‘How scary is too scary?’ We have taken a nice long look at all the scary rides around the world and come up with an answer. Nothing is too scary when it comes to amusement park rides. Once you have victoriously emerged from your virgin roller-coaster ride, you are well on your way to conquer each roller coaster as it comes your way. As amusement parks keep coming up with ingenuous ways to harness technology, the list of scary rides gets longer and scarier. What lies at the root of this voluntary risk-taking behavior? Psychologists say that the propensity to take risks is programmed into teenagers as a natural part of growing up. But is every risk worth taking?
Here is a list of the 5 most outrageously scary rides of the world. Read on and make a call. If our article has you riveted we will know (and so will you) that you have tasted blood and now thirst for more. If however, you find yourself closing the browser window and going for a nice long walk instead, then you have long happy and peaceful years before you and you are destined for a nice peaceful life ahead.
1. SCAD, Zero Gravity Thrill Park, Dallas
This is easily the scariest ride ever. If you do not believe us, ask the scientists. Medical professor David Eagleman is very keen on testing how the brain works during ‘near death’ experiences. Dr Eagleman had tested riders of several other ‘scary’ rides but turns out, none of these rides were frightening enough for the human brain. However, SCAD Tower in Texas did not disappoint.
The Ride: SCAD stands for Suspended Catch Air Device. Do not be intrigued by this woefully cryptic technical name. The ride simply consists of four metal pillars, and a huge safety net. You are walked up to a height of 130 feet and then you drop- a free-fall of 100 feet to the safety of the net. But your brain, it seems, is not much consoled by the idea of the net. As far as your brain knows, you are plummeting down at a speed of 55mph to your own death!
2. X- Scream, Stratosphere, Las Vegas
The X Scream Ride at the top of Stratosphere in Las Vegas, will do to adrenaline junkies what the disappearing act of David Copperfield cannot. Madcap riders will scream in exhilaration while faint-hearted onlookers gasp every time the ride dangles precariously at the edge. The Stratosphere in Vegas has the tallest free standing observation deck in USA. The architect of the ride knew well how to use the height of the hotel to his advantage. The X-Scream is extremely popular in Vegas for offering an experience that is a departure from the sensual thrills of Vegas.
The Ride: A small car that can seat as many as 8 people, glides on a track that is fixed at one end, while the other end is free. The track moves like a massive seesaw. The only difference is that while the small wooden teeterboard merrily lifts little kids a few feet up into the sky while being firmly fixed to the ground, the pivotal vertical motion of the X-Scream track sends the car reeling downwards towards the edge and brakes sharply just as the car seems about to topple over. Hanging on for dear life 900 feet above ground you start cursing your guts for getting on the ride. Heart in mouth, you then dangle like that for what seems a lifetime till the track moves vertically upwards throwing your car backwards. And then again!
3. Kingda Ka Six Flags Adventures, New Jersey
It is the tallest and the fastest roller coaster in North America. Simply put: this is a 3.5 second ‘shot of extreme’ you just cannot miss. People who have been on the ride vouch that they lose control of their facial muscles on this ride.
The Ride: It takes you straight up a height of 456 feet (read 45 stories to get some perspective) in a record time of 3.5 seconds at an astonishing speed of 128 miles per hour. After that you shoot down and end up spiraling 270 degrees, all at break neck speed. We just said ‘break-neck’ but rest assured, this ride has all its straps in place, and you are in safe hands. After all, it is designed by Intamin AG.
4. Cannonball Falls, Action Park, New Jersey
Action Park does not seem to get over its obsession with cannon balls. Back when it first opened in the 80s, the Cannonball Loop was a star attraction at the park; and it was insanely dangerous. After having earned enough notoriety among visitors and the media, the ride was dismantled.
But the itch remained- that sadistic desire to turn human beings into cannonballs.
So park authorities came up with the next bizarre thing resembling a cannonball projection: the Cannonball Falls.
The ride: You are propelled through a dark and eerie tunnel (made to resemble a cannon). A jet of water propels you forward in the darkness as you try to keep your posture intact till you reach the light at the end of the tunnel! You shoot out into the sky like a cannonball and land…uh oh, not on your enemy’s head (as much as you would like to), but in a pool of water.
5. Tower of Terror II, Dreamworld Amusement Park, Australia
The Tower of Terror II has routinely featured in any ‘ scary ride’ list. And why not.
The Ride: The Tower of Terror is a very long steel shutter roller coaster. The rider takes his place on the 14-seater ‘escape pod’ that moves through a 206 meter long tunnel before launching vertically upwards at a speed of 100 mph. It reaches the top and then returns to the starting point- all in 7 seconds flat. What makes this scary ride scarier is that all the while the riders sit facing the rear. You are caught unawares as you are propelled upwards weightless. The time spent dangling at a height of 377 feet seems like an eternity before you dive headlong again- fearful that your skull may hit the ground and get smashed, any second now.