Ups And Downs: The History Of Roller Coasters

By Karen Harris
New Roller Coaster riders at Elitch Gardens. Source: (Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies love the heart-pounding excitement of riding a roller coaster. These behemoths of the amusement park are the stars of the show…so much so that people are willing to stand in line for hours for a roller coaster ride that lasts 90 seconds. While we tend to think of roller coasters as pure fun, their roots are based in practicality. Let’s look at the up and down history of roller coasters.