Anatomy of a Roller Coaster Infographic


Jon Russo, CEO AreaVibes

An infographic is a great way to communicate a lot of complex visual information in one easy glance. Absorbing a lot of information quickly and clearly can be valuable when exploring your favorite theme park, finding your way to a favorite roller coaster, or even navigating a new city – and these concepts are more similar than they might seem at first.

Did you know that the Colossus roller coaster in Thorpe Park has the most inversions (10) of any coaster yet built? Or, that the Takabisha in Fuji-Q Highland Japan drops at a breathtaking angle of 121 degrees? As a roller coaster enthusiast, you might know these things already – but we didn’t at first.

We created AreaVibes with the goal of helping people move to a new city. Moving can be a stressful and frightening endeavor, especially when you feel like you don’t have all the facts about where you’re going. What will your cost of living be like? What are your transportation options? What about crime, education, employment, or even the weather? To help people assess their options at a glance, we put together a single “livability” metric that would measure all those things to create a simple “livability” score for major cities, letting people know at a glance how livable a particular city is.infogr_roller_coaster

So where do roller coasters fit into all this? The answer is simple: what fan of roller coasters wouldn’t want to know if the city they were moving to had some nearby? While doing our research on what makes a city more attractive, appealing and “livable,” we discovered that amusement and theme parks often play a big role in whether or not people want to live in any particular city, and roller coasters are almost invariably among the most popular attractions – which led us to dig a little further into what makes roller coasters so much fun.

We learned a lot of things we didn’t know about before, such as how the roller coaster got its start in 17th Century Russian “Ice Slides,” large lumber structures topped with a sheet of ice several inches thick. We discovered that the Formula Rossa coaster at Ferrari World in the United Arab Emirates can accelerate to a top speed of 140 miles per hour in just five seconds, and that the tallest steel coaster in the world is Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari at 456 feet. And we found out about Six Flags’ record-breaking “Goliath” coaster, now the biggest wooden coaster in the world.

In short, we learned that roller coasters are a phenomenon enjoyed the world over, and that a roller coaster can add presence, appeal and fun to any major city. And we put some of that fun in the infographic to share with others. Just like our “livability” score, it’s all there at a glance.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re looking to move to the city with the most roller coasters, it’s Valencia, California, thanks to Six Flags Magic Mountain. What about the city with the second most roller coasters? Then you’re looking at Sandusky Ohio, which features 17 roller coasters at Cedar Point.

So what do you think? Would you move to a city just for a roller coaster or theme park? Would you consider a roller coaster a major factor in deciding whether or not to move to a city? Are you the kind of roller coaster fan who would hang a full-size poster of this infographic on your wall? Let us know what you think!

– Jon Russo, Founder & CEO, AreaVibes

TPAers, we love this roller coaster infographic! Jon is considering printing it and making it available for sale; would you buy one? We’ve never seen a coaster timeline quite like this and think it would be a great addition to one of our walls at home! What do you think? Share your thoughts below with Jon and other fans!

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