Coaster Steeples

Friday, March 12, 2010 10:56 PM

Has anybody else ever wondered why they put steeples on some wooden coasters? Just a random thought, but honostly why would they do it?


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Saturday, March 13, 2010 12:45 AM
LostKause's avatar

Decoration? That's my guess. I don't see a functioning purpose for a steeple at the top of a lift hill, but they're pretty.


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Saturday, March 13, 2010 9:21 AM
Mamoosh's avatar

So people can pray before going down the first drop?

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Saturday, March 13, 2010 9:26 AM

I believe the correct architectural term is cupola, not steeple. They have been present from the earliest days of roller coasters (i.e. Leap the Dips has one). They are simply decorative and usually meant to indicate the top of the first hill.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010 10:21 AM

As I understand it, it had something to do with protecting the area where the lift chain ends and the car transitions to gravity powered operation.


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Saturday, March 13, 2010 11:14 AM
James Whitmore's avatar

Did the cupola/steeple also act as a lightning rod? Just a thought.

Last edited by James Whitmore, Saturday, March 13, 2010 11:15 AM

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 7:35 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

If it did, it would've been much easier to just use a lightning rod (which most coasters have up there anyway).

Edit my completely uneducated guess would be to keep rain off something important up there.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, March 14, 2010 7:35 PM

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 7:42 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

On a side note, it is my understanding that some coasters heights were advertised based on the height of the cupola rather than the track itself. It was an easy was to market a ride taller than it actually was.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:58 PM

Ooh, we're getting into cupola size? That really is coaster porn. :)


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