Vote of the week: Should high-speed roller coasters provide goggles?
I've been getting more interested in the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
theme park as it approaches its debut in October.
My son's a huge Ferrari fan and I've been following open-wheel racing since I can remember. (My uncle once crewed for Mario Andretti, and my father used to work in timing and scoring at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.) So you'd expect me to get excited about the marriage of racing and theme parks.
Abu Dhabi's not exactly in my neighborhood, so I don't know that I'll ever visit, but I am beginning to follow the park's development. One item which caught my interest was the recent announcement that riders on the park's signature Formula Rossa roller coaster will be required to wear goggles.
Formula Rossa will be an Intamin launch coaster with a top speed over 140 miles per hour. While most of Ferrari World is located indoors, the park's roller coasters will travel outside the enclosure, into the sandy Arabian Peninsula desert. High speeds + blowing sand = need for goggles.
I haven't been to the Middle East, but I have been on more than a couple roller coasters where goggles might have made the ride less painful on my eyes. Which gets me thinking: Should other theme parks require goggles on their outdoor roller coasters? And if so, how fast does a coaster have to go before goggles should be provided?
Let's assume for the sake of this argument that the park can keep the goggles clean and clear. And that there'd be no additional charge for them. Vote below for the top speed over which you'd prefer to have goggles, or, if you don't think coasters should require goggles, select that option.
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading Theme Park Insider!
I don't think it should be required, but I've worn safety glasses on roller coasters for years. (The sun glass variety of safety glasses, not the birth control variety.)
I don't think that riders should be required to wear goggles (Except in cases like Abu Dhabi). I like the goggles they have on this ride, though. They're not too bulky, and they look comfortable. A pair like that would be easy to carry around for people who feel they need protective eyewear.
Here you go: a girl commenting on a main article on the blog! Let's do this. :)
In the case of a 140 mph roller coaster-- yeeeeeeaaaaah, I think i'd require the goggles. I see WAY too many openings for frustrated/grumpy/lawsuit-happy guests to argue if goggles weren't required.
It's no different, really, than being handed a pair of 3D glasses when you go see a movie. People are used to this, and I think it'd help ratchet up the excitement a bit in the station as you get ready to launch. ("Wow, this coaster's so fast they're giving me goggles!")
BTW... I submitted the "anonymous" comment about goggles SHOULD be required because of grumpy/lawsuit-happy guests
Fabio would approve.
I wouldn't mind being given the option to wear goggles, especially on some of the higher speed coasters. Don;t think it should be mandatory though. A few years ago I was on Rolling Thunder at SFGAdv and something flew into my eye and scratched my cornea. I actually had to have minor surgery to get a small piece of metal removed from my eye.
I have to say if people need to wear goggles they are not fit to ride a roller coaster. Period. I am sorry Robert, but I just think the idea is absurd.
My way of thinking, you can get hit at any speed, 20 mph or 140 mph. The impact with said object would increase with velocity, making the damage worse.
I am happy with a pair of my own shades. If goggles are required, then I have to take my shades off and put their scratched up, ugly buy eyes on. No Thanks. Optional goggles yes!
It would be nice to have the option, but I think requirements should be rare. I just wish Cedar Fair parks wouldn't make me (sometimes)remove my glasses even when strapped to my head.
I have to say that I'm in favor of the "riders should never be required to wear goggles" option, but it probably makes good sense to wear them on high-speed coasters. My fastest coaster ride has been on Top Thrill Dragster, and during the majority of the ride, I'm either closing my eyes or squinting, anyway! I guess that's my natural reaction when shielding my contacts from dust and dirt.
All it takes is one bug in the eye, and you're spending the rest of your life with monocular vision. If you're in the front row, glasses or goggles should be mandatory!
If you need goggles to go on a roller coaster, that ride is going too fast!
They shouldnt be required but im sure there would be some people who would appreciate the googles and would use them.
I also think that more than a requirement, optional would be good. I wear glasses, but my eyes still water from the wind on coasters, so I wear my sunglasses to prevent the eye watering. It even enhances Space Mountain and helps against the strobe with the picture taking at the end.
I answered that goggles should not be required. Why?
I've done quad biking and other such outdoor things in Dubai and trust me, at that speed you need something to protect your eyes from the sand.
This is the same mentality that has kids wearing helmets while riding bikes and not being allowed to climb trees. We've gone a little nuts with safety and we're raising a bunch of pansies.
Even at 60 mph, someone could be hurt (See Fabio). We've had 60 mph coasters for about 75 years...haven't really had mass instances of eye injury. Sure there have been cases, but not enough to merit handing out more potential flying objects. Many people wear sunglasses on the rides now, and even those receive close scrutiny on the ultra high speed rides. In the case of a 140 mph ride in the middle of the desert and the blowing sand, I understand. Nobody wants sand in the eyes. Give them the goggles. If they don't want them, they sign a release. Most rides are in a pretty controlled environment though, and aren't in such climates that would require goggles.
I think if a human being ever has to wear an additional item to ride a roller coaster, then that roller coaster should be one HELL of a roller coaster.
well the fastest ride i have been on is Top Thrill Dragster (one hell of a ride btw) and its "offical" speed is 120 in 4 seconds. But Caranddriver actually hooked their car testing equitment on the Dragster and they clocked it at 0-120 in 2.8 seconds, and actually a top speed of 124 point something..(60 in 1.2 seconds) and i have never felt the need for eye wear on the Dragster. but maybe if we are getting to 140+ mph then there might be a need.
Having had an idiot hit me in the face with a cookie on Big Thunder Mountain at Disney World a few years back...I think safety goggles are a great idea.
at 140mph, i would wear the goggles, especially if there's a sand storm outside, LOL
All I can say is that as a current cast member, and motorcycle enthusiast, I have been wondering why it is not already a policy that is in place.
Hmmm I never thought about wearing goggles I guess it could be needed in some situations as you had mentioned.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.