Roller Coasters ... etc

Roller Coasters
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Australia certainly got into roller coasters early. Luna Park in Melbourne has the oldest continuously operating one in the world. Other Luna Parks opened in the 1930's, near Adelaide and then in Sydney. However, there just don't seem to be enough roller coaster fans to keep the money flowing into many amusement parks here any more.

From my childhood, I fondly remember Sydney's Luna Park and the many times I rode the Big Dipper, Rotor, Ghost Train and Dodgem Cars, as well as the Slides, Barrels of Fun and Joy Wheel in Coney Island. Luna Park was closed after a fatal fire in the Ghost Train and didn't open in a properly refurbished form until 15 years later. Financial pressures and the whinging of selfish local residents about noise brought it to its knees again after about a year. Indeed, the new Big Dipper was finally taken apart and removed, all because some selfish bastards had moved in next to an amusement part and didn't like the noise when it was in operation! (Just like the scumbags who buy homes near the airport and then complain about aircraft noise.) In 2004, it opened again, minus one of its most loved features.

While we have few amusement parks, there are plenty of elsewhere in the world. The USA is the opposite to Australia: so many rides, spread over such an enormous number of states. Lots of great designs.

Inverted coasters make up most of my favourites, such as Montu (which was the longest, tallest inverted coaster in the world when I first rode it) and Magic Mountain's Batman. I'm not as big a fan of the rattly old wooden ones, yet somehow I've ended up riding the oldest, 2nd oldest, 6th oldest and 9th oldest continuously operating roller coasters in the world, the Scenic Railway, Rutschebanen, Thunderhawk and Giant Dipper, respectively.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Space Mountain
NYNY Halfpipe
Stratosphere Jurassic Park
Star Flyer Stratosphere
Roller Coasters I've Ridden
Location Coaster
Luna Park Sydney Big Dipper
Wild Cat
Wild Mouse
Luna Park Melbourne Scenic Railway
Big Dipper
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Giant Dipper
Busch Gardens Tampa Montu
Disney World - Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Space Mountain
Magic Mountain Batman The Ride
Gold Rusher
Dorney Park Hercules
Steel Force
Six Flags Great Adventure Batman The Ride
Great American Scream Machine
Rolling Thunder
Runaway Mine Train
Skull Mountain
Cedar Point Blue Streak
Cedar Creek Mine Ride
Iron Dragon
Magnum XL-200
Mean Streak
Millennium Force
MGM Grand Adventures Lightning Bolt
New York New York Casino Manhattan Express
Stratosphere Tower High Roller
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Alpengeist
Apollo's Chariot
Big Bad Wolf
Loch Ness Monster
Tivoli Gardens The Demon
Elitch Gardens Boomerang
Half Pipe
Mind Eraser
Twister II