7 Popular Fairground Rides and Their Origins
Fairground rides have been around for a long time. The concept of going to a fair is already part of many cultures and most people don’t bother to learn about the origin of these rides. Currently, rides and attractions can be found anywhere where large crowds gather. In fact, you can get a funfair stall for hire and use it as entertainment for parties. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular rides and their origins.
The Ferris wheel
This ride made its official debut during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois. But the design and concept were recorded and traced back to the 17th century from Germany. Over the years, this funfair attraction has been one of the most identifiable features of every amusement park. The height and size of the ride are what sets it apart from others since it usually operates at a much slower speed.
Dodge-em rides or bumper cars
Electric bumper cars may seem like a modern invention, but this attraction has been around for more than one century. Earlier versions are likely harder to operate and control. Back when the steam engine revolutionised travel, dodge-ems, and other rides were designed and featured in travelling circuses and amusement parks.
Roundabout or carousels were the very first fairground rides to come about. Earlier applications of these rides were likely not for entertainment but to train cavalrymen in horseback riding. Crude versions of the roundabout used to be hand-cranked or at times pulled by ponies.
The modern rollercoaster
The first inventor who patented the rollercoaster was La Marcus Thompson. But, it’s said that rollercoasters were based on the design of Russian winter sledge rides back in the 17th century. Today, rollercoasters boast of heart-pounding excitement for fairground enthusiasts. From the highest to the fastest, to the one that features the most thrills, you’ll find one in every famous amusement park.
Fairground rides that use a mini train and a circular track likely came about when the steam engine was invented. What’s great about these rides is that they feature a themed tunnel. Some tunnels can be a romantic and private place where couples can cuddle in the dark. Other tunnels are horror-themed and aim to scare the riders.
This ride is a giant circular wheel that moves up and down as it revolves. It was invented in Germany and was brought to the US. Of course, the Americans had to make the ride bigger and more exciting. These days, you’ll rarely see this ride featured in amusement parks, but there are other variations that are based on the same concept.
The log flume has been a staple in fairgrounds since the beginning of the 20th century. But the earlier versions are tamer than what we know today. As rollercoasters became more exciting, log flume rides have also undergone the same innovation. Now, the most exciting feature of riding a log flume is the expectation that you will get wet as the log splashes down the makeshift hill.