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The Enduring Appeal of Roller Coasters

The Millennium Force roller coaster at the Cedar Point theme park in Sandusky, Ohio.
The Millennium Force roller coaster at the Cedar Point theme park in Sandusky, Ohio.

Roller coasters -- love 'em or hate 'em --- they have become the definitive attraction of theme parks worldwide, and can impress even the most sensitive stomachs among us.

Brooklyn's Coney Island had America's first roller coaster in 1884, which stood at 45 feet and reached a top speed of 6 mph. Now, almost 120 years later, the scope of design and imagination has been pushed to the limits, with designers now taking riders 400 feet into the air at speeds as high as 120 miles per hour, constantly reinventing one of America's pastimes to bring us the utmost thrill and excitement.

Intrepid reporter Kevin Niedermier -- from station WKSU in Kent, Ohio -- reports live as he rides the Millennium Force roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Guests:

Tim Baldwin, writer for Amusement Today. In charge of Golden Tickets awards, which ranks roller coasters around the world.

Sandor Kernacs, president of Intamin Ltd., a firm which designs rides for amusement parks

Kevin Niedermier, reporter for WKSU in Kent, Ohio

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.