We’re all familiar with the traditional roller coaster – a train on top of the track is pulled to a set height and then uses its own momentum to complete the course. But have you ever heard of a launched shuttle water coaster? No? You’d better keep reading.

Alpine Coasters

Photo credit: Wiegand

Usually found in mountainous areas, alpine coasters feature tight turns and sudden drops on their winding descent down the steep terrain. Unlike traditional roller coasters, alpine coasters are capable of operating during rain and snow, and are designed to mimic the experience of sledding on a ski slope. Up-stop wheels keep the small bobsled cars from overturning during tight maneuvers, and a built in handbrake allows the rider to control their speed. Watch an on-ride video:


Photo credit: Rollglider

Meet the next generation of the zip line: Rollglider, a wild flying experience hanging from a tubular steel track. Because it’s made of steel, the track is able turn and drop similarly to a suspended roller coaster. Depending on the model, riders hang in a seated position (like a traditional zip line) or a flying position (like a hang glider). Check out some of the Rollgliders that have been built so far:

Mack Power Splash


Recently, Mack Rides designed the world’s first launched shuttle water coaster, Pulsar at Walibi Belgium. The boat is launched three times, reaching a top speed of 62 miles per hour and climbing higher and higher up its two vertical towers.


After the final launch, the boat rolls down the tower a once more and hits the water with a tremendous splash, acting as a natural brake. Sound fun? Check out this off-ride video from Mack Rides:

Have you ever ridden any of these crazy ride types? Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.

Read next: 5 European Theme Parks that Should be on Your Bucket List

A trip to Dollywood at age eight changed me forever. Since then, I have been on a wild quest to fulfill my cravings for thrill. Here at Theme Park Press, I desire to share my adventures and give my thoughts on the latest industry news.


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