Top 5 awesome worldwide theme park rides for students

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Travel Features >> Top 5 awesome worldwide theme park rides for students

Top 5 awesome worldwide theme park rides for students

October 24, 2013

Prepare to enter the world of rollercoasters and rides; from corkscrews to the vertical drops that leave your heart in your mouth and your hair standing up so precariously on end you are guaranteed free entry into the Jedward fan club! Whether it is with your family or with friends on a school tour, these 5 rides are going to tick the boxes for excitement, creativity and all-out adrenaline rushes. Now comes the controversy as there is great debate over the best theme parks in the world, let alone which theme park ride reigns supreme. Given that we can but estimate the number of theme parks in the world the idea we can pick out 5 rides is unlikely to meet the tastes of every theme park enthusiast. However, as someone who likes to seek out ‘the ultimate ride’; a ‘real searcher’ (and yes I could continue the Point Break quotes) I am going to pick 5 rides that will not only knock your socks off but sit as the cherry on the top of one momentous Bakewell.

SheiKra, Busch Gardens, USA
So in the name of screaming the most random of words from the summit of a 200ft rollercoaster let us start with a ride that will get the blood pumping, namely SheiKra, Busch Gardens. Located in Tampa, Florida, this ride is certainly worth screaming about. From its casual click-clucking up to its summit, it takes one clever passenger to comment on how pleasant the ride is before teetering on the edge. There, frozen for a moment, you wait for the drop. At this point, the brave-hearts among us can take in the great view across the park, while the rest hold their breath before plummeting at speed.

This is where all coolness evaporates from the body as the arms start to flail in the Florida sun while trying to make your yelp one of ‘manned-up’ excitement. The hysterical screams get louder as you’re set up for a second Oblivion-style drop. SheiKra can reach up to speeds of 70mph from its descent and with plenty of seats to have your best buds beside you, the thrill of the ride is made all the better by seeing their reactions as the coaster drops. While it doesn’t have the multiple inversions we have come to love, the traditional feel of this coaster, with its drops and twists, is still an exhilarating ride at under two and half minutes.

Black Mamba, Phantasialand, Germany
The next ride to make it on my list is the Black Mamba, Phantasialand. This is a popular theme park for schools trips to incorporate if staying in or around the North-Rhine Westphalia region of Germany. With its own ‘Deep in Africa’ area, the name Black Mamba seems fitting for a ride named after the longest venomous snake in Africa. But does this ride live up to its namesake’s reputation? Well, in a word, ‘yes’!

The shorter duration of this ride is nullified by the buzz of passing through the towers, legs swinging with the G-force (4G) and four inversions. Passing through the long grass and under the rocks the ride looks to take on the personality of the Black Mamba snake. Maybe the designers thought like a snake for the day as the ride makes you feel like you are tracking the route head first. Taking into account the aesthetics and ride itself, the Black Mamba stands as a great example of an inverted rollercoaster and is a must for those visiting Phantasialand on their school tour or holiday.

Transformers: The Ride 3D, Universal Studios Orlando, USA
Sense and Sensibility it is not, but the Transformers: The Ride 3D, Universal Studios Orlando does romantically attack the senses and takes you on quite the emotional journey. With Megatron and the Decepticons coming to destroy the human race you are stuck in the middle of the fight with the Autobots by your side. Faced with adversity you meander in and out of the fight only to succumb to the need to stand up for justice as you believe Optimus Prime is down and out (here is the romantic part). Bumblebee comes to the rescue and Optimus survives with time to extend a thank you for saving the people of Orlando.

Just another busy day at the office I hear you say! However, what you are unlikely to witness as part of your daily routine is a city being savaged by the Decepticons, robotic echoes of movements and a ride that flows with the bumps and changes of levels. What the makers have achieved is a real rush of excitement, a chance to stand by the Autobots and ultimately save the world. Not bad for a theme park ride!

The Swarm, Thorpe Park, UK
Admittedly I do like the song, especially when you are watching footage of this next ride, but The Swarm, Thorpe Park, makes it onto my list for reasons beyond advertising. It is the world’s second winged rollercoaster that can reach nearly 60mph and is extremely popular as part of a school tour. The designers have gone with a theme that mimics a partially destroyed site based on a major disaster. A crashed airplane and some upturned vehicles add to the effects but for me it is the ride itself.

Each tilt and twist plays with your mind as where you sit contributes to the force felt on your body. Depending on the turn and which side of the row you find yourself on, you can end up with the feeling of either falling under the track or flipping over the top without the company of your coaster compadrés. Among the five inversions is the world’s first inverted drop as The Swarm sends you on a thrill-ride that can rival many of the world’s best.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disneyland, USA
Finally I have selected The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disneyland to enter my top 5 list. Based upon the American sci-fi series The Twilight Zone, this ride takes you on a journey that I believe engages the senses and throws you into the paranormal world of the original programme. As you take your seat for the beginning of the story you are guided through the mysterious events in which a group, much like yourselves, entered the hotel elevator only to disappear. How this ride builds up the scene is fantastic and you are strapped in for what might seem to be the inevitable.

Once you have entered The Twilight Zone (a line that the whole group will say over and over), you are transported high into the tower of the hotel before descending at speed to levels without warning. This ride does well to blend the mix of story, effects and build-up with a ride that will still have the sunglasses you left on top of your head catching up with you.

These 5 awesome rides stand as an assortment of the various types of rides you are likely to encounter on school trips to popular theme parks. They highlight the variety the designers are trying to offer the market and the different experiences you and your body take on for a few minutes. There are of course other rides I could easily include with honourable mentions to Formula Rossa, Ferrari World; Manta, SeaWorld Orlando; Revenge of the Mummy, Universal Orlando Resort; and Goudurix, Parc Asterix, however those selected as my top 5 stand out for the overall experience offered and reminds us why we queued all that time for the ride, the rush and the memories.

Author Bio: Tim Jenkins writes for Travelbound who specialise in educational (and fun!) trips for students.

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