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 fun and enjoyment.

Rides are often perceived by many as being scary or more dangerous than they actually are. This could be due to the design, having acrophobia, or from hearing about accidents involving rides that are similar.[1] For some, the adrenaline associated with riding amusement rides is part of the experience.[2]

They are common at most annual events such as fairs, traveling carnivals, and circuses around the world. Sometimes music festivals and concerts also host amusement park rides.

Types of rides[edit]

Specific themes[edit]

List of amusement rides[edit]

Year Name(s) Image Type Notes
1954 Ali Baba Pendulum ride The Ali Baba is a type of amusement ride consisting of a stationary horizontal gondola with a 360 degree swinging pendulum.
1961 Alpine slide A summer toboggan is an amusement or recreational ride which uses a bobsled-like sled or cart to run down a track usually built on the side of a hill. There are two main types: an Alpine coaster or mountain coaster is a type of roller coaster where the sled runs on rails and is not able to leave the tracks, whereas with an Alpine slide the sled simply runs on a smooth concave track usually made of metal, concrete or fibreglass. Both of these types of ride are sometimes denoted with the German name Sommerrodelbahn.
1948 Balloon Race The Zamperla Balloon Race is a tilting, circular motion amusement park ride manufactured by Antonio Zamperla S.p.A. The ride makes its way up a structure, and at a certain height, it starts tilting.
1965 Bayern Kurve The Bayern Kurve is a roller coaster like amusement ride that moves a train around a banked circular track, gaining speed as the ride progresses. It is made in both a portable and park model and originally debuted in 1965. It was invented by German engineer Anton Schwarzkopf.
1952 Booster (Fabbri) Pendulum ride Booster in an amusement ride made by Fabbri.
1998 Booster (HUSS) The Booster is an amusement park ride made originally by HUSS Maschinenfabrik starting in 1998.
1985 Breakdance Breakdance is an amusement ride designed by Huss Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG in 1985.
1972 Bumper boats Water ride Bumper boats are an amusement park ride that uses inner tube shaped watercraft that can be steered by the rider. Some are driven by electric motors, some by gasoline engines, and some require the rider to propel the craft by pedaling. Most are equipped with water guns for duels with other riders. Bumper boat attractions can commonly be found in places such as amusement parks, carnivals, fairs, family fun centers, and theme parks.
1920s Bumper cars Dodgems Bumper cars or dodgems are the generic names for a type of flat amusement ride consisting of multiple small electrically powered cars which draw power from the floor or ceiling, and which are turned on and off remotely by an operator. They are also known as bumping cars, dodging cars and dashing cars. The first patent for them was filed in 1921.
1700s Carousel Merry-Go-Round A carousel is a type of amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The "seats" are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down by gears to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music.
1925 Caterpillar The Caterpillar ride is a vintage flat ride engineered by the inventor Hyla F. Maynes of North Tonawanda, New York, who dubbed it the Caterpillar when it debuted in Coney Island, New York in 1925. It generates a significant amount of centrifugal force, causing the riders on the inside of the seats to crush the riders on the outside of the seats. It was once found at nearly every amusement park around the United States, but is now so rare that an original Caterpillar ride can only be found operating in two parks today. Though only two Caterpillars are known to be operating, there have been reports claiming there are additional Caterpillars in storage or standing (but not operating) at a few other parks.
1954 Cliffhanger The Cliff Hanger is an amusement park rider that is meant to simulate hang gliding.
1984 Condor The Condor is the trade name of an amusement ride sold by HUSS of Bremen, Germany. It was debuted at the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair, under the name "Cyclo Tower".
2003 Disk'O The Disk'O (also known as Skater or Surf's Up) is a type of flat ride manufactured by Zamperla of Italy. The ride is a larger version of a Rockin' Tug, also manufactured by Zamperla.
c.1910 Devil's wheel
1943 Double Shot Drop tower
1972 Enterprise
1992 Evolution
1893 Ferris wheel
1946 Fireball
1930s Flying Scooters
1953 Freak out Pendulum ride
1982 Freefall Drop tower
1994 Frisbee Pendulum ride
1954 Fun Slide
1983 Gravitron
1954 Gyro tower
1905 Helter skelter
1940s Hurricane
1960s Infinity Pendulum ride
1950s Inversion Pendulum ride
1950s Jump and Smile
1984 Kamikaze Pendulum ride
1977 Kiddie ride
1963 Log flume Water ride
1982 Looping Starship Pendulum ride
1952 Loop Fighter Pendulum ride
1933 Loop-O-Plane
1933 Loop-the-Loop[5]
1929 Madhouse Dark ride
1926 Matterhorn
1930s Mechanical bull
1982 [6] Miami Trip Thrill ride
1977 Monster
1986 Motion simulator
1954 Music Express
1952 Octopus
1926 Old Mill Water ride
1968 Omnimover
1976 Orbiter
1957 Paratrooper
c.1893 Pirate Ship Pendulum ride
1999 Power Surge
1983 Rainbow
1981 Ranger Pendulum ride
1971 Red Baron
c.1978 Reverse bungee
1956 River caves Water ride
1980 River rapids ride Water ride
1978 Rockin' Tug
1948 Rock-O-Plane
1974 Rockstar Pendulum ride
1700s Roller coaster 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.
2013 Rollglider The Rollglider is a type of a thrill amusement ride that has a steel pipe track designed with turns, dips and loops, using gravity-propelled trolleys to slide down the track.
1970s Roll-O-Plane
1940s Rotor The Rotor is an amusement ride designed and patented by German engineer Ernst Hoffmeister in 1948. The ride was first demonstrated at Oktoberfest 1949 and still appears in numerous amusement parks. The Rotor is a large, upright barrel, rotated to create an inward actin centripetal force supplied by the wall's support force. Once at full speed, the floor is retraced, leaving the riders stuck to the wall of the drum.
1940s Round Up
1938 Scrambler Flat ride
2004 Screamin' Swing Pendulum ride
1884 Shoot the Chute Water ride
2003 Sky Swatter
1992 Skycoaster
1965 Skydiver
1963 Skywheel The Skywheel is a ride that is essentially a double Ferris Wheel with each wheel attached on each end of a large boom that rotates on its axis causing the wheels to rise and fall while rotating independently as they rotate around the boom axis causing a gravitational thrill more spectacular than an normal Ferris Wheel. The ride was constructed by now defunct company Allan Herschell Company.[7]
1996 Space Shot Drop tower
2000 Speed Pendulum ride
1940s Star Flyer Swing ride
1955 Super Shot Drop tower
1996 Super Star
1960 Swing Around
1920s Swing boat Pendulum ride
1951 Tagada
1948 Teacups
1914 The Whip
1926 Tilt-A-Whirl
1996 Top Scan
1990 Top Spin
2002 Topple Tower Pendulum ride
1955 Tornado (Mondial)
1951 Tornado (Wisdom)
1944 Tow boat ride Water ride
1970s Troika
1940s Tumble Bug
1950s Turbo Drop Drop tower
1953 Twist
1978 UFO
1957 UltraMax
1933 Waltzer
1963 Wipeout
1968 Zipper


  • 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. ^ "Why are people scared of roller coasters? | Highlights Kids". Highlights Kids. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  2. ^ Dockrill, Peter (2016-01-20). "The Science Behind Why We Love Terrifying Ourselves on Rollercoasters". ScienceAlert. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  3. ^ a b c Ferris wheels - an illustrated history, Norman D. Anderson
  4. ^ "Self-Powered Loop-the-Loop is Latest Ride" Popular Mechanics, April 1935
  5. ^ "What is the History of the Miami Funfair Ride? | Fairground FAQs".
  6. ^ "Out of the Past: "The Skywheel" Double Ferris Wheel". Buffalo Stories Archives & Blog. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 2023-10-28.

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