a combined observation tower and roller coaster
Designing thrill rides for amusement parks must be on every kid’s wishlist of things he wants to do when he grows up. For Bill Kitchen, that dream job is a reality. In 1992 he co-invented the SkyCoaster, which is a tall arch-shaped structure which brings bungee jumping to the amusement park. Kitchen’s next invention was the SkyVenture, vertical wind tunnel to recreate the experience of skydiving. Then he started US Thrill Rides, a company through which new rides could be created, such as SkyView, a Ferris wheel concept in which the structure itself does not turn, allowing for a more robust structure. Another project is the SkySpire, which is an observation tower with a smooth and even-paced gondola ride draped around it.
The Polercoaster takes the experience of the SkySpire to your stomach. It is marketed as ‘a full coaster experience in a small footprint, including multiple loops, barrel rolls and high G-force maneuvers’ while doubling as an observation tower with retail, restaurant, bar and observation area. The first polercoaster is currently under construction as a part of an entertainment complex called Skyplex in Orlando. Aptly called ‘The Skyscraper’. When completed in 2017, the 170-meter tall structure will be the tallest roller coaster in the world. For those familiar with roller coaster slang, the 1,600 meter long track will feature seven inversions, including zero-g rolls and raven turns. Here is a video animation of the ride.