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The journey there took around 45 minutes by coach, but it really didn’t feel like long; we were all really anticipating this day and looking forward to a fun trip. After getting off the coach, the teachers briefed us on where to meet for lunch and the return to school, and then we were left to roam the park in groups. Some of our favourite rides included Stealth, a massive rollercoaster that accelerates from 0-80 mph in under 2 seconds, reaching a height of 205 feet, and Swarm, a dystopian-themed ride. Honourable mentions include Saw and Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride (a ride with a height minimum of 90 cm). We had school packed lunches around 12pm and went on more rides until it was time to go. Not only were there rides, but there were also carnival games to play. The day was filled with laughs and adrenaline, and it was a great treat at the start of the school year.
Before the trip discussions started forming around one subject in particular: rollercoasters. Stealth, Inferno, Saw and many more were mentioned. The conversations went something like this:
“Is anyone going to go on Stealth with me? I’m going to go on it five times! Does anyone else have the guts?”
“I will! I’m not scared of a silly rollercoaster. It will be so much fun!”
“Never. That drop looks terrifying. In your dreams.”
People were researching which rides were the tallest, which had the most spins and the scariest ones. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone put themselves through the sheer terror that comes with a fast, terrifying rollercoaster?” So, I did some research.
I interviewed four people: two who went on Stealth, and two who didn’t. I asked the people who went on Stealth why they did. One said it was because she wanted the “adrenaline, the thrill and because [she was] an adrenaline junkie.” For another, they wanted the “rush of the build up to the drop and then the actual drop”.
Dr Richard Stephens, senior lecturer in psychology at Keele University, proves this evidence slightly more eloquently, saying, “We experience an element of fear on a big ride, which becomes manifested in our bodies as rapid heart rate, faster breathing and a glucose boost that makes us more energetic. This is the fight or flight response. Some people find it fun to go through these visceral responses in the regulated and mostly safe environment of riding a rollercoaster. It’s like choosing to watch a horror film.”
In conclusion, everyone is different. Some enjoy the adrenaline rush from the terror of a scary ride, and some don’t.