good idea is making taller coasters. When Top Thrill Dragster was opened no it reached new heights. Why not try making a Hyper over 500 ft.

Brandon Carlson

Re: What's the future for coaster? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/18/13 9:41:32 AM
antikythera said:

Realisticly, I'd like to see them somehow perfect the materials that make up the coaster so that trains and the track/supports last longer.


They are always coming out with new wheels that provide a smoother ride and require less maintenance. I can see them doing the same with the supports and track.

Take a look at I305. As bad as Intamin has been this year with their motors blowing out and cables snapping, they managed to build a 300ft coaster lift and first drop with only three points of support.

To me, that's pretty impressive and only shows how far we can go to make great coasters that take up a small footprint.

Personally, I think it will fall into two camps: those companies that want to make new ride experiences and those who will want to create more reliable rides. I think some will fall into both camps, but succeed on different levels.

Um, I-305 went down this season too.

Jen

Re: What's the future for coaster? by antikythera antikythera Profile at 8/18/13 11:37:07 AM
GoYanks34 said:

antikythera said:

Realisticly, I'd like to see them somehow perfect the materials that make up the coaster so that trains and the track/supports last longer.


They are always coming out with new wheels that provide a smoother ride and require less maintenance. I can see them doing the same with the supports and track.

Take a look at I305. As bad as Intamin has been this year with their motors blowing out and cables snapping, they managed to build a 300ft coaster lift and first drop with only three points of support.

To me, that's pretty impressive and only shows how far we can go to make great coasters that take up a small footprint.

Personally, I think it will fall into two camps: those companies that want to make new ride experiences and those who will want to create more reliable rides. I think some will fall into both camps, but succeed on different levels.

Um, I-305 went down this season too.

Jen

Yeah I know. I wasn't saying Intamin is exempt from problems. They are a pardox in that their three point design is great, but their execution on everything else is poor.

That's why I said with varying success.

Re: What's the future for coaster? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/18/13 11:40:03 AM
antikythera said:

GoYanks34 said:

antikythera said:

Realisticly, I'd like to see them somehow perfect the materials that make up the coaster so that trains and the track/supports last longer.


They are always coming out with new wheels that provide a smoother ride and require less maintenance. I can see them doing the same with the supports and track.

Take a look at I305. As bad as Intamin has been this year with their motors blowing out and cables snapping, they managed to build a 300ft coaster lift and first drop with only three points of support.

To me, that's pretty impressive and only shows how far we can go to make great coasters that take up a small footprint.

Personally, I think it will fall into two camps: those companies that want to make new ride experiences and those who will want to create more reliable rides. I think some will fall into both camps, but succeed on different levels.

Um, I-305 went down this season too.

Jen

Yeah I know. I wasn't saying Intamin is exempt from problems. They are a pardox in that their three point design is great, but their execution on everything else is poor.

That's why I said with varying success.

Ah - I misinterpreted what you were saying.

Jen

Re: What's the future for coaster? by alpengeistno3 at 8/18/13 12:24:03 PM
rollercoastersfreak said:

I agree with the Mega Lite needing to be in the US. I rode one here in Japan a couple months ago and it was a great ride. Lot's of airtime. I think the US also needs to get a ride with a greater than 90 degree drop. I rode a coaster in Japan yesterday with a 121 degree drop and it was the craziest thing I've ever ridden.

Ever rode Fahrenheit? Maverick? Steel Hawg? Don't all those Eurofighters have a beyond vertical drop?

I think we have plenty of beyond 90 degree dropping coasters here. Problem is that the drops are so short at just barely topping 100 ft, any amazing airtime is quickly dissipated.

Paul

* This post was modified at 8/18/13 12:28:52 PM *

Re: What's the future for coaster? by antikythera antikythera Profile at 5/13/14 5:13:53 PM
I have been reading Wikipedia during slow days at the office and have been fascinated with all the predictions on culture, technology, etc. over the next few millenia.

It got me thinking if rollercoasters will still be around in the future or we will have moved onto something else.

What will rides of the future be like? Will it incorporate virtual reality, materials our current perception can't understand, something else?

What about the limitations of the human body? We are already pushing the limits of what the average Joe can handle but it's expected we will someday figure out a way to extend the human lifespan and possibly eliminate diseases. Will the technology of amusement park rides correlate with this new, semi-immortality so that we can ride rides that pull an unhealthy (by current standards) dose of G's?

Just some food for thought.

Re: What's the future for coaster? Photo by Link Link Profile at 5/14/14 4:11:17 PM
Interesting. I had written several essays concerning this topic exactly (including a few I've shared in this very forum).

As a self-ascribed futurist, I'd like to take a stab at this thread.

I break coaster innovation down into the following categories:

- Size
- Layout
- Thematics
- Interactivity

Obviously, new advances in computer modeling and material sciences will allow for coasters that are both bigger in terms of scale but also more extreme in terms of layout. Some parks, for example, have to pack more thrill in less and less space.

Already we see layouts that feature vertical lift/drop, linear induction becoming more commonplace. It may not be long before we see coasters that take advantage of Vekoma's rapid/dynamic track-switching technology seen in Disney's Expedition Everest used to send riders zipping down random paths along the course.

More of a modern trend than a technological feat are the hybrid coasters with steel tracks and wooden supports or vice versa. These are truly brilliant homages to the coasters of yesteryear. Meanwhile, there has been a genuine revival in "classic" wooden coasters. I think we will see more innovations come from pairing the best of steel coasters with the romantic charm of wooden coasters.

Also a growing trend are more and more elaborate thematics, which can add to the overall thrill of a coaster if done tactfully. We are seeing coasters with audio-visual stimuli throughout the ride that integrate with the thrill, beit pyrotechnics, like Bizarro at Six Flags Great America, or illusory video projections, like Mystery Mine at Dollywood, or animatronics, as in the Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride at Universal parks.

There are additional innovations, such as Kuka's RoboCoaster paired with Vekoma's track technology (see attached picture). Although the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios Orlando isn't a roller coaster, imagine that in a few years we could apply this same technology to a more traditional coaster circuit. The following video shows the Harry Potter ride with the lights on to give you an idea of the motion control system that governs the ride:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbYvrxhbZ-o

Yes it's slow and lethargic. But so were the first steel coasters compared to today's stratas.

Given all this, I see the ultimate evolution of roller coasters being less about the pureness of the coaster experience, but one where the track and circuit are only the underlying conveyance for the ride: i.e., the track is there to fly riders through a heavily-themed set (think Big Bad Wolf formerly at Busch Gardens Williamsburg). But give the rider a joystick and allow the riders themselves to control the intensity of the ride! Meanwhile, a trigger on that joystick could set-off a blaze of pyrotechnic fireworks: I think simulating the infamous Death Star trench battle from Star Wars would make for one hell of a thrill ride!

Great topic!

User Submitted Picture

RoboCoaster

* This post was modified at 5/14/14 6:23:12 PM *

Re: What's the future for coaster? by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 5/14/14 6:19:48 PM
^^^Awesome analysis Link! The Chance Unicoaster flatride in which you can flip forwards and backwards is a good example of a ride with joystick controls.

I never thought about what you said, a large range joystick controlled robocoaster on rails, that would be freaking sick!

Re: What's the future for coaster? by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 5/14/14 11:22:19 PM
Weren't the flat rides with joysticks in the 80's a horrible flop in terms of reliability... Has anyone put that technology to use on a coaster yet?

I've seen the RoboArm or whatever it's called in IAAPA photos several times.

Where's the resident old crank Ripples been hiding lately? He's gotta be the oldest enthusiast here.

:)

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: What's the future for coaster? Photo by Link Link Profile at 5/15/14 5:59:54 AM
Great_Ump said:

Weren't the flat rides with joysticks in the 80's a horrible flop in terms of reliability... Has anyone put that technology to use on a coaster yet?


I've seen the RoboArm or whatever it's called in IAAPA photos several times.

Where's the resident old crank Ripples been hiding lately? He's gotta be the oldest enthusiast here.

:)

Joe
Great_Ump

Ump,

Yes, reliability was certainly a factor in those old rides and even arcade games. Consider SEGA's Galaxy Force II arcade game in the "Super Deluxe Cabinet":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKApN554Sng

My point is: These old machines had to take a relentless abuse from hordes of young, eager players all day, every day. And even though many of the Galaxy Force II machines were often down for repair, the simple fact is, they were for all intents and purposes "practical" for every-day wear from guests, especially by the 80's standards.

I would think that with today's advances in technology that the reliability factor for fully-interactive rider input could be pushed even further.

Obviously, the more moving parts you have to any ride system the less reliable it will be. I've heard that the Harry Potter ride at Universal is prone to downtime for sake of repairs, for example. But alas, we've got to start SOMEWHERE! A few years from now, and rides like Forbidden Journey might look like merry-go-rounds.

User Submitted Picture

SEGA's Galaxy Force II

Re: What's the future for coaster? Photo by Link Link Profile at 5/17/14 9:24:39 AM
For reference, here is a link to a blog I posted about the future of not only roller coasters, but for how amusement entertainment and cinema could converge as well.

And while you read through this many of my predictions may seem mundane by today's standards, just consider the fact that this was copyrighted circa 1999.

Enjoy! n_n

User Submitted Picture

Final Jvstice©

Re: What's the future for coaster? Photo by Link Link Profile at 8/29/14 9:48:55 AM
I'll just leave this here: User Submitted Picture

Oculus Rift turns rollercoaster ride into a virtual shooter

Re: What's the future for coaster? by Tomes at 8/30/14 10:09:21 AM
The problem with letting riders control their own experience is that
1. Human mind isn't fast enough to respond when you're going through twists and turns at 50mph or above, so self-control rides would remain slow
2. There are positions and angles which are unhealthy for the human body, like if you were to ride X2 and u could control your own spin instead of having it planned for you, it would result in many brain injuries and possibly deaths. When you're dealing with machines going so fast, and twisting and turning riders upside down and in so many strange angles, you really can't put the safety of the rider in their own hands, so at best u can give them one of several pre-determined options.

I think we will see more of what Intamin and Rocky Mountain is doing - newer elements to safely enhance the rider's experience, making inverted airtime Hills, more thrilling and more surprising elements that really raise your adrenaline and make you feel like you just went through an insane journey.

Of course at the same time there will also be parks and coaster companies that keep trying to break records, now Fury325 is coming out, next thing we'll see 350+ft giga coasters, and approaching 400ft.. And then one insane company will build a 500+ft coaster which at first will have tons of maintenance issues (and also keep in mind as you go into those Heights you're getting into the $30-40mill range, which isn't always worth it for the parks) but then more coasters like that will start popping up like how we are now seeing more giga coasters, etc.

Re: What's the future for coaster? Photo by Link Link Profile at 8/30/14 11:19:37 AM
Tomes said:

The problem with letting riders control their own experience is that
1. Human mind isn't fast enough to respond when you're going through twists and turns at 50mph or above, so self-control rides would remain slow

Excellent points! However, I don't think overall speed will be a barrier. See my answer below:

Tomes said:

2. There are positions and angles which are unhealthy for the human body, like if you were to ride X2 and u could control your own spin instead of having it planned for you, it would result in many brain injuries and possibly deaths. When you're dealing with machines going so fast, and twisting and turning riders upside down and in so many strange angles, you really can't put the safety of the rider in their own hands, so at best u can give them one of several pre-determined options.

There are known tolerances for the human body and all of its appendages and joints--within reason.

For example, I remember my head tilting back at the bottom of the second drop of Voyage at Holiday World and me suddenly feeling a sharp pain in the back of my neck. I was able to correct this mentally within enough time for it not to become serious, which at those speeds would have been a fraction of a second.

I'm sure the designers at the Gravity Group with all of their computer models and real-world testing with dummies accounted for many of the forces that could be applied to our frail human physiology. Again, within reason. Even so, it didn't take much for me to find a small loophole in their design. But that was the exception to the overall rule, and wasn't far enough outside of safety protocol to keep them from designing the ride to exceed 60 Mph.

That said, it is possible to restrict motion that might exceed human tolerance. Particularly within fractions of a second. Modern cars have computers that adjust driving conditions several hundreds of times per second, and motion control protocols that safely adjust thousands of moving parts within that same instance.

My point is with enough engineering and computer controlled motion you could effectively eliminate "strange angles" that might apply undue forces against the human body. You are never going to be able to cover all possible contingencies. But you can isolate them enough to those that are within reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse_kinematics

I agree that motion-controlled rides will more than likely be slow in their first iterations, just like any new coaster track element such as inverted, fiving, or flying layouts: Think Batman at Six Flags Great America versus Alpengeist.

But then, you have bold designers and theme park curators who are willing to push the limits, like when Six Flags Magic Mountain installed X (bka X2). Although it was the first practical 4D coaster to debut to the adoring public, that didn't stop them from breaking the 200 ft barrier.

Like I said in a previous post ITT; when the amusement industry finally has the gumption and the surplus budget to develop a new genre of ride, the second or third generations will always make the earlier models look like kiddie rides in comparison.

User Submitted Picture

Inverse Kinematics Wikipedia Entry

* This post was modified at 8/30/14 11:38:45 AM *

Re: What's the future for coaster? by Link Link Profile at 8/30/14 11:50:01 AM
FYI: KUKA, the people behind the RoboCoaster as seen at Legoland Denmark, offers a model that has rider-operated joystick controls. Look toward the bottom of the page at the bullet under Results / Success:

http://www.kuka-robotics.com/usa/en/solutions/solutions_search/L_R227_Robocoaster_Legoland.htm

ROBOCOASTER LEGOLAND

Re: What's the future for coaster? by MarathonRunner MarathonRunner Profile at 8/30/14 5:29:40 PM
Anybody familiar with the maglev train? How about the maglev coaster? How fast would a hyper go if it didnt have wheel friction to slow it down?

MarathonRunner