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World's Tallest Roller Coaster Set for 2017 Debut in Orlando

Posted by copeland on December 22, 2014

Artist rendering of the planned Sky Scraper roller coaster, the tallest in the world.

The thrill rides at Orlando's multiple theme parks are a top attraction for those who love an adrenaline kick. And the Skyscraper, the signature ride of the planned Skyplex, a $250 million entertainment complex going up on International Drive, is sure to deliver. Slated to open in 2017, the aptly named roller coaster will become the world's tallest, boasting a coaster track that spirals up and down the side of a 535-foot-tall observation tower.

Says Bill Kitchen, founder of Orlando-based US thrill Rides, which designed the Skyscraper, "The unique design of the coaster means more incredible, heart-pounding inside and outside loops, dives, spirals and inversions in a vertical area than riders have ever before experienced."

The Skyscraper is getting lots of media attention with the release of an automated simulation of the ride at the recent International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo 2014. But if you're a thrill ride enthusiast, there are three important facts to remember.

  1. Statistically, roller coasters are the riskiest rides in the park, as evidenced by reported percentages of deaths by ride type. They're to blame for 27.6 percent of ride-related deaths in the US.
  2. There is no federal oversight, inspection or regulation of fixed-site amusement park rides. While 44 states do impose some degree of regulatory compliance, parks largely are self-regulated, with requirements dictated primarily by insurance liability guidelines.
  3. Researchers with the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio states that “more than 92,000 children were injured on roller coasters and in amusement park-related incidents between 1990 and 2010 – an average of almost 4,000 injuries per year.” And a more recent study by the IAAPA shows that 1,204 people were injured on amusement park rides in 2011, though industry experts believe that figure falls short of reality. Fewer than half of the nation's theme parks responded to researchers' requests for information and critics allege those that did respond provided incomplete data.

Bottom line - as stringent as most theme park officials are about the safety of rides, remember that you take a risk anytime you board a ride. Check the safety records of a theme park before you visit and be sure that you and your children obey all posted and spoken rules for safely boarding, riding and exiting rides. If you or your loved ones suffer an injury while visiting one of Florida's theme parks, report it to park staff and get medical attention immediately, then contact an amusement park injury attorney with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates. We can be reached 24/7 at 407-999-8995 in Orlando or 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.