The Giant Drop is a ride at the Dreamworld theme park. It is allegedly the tallest freefall ride in the world.
Basically, it consists of a large tower, about 40 storeys tall. On either side of this tower are rails which the gondolas slide up/down. The gondolas are rows of eight seats, with moulded seats, and roller-coaster style braces over your shoulders which hold you in place very tightly.
They winch the gondola up the tower slightly slower of an elevator, so it takes maybe a minute or two to get up to the top. Basically, while being winched, you go through the following stages:
- This is OK.
- Nice view of the park from here.
- We're getting kind of high now, but that's cool!
- Jesus fucking christ! When are they gonna stop this thing!
Then they finally stop it at the top. They leave you there for almost exactly 45 seconds, so, just when you're getting comfortable and used to the height, they drop you.
The whole gondola falls straight down the virtical rails, and takes about 4 seconds to descend the 120m vertical drop, reaching about 140km/h or so. Then, using some electromagnetic infrastructure embedded in the rails at the bottom, you decelerate at around 4Gs, losing all your speed in about a second.
Freefall is always cool, your guts just fly around inside your torso, and the adrenaline rush is quite amazing. All in all, I guess I'd slightly prefer a roller-coaster because they last longer, with more variety, as opposed to just 5 seconds of something so extreme. I'd definitely recommend this ride and Dreamworld if you're in the area and this is your thing.