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 ridesEdit

  • 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 themesEdit

List of amusement ridesEdit

Year Name(s) Image Type Notes
Ali Baba   Pendulum ride
Alpine slide  
Balloon Race  
1965 Bayern Kurve  
Booster (Fabbri)   Pendulum ride
1998 Booster (HUSS)  
1985 Breakdance  
1972 Bumper boats   Water ride
1920s Bumper cars   Dodgems
1700s Carousel   Merry-Go-Round
1925 Caterpillar  
1984 Condor  
2003 Disk'O  
c.1910 Devil's wheel  
Double Shot   Drop tower
1972 Enterprise  
1992 Evolution  
1893 Ferris wheel  
1930s Flying Scooters  
Freak out Pendulum ride
1982 Freefall   Drop tower
1994 Frisbee   Pendulum ride
Fun Slide  
1983 Gravitron  
Gyro tower  
1905 Helter skelter  
1940s Hurricane  
Infinity Pendulum ride
Inversion Pendulum ride
Jump and Smile  
1984 Kamikaze   Pendulum ride
Kiddie ride  
1963 Log flume   Water ride
1982 Looping Starship   Pendulum ride
Loop Fighter Pendulum ride
1933 Loop-O-Plane  
Madhouse   Dark ride
1930s Mechanical bull  
1986 Motion simulator  
Music Express  
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
Red Baron  
c.1978 Reverse bungee  
River caves Water ride
1980 River rapids ride   Water ride
1978 Rockin' Tug  
1948 Rock-O-Plane  
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.
1940s Rotor  
Round Up  
2004 Screamin' Swing   Pendulum ride
1884 Shoot the Chute   Water ride
2003 Sky Swat  
1992 Skycoaster  
1965 Skydiver  
1996 Space Shot   Drop tower
Speed   Pendulum ride
Star Flyer   Swing ride
Super Shot Drop tower
1996 Super Star  
1960 Swing Around
Swing boat   Pendulum ride
1914 The Whip  
1926 Tilt-A-Whirl  
1996 Top Scan  
1990 Top Spin  
2002 Topple Tower   Pendulum ride
Tornado (Mondial)  
Tornado (Wisdom)  
Tow boat ride   Water ride
1970s Troika  
Tumble Bug  
1800s Tunnel of love   Dark ride
Turbo Drop   Drop tower
1978 UFO  
1933 Waltzer  
1963 Wipeout  



Fairground rides in GermanyEdit

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 controlls by the TÜV and need to be checked for waer 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 sellGerman 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 ridesEdit

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 linksEdit