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Theme park rides

The modern theme park comprises a variety of different ride systems. The main theme park rides are usually roller coasters, largely gravity-powered rides that follow a circuit with deviations in speed and height. The first rollercoasters were made from wood, however, are nowadays available in a variety of types including inverted, spinning and wing.

Flat rides (or carnival rides) often occupy a small footprint and can be designed to be permanent attractions in their own right, or transportable for the fun fair circuit. These attractions can be designed for different markets:

  • Juvenile Rides are slow-paced attractions designed for children, often specially designed so as to not require being accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Family rides are enjoyable for a wide spectrum of ages. Common examples include carousels, bumper cars and Ferris wheels.
  • Thrill rides are perfect for adrenaline-seekers, teenagers and adults, with swift changes in speed and velocity. Examples include drop towers, gyro swings and tagadas.

Water rides first appeared in the form of traditional Log Flumes and Water Chutes, however, can now be found in a growing variety of ride types. These theme park rides usually include at least one splashdown element, or an opportunity to get wet through other means such as water guns.

Dark rides are indoor attractions that take guests on a journey through themed environments. Focusing less on thrills, these experiences can include a range of storylines and characters. Some dark rides may include interactive elements. A popular type of dark ride is those designed to fright, such as ghost trains and haunted houses.

Transportation rides are a practical solution to help guests transverse across larger sites. Examples include miniature railways, road trains and monorails.

Theme park rides can be charged per ride or as part of an all-inclusive entrance fee. Some low-capacity attraction types, such as bungees and freefall swings are usually subject to an additional fee.

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