Should You Go Here: A Trackless Rollercoaster Ride

PHOTO: Knobels

Hello, and welcome back to the column where I advise you whether or not to go somewhere.

Should you go here? Glad you asked. I’ll dig deep, and ask questions like: What is this place? What is happening here? Do I like this? Will YOU like this? Should anyone go to this place? Should this place cease to exist??? Let’s find out.

 

A TRACKLESS ROLLERCOASTER

Where is this? 

Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania

What is this?

It’s the Flying Turns rollercoaster–a completely trackless rollercoaster.

What do you mean, “trackless?”

The cars slide down a 1,200-foot long shoot without being attached to anything. It’s two minutes long, reaches heights of 47 feet, and speeds of about 24 miles per hour. It’s just like a regular rollercoaster but the part that you and all your friends sit in isn’t actually attached to the coaster part, so you swerve everywhere and essentially just slide fast down a wooden tube like you’re some sort of Olympian on a luge. The roller is detached from the coaster.

Okay, calm down.

Sorry.

What is happening here? How does it work?

Gravity pulls you down the rollercoaster, like a bobsled, on a smooth, hard surface, and it picks up speed when it twists and turns. It’s not as fast as other roller coasters because of that, but let me remind you that you are not attached to anything. The roller is detached from the coaster!!!!!!

Please stop saying “the roller is detached from the coaster,” it only barely works.

Really? I think it’s good.

It’s not.

Okay.

Why would someone do this?

I know a lot of people do and it’s exhilarating and “not scary” and “actually exciting, Audrey, for god’s sake, lighten up.” Here’s the thing: No.

It’s a unique spin on a rollercoaster that gives people who likes them the completely new riding experience of turning and swooping around everywhere freely. Or, perhaps you’re someone who gets bored when they’re on regular rollercoasters, and think to yourself, “Hmm, I feel too secure on this ride.” If you’re someone who loves rollercoasters but is also prone to think, “You know, I would like this so much better if my seat wasn’t actually attached to anything,” then this is the ride for you.

Do you like this?

I don’t like this.

Why don’t you like this?

Listen, I don’t really even like normal rollercoasters. I don’t like feeling like I’m going to die just for fun. I know a lot of people do and it’s exhilarating and “not scary” and “actually exciting, Audrey, for god’s sake, lighten up.” Here’s the thing: No. Standing in line to go on a rickety metal thing that is one million feet tall and swirls around in the air everywhere as I thump around in there and hit my 30-something-year-old neck on a head-pad-thing just straight up doesn’t sound fun anymore, man.

Knobels

Okay, we get it. Thanks.

Every time I’ve strap myself into a rollercoaster, I’ve never not thought, “Well, it’s time to die, maybe!” or “It’s time to fly straight to hell! Why am I doing this? I paid $80 to come here today!”

OKAY. Please stop.

Sorry.

Where should people go instead?

If you like not being attached to something while going downwards, might I suggest: slides.

Shutterstock

Slides are very much like this rollercoaster, in that you are not attached to anything but also moving around to somewhere else at a quick speed, but on a much smaller scale and also it’s not a rollercoaster and therefore safer to do. Also, slides are much more easily accessible than this particular rollercoaster. You can find a slide in tons of places, which this rollercoaster is only in one place, which is slightly inconvenient, in my opinion.

Any last thoughts?

Let me be perfectly clear: I like amusement parks. I do! However, I prefer amusement parks oh where the targeted audience/fear factor is that of an 11-year-old. I will go to Disneyland! I like Disneyland. Let me up on that Matterhorn, I know I’ll be safe on that one. I have enough stress in my life. If I go on a ride, I want to be able to smile pleasantly the whole time and not scream in terror, and this is a perfectly reasonable request.

So… absolutely not?

Correct. Absolutely not.