List of amusement rides

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Early pleasure wheel in Russia, 1807

Amusement rides, sometimes called carnival rides, are mechanical devices or structures that move people to create enjoyment.

Types of rides[edit]

  • Flat rides are usually considered to be those that move their passengers in a plane generally parallel to the ground, such as rides that spin around a vertical axis, like carousels and twists, and ground level rides such as bumper cars and The Whip.[1][2]
  • Gravity rides are those where gravity is responsible for all or some of the movement, and where any vertical movement is not about a fixed point, such as roller coasters and water slides.[1]
  • Vertical rides usually move their passengers in a vertical plane and around a fixed point, such as Ferris wheels, Enterprise, and Skydiver.[1]

Specific themes[edit]

List of amusement rides[edit]

Year Name(s) Image Type Notes
Ali Baba Jambore.JPG Pendulum ride
Alpine slide Alpine Slide in Golden.jpg
Balloon Race Pallokaruselli Linnanmäki Helsinki.JPG
1965 Bayern Kurve Bayern Kurve Day 1.jpg
Booster (Fabbri) Hydro Max.JPG Pendulum ride
1998 Booster (HUSS) Kieppi Linnanmäki Helsinki.JPG
1985 Breakdance Breakdance-Mueller Corny.jpg
1972 Bumper boats Bumper boats (2).jpg Water ride
1920s Bumper cars BumperCar.jpg Dodgems
1700s Carousel ManègeLR1.jpg Merry-Go-Round
1925 Caterpillar 080605 1158 overhead caterpillar Canobie Lake Park.jpg
Cliffhanger SantaCruz BeachBoardwalk CliffhangerInFlight DSCN9414.JPG
1984 Condor Bounty Tower.JPG
2003 Disk'O Cavalerie Disk'O Zamperla Fraispertuis City.JPG
c.1910 Devil's wheel Oktoberfest 2011 Teufelsrad.JPG
Double Shot 16-doubleshot.jpg Drop tower
1972 Enterprise Enterprise på TusenFryd.jpg
1992 Evolution FabbrGroup Evolution.jpg
1893 Ferris wheel London Eye Twilight April 2006.jpg
Fireball Spring Fling Festival 2013 35.JPG
1930s Flying Scooters Flyers-IndianaBeach.jpg
Freak out Pendulum ride
1982 Freefall Freefall at SFOG.jpg Drop tower
1994 Frisbee SpinSpider.JPG Pendulum ride
Fun Slide Astroglide slide.jpg
1983 Gravitron Gravitron At Night.jpg
Gyro tower Aussichtsturm im Heide-Park.jpg
Hayride Hayride.jpg
1905 Helter skelter Helter skelter.jpg
1940s Hurricane Hurricaneride.jpg
Infinity Pendulum ride
Inversion Pendulum ride
Jump and Smile Jumpin Frog, night.jpg
1984 Kamikaze Kamikase.jpg Pendulum ride
Kiddie ride Kiddyride.jpg
1963 Log flume PirateFalls.JPG Water ride
1982 Looping Starship PhoenixBGA.jpg Pendulum ride
Loop Fighter Pendulum ride
1933 Loop-O-Plane Feature. Belmont Park BAnQ P48S1P09132.jpg
Madhouse Efteling VillaVolta inside.jpg Dark ride
Matterhorn Terminator and Paratrooper, night.jpg
1930s Mechanical bull Woman riding mechanical bull.jpg
Monster Monster-ride.JPG
1986 Motion simulator Motion simulator.JPG
Music Express Musikexpress.JPG
Octopus Mustelaka linnanmäki.JPG
Old Mill Water ride
1968 Omnimover
1976 Orbiter Extreme - Orbiter, spinning night.jpg
1957 Paratrooper ParatrooperRide2013.jpg
c.1893 Pirate Ship Viikinki Linnanmäki Helsinki.JPG Pendulum ride
1999 Power Surge Power Surge cr.png
1983 Rainbow Sateenkaari (Rainbow).JPG
1981 Ranger Hansa-Park Fliegender Hai.jpg Pendulum ride
Red Baron Amusement ride in Gagarina park.jpg
c.1978 Reverse bungee Power Shot - Reverse Bungee 02.jpg
River caves Water ride
1980 River rapids ride Efteling Pirana.jpg Water ride
1978 Rockin' Tug Rockin' Tug at DippieDoe.JPG
1948 Rock-O-Plane Amusement park ride.jpg
Rockstar Pendulum ride
1700s Roller coaster Luna Park Melbourne scenic railway.jpg The roller coaster is an amusement ride developed for amusement parks and modern theme parks. LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained a patent regarding roller coasters on January 20, 1885, which were made out of wood, but this patent is considerably later than the "Russian mountains" described in the article.
Roll-O-Plane Roll-O-Plane - panoramio.jpg
1940s Rotor Rotormidcyclelunapraksyd.JPG
Round Up Roundupride.jpg
2004 Screamin' Swing Xtreme Swing.jpg Pendulum ride
1884 Shoot the Chute Snake River Falls-Cedar Point.jpg Water ride
2003 Sky Swat Slammer at Thorpe Park.jpg
1992 Skycoaster Xtreme Skyflyer (Arch Tower).JPG
1965 Skydiver Lakemontparkrides.jpg
1996 Space Shot Space Shot.jpg Drop tower
Speed Speed ride crop.jpg Pendulum ride
Star Flyer VolksfestStarFlyer.jpg Swing ride
Super Shot Drop tower
1996 Super Star Super Star Ride.jpg
1960 Swing Around
Swing boat Carter's Steam Fair, Prospect Park - - 1002180.jpg Pendulum ride
Tagada Picswiss BS-55-96.jpg
Teacups Kahvikupit Linnanmäki Helsinki.JPG
1914 The Whip Fatty at Coney Island.jpg
1926 Tilt-A-Whirl Tilt-A-Whirl in Saskatchewan.jpg
1996 Top Scan Samurai Thorpe Park.jpg
1990 Top Spin Kieputin on Linnanmäki amusement park Helsinki Finland.JPG
2002 Topple Tower Toppletower.jpg Pendulum ride
Tornado (Mondial) ShakeAachen.JPG
Tornado (Wisdom) Tornado Ride.jpg
Tow boat ride Luisenpark Mannheim Gondolettas.JPG Water ride
1970s Troika Troika Cedar Point.jpg
Tumble Bug Kennywood Turtle DSCN2732.JPG
1800s Tunnel of love At the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool - - 522803.jpg Dark ride
Turbo Drop Down Time.jpg Drop tower
Twist Twister, sunset.jpg
1978 UFO UFOHalflift.jpg
UltraMax Oktoberfest Schaugeschaeft 2007 Richard Bartz.jpg
1933 Waltzer Mannings Supreme Waltzer, spinning 02.jpg
1963 Wipeout Trabant Valleyfair.jpg
1968 Zipper Zipper Ride From Paradise Amusements.jpg

Fairground rides in Germany[edit]

Looping amusement ride „Flying-Circus“, introduced in 1997 by Waagner Biro, today in Vidam Park in Hungary.
Transportable ferris wheel at the Kieler Woche
Amusement ride at the Hamburger Dom (fair)

In Germany, fairground attractions can be found at traveling carnivals or at Volksfesten. The most common are carousels, bumper cars, swing boats, ferris wheels, roller coasters, as well as moveable tribunes, show booths and circus tents. While the fairground attractions installed in parks are normally stationary and permanent (i.e., they are planned and approved by officials), the amusement rides used at Volksfests are taken down at the end of the fair, transported to another location and reconstructed there, all of which has to be considered during the designing phase.


In Germany, amusement rides are subject to strict controls by the TÜV and need to be checked for wear and tear annually. After every setup the local building authorities have to check, whether the ride fulfills to TÜV regulations. Only after this inspection and seal of approval, which also includes a test run, is the ride allowed to launch. The German TÜV-standards are the most strict in the world and therefore highly regarded. This helps to sell German products worldwide.

There are similarly strict regulations in many other countries. In addition to the German TÜV, other organizations inspect the rides abroad, for example Det Norske Veritas.However, in some countries those inspections are necessary or the regulations are less strict.

Other rides[edit]

The following rides are not amusement rides, strictly speaking, but they are considered as such:


The highest transportable amusement ride at 95 m is Top of the World.However, this is now permanently located.


  • Florian Dering: Volksbelustigungen. Eine bildreiche Kulturgeschichte von den Fahr-, Belustigungs- und Geschicklichkeitsgeschäften der Schausteller vom achtzehnten Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart. Greno, Nördlingen 1986, ISBN 3-89190-005-8.
  • Karl Ruisinger: Kirmes Special. Karussells 1950er und 1960er Jahre (= Kirmes Special 1). Gemi Verlag, Reichertshausen 2005, ISBN 3-9808913-3-X.
  • Sacha-Roger Szabo: Rausch und Rummel. Attraktionen auf Jahrmärkten und in Vergnügungsparks. Eine soziologische Kulturgeschichte. transcript-Verlag, Bielefeld 2006, ISBN 3-89942-566-9 (Zugleich: Freiburg, Univ., Diss., 2006).


  1. ^ a b c Ferris wheels - an illustrated history, Norman D. Anderson
  2. ^ "Self-Powered Loop-the-Loop is Latest Ride" Popular Mechanics, April 1935

External links[edit]