World’s Fastest Roller Coaster

It’s here! The new world’s fastest roller coaster – the Formula Rossa – has just opened at the new Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi!

Reaching speeds of around 240kph, it will be the highlight of your trip (if you get the chance to go).

Here’s a front seat POV video of the ride with voiceover commentary:

The current preview videos all fall a bit flat for me. I’m looking forward to seeing (and sharing) “real” videos complete with screams 😉

Disney iPhone App (and Now an Android App)

In a previous post, I mentioned the Walt Disney World iPhone App, which helps you to check wait times for rides, plan your schedule, find a restaurant and more.

Thanks to improvements due to user submissions it is fast becoming the most popular Disney iphone app available:

There is now an Disney Android app available.

<strong>Click here to find out more about the <a onmouseover=”window.status=’http://www.undercovertourist.com’;return true;” onmouseout=”window.status=’ ‘;return true;” href=”http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-3946987-2331763″ target=”_top”>Walt Disney World iPhone App</a><img src=”http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-3946987-2331763″ border=”0″ alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ /> from Undercover Tourist</strong>

Click here to find out more about the Walt Disney World iPhone App from Undercover Tourist

Create Roller Coaster Videos Everyone Wants to Watch

roller coaster videosIf you are heading off to a theme park, it has probably crossed your mind to make some videos while you are on the rides, so that others can experience the same thrills you did. Unfortunately, most roller coaster videos end up shaky and blurry. Don’t believe me? Do a search on YouTube and see how many of the theme park ride videos you actually want to watch from start to finish.

We live in an era where technology is so advanced that for $100 you can buy a good quality, HD handheld digital video camera that you can take anywhere (some are even waterproof and others double-up as a video and stills camera). Not long ago you would have had to carry a much larger, poorer quality video camera with you.

How do you use this technology to your advantage and take great roller coaster videos?

First of all, my caveat: I am not encouraging you to break the theme park’s rules. If the theme park specifically bans cameras from rides then you should heed their warnings. The rules are not there to ruin your fun; they are designed for your safety. Taking cameras on theme park rides could result in you or others getting hurt, and even cause damage to the ride itself.

That said, if the theme park does not restrict the use of cameras, here are some tips for taking better videos on roller coasters:

  1. Always make sure your camera is secure. Holding your video camera in your hand is not enough to ensure its safety. Theme park rides are designed to move very fast and surprise you with twists and turns. If your video camera is not securely attached to your wrist or clothing then you run the risk of dropping it or knocking it against something, both of which will probably break the camera and potentially harm you or others. A great roller coaster video is no good if it is never seen because your camera fell to the ground from 100 feet. You can also consider strapping it right to your head using one of the cool new Go Pro Hero HD 2 wearable cameras.
  2. Make sure your camera is held steady. This can be impossible to ensure when you are moving at 80mph through loops, twists and corkscrews, but the steadier you hold your camera the better the quality will be and the easier it will be to watch (nobody likes to view shaky videos). Try to hold your camera in both hands with your elbows held tight into your sides. Holding your arms outstretched will cause more shake and less control over what you are filming.
  3. Decide whether you are taking a point-of-view (POV) video or a video of the people on the ride. Often people swap between the different options and as a result there is a lot of shakiness and blur on the video as the camera changes position and re-focuses. My preference with roller coaster videos is to take it from the point of view of the rider. Videoing the faces of your friends can be fun for you, but if you want others to feel some of the thrill of the ride that you felt, you should show them the ride from your perspective.
  4. To take a great POV video, aim to sit at the front of the ride. This way you will capture the ride itself, and a great view of the tracks and all the upcoming dips, twists and turns, without having to film the backs of people’s heads at the same time. It will also mean you can hold you camera lower and steadier.
  5. Start recording your video before the ride starts and don’t press stop until the ride has finished. This will enable you to edit the start and end of the video (the parts that are usually the shakiest) and still have the full ride captured.
  6. Watch some of the many theme park videos that are uploaded to the Internet everyday and decide what it is you like about your favourites. Then emulate them

A trip to a theme park is a fun experience and you can share it with others through video. Follow the tips shared here and you will be able to produce roller coaster videos that capture some of the thrills and excitement you enjoyed.

Top Theme Park Rides

I found this video of “The 5 Best Roller Coasters”. Of course they will not be everyone’s top theme park rides but it’s a good selection (at least a good selection of North American rollercoasters):

In order he rates them:

5. Kingda Ka – Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey

4. Goliath – Six Flags Over Georgia

3.  Storm Runner – Hershey Park, Pennsylvania

2.  Medusa – Six Flags Great Adventure, NJ

1. Millennium Force – Cedar Point, Ohio

Thorpe Park Theme Park Rides 2010

My friends have just been to Thorpe Park in the UK for a birthday day out and had a fantastic time. I haven’t been there in years so I searched out a recent video to show you the theme park rides on offer there for 2010.

Thorpe Park was always considered a bit tame compared to Alton Towers but it has improved over the years. Not sure it qualifies as the “Thrill Capital” as stated at the beginning of the video but it definitely has a good selection of exciting looking theme park rides.

Going to have to take a trip there soon.

Cool Theme Park Rides

There are many cool theme park rides around the world so it is hard to focus on just one or two.  Here are just some of the ones I’d like to ride in the near future.

Firstly, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has finally opened and as a huge Harry Potter fan I’d love to go and take in the whole experience, but I’m especially looking forward to trying the Dragon Challenge (definitely the Chinese Fireball for me) and the Forbidden Journey (the theme park’s signature ride, although it looks more like an “event”):

Another cool ride I would love to try out is one I wrote about in this post on new theme park rides – Intimidator at Carowinds:

Inspired by NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt, the ride has some really steep drops and reaches some impressive speeds. Unfortunately, I’m unlikely to make it to North/South Carolina anytime soon.

Camelot Theme Park Rides

Camelot is a Theme Park in North West of England. Naturally, with a name like that, it is based around the legend of King Arthur, and the Camelot theme park rides generally follow this theme too.

Camelot is a fun family day out but it is unlikely to satisfy roller coaster enthusiasts. Knightmare is the most intense of the rides and does offer a good thrill, hitting an impressive 5Gs at times.

Apart from Knightmare, there’s Whirlwind, Excalibur, The Log Flume, and a bunch of more child friendly rides, but they’re all standard fare.

By all means take the kids and have a family day out – you’ll have fun – but don’t expect a day of thrills from the rides.

Old Theme Park Rides

Sometimes old theme park rides can be the most enjoyable (and scary). Wooden roller coasters have a unique sound that clunks and rattles and leaves you feeling less than comfortable about the safety of the ride.

Of course, any roller coaster operating today (even after decades) is subject to the same strict regulations, but it’s the impression of being less safe that adds to the thrill.

Old theme park rides move differently from their more modern counterparts too. Both will jolt you around but in modern roller coasters that’s usually due to the sheer acrobatics of the ride moving through loops and twists. On older rides the jolts are perhaps more predictable for the rider but are like driving an older car where you feel every bump in the road!

Port Aventura Theme Park Rides

Port Aventura in Salou, Spain (about an hour out of Barcelona is one of Europe’s premier theme parks and a “must visit” for any European theme park fan. The most thrilling of the Port Aventura theme park rides include Furius Baco (0 to 135 kmph in 3 seconds), Stampida, and Dragon Khan (8 loops at 110 kmph).

This pov video shows Dragon Khan in action [warning: the girl has a high pitched scream – you might want to turn the volume down a bit]:

The rides at Port Aventura are classed as children’s, soft, moderate and high, with the 3 mentioned earlier all fitting into the final category along with Hurakan Condor – a free fall ride that drops you almost 100m.

Roller Coaster Videos POV

If you’ve been browsing Youtube for videos of theme park rides, you may be wondering what roller coaster videos pov means. POV stands for point of view i.e. you are seeing what the rider is seeing and, in my opionion, the best videos of rides are those taken from a pov perspective.

It can be really tempting to take videos of your face (and those of your friends) when you are on a roller coaster – and for you and your friends they will probably be really amusing videos. But if you plan on showing these videos to others and sharing them on YouTube then most people will not want to watch strangers screaming and pulling faces for 3 minutes.

The pov video gives the viewer a really good feel of the ride and how exciting it is. It doesn’t quite match actually being on the ride but it is the best alternative to being there.

Take a look at this short pov video of the Top Thrill Dragster ride at Cedar Point – isn’t this much more exciting that watching the riders faces?