Taking a nostalgic ride on the world's oldest roller coasters
The Cyclone roller coaster at Astroland in Coney Island, N.Y. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Hullamvasut - Built in 1922 at Vidampark in Budapest, Hungary, the scenic railway-style wooden coaster didn't open to the public until 1926. The American Coaster Enthusiasts classic features a brakeman and a long four-minute, 30-second ride over 3,215 feet of track. Hullam means "wave" and vasut "railway" in Hungarian.
Big Dipper - Built in 1923 at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England, the out-and-back wooden coaster, designed by John A. Miller and built by Philadelphia Toboggan Co.,was extended to 3,300 feet in 1936.
Thunderhawk - Built in 1923 at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa., the Thunderhawk out-and-back wooden coaster originally featured an out-and-back design but was modified to a figure eight in 1930. It was known simply as the Coaster until 1988.
Thunderbolt - Built in 1924 at Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa., the twister-style wooden terrain coaster, designed by John A. Miller. was known as Pippin until 1968, when the American Coaster Enthusiasts classic was expanded using parts from the original ride and renamed Thunderbolt.
Giant Dipper - Built in 1924 at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in , the $50,000 double out-and-back wooden coaster was added in 1987 to the rolls of the National Registry of Historic Places. Fredrick Church designed both Giant Dippers in California (the other is at Belmont Park in San Diego) as well as the Dragon Coaster at Playland Park in New York.
Giant Dipper - Built in 1925 at Belmont Park in San Diego, the $50,000 twister-style seaside wooden coaster, originally christened the Giant Dipper, was known simply as Roller Coaster from the 1950s to the 1970s. After briefly going by the name Earthquake, the coaster sat derelict from 1976 to 1990 before reopening as the Giant Dipper.
Wildcat - Built in 1927 at Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. twister-style wooden coaster was completely rebuilt in 1986 following the original design. Magnetic brakes were added to the trains in 2007.
Racer - Built in 1927 at Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa., the $75,000 racing wooden coaster designed by John A. Miller features an ingeniously crafted continuous-track layout that departs on one side of the station and returns on the other.
Cyclone - Built in 1927 at Coney Island's Astroland in Brooklyn, N.Y., the $175,000 hybrid coaster with a wooden track on a steel structure was condemned and nearly destroyed in the early 1970s until a campaign saved the ride. One of the most famous roller coasters in the world, the American Coaster Enthusiasts classic was added in 1991 to the rolls of the National Registry of Historic Places. The ride's legendary layout became known as the Coney Island Cyclone design, which was replicated at amusement parks around the world.
Kiddy Coaster - Built in 1927 at Playland Park in Rye, N.Y., the American Coaster Enthusiasts classic wooden coaster was constructed for a mere $2,537 but didn't open until 1928.
Legend - Iowa's Arnolds Park claims an official opening date of 1927 for the out-and-back wooden coaster, which contradicts newspaper accounts of a 1930 debut. Operating through the years as Speed Hound and Giant Dips, the ride was known for decades as the Giant Coaster until becoming Legend in 1996. The John A. Miller-designed ride was rebuilt after being severely damaged by a storm in 1968. Preservationists helped save the ride after the park closed briefly in the 1980s.
Montana Suiza - Built in 1928 at Monte Igueldo Park in San Sebastian, Spain, the scenic railway-style steel coaster with a side-friction design features an onboard brakeman.
Dragon Coaster - Built in 1929 at Playland Park in Rye, N.Y., the V-shaped out-and-back wooden coaster with the distinctive dragon's mouth tunnel entrance served as the location for Mariah Carey's 1995 "Fantasy" music video. The original two-bench articulated cars were replaced in 1988.
Roller Coaster - Built for the 1929 Colonial Exhibition in Paris, the American Coaster Enthusiasts classic wooden coaster was moved in 1932 to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in England. The scenic railway-style ride features a mountainous landscape and employs an onboard brakeman to control the speed of the train.