Anyone who has ever been on a roller coaster knows the thrill of dipping, looping, curving, and speeding around wooden or steel-tracks in a securely built coaster car, with your eyes wide shut, and your hands in the air. Oh, how exciting it is!
Well, that’s the same feeling you’ll get when you dare to ride any mountain coaster rides at many of the ski resorts in North America. For example …
- The Beast Mountain Coaster — Located at Killington, Vermont, and open since the summer of 2015, is a 4,800-foot-long alpine coaster with a 3,000′ drop that spirals and zigzags you through the woods and trees with 360-degree corkscrews.
- Alpine Coaster — Winding through more than a mile of loops and curves at 30 mph, the Alpine Coaster in Park City is the largest coaster in Utah; and is the perfect ride for thrill seekers, and coaster fanatics alike.
- Mountain Coaster Poconos — Located at Camelback Mountain Resort, in Tannersville, PA, you will find custom-designed mountain coaster carts that cruise you around a 4500′ steel-track, through the trees, and down the slopes at 30 mph.
- Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster — Ontario’s first coaster — positioned at Blue Mountain — offers riders an exciting downhill adventure through varied terrain and scenic mountain views while giving the driver access to a manual brake and the ability to speed up to 27 mph.
And these are just a few. Albeit mountain coaster cars are different from roller coasters in that drivers control the speed of the cars, they are still a fantastic way to enjoy a family outing.
So if you’re trying to imagine the thrill of speeding down the track at 60-70 mph, or perhaps a little slower at 30-45 mph, with the wind blowing in your face; your stomach doing flip-flops as the coaster ride loops you mile-for-mile around the track; your knees pressed tightly against the safety bar as you hold on for dear life; the force of acceleration pushing you forward til your body can barely move; and frogs hopping around in your throat so fast you can hardly scream — then you’re in for a real treat!
But, if you’ve never been on a mountain coaster — or even a roller coaster — before you rush to take on this new challenge, let me give you a few tips on what not to do.
OK, curb your enthusiasm and pay attention … let’s get you educated and prepped on how to ride the coaster beasts that await you:
- DO NOT EVER stand up in a coaster while it’s moving along the tracks. If you do, it could end badly for you. Need we say more?
- DO NOT ride a coaster after you’ve finished eating. It would behoove you to wait an hour or two before taking the plunge, or you might end up re-designing your outfit … and that is not a good look!
- Leave all of your loose items with family members or friends before boarding the ride, or you might be waving wave bye-bye to all of them. Although, if you can find a way to secure them in your seat, go right ahead — but know that it’s a big risk you’ll be taking.
- If this is your first time riding a coaster, try to sit in the front seat — yes it seems scary, but it offers the best view while you’re speeding and looping around the tracks.
- If you are afraid, make sure you ride with a family member or friend and try to relax when the coaster begins to move. If you’re able, try not to look at the coaster before you ride it, as that will make you even more afraid.
- The best time to ride coasters is at night. Psychologically speaking, they just seem to go faster at this time. So strap in and get ready!
- Most importantly, try to enjoy the ride … and remember, it’s really not as bad as it seems and it doesn’t last long at all.
Book your summer vacation lodging in or near any of these fantastic resorts and you’ll be feet away from all of the action. Remember to follow these tips, and all will be well. You’ll have the most exhilarating adventure ever, sheer euphoria like you’ve never experienced before.