But, sometimes, the equipment fails and their worst nightmare comes true. After closing on two previous occasions because of safety concerns, this happened again yesterday afternoon at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, UK.
Two carriages crashed on the Smiler ride at the theme park on Tuesday, leaving some passengers trapped for four-and-a-half hours. A car packed with 16 visitors hit an empty cart which was on the track for a test run. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue sent four pumps, a rope rescue team and an aerial ladder platform.
After the crash, four people suffered critical injuries—one man is believed to have lost a leg. They were airlifted to major trauma centers after the 16 occupants were rescued from 25ft (7.6m) up in the air at an angle of about 45 degrees. Eyewitnesses heard screaming and shouting.
The ride features vertical drops of up to 100ft, a ride time of 165 seconds. The £18m rollercoaster boasts a Guinness Book of Records, world record-breaking, 14 loops.
Alton Towers claims that the ride 'provides an experience like no other' and 'will marmalise your body and mind, combining intense physical effects from plunging drops and extreme turns with twisted psychological effects.'
It is billed as 'not for the faint hearted' and features 'a series of twisted psychological effects including optical illusions, blinding lights and near misses designed to mess with your mind.'
Now, Alton Towers has been closed while an investigation continues into the accident. A spokeswoman said it was hoped the park would open again on Thursday. Customers with tickets for Wednesday can change them to another day or request a refund through the website.
Not for me—well not at my age and with my handicaps. But, I must admit to riding on a rollercoaster at Luna Park in St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia, at the age of 14. Ah, that picture brings back memories from sixty years ago. Once done, never repeated. I preferred flirting with some boys who were there at the time.
I like a safe life filled with routine. I keep my body healthy with food and exercise, and my mind flexible and creative by giving my thoughts about the daily news. Life is precious.
Why do people willingly give themselves a thrill?