Vote of the week: Should high-speed roller coasters provide goggles?
Written by Robert Niles
I've been getting more interested in the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park as it approaches its debut in October.Tweet
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.
Ferrari World Director of Maintenance Wayne Meadows tries on the goggles. Image from the park's promotion video on Formula Rossa.
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!
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