What do you get when you combine the thrilling drops and turns of a roller coaster with the open-air flight of a zip line? The adrenaline junkies at Extreme Engineering have answered that question with their latest invention called the Cloud Coaster, which debuted this November in Orlando at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) trade show after nearly five years on the drawing board.
The Cloud Coaster is the first "cartless" rollercoaster, an invention fitting for a company known for crafting portable zip lines and mobile climbing walls for clients such as NASA, Disneyland and Cirque du Soleil. Riders are strapped into a suspended harness that is attached to a track, and then launched into the air via a system of motors and brakes. They will experience the loops, heights and drops of a roller coaster without the uncomfortable lap bars or sticky seats.
The Extreme Engineering team wanted to create a thrill ride that was larger in scale than a traditional zip line but more budget friendly than a standard roller coaster. Among its unique features, the Cloud Coaster is entirely customizable, allowing for use in a multitude of spaces (attached to ceilings or the tops of tall buildings) and places from amusement parks to zoos and resorts.
The Cloud Coaster is already being lauded as the future of thrill rides. It was highlighted in USA Today's round-up of future rides and won Best in Show at the IAAPA show, marking the company's ninth industry award.
The first complete Cloud Coaster will be unveiled in March 2016 in Mississippi at a for-now undisclosed location. The company is in talks with a renowned zoo about designing a Cloud Coaster for visitors to soar over animal exhibits.
For more information and updates, check out extremeengineering.com.