Home » Ride On The Wild Side: 10 Unconventional Coaster Vehicles That Push the Limits

    Ride On The Wild Side: 10 Unconventional Coaster Vehicles That Push the Limits

    Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

    Roller coasters are some of the most thrilling theme park attractions. One element that adds to the excitement of these rides can be the unique and innovative designs of the roller coaster ride vehicles. Over the years, roller coaster manufacturers have created new models that not only ensure safety but also enhance the overall ride experience. These ride vehicles help the ride to become an entirely different experience. From motorbikes to bizarre flying cages, let’s look at some of the most unique roller coaster ride vehicles.

    1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

    Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
    Image: Universal

    Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure features one of the most unique ride vehicles of any roller coaster in the world. Ripped straight from the Harry Potter movies, riders can board either Hagrid’s motorbike or ride in the sidecar. Each seat provides a completely different ride experience. The motorbike allows riders to straddle the seat and lean forward to hold on to the handlebars. The sidecar, however, is more like a traditional coaster vehicle with a lap bar. The ride vehicles add to the incredibly immersive theming of this coaster.

    2. Pipeline: The Surf Coaster

    Pipeline The Surf Coaster
    Image: SeaWorld

    This new stand-up coaster just opened at SeaWorld Orlando, and it features one-of-a-kind stand-up coaster vehicles. These new surf vehicles are unlike any stand-up coaster that came before it. You truly feel as if you are riding the waves as you dip and weave through the track. The vehicles resemble large surfboards, and the seats allow for much more freedom of movement than other stand-up coasters due to the flexible restraint system. Pipeline: The Surf Coaster is setting the bar high for the future of stand-up coasters.

    3. Ice Mountain Bobsled Roller Coaster

    Ice Mountain Bobsled Roller Coaster
    Image: Enchanted Forest

    Ice Mountain Bobsled Roller Coaster is located at Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon, and it is not to be confused with bobsled model roller coasters like the late Disaster Transport at Cedar Point. While not the most technologically advanced, this coaster stands out because of its bizarre ride vehicles. These cars are boot-shaped and feature a plexiglass enclosure. That’s right, you are enclosed within the ride vehicles while riding. This is likely due to the very narrow tunnels that the coaster zooms in and out of. The front of the car does feature holes to allow air to flow through, and they only seat up to 2 adults or 3 small children.

    4. & 5. DarKoaster and Arctic Rescue

    Image: Busch Gardens

    DarKoaster recently opened at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. This indoor launch coaster features ride vehicles that are meant to resemble snowmobiles. In fact, it is the first all-indoor straddle coaster. As riders glide and zip through over 2,000 feet of track including multiple launches, riders will attempt to outrun both a frigid storm and supernatural forces. Over at SeaWorld San Diego, a similar coaster has just opened that includes almost identical ride vehicles to DarKoaster. Arctic Rescue sends rides on their snowmobiles to save the Arctic animals as the snow melts. Both coasters are marketed as family-friendly coasters and reach speeds of about 40 miles per hour.

    6. Time Warp

    Time Warp
    Image: Canada’s Wonderland

    This flying coaster is manufactured by Zamperla and is known as one of the most painful coaster models ever made. Riders hoping to brave Time Warp at Canada’s Wonderland will have to be fastened into a horizontal cage. You read that right. The ride vehicles are cages that force riders to lay horizontally while holding their head up to see where they are going. Around the riders’ faces, there are steel bars. Even some of the biggest coaster enthusiasts claim this coaster is extremely painful as it jostles riders around in uncomfortable restraints. It is likely these coaster vehicles will not have you saying, “Let’s do the Time Warp again.”

    7. The Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain

    Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain
    Image: Indiana Beach

    Located at Indiana Beach this former dark ride turned roller coaster features a few distinctive elements. The first of which is its ride vehicles. The Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain has minecart-themed vehicles that seat two passengers facing forward and two passengers facing backward. They are also fully enclosed within mesh netting. This protects riders from the narrow passageways of the abandoned mine. Another exciting feature of this coaster is the elevator lift hill. The coaster is one of the most unique coasters out there and provides mild, family-friendly thrills.

    8. TRON Lightcycle /  Run and TRON Lightcycle Power Run

    Tron Lightcycle Run
    Image: Disney

    The TRON theme coasters at both Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Shanghai Disneyland feature some rather divisive coaster vehicles. While they are unique in that they allow riders to board their own Lightcycle, many guests have complained that the cycles are not very size inclusive and can be somewhat uncomfortable. Guests who are able to ride on the Lightcycle vehicles will lean forward and hold on as they speed headfirst through the GRID.

    9. Toboggan

    Image: Little Amerricka

    Toboggan is located at Little Amerricka in Marshall, Wisconsin. The park’s website lists this coaster as one of only three of its kind still operating, however, it is possible that it may be the last permanent installment of this type of coaster. It is likely you may only find this traditionally portable coaster model in the European fair circuits as many of the other installments have since been closed and removed. Toboggan features a similar ride vehicle to the previously discussed Ice Mountain Bobsled Roller Coaster. These boot-shaped cars enclose riders inside a steel mesh cage. While it resembles a questionable carnival ride, the coaster is actually said to be enjoyable and a coaster that you want to check out if you are looking for a unique coaster credit.

    10. Tranan

    Image: Skara Sommerland

    Located at Skara Sommerland in Sweden, this coaster has vehicles that resemble a wing coaster, suspended coaster, and a bobsled coaster all in one. Tranan means crane in Swedish, and the name is perfect considering this coaster has large flying cranes on its coaster vehicles. As the crane glides along the track, passenger cars are suspended on either side of the track. These cars hold up to four passengers. What makes it even more incredible is that while the crane flies through inversions, the riders always maintain an upright position. There is genuinely no other coaster like it.

    Have you ever ridden on any of these unusual coaster vehicles, or have any of them made your must-ride list? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.