Today’s roller coasters tempt and terrify in equal measure with names like Mind Eraser and Intimidator 305, boasting hairpin turns, heavy drops and insane speeds of up to 149.1 miles per hour.
But nothing beats a classic.
We've found 9 of the oldest roller coasters around the world. Most of these rides date back to the early 1900s, and you can still ride them today.Leap-The-Dips (1902)
Lakemont Park, Altoona, PA
This tamely named wooden rollercoaster hails from 1902, and though it closed in 1986, the US National Historic Landmark reopened in 1999.
It’s only 41 feet tall, and its average speed of 10 miles per hour will barely ruffle your hair.
Scenic Railway (1912)
Luna Park, Melbourne, Australia
While not the oldest roller coaster in the world, the Scenic Railway is the world’s oldest continually operating one. Its dips and turns may leave you unfazed, but its stunning views of Port Philip Bay won’t.
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Rutschebanen may be the main attraction in the world’s second oldest amusement park (built in 1843), but it was originally designed for the Baltic Fair.
To this day it retains an operator who manually brakes the 2,051-foot ride, keeping it at a mellow 36 miles per hour.
Wild One (1917)
Six Flags America, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
This ride is vintage and second hand, as it was originally located in an amusement park in Massachusetts before it closed in 1984. The then-named Giant Coaster was restored and brought to Maryland two years later, where it was renamed Wild One.
Jack Rabbit (1920)
Seabreeze Park, Rochester, NY
Though it claims to be the oldest continually-operating roller coaster in America, it had a little time-out in 1923 when a fire destroyed some of it.
Back in its heyday it was the fastest roller coaster in the world.
Jack Rabbit (1920)
Kennywood, West Mifflin, PA
Same year, same name, but this Jack Rabbit in Pennsylvania boasts a then unheard of double dip.
Roller Coaster (1921)
Lagoon Park, Farmington, UT
Three people have died on this straightforwardly named roller coaster since 1921, but it’s still going strong, and even secured itself a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Big Dipper (1923)
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, England
Though built in 1923, arches and dips to the tune of 3,300 feet were added in 1936.
Dorney Park, Allentown, PA
Originally an “out-and-back” roller coaster (meaning it climbs a hill, speeds to the end of the track and turns 180 degrees to return to the start), Thunderhawk was turned into a figure eight in 1930, gaining an extra 80 feet of height.
Now see how time has changed New York City.
Check out these incredible before-and-after photos of New York City »
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