On-ride camera

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An example of a picture taken by Disneyland's Splash Mountain camera Splashmt.jpg
An example of a picture taken by Disneyland's Splash Mountain camera

An on-ride camera is a camera mounted alongside the track of a roller coaster, log flume or other thrill ride that automatically photographs all of the riders on each passing vehicle. They are often mounted at the most intense or fastest part of the ride, resulting in humorously distorted expressions due to fear or wind resistance. The pictures are then available for viewing and purchase as a souvenir.

Upon exiting the ride, park guests pass a booth or shop where their vehicle's pictures are on display screens. Depending on the size of the vehicle used by the attraction, the entire car or groups of one, two, or four may comprise one photograph. The display images are numbered, and customers wishing to purchase a photo take the appropriate number to a cashier. This photo shop may be located in the same building as the displays or in a separate shop nearby. Many parks offer minimal editing tools (such as red-eye effect removal) before purchase. The photo is usually ready within minutes of purchase. Single prints in varying sizes are available, provided in cardboard folio bearing the name of the park or ride. Often specialty products, such as posters, keychains or t-shirts, are available also.

An unusual camera configuration can be found on the hydraulically launched roller coasters Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point and Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure. Both had two cameras (Kingda Ka's second on-ride camera has since been removed), one during the high-speed launch segment and another at the final brake run, providing riders with a before and after picture of themselves on those harrowing rides. Another unusual configuration is Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. The ride features two cameras, one takes your picture before a loop and the other takes a picture while the rider is upside-down. Hydra the Revenge is also the only roller coaster to take a picture while the rider is upside down.

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Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania Hydra the Revenge (Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom) 02.JPG
Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania

A relatively new trend in the industry is on-ride video cameras. On some rides, on-ride videos are recorded by cameras mounted alongside the track, similar to on-ride photo cameras. This provides a third person montage-style of cuts which show the train entering, passing through and then leaving the frame. One such ride using this system is SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida.

Using the alternate system, videos are recorded by cameras mounted inside the ride vehicles, usually on the back of the seat in front of the subject. This provides a first-person stream of consciousness-style film, showing the riders' emotions close up from start to finish. Some coasters that use this system are Thunderhawk at Michigan's Adventure, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida, and Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Volcano, The Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion, FireWhip at Beto Carrero World utilizes this style; a method also previously used by Saw: The Ride and The Swarm at Thorpe Park which no longer offer the service, with the camera mounted to the seat backs.

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A roller coaster is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions. People ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world. LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained one of the first known patents for a roller coaster design in 1885, related to the Switchback Railway that opened a year earlier at Coney Island. The track in a coaster design does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.

Steel roller coaster type of roller coaster that is defined by having a track made of steel

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Top Thrill Dragster steel accelerator roller coaster at Cedar Point

Top Thrill Dragster is a steel accelerator roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Manufactured by Intamin, it was the sixteenth roller coaster to be built at the park since Blue Streak in 1964. It opened in 2003 as the tallest roller coaster in the world and the first full-circuit roller coaster to exceed 400 feet (120 m) in height. Its height record was later surpassed by Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2005. Top Thrill Dragster, along with Kingda Ka, are the only strata coasters in existence. It was the second hydraulically launched roller coaster built by Intamin, following Xcelerator at Knott's Berry Farm. The tagline for Top Thrill Dragster is "Race for the Sky".

Kingda Ka Roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure

Kingda Ka is a launched roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Designed by Werner Stengel, Kingda Ka is an Accelerator Coaster model from Intamin that opened as the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world on May 21, 2005. It is also the second-ever strata coaster, a roller coaster taller than 400 feet (120 m); Top Thrill Dragster was the first and previously held both records. Intamin subcontracted Stakotra to assist with construction.

A brake run on a roller coaster is any section of track meant to slow or stop a roller coaster train. Brake runs may be located anywhere along the circuit of a coaster and may be designed to bring the train to a complete halt or to simply adjust the train's speed. Contrary to some belief, the vast majority of roller coasters do not have any form of braking on the train itself, but rather forms of braking that exist on track sections. One notable exception is the Scenic Railway roller coaster, which relies on an operator to manually control the speed of the train.

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Werner Stengel German engineer; roller coaster designer

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Rollback (roller coaster)

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Accelerator Coaster

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Storm Runner roller coaster

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Hydra the Revenge amusement ride

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