By Disneyland standards, Paris has a lot of very high thrill rollercoasters – namely Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Rock’n’Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith and Space Mountain: Mission 2. These rollercoasters and even their tamer cousins (Big Thunder Mountain and Crush’s Coaster) can be very daunting for a first-timer, so here’s a few tips to help you cool your nerves and enjoy the ride!
Space Mountain: Mission 2 is a real killer for this. On some less smooth rollercoasters you might find that your head gets knocked about a lot between the over-shoulder restraints. This can hurt a fair bit, but it’s easy to counter by just keeping your head held back against the head rest to remove unnecessary head movement. Not all rollercoasters need this but as I said – this is a definite for Space Mountain: Mission 2!
DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES
I’ve put this one in block capitals because it’s the most important bit of advice. Most people think that if you shut your eyes then you won’t see all the really scary things and somehow the rollercoaster will just wiz by… This doesn’t work. Closing your eyes will disorientate your brain, making you a lot more likely to feel nauseous. If you keep your eyes open then you’ll be able to see what’s happening and your brain won’t get confused. Think about it this way: your brain interprets the world around it from your senses. If your eyes are closed then the only sensory data it will be receiving is that there’s a hell load of g-forces going on. That’s pretty confusing for a brain. But if your eyes are open then you can see that you’re on a rollercoaster, you can see where you’re going next and your brain can work it all out and say: “yeah, you know what, this is actually really fun!”. The other thing is of course that Disney Imagineers fill their rollercoasters with beautiful things to look at, so your really missing out on all the fun… Like supernovas…
Ignore the safety briefs
OK, well don’t actually!! If you do happen to have a heart conditions or back problem or are pregnant, please do pay attention to the safety advice – but realistically most of us don’t have such bad conditions, and if I’m pregnant then I’ll be very confused. It’s easy to stand in that queue and think: “crickey! With all this safety advice, this ride must be designed to kill me!” But this is so far from the truth. Rollercoasters are designed to be safe and they won’t be putting levels of G-Force on you which are actually anywhere near dangerous. These safety messages are just to cover the company’s back and to remind anyone who would already know that it would be a stupid idea to go on a rollercoaster, that maybe this isn’t for them. The point I’m trying to make is – if you know the safety spiel isn’t for you, don’t get terrified by it!
The back is faster.
Well this isn’t really a tip for a rollercoaster newbie, but it’s best to know it anyway. Because of the way gravity works, the back of a rollercoaster train picks up a lot more force than the front. The back end pushes instead of the front end pulling, so to speak. The longer a train is, the greater this effect is, so it is really apparent on Big Thunder Mountain. If you want a real thrill try to make your way as far back as possible. And then shut your eyes, ha ha ha!
Take a deep breath.
Rollercoasters are meant to be fun. And they are! You shouldn’t let yourself get worked up about it all, but if you are sat in that train waiting to leave the station and you’re beginning to panic: just close your eyes for a moment and take a couple of deep breaths. Hold on tight to the handle bars and get ready to SCREAM AS LOUD AS YOU CAN!
Sing ABBA hits
Hits such as ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Voulez-vous’ are clinically proven to calm nerves on rollercoasters. OK, you’ve got me. This one is a lie. Please don’t try it. PLEASE.
The main thing to remember is just to have fun. Go into it with a positive mind set and DON’T close your eyes. I promise you, rollercoasters are one of humanity’s best inventions! Slice bread has nothing on Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster.