Fairground: Thrill Laboratory

Last week seemed to be fun-fair week. It started with a trip out to Thorpe Park (Click here to read about my previous visit). I followed that up two days later with a visit to the Dana Centre’s Fairground: Thrill Laboratory event.

First off, the obligatory rollercoaster pic:


I’ve already got a Stealth pic on here, so this one’s Colossus - Thorpe Park’s record breaking loopiest coaster in the world. Credit for this excellent picture goes to Tom.

We had a great day at Thorpe Park - pretty much your standard theme park experience. They opened late, which meant we got to ride Samurai (a Mondial Top Scan ride) in the dark, for that extra funfair atmosphere.

The week’s second funfair event at the Science Museum was far from a standard event …

For Fairground: Thrill Laboratory the Dana Centre had installed a Thrill Ride in the car park especially for the occasion. An enormous 130 feet tall thrill ride called Booster.

I found this chap on the net, Malcolm, has written a great write-up of the same evening, complete with pictures. You can read it here. Well, it saves me some explanation!

My friend Jim who came along with us got some photographs, including one of me wearing all the telemetry equipment on the ride. I’ll post it here as soon as he sends me a copy. Jim also took an on-ride video with his camera, which will be stored here for a limited amount of time.

I’ve always been curious to try out a heart-rate monitor on a rollercoaster. Am I really as calm and relaxed as I think I am? Probably not. In fact, defnitely not after my first go on Stealth, which left me out of breath. It is quite an extreme ride. I didn’t get to answer my question because although I was wearing the equipment and having my measurements and picture broadcast back to the mission control room, I couldn’t find anyone who remembered seeing the results. Doh!

Somewhat disappointingly, although Booster looks like a big scary monster ride, it is actually pretty tame. The ride’s manufacturer was present to talk about it and mentioned how fairground rides are subject to maximum g-force limits that they can impose on their passengers. Booster doesn’t exactly push those limits hard, though it isn’t too far off. This, to me, establishes a bit of an upper limit on how intense a fairground ride can ever be. They can at least still be interesting, though.

I think I prefer Samurai to Booster. It is more intense and much less predictable. Both are well worth a go if you get the chance!

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