The Most Popular Amusement Park Ride: A Ranking of Fan Favorites

Choose the amusement park ride you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 05:47
Step right up and join the excitement as we embark on a thrilling adventure to discover the most popular amusement park ride of all time! Here at StrawPoll, we've created a spectacular ranking where you can cast your vote, or even suggest a ride that's missing from our list. From the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to the magical carousels, we've got them all. So fasten your seatbelts, hold on tight, and let your voice be heard as we uncover which ride will reign supreme in the world of amusement park attractions. Don't miss out on this exhilarating ride - vote now and be a part of this captivating journey that will leave you wanting more!

What Is the Most Popular Amusement Park Ride?

  1. 1
    Roller coasters are the most popular amusement park ride. They are thrilling, fast-paced, and have a long history in amusement parks around the world.
    A roller coaster is a thrilling amusement park ride that consists of a track with steep drops, sharp turns, and exhilarating speeds. Passengers board a train-like vehicle and are secured in with restraints such as a lap bar or over-the-shoulder harness. The train is then propelled along the track, using gravity and sometimes additional mechanisms like motors to generate thrills and excitement. Roller coasters are designed to provide a thrilling and adrenaline-pumping experience for riders.
    • Maximum Speed: Varies, can reach speeds of over 120 mph (193 km/h)
    • Maximum Height: Varies, can exceed 400 feet (122 meters)
    • Drop Height: Varies, can exceed 300 feet (91 meters)
    • Track Length: Varies, can exceed 10,000 feet (3,048 meters)
    • Number of Inversions: Varies, some roller coasters feature multiple inversions like loops, corkscrews, or barrel rolls
  2. 2
    Ferris wheel
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Ferris wheels are iconic amusement park rides that offer a panoramic view of the surrounding area. They are popular for their gentle, relaxing ride and are suitable for all ages.
  3. 3
    Carousels are classic amusement park rides that have been around for over a century. They are popular for their beautiful, ornate designs and gentle, circular motion.
    The Carousel is a classic amusement park ride that features a rotating platform with a variety of decorated horses or animals for riders to sit on. It is a popular attraction enjoyed by people of all ages.
    • Number of Horses/Animals: Usually 20-60
    • Height: Around 15-30 feet (4.5-9 meters)
    • Speed: Typically 2-6 rotations per minute (rpm)
    • Materials: Wood, metal, and fiberglass
    • Decorations: Vibrant and intricate designs, often featuring lights, mirrors, and music
  4. 4

    Drop tower

    Drop towers are thrilling amusement park rides that offer an intense adrenaline rush. They are popular for their dramatic, sudden drops from great heights.
    The Drop Tower is an iconic amusement park ride that offers an exhilarating experience of freefalling from great heights. Riders are elevated to a significant height and then dropped suddenly, experiencing a thrilling sensation of weightlessness as they plummet towards the ground.
    • Height: Up to 300 feet (91 meters)
    • Drop Speed: Approximately 50-80 mph (80-130 km/h)
    • Number of Riders: Varies, typically 8-24 riders per cycle
    • Duration: Around 1-2 minutes (including ascent and drop)
    • G-Force: Up to 4-5 Gs during descent
  5. 5
    Water ride
    Jérémy-Günther-Heinz Jähnick · GFDL 1.2
    Water rides are popular amusement park rides that offer a refreshing escape from the heat. They can take the form of flume rides, log flumes, or water coasters.
    The Water ride is a popular amusement park ride that provides participants with an exciting and refreshing experience. It typically involves a boat, raft, or other watercraft, designed to navigate through water channels, pools, or artificial rivers.
    • Capacity: Usually accommodates between 4 to 12 riders per boat.
    • Speed: Can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour).
    • Water Depth: Ranges from shallow pools to deeper channels, often reaching a minimum depth of 3 feet (0.9 meters).
    • Track Length: Varies greatly, typically ranging from a few hundred feet to over a mile.
    • Splash Element: Includes drops, slides, or other elements that create splashes or waves, adding thrill and excitement.
  6. 6
    Bumper cars
    Albin Olsson · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Bumper cars

    Max and Harold Stoehrer
    Bumper cars are fun, interactive amusement park rides that allow riders to bump into each other in a safe and controlled environment. They are popular for their competitive, playful nature.
    Bumper cars, also known as dodgems or bumper cars, are a popular amusement park ride where participants drive small electric vehicles equipped with rubber bumpers. The main objective of the ride is to collide with other bumper cars in a controlled environment.
    • Ride Type: Amusement Park Ride
    • Vehicle Type: Electric Cars
    • Number of Participants: Multiple
    • Drive Mechanism: Electric Motor
    • Control System: Steering Wheel and Pedals
  7. 7

    Swing ride

    Thomas H. Grey
    Swing rides are classic amusement park rides that offer a gentle, swinging motion. They are popular for their relaxing, peaceful ride and are suitable for all ages.
    The Swing ride, also known as the Chair-O-Planes or Flying Chairs, is a classic amusement park ride that is enjoyed by riders of all ages. This thrilling attraction consists of multiple swing chairs attached to a rotating top. As the ride spins, the chairs swing outwards, giving riders a sensation of soaring through the air.
    • Height: Approximately 15 meters
    • Capacity: Up to 48 riders
    • Power Source: Electricity
    • Number of Swing Chairs: 16
    • Max Speed: 12 revolutions per minute
  8. 8
    Haunted house
    John Anster Fitzgerald · Public domain
    Haunted houses are popular amusement park attractions that offer a spooky, suspenseful experience. They are popular for their scary, immersive environments and are suitable for older children and adults.
    The Haunted House is a thrilling and spooky amusement park ride that offers visitors an immersive experience into a house filled with haunted surprises. It is designed to create an eerie and bone-chilling atmosphere that keeps riders on the edge of their seats.
    • Type of ride: Indoor dark ride
    • Duration: 5-10 minutes
    • Capacity: Approximately 4-6 riders per car
    • Scare level: Medium to high
    • Theme: Horror, ghosts, haunted house
  9. 9
    Simulator ride
    Phillip Lucas · CC0
    Simulator rides are popular amusement park attractions that offer a virtual reality experience. They can simulate a variety of experiences, such as roller coasters, space travel, or race car driving.
    The Simulator ride is a popular amusement park ride that provides a realistic and thrilling experience by simulating various environments and scenarios. Passengers are seated in a cabin-like structure equipped with a high-tech motion system, visual display screens, and synchronized sound effects. The ride creates the illusion of movement and immerses riders in a virtual world, giving them a sense of adventure and excitement.
    • Motion System: Advanced hydraulic or electromechanical system that replicates movements and forces.
    • Visual Display: Multiple screens displaying high-definition visuals to simulate different environments.
    • Audio System: Surround sound system designed to enhance the overall experience with synchronized audio effects.
    • Virtual Reality (VR): Some simulator rides incorporate VR headsets to provide an even more immersive experience.
    • Interactive Controls: Passengers may have control panels to interact with the simulated environment.
  10. 10
    Zip line
    Mateus2019 · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Zip lines are popular amusement park rides that offer a thrilling, high-speed ride through the air. They are popular for their unique, adventurous experience and are suitable for older children and adults.
    The Zip line is a thrilling and popular amusement park ride that provides an exhilarating experience of gliding through the air at high speeds. Participants are securely harnessed and attached to a cable suspended between two elevated platforms or structures. The ride typically begins with a platform launch, allowing gravity to propel the rider along the cable to the landing platform.
    • Maximum Speed: Up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/hr)
    • Maximum Weight Limit: Usually between 250 - 300 pounds (113 - 136 kg)
    • Cable Length: Varies greatly, ranging from a few hundred feet to several thousand feet
    • Ride Duration: Typically lasts between 30 seconds to a few minutes
    • Height from Ground: Varying heights measured in feet, often between 50 to 500 feet (15 to 152 meters)

Missing your favorite amusement park ride?


Ranking factors for popular amusement park ride

  1. Thrill factor
    The level of excitement and adrenaline rush a ride offers is crucial in determining its popularity. This can include elements such as speed, height, loops, inversions, and sudden drops.
  2. Safety and reliability
    Guests need to feel secure on a ride, knowing that it's well-maintained and safe. This includes factors such as ride history, adherence to safety regulations, and absence of accidents or incidents.
  3. Ride capacity and wait times
    Popular rides should be able to accommodate a large number of guests while keeping wait times reasonably low. High-capacity rides can help manage lines and improve overall visitor experience.
  4. Uniqueness and innovation
    Rides that provide new experiences or unique twists on traditional attractions tend to draw more attention and interest. This can include revolutionary ride technology, immersive theming, or exciting storylines.
  5. Family-friendliness
    A ride's appeal to a broad age range can boost its popularity. Rides that are suitable for younger children, as well as thrilling enough for teenagers and adults, have a wider appeal.
  6. Repeat ride-ability
    Rides that guests want to experience multiple times are a sign of a popular attraction. Factors like varying ride experiences, changing scenery, or random elements can keep guests coming back for more.
  7. Visual appeal
    A visually striking ride can draw attention and make it stand out among competing attractions. This includes both the ride's design and the surrounding area's theming and landscaping.
  8. Comfort
    A comfortable ride experience can make a big difference in popularity. Factors like smooth transitions, cushioned seats, and minimized motion sickness can play a role in overall enjoyment.
  9. Awards and accolades
    Rides that have received recognition and accolades from industry organizations or publications can help solidify their status as a popular attraction.
  10. Guest reviews and feedback
    Positive reviews and word-of-mouth from park guests can be an important indicator of a ride's popularity. This can be gathered from online platforms, social media, and in-park surveys.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular amusement park ride. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or ride is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 199 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each ride once every 24 hours. The rank of each ride is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular amusement park ride

Amusement parks are a popular destination for thrill-seekers and families alike, offering a variety of rides and attractions to enjoy. From roller coasters to water rides, there's something for everyone at these parks. But which ride reigns supreme as the most popular? It's a hotly debated topic, with enthusiasts and casual visitors alike weighing in on their favorite attractions. Some argue that roller coasters are the ultimate thrill ride, while others prefer water rides or classic attractions like Ferris wheels. Ultimately, the answer may vary depending on the park and the individual preferences of its visitors. At StrawPoll, we've gathered data from thousands of polls to help shed some light on this question. Read on to discover which amusement park ride is the most popular according to our users!

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