Newspaper article International New York Times

They Put the Theme in Theme Park ; Some Rare Roller Coasters Try to Give You an Experience, Not Just a Scare. Here Are Four

Newspaper article International New York Times

They Put the Theme in Theme Park ; Some Rare Roller Coasters Try to Give You an Experience, Not Just a Scare. Here Are Four

Article excerpt

It is a rare roller coaster that tries to give you an experience, not just a scare.

When roller coasters made their way from Russia to France nearly 200 years ago, they quickly outshone the more routine amusements at park promenades. They are no less central to modern American theme parks, which by definition seek to unify the thrills under a setting or idea (or commercial brand). But do roller coasters ever stick to an actual theme?

Yes, you may see a comic-book character's statue at a ride's entrance. But when the safety harness lifts up afterward, you're left with an adrenaline rush instead of an experience that evokes the spirit or energy of that character. Other coasters incorporate some element of science fiction or fantasy. But they don't always pull you into that space as you scream your head off on the way down a steep hill. …

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