Do you like thrilling rides like roller coasters? What about wet rides like water slides? Have you ever been on a ride that combines the best of these two worlds? If not, you need to go for a ride on a water coaster!

Traditional water slides pump water to the top, so that riders can then ride the water down to the bottom. The water reduces friction, allowing sliders to slip quickly down the slide. Water slides often feature twists and turns that make the ride even more exciting. Riders may travel on a mat, a tube or nothing at all between them and the slide’s surface.

Water coasters add even more fun, because they combine the wet fun of water slides with the thrills of roller coasters. In addition to descents, they also feature ascents. Rather than sliding directly on a surface, water coaster riders usually travel in large, custom-made rafts that resemble large tubes.

Water coasters operate using three different types of technology. Some water coasters are powered by high-speed conveyor belts. Others use water jets that spray water to force the raft along its path.

The newest water coasters feature special motors called linear induction motors. These motors create special moving magnetic fields to generate motion.

Special magnetic rafts are used with linear induction motors to produce the thrilling ride of a water coaster. The same technology has also been used in Japan to power special magnetic levitation trains.

Water coasters can be found in amusement parks and water parks around the world. Splashin’ Safari, a water park in Santa Claus, Indiana, features two water coasters. The Wildebeest was the first to be built and it featured linear induction motor technology.

In 2012, the park added a second water coaster — called The Mammoth — that also features linear induction motors. The Mammoth is currently the longest water coaster in the world!

20 Join the Discussion

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  1. For the first time since I’ve started visiting Wonderopolis, I’ve gotten the WONDER right! I went to Universal Orlando Studios, and they had a lot of water rides in Islands of Adventure. I think tomorrow’s will be about people’s hobbies!!!

    Emily

    • Way to go, Emily! You are SUPER when it comes to guessing! All that time WONDERing and imagining has paid off! :) We are so happy that you have been able to experience a water coaster on your own– we hope you had a dry towel available after you got off the ride! Great guess for tomorrow’s Wonder! Thanks for commenting today! :)

  2. I once went on a water ride that I didn’t even know it was a roller coaster. I went on the raft, I passed a gate and saw dinosaurs, but there was a car upside down on the river, then a boat with small dinosaurs eating meat, then there was a sign that said, “Caution, danger, do not enter.” Then we went up a power plant building, there were broken wires and broken cages, even a dinosaur spit water on us, then when we reached the top a T.REX was in front of us. I thought I was a goner, but SPLASH, we went down out of the power plant. I was so paralyzed that I couldn’t move my face until we got candy at the gift shop. I also went on some more rides, but that is enough for today so bye. :-) :-D

    • What an exciting adventure you encountered, Carlos! Power plants, dinosaurs and water rafts– oh my! You are a SUPER story teller and we love your WONDERful connection to today’s wet and wild ride! We think your water coaster ride sounds like a SUPER fun time– we are glad you “held on tight!” Thank you for sharing your AWESOME comment, Carlos! :)

    • Great connection, Emily! We WONDER if you have been on that ride, too! Or have you been researching water coasters on your own? We think you ROCK, Wonder Friend! :)

  3. Dear Wonderopolis,

    I loved today’s wonder! Sorry that I didn’t leave a comment for a while. I was too busy in the past week.

    Remember back on Wonder of the Day® #676 – What is gluten? I thought wonder of the Day® #677 was about an ocean animal and I was wrong. Wonder of the day® #677 was not about an ocean animal. Wonder of the day® #677 was Where are the Galápagos Islands?

    1 question: why are you adding the registered sign each time I type in “Wonder of the Day®”?

    This is my very last comment I am putting on Wonderopolis because I have school.

    Goodbye, Wonderopolis, forever!

    TJ

    • Hi TJ, we are SUPER excited for you as you prepare for a new school year! We can’t wait to continue WONDERing with you and your classmates! You have been a guessing champion and have done a great job trying to predict the next day’s Wonder!

      The ® stands for registered trademark, also known as a service mark. Every time “Wonder of the Day®” is written, we need to put the ® at the end. We Wonder if you can do some more research about the history of the registered trademark symbol, or other places it’s located. Some products or services that have registered trademarks associated with them may have a patent, too. Check out the Wonders below for more information!

      Wonder #99– What is a Patent? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/who-invented-lego-blocks/
      Wonder #639– Who Invented Lego® Blocks? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/who-invented-lego-blocks/

      We hope you have a great time at school! We look forward to WONDERing with you soon! :)

  4. I loved today’s wonder! :)
    I have not read the past 2 or 3 wonders yet!
    The video about top 10 famous baby names in the world was interesting! :)

    • We are so happy you enjoyed today’s splashing Wonder, Sophie! We have lots of Wonders to share for great Wonder Friends like you! We love that you are using your imagination and learning new and exciting things with us! Keep up the great work! :)

  5. Love this wonder. I have once been on a water coaster at King’s Island. I got soaked from riding that water ride. Have you been on one before?

    • WOHOO, Julie! We hope the water coaster at King’s Island helped cool you off on a hot Ohio summer day! We WONDER if you rode any other cool rides while you were at the amusement park? We LOVE to ride water coasters here at Wonderopolis– our favorite one has a slow rise to the top and a big splash of water at the end!! :)

    • Great question, Josh! We are always WONDERing about cool new ideas, themes and ways to learn with our Wonder Friends! We search online for different images, videos and information to share with you and your classmates. We hope you enjoyed WONDERing about a water coaster today! :)

  6. I remember getting on one at a place called bush garden. I got so wet and so miserable cause I was wearing clothes. (Why does a roller coaster park wave a water ride?)

    • How cool that you have been on a water coaster, Tyler J! We bet it isn’t too bad when the sun is shining and the hot weather helps dry your clothes. However, we can understand that standing around in soaking wet clothes isn’t the most fun! We are glad you shared your water coaster experience with us! Thanks so much! :)

    • WOHOO, we’re glad you enjoyed WONDERing about this wild ride with us, Wonder Friend Abby! What an adventure! Have you ever been to a water park, or ridden a water coaster? :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a water coaster?
  • What is a linear induction motor?
  • Where is the world’s longest water coaster?

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Try It Out

Ready to have some wet and wild fun? If you live near a water park, ask a friend or family member to help you plan a fun outing. If not, there are plenty of ways to have some summertime fun right in your own backyard.

Check out these fun ideas for cool and wet activities you can do at home:

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