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If you're looking to understand the terminology on this site a little more, this coaster dictionary is a good place to look. Text in brackets tell you which Thorpe ride the definition could relate to.


Airtime: This is where riders get the sensation that they are flying out of their seat on a ride. Often found whilst cresting a hill on a roller coaster (good airtime can be enjoyed on SAW, Colossus and Detonator).

Air Gates: The holding pen for guests which features gates which open to let riders onto the ride (most major Thorpe rides).


Banked Turn: A turn on a coaster that is tilted to make the ride more comfortable for the rider (Colossus, Nemesis Inferno).

Barrel Roll: A 360º turn on a coaster where the train rotates around the track. Also called Inline Twist; often confused with Heartline Twist (The Swarm).

Brake Run: A section of track designed to slow or stop a coaster train (all coasters).

Nemesis Inferno
Brake Run


Capacity: The number of people that a ride can theoretically process in one hour.

Cobra Roll: An element that resembles a cobra's head. Where the coaster ascends, inverts riders 90 degrees to the side onto a flat piece of track, and then inverts them 90 degrees to the left again into a descent (Colossus).

Cobra Roll

Corkscrew: An inversion on a coaster that looks like just a horizontal corkscrew! On B&M Inverted coasters, they're called Wingovers (Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, The Swarm).



Dark Ride: A ride that is enclosed completely in a building (X:\ No Way Out).

Dive Loop: An inversion where a high section of track twists up and to the side, inverts, and dives down towards the ground at 90 degrees from its entry point in a half vertical loop. The reverse of the dive loop, where a train inclines up the half loop and twists and exits at 90 degrees at the top, is called an Immelman loop (SAW - The Ride, The Swarm).


Element: A piece of track on a coaster designed to give a thrill - such as a vertical loop, for example.


Fastrack: Merlin's queue jumping service, available for an additional charge.

Flat Ride: One where a vehicle is not travelling along a fixed track. Flat Rides are fixed in one position and the entire ride moves to give riders a thrill. Flat Rides can also be called Thrill Rides (Vortex, Rush etc).


G-Force: A measurement of the pressure put on your body when riding a ride - it's how heavy or light you feel, and is caused by your inertia. Standing still on Earth, you are under 1G. Positive Gs make you feel heavy, and Negative Gs make you feel light. Detonator makes you feel very heavy at the bottom of its drop, putting you through +5.5G! The bump halfway down Logger's Leap's drop, that lifts riders a little out of the boat, is a good example of where negative G can be felt.


Headchopper: A part of a coaster where riders experience a "near miss" with another part of the ride, or nearby scenery/themeing. Most common on wooden coasters. Colossus' bunny hop diving under the shop is a good example of this.

Heartline Roll: An inversion where the train performs a 360º roll, keep the average rider's heart at the same height throughout. In order for the centre of the train to rotate on just one axis, the track has to change height (Colossus). Barrel rolls, by contrast, go through a similar motion but the track remains at the same height, and the train rotates around it.

Heartline Roll

Hydraulic Launch: An alternative to a Lift Hill; a much faster way of getting trains to the top of a coaster. Hydraulic launches use hydraulic motors to fire trains along track at high speeds. Requires compressed Nitrogen and Hydraulic Oil to create intense acceleration (Stealth).

Hydraulic Launch


Immelman Loop: The reverse of a dive loop. The train inclines up a half loop and twists and exits at 90 degrees at the top (SAW - The Ride).

SAW - The Ride
Immelman Loop

Inclined Loop: A 360º loop that is neither vertical nor horizontal (a helix). Inclines loops are angled at between 45º - 80º (The Swarm).

The Swarm
Inclined Loop

Inertia: A property of matter that causes it to resist changes in speed or direction.

Inline Twist: See "Barrel Roll" (The Swarm).

Interlocking Corkscrews: Where two separate corkscrews spin around each other. Found only on B&M coasters (wingovers), Nemesis Inferno is the only inverted coaster in the world to feature interlocking corkscrews on the same track.

Nemesis Inferno
Interlocking Corkscrews

Inverted Coaster: One where riders hang below the track (Nemesis Inferno).

Inversion: Where the coaster turns riders upside down (Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, The Swarm, SAW).




Lap Bar: A restraint; a bar that clicks down over a riders lap (X:\ No Way Out, Quantum).

Lift Hill: A section of track which pulls riders to the top of a coaster - usually at the start of the ride. Lift hills can also be found halfway round a track, and there can be more than one on a coaster (Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, SAW, The Swarm, X:\ No Way Out).

The Swarm
Lift Hill

Loading Platform: Where the riders board the ride.




Over the Shoulder Restraint: A restraint that riders pull down over their shoulders onto the chest (Colossus, Nemesis Inferno, Detonator, Vortex, SAW, Samurai, Stealth).





Restraint: In place on rides to prevent riders from falling out of the ride.


Single Rider: Somebody that wants to ride on their own. They can often skip the queues for a spare seat (Stealth).

Station: Where the ride controls are kept, and where the loading platform is situated (all coasters).


Target Audience: The demographic a product is aimed at. Thorpe Park's target audience is teenagers, young adults and couples.

Theming: Scenery, buildings and effects that give a theme to a ride.

Thrill Ride: See "Flat Ride".

Top Hat: Common to launched coasters, a top hat consists of a 90 twist up an incline, a crest over a hill, and then a 90 twist back down the other side so that the train is travelling back in the same direction from which it entered. Top hats are often encountered following a launch (Stealth).

Top Hat

Train: The vehicle which transports riders around the coaster track. Trains come in various shapes and sizes, from The Swarm's wide Wing Rider trains to SAW's 8-person cars.



Vertical Loop: A normal loop-the-loop on a coaster (Colossus, Nemesis Inferno).

Nemesis Inferno
Vertical Loop





Zero-G Roll: A 360º roll that starts with an ascent and ends with a descent (Nemesis Inferno, SAW - The Ride, The Swarm).

The Swarm
Zero G Roll
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