Have thrill rides gone too far?

ThemeParkInsider.com ponders if we’ve seen the end of high g-force thrill rides.

Traditionally, thrill ride fans measured the intensity of their favorite rides three ways: tallest, fastest, longest. But over the past decade, theme park thrills have added a fourth dimension.

G forces.

Not height, not speed, not length, but the pressure exerted on one’s body. With twists, turns and sharp acceleration, even a relatively low speed ride can exert force on the body three, four and even five times the force of gravity.

The pendulum is now swinging the back toward rides that are about the experience (often interactive, 3-D, or both). Rides like Midway Mania opening in California Adventure and Disney-MGM Studios focus as much on what technology can offer the guest, as much as thrill. That said, there are a lot more weak points in high technology rides than in roller coasters. So they involve more maintenance, and usually a larger upfront investment. So my guess is it won’t be too long before we start seeing more coasters popping up while parks try and recoup the investment of their hi-tech rides.