Top tech rollercoasters


Behind the vertical dives and loop de loops of today's top tech rollercoasters are cutting-edge computer systems that thrill riders and keep them safe. The newest rides use sensors, Ethernet control systems, wired and wireless networks as well as digital audio and video. Here's our list of the nation's top tech rollercoasters and rides.

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Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Rollercoaster: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Where: Universal Orlando Resort
When opened: 2009
Top speed: 65 mph
Top height: 170 feet
High-tech features: Digital audio and video that allows you to customize your ride and take home a souvenir DVD. You choose your songs using a touchpad on the lap bar.


Rollercoaster: Manta
Where: Sea World Orlando
When opened: 2009
Top speed: 56 mph
Top height: 140 feet
High-tech features: Sensors along 3,359-foot track and on the trains communicate with Programmable Logic Controllers. Computerized special effects simulate the coaster hitting water.

Toy Story Mania!

Ride: Toy Story Mania!
Where: Disney's California Adventure and Hollywood Studios Park
When opened: 2008
Length of ride: 5 minutes
Goal of ride: Users rack up points by shooting at items displaced in 3-D carnival games.
High-tech features: Computer-generated 3-D images are rendered 60 times per second. Onboard vehicle gaming systems calculate the position and activity of riders' shooter devices. Patents are pending on the spring-action shooters and vehicle's adjustable seats.


Rollercoaster: SheiKra
Where: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
When opened: 2005 (redesigned in 2007)
Top speed: 70 mph
Top height: 200 feet
High-tech features: Five trains on the track. Sensors line 2,950-foot track, trains and seats and communicate via an Ethernet network to Programmable Logic Controllers.

Top Thrill Dragster

Rollercoaster: Top Thrill Dragster
Where: Cedar Point Amusement Park
When opened: 2003
Top speed: 120 mph
Top height: 420 feet
High-tech features: Sensors line 2,800-foot track and send real-time data to a ControlNet network. Separate control and safety Programmable Logic Controllers.

Storm Runner

Rollercoaster: Storm Runner
Where: Hersheypark
When opened: 2004
Top speed: 72 mph
Top height: 185 feet
High-tech features: Hydraulic launching system propels riders from 0 to 72 mph in less than 2 seconds. Nitrogen-powered propulsion system cut electricity usage in half to 2.5 megawatts.

Which ride is missing from our list? Tell us about your favorite tech rollercoaster or amusement park ride and why you like it so much.