Journey Of Your Life: Behind the twists and turns of the worldwide theme park trade

Smiling man and woman on amusement park carousel. Young couple on horse carousel ride at fairground.


It appears nothing makes you are feeling extra alive than considering you’re about to die.

It’s feeling that’s spawned a multi-billion-dollar world amusement trade.

Folks journey all over the world – 1000’s of kilometres – to check their nerve and get that rush.

However what occurs when delight turns to catastrophe?

Within the newest 7NEWS Highlight particular Journey Of Your Life, Dawn host Natalie Barr travelled to satisfy thrillseekers, amusement journey operators, and people left behind after horrific journey accidents.

Chilly discomfort

The earliest curler coasters had been icy buildings constructed within the snowy mountains of Russia within the 18th century.

Again then, individuals rode sleds on ice-covered, wood supported slopes.

However they quickly grew to become mechanical marvels.

Roller coasters originated in Russia with ice-covered platforms.
Curler coasters originated in Russia with ice-covered platforms. Credit score: 7NEWS Highlight

“The primary credited curler coaster goes again to 1884 in Coney Island,” Nicholas Laschkewitsch, a mechanical engineer and theme park fanatic advised Highlight.

“That set up at Coney Island is what began this crazed obsession of constructing all of them all over the world.”

Australia was on the forefront of the amusement park craze, with Melbourne’s Luna Park opening in 1912.

The Scenic Railway at Luna Park in Melbourne pictured 100 years ago (left) and today.
The Scenic Railway at Luna Park in Melbourne pictured 100 years in the past (left) and right this moment. Credit score: Equipped

Now, 109 years later, it’s the house of the oldest persevering with curler coaster on earth, the Scenic Railway, which nonetheless operates to at the present time.

It’s one among solely three left on this planet and the one one with a standing brake and a journey operator on board.

Motion-packed accidents

With Coney Island already established as an amusement journey hub, and Disneyland opening in 1955, the race was on to construct the tallest, quickest, wettest and most horrifying thrill rides of all.

And the wildest, most harmful place of all was Motion Park, situated simply over an hour north-west of New York Metropolis.

It opened in 1978 and shortly grew to become standard with locals and vacationers.

“For individuals who grew up in New Jersey and went to Motion Park … it was like their Disneyland,” Laschkewitsch stated.

The park was the brainchild Gene Mulvihill, the full-time proprietor and part-time mad scientist famend for turning a blind eye to security.

Former Action Park employee Faith Anderson.
Former Motion Park worker Religion Anderson. Credit score: 7NEWS Highlight

“He paid individuals off … to simply look the opposite manner,” Religion Anderson, a former Motion Park worker, stated.

That lack of security precipitated numerous accidents and a number of other deaths.

“Folks misplaced enamel … numerous the children would return to highschool with every kind of, of abrasions and scars and journeys to the hospital,” Anderson stated.

Those that survived wore their wounds with satisfaction.

“It was nearly like they had been proud they received harm at Motion Park,” Laschkewitsch advised Highlight.

Mechanical engineer and theme park fanatic Nicholas Laschkewitsch.
Mechanical engineer and theme park fanatic Nicholas Laschkewitsch. Credit score: 7NEWS Highlight

“It was like a trophy, a battle wound…they survived Motion Park.”

Accidents and deaths included electrical shocks, fractured vertebrae, impalings and decapitation.

“Essentially the most harmful journey that was over there may be the Wavepool,” Anderson stated.

“It was an enormous pool, it was 20 toes (6m) deep and also you couldn’t see the underside of it.

“The waves had been big and it stored operating all day lengthy till on the finish of the day.

The infamous Action Park wave pool.
The notorious Motion Park wave pool. Credit score: Equipped

“I used to be there the someday that they discovered any individual (lifeless).

“It was re-opened the following day – there was no pause.”

Motion Park closed in 1996, with six deaths attributed to the park in its 18 years of operation.

Deadly fireball

In 2017, 18-year previous Tyler Jarrell and new girlfriend Keziah Lewis went to the Ohio State Truthful.

“I keep in mind we went to the honest and that’s about it,” Lewis stated.

“After which waking up within the hospital.”

The couple received on a journey known as the Fireball.

Half manner by the journey, one of many arms broke off.

Video caught the moment Tyler Jarrell and Keziah Lewis were thrown from the ride.
Video caught the second Tyler Jarrell and Keziah Lewis had been thrown from the journey. Credit score: Equipped

A bystander filmed the incident, which confirmed Keziah flying by the air.

Tyler was thrown 15m and died immediately.

His mom Amber Duffield discovered about her son’s demise on the native information.

“once they stated one male is lifeless … I simply stopped,” Duffield stated.

“I known as my mom and I advised my mom, I stated, ‘Mom, Tyler was on the honest and he’s not answering his telephone … I feel he’s the one’.”


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