- Drop tower (ride)
A drop tower or big drop is a type of amusement ride, based around a central structure or tower. With most drop towers, the gondola is lifted to the top of a large vertical structure, before being released and falling towards the ground. Brakes activate to slow the ride prior to reaching the ground. Some designs expand on this concept, with some designs promoting rotating gondalas or that riders be 'bounced' several times before coming to a rest.
Most parks and carnivals require riders to be 48 inches (122 cm) or taller. The fastest free-fall/drop tower in the world is an Intamin designed and manufactured ride named Giant Drop. The ride is 390 feet (119 m) high and reaches a speed of 84.375 mph (135.6 km/h), the ride is located at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, Australia. The highest drop tower is The Big Shot which is located on the top of the Stratosphere Las Vegas casino hotel tower. The base of the ride is 921 feet (281 m) above ground with the top of the ride at 1,081 feet (329 m).
Drop towers vary in height, passenger capacity, lift type, and brake type. Many are custom made, although there are some mass-produced designs, which are listed below.
The drop tower ride type should not be confused with the observation tower ride type.
Tallest Vertical Drop Towers
Rank Name Park Location Drop Height Structural Height Manufacturer Record Holder Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom Six Flags Magic Mountain Valencia, California, USA 400 feet (120 m) 415 feet (126 m) Intamin Under Construction 1. Giant Drop Dreamworld Coomera, Queensland, Australia 377 feet (115 m) 390 feet (120 m) Intamin December 1998 – present 2. Big Tower Beto Carrero World Penha, Brazil 328 feet (100 m) N/A Intamin N/A Blue Fall Sea Paradise Yokohama, Japan 328 feet (100 m) 351 feet (107 m) Intamin N/A La Venganza del Enigma Parque Warner Madrid Madrid, Spain 328 feet (100 m) N/A S&S Worldwide N/A 3. AtmosFear Liseberg Gothenberg, Sweden 300 feet (91 m) 381 feet (116 m) Intamin N/A 4. Hurakan Condor PortAventura Salou, Catalonia, Spain 282 feet (86 m) N/A Intamin N/A 5. Drop Tower: Scream Zone Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia, USA 272 feet (83 m) 305 feet (93 m) Intamin N/A 6. Drop Tower: Scream Zone Kings Island Mason, Ohio, USA 264 feet (80 m) 315 feet (96 m) Intamin N/A 7. Fritt Fall Grona Lund Stockholm, Sweden 262 feet (80 m) 328 feet (100 m) Intamin N/A 8. Supreme Scream Knott's Berry Farm Buena Park, California, USA 252 feet (77 m) 312 feet (95 m) S&S Worldwide July 1998 - December 1998 Dalton Terror Walibi Belgium Wavre, Belgium 252 feet (77 m) N/A Intamin N/A 9. Power Tower Valleyfair Shakopee, Minnesota, USA 250 feet (76 m) 275 feet (84 m) S&S Worldwide N/A 10. Superman: Tower of Power Six Flags Over Texas Arlington, Texas, USA 245 feet (75 m) 313 feet (95 m) S&S Worldwide N/A
- The Giant Drop (119 m) located at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, Australia, is the tallest and fastest drop tower ride in the world.
- AtmosFear in Gothenburg, Sweden (116 m), is the second tallest drop tower in the world.
- Big Shot located on the top of the Stratosphere Las Vegas reaching 1,081 feet (329 m) is the highest situated drop tower ride in the world, being located on top of the Stratosphere Las Vegas
- The La Venganza del Enigma is the tallest and fastest combo drop tower in the world and thw third tallest ride in the world (115 m), situated in Parque Warner on Madrid.
- Space Probe located at Wonderland Sydney in Australia, was the world's tallest and fastest drop tower ride upon opening.
- The Pitt Fall at Kennywood
- The Cliff Hanger located at Cliffs Amusement park
- The Mega Drop at the Illinois State Fair (removed in 2008)
- The Drop Tower at five Cedar Fair parks
- Super Shot often found at Midway (fair)
- Cliffhanger located at Flamingo Land Resort in Britain is the 2nd highest in Britain
- Apocalypse at Drayton Manor
- Detonator at Thorpe Park
- Tango Ice Blast at Pleasure Beach Blackpool
- Scream Machine at Coney Island
- Big Tower in Beto Carrero World
- The Megadrop owned by RCS Fair Rides
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at multiple Disney parks worldwide.
- Scream! at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags New England
- Power Tower at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio features two Turbo Drop towers, and two Space Shot towers.
Mass-produced tower rides include:
- Double Shot (air-powered blast up and down)
- The Piledriver
- Space Shot (air-powered blast up)
- Spring Ride / Family Tower
- Super Shot
- Turbo Drop (air-powered blast down)
- Intamin Drop Tower
- Z-Force (Zamperla shot'n'drop tower)
- Flash Tower (Zamperla shot'n'drop tower)
- Hurakan Condor (Multi-ride with variants)
- EKstreme Enchanted Kingdom (Laguna, Philippines)
Injuries and accidents
- In August 1999, 12-year-old Joshua Smurphat, who had a mental disability, fell from the tower and died. Smurphat's family claimed the harness was not locked properly.
- Following the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom incident, all the towers were closed and the Carowinds model was found to have "stretched" cables.
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