Check Out This Car Wash for Roller Coasters

August 5, 2020, 2:53 PM · Worried about sitting down on a dirty roller coaster? With the pandemic keeping fans away from theme parks, operators need to do everything they can to keep their attractions safe. Every effort to promote safety gives parks one more opportunity to win back guests during the most difficult season in the industry's history.

So of course vendors are going to do whatever they can to promote products to meet this need, especially when parks are slashing capital spending for anything not Covid-related.

Check out this product from ride manufacturer Zamperla — the Wash-Through Ride System. It's basically a car wash for roller coaster trains.

Zamperla Wash-Through Ride System

"The wash consists of a sanitizing solution mist, not alcohol-based, colorless, and odorless with a biocidal action up to 18 hours over the surfaces without leaving the vehicles wet or humid and without ruining the fiberglass," Zamperla said on its website. The sanitizing cycle takes 45 seconds, the company said — 15 seconds to spray the vehicle and the 30 seconds after that for "activating the biocidal action" on the sprayed surfaces.

A park could install the structure between the unload and load sections of a platform, or if both unload and load happen at the same spot, a suspended version of the structure could be installed to allow guests to get off and on the train without barrier. The sanitizing mist even could be sprayed while people are on the train.

Zamperla is known to many for its eye-catching, ride-filled booths at the annual IAAPA Expo in Orlando, where company CEO and President Alberto Zamperla was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame last year.

What do you think? Would a product such as this give you any peace of mind when visiting a park?

Replies (10)

August 5, 2020 at 3:08 PM

I'm not surprised systems like this will be coming to attractions soon, but I have a really hard time imagining it being feasible with riders going through the cleaning cycle with the ride vehicle.

August 5, 2020 at 3:33 PM

Gack!! No! Not unless it’s guaranteed odorless and doesn’t leave a nasty, slimy film on the coaster. And don’t even think about spraying it with me on it!

Yes, I realize that if I really stopped to think about what’s crawling on the average coaster seat, I’d probably be grossed out. But I choose not to think like that cause then I’d never leave the house. Plus, from what I’ve read, it sounds like COVID doesn’t live on surfaces near as long as they thought at the start of this disaster.

August 5, 2020 at 3:51 PM

Ah yes, nothing screams fun like a bunch of chemicals sprayed in my face.

August 5, 2020 at 4:06 PM

Hey, it's better than getting sprayed in a 4D theater.

August 5, 2020 at 4:55 PM

"Worried about sitting down on a dirty roller coaster?" No.

"Would a product such as this give you any peace of mind when visiting a park?" It'd actually give me less, because rather than sitting in something I'd likely be exposed to at any ordinary place in the world, I'll now be sitting in a concoction of unknown chemicals I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise.

"What do you think?" That this whole "everything must by hyper sanitized" thing has gone too far and is actually doing more harm than good. We're dealing with an airborne illness, so masks and distancing make sense. Cleaning every single surface so it's spotless and putting on hand sanitizer fifty times a day is likely doing very little to reduce COVID exposure (which experts have acknowledged doesn't contract easily through surfaces) and is instead killing off all of the useful germs and bacteria that help keep the human immune system strong. When a pathogen comes along that can infect you by getting in your pants and crawling up your *censored* we can talk. Until then, I find concepts like this most of the way into Onion territory.

August 5, 2020 at 6:33 PM

I have no problem with this considering the fact that I have never been sick more often than in the year I spent working in MK and going to theme parks 2-3 times a week recreationally. Even without COVID, theme parks are a big petri dish and there are so many shared touch surfaces, and I mean shared surfaces with people who may have varying degrees of hygiene standards. Obviously washing hands after touching shared surfaces is the best approach, but not always practical.

August 6, 2020 at 6:14 AM

Yes, I would definitely feel safer if the park uses this equipment.
Even medical doctors resisted for decades to wash their hands before surgery, so it does not surprise me that people will initially show some resistance to this.

August 6, 2020 at 10:36 AM

2024 Headline: Spike in Cancer Diagnosis Linked to New Roller Coaster Disinfectant.

No good deed goes unpunished.

August 6, 2020 at 12:36 PM

Absolutely not.

August 8, 2020 at 7:25 PM

I would be fine with this if I'm not on the train when it gets sprayed and sanitized. Besides if people are on the train, the intended surfaces for sanitation would be covered by the body in the seat, thus reducing the effectiveness of the process.
"The wash consists of a sanitizing solution mist, not alcohol-based, colorless, and odorless with a biocidal action up to 18 hours over the surfaces . . "
If the "biocidal action" is effective for up to 18 hours it would stand to reason this is a once, maybe twice a day process, which could be done in a storage area or by cycling an empty train to the brake run outside the station and completing the process there as needed. The effectiveness and need for re-application would depend on such things as weather and passenger numbers/use, right down to the type of clothing (or lack of) the guests are wearing.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive