The Wolfram|Alpha Team

Take a Ride with Wolfram|Alpha’s Amusement Park Data

August 30, 2013 —

Though summer’s winding down in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s not too late to take a trip out to your local amusement park. We’ve added a bunch of new amusement park data to Wolfram|Alpha, so whether you’re plotting your vacation or just hoping to learn some cool facts about your favorite rides, we’re sure to have a query that’ll give you a thrill.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re looking to take a trip to the roller coaster capital of the Midwest, Cedar Point. On the ride down, you might be able to impress your friends (depending on what kind of friends you have) by letting them know that Cedar Point sprawls out over 363.2 acres, more than three times the size of Vatican City. If you’re looking to make a long weekend of it, Wolfram|Alpha will let you know what other amusement parks are nearby, plus a list of the closest cities in case you want to do some sightseeing:

Cedar Point

It works the other way around, too. If you’re thinking instead of taking a trip to visit Wolfram Research headquarters in Champaign, Illinois (and who wouldn’t want to?), you can use Wolfram|Alpha to return a map of all the closest amusement parks:

Amusement parks within 175 miles of Champaign, IL

We can inform you about amusement parks outside the US as well, such as Tokyo Disneyland (which just celebrated its 30th anniversary this April). We even have historical park data available—though Coney Island’s famous Astroland closed down in 2008, it still lives on at Wolfram|Alpha:


The real excitement, of course, is in the rides. Not only can Wolfram|Alpha give you a list of rides for a given park, it can break down their stats to let you know just how wild—or how tame, if you’re less of a thrill-seeker—they’ll be.

You may have heard of Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest roller coaster, but you may be a bit less clear on the other details, such as where it is. Wolfram|Alpha’s output for “Kingda Ka” informs us that it’s part of New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure, then goes on to describe its 128 mph top speed, its forces five times the strength of Earth’s gravity…

Kingda Ka

…and, oh yeah, its 416-foot drop, roughly the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Kingda Ka maximum drop, height of the Great Pyramid of Giza

If you’re really looking for extremes, Wolfram|Alpha can tell you where to go. Abu Dhabi’s Formula Rossa coaster tops our list of 10 fastest amusement park rides…

10 fastest amusement park rides

…with a max speed that’s one-fifth of the way to the human land speed record. If you value distance over speed, though, you may want to check out some of the longest rides on Earth…

Longest amusement park rides

…such as Japan’s Steel Dragon 2000, which takes four minutes to travel its 1.54 miles.

If you can’t travel that far, you can use Wolfram|Alpha to tell you the fastest amusement park ride in your state or find out which rides near your hometown have a certain number of loops (or inversions):

Amusement park rides within 100 miles of Washington, DC with at least 4 loops

Wolfram|Alpha also has information on height restrictions, ride designers, and even construction costs. Going back to where we started, if you’ve had the joy of riding Cedar Point’s Millennium Force, you may be tempted to start thinking about how much it would cost to build your own copy. A quick check to Wolfram|Alpha later…

Construction cost of Millennium Force

Maybe it’d be easier just to buy a season pass.

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