Gravitron

The Gravitron can be found in countries all over the world and was first manufactured by Wisdom USA in 1983 and is now their number one seller. Several units were also made under license by ARM (UK) and Ferrari (Australia) in the 1980’s. Nowdays, Wisdom brands this ride “Starship 3000”

The ride movement can be summed up two words: centrifugal force – all 4 G’s of it pushing the standards of safe amusement ride physics. This was not the first ride to use centrifugal laws to pin its standing occupants – other prior examples include the Rotor and Roundup

When the automated door closes the fun really begins – riders barely realise they’re moving (everything they can see is moving with them). The ride quickly starts to rotate reaching its top speed of 24 rpm in less than 20 seconds. (fast given its wide diameter). At this speed (turned with a 33kW 3-phase motor), the 45 panels that riders stand against rise upwards leaving people stuck to the wall with their feet off the ground. Regular riders will always move into position as the ride gains speed, sometimes turning sideways or upside down.

Similar forces are achieved from NASA astronaut experiments simulating rocket take off and space travel G-Forces.

The recommended ride time is no longer than 80 seconds.

Since the amount of G’s felt by a rider corresponds with body weight, most adult riders feel G’s exerted on the chest and face a little too uncomfortable to be called fun (they always breathe a sigh of relief when the brakes come on) but ask any kid or teenager what they think of it and they’ll excitedly tell you how many times they’ve ridden it and how totally fantastic it was… the sight of a person lying on a wall sideways or upside-down is always a memorable one!

The interior of the ride consists of a central, circular control / supervisor booth with a futuristic swivelling chair over the centre axis of the ship. This small section is designed for the operator who rotates with the ride, although safe from any G-force. (being in the very centre) This section is usually surrounded by flashing lights, with a few disco lights on top – creating a really good ride atmosphere. Surrounding the sides of the flying-saucer ship are 45 padded vertical panels, each the height and width of an average human body. These panels are angled slightly outward, making them nearly vertical. Each panel is on a set of rollers, and with the laws of centrifugal force, naturally rises upwards when the optimum speed is reached. Since the ride is completely enclosed, some units have surveillance cameras installed, with monitor screens on the outside giving spectators outside the ship a visual of what’s happening inside the ride.

Gravitron’s huge capacity of 45 people, and the ease at which it can be loaded / unloaded (simply by walking in) gives it a great theoretical capacity of 1000 people / hour. The ride can be racked on one 50ft trailer, making it one of the most well designed amusement ride ever produced as far as portability / rider capacity is concerned.

The ride can be set up in 6 hours, and torn down in 3 with an experienced crew.

There are upwards of 40 units in North America, at least 5 in Europe and approximately 7 Gravitrons in Australia.

142 Responses to “Gravitron”

  1. IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUN!ITS LIKE A MAGNET BUT IT HURT MY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Milniya - March 11th, 2013 at 5:10 am

  2. When some one searches for his necessary thing, so he/she wants to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

    "parrot" - March 20th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

  3. Hello, The first time I rode the Gravitron, I did not even know what it was, only the fact that it was the Starship, for that is what the sign proclaimed. Later after doing some research I lerned about it. This was nine years after I have ridden it. At the time I rode the unit, I was exhilarated by the sensations, for I I am very sensational and enjoy describing things never thought to be possible. When I first got on it, I felt the walls, which were slightly put at an angel, about thirty degrees from the vertical point. So when the ride started, I was surprised to feel myself lying down, as if I was in bed. Naturally I sat up, thinking it would feel different, but the sight of me sitting on a wall was too amusing, for I learned that standing on the pads is loke standing on a wall, though it is genrally forbidden. Still, I like to experiment with sensations and how it is perceived.

    Alfredo Castaneda-Garcia - April 2nd, 2013 at 10:05 pm

  4. I first went on one of these when I was about twelve at Fun Forest Amusement Park in Seattle when my cousin introduced me to it. I thought it was so weird that time not knowing really what centrifugal force was, or what was happening to me. Now, over 100 rides later in these Gravitron rides, I still love it. I am in my mid-thirties, believe it or not and I still like to go upside down when I can get away with it. (I’ve gotten in trouble for that at least a couple of times.)

    Mike Ford - April 28th, 2013 at 5:32 am

  5. i went on the alen abduction last nigh and now i adore it

    none ya beeswax - July 15th, 2013 at 12:21 am

  6. this might be dumb, but I don’t understand what happens to the ride operator in the middle. He’s not blurred during the ride meaning he’s spinning as well, but do they really spin along with every ride? I can’t figure it out.

    Moe - July 20th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

  7. I was obsessed with the Gravitron at Rehoboth Beach in like the summer of 2007 or 2008 but I didn’t go on it when my family and I went to the boardwalk but my 1st ride on it was at the fair with my friend! I LOVED it! It was so much fun! :D

    Jen - July 29th, 2013 at 1:56 am

  8. Been on the one at Texas State Fair. It was super fun. In the middle, there was some metal railing that was for riders to secure their bags/purses and what not. I thought it was so cool how during the ride as all our feet lifted off the ground, the bags were hovering in mid air as well. Really weird looking!

    Kelsey - August 1st, 2013 at 1:39 pm

  9. Love the Gravitron. I have probably been on it at least 200 times. I have probably thrown up at least half the time. But for me, that is half of the fun.

    Walter Subchek - August 12th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

  10. Uhm… it’s actually CENTRIPETAL force that causes the accelerations you are calling “G’s”. The wall exerts a force on the riders that acts toward the CENTER of the circle (hence “centripetal” or center-seeking force). This force from the wall causes the riders to deviate from moving in a straight line. It feels like we’re being thrown to the outside but we’re really being pushed inward by the wall. It would be nice if the author of the page would correct it so physics students could get the right information here.

    kathy - November 4th, 2013 at 2:11 am

  11. I ride these every time, and I usually flip upside down, and then spend the rest of the ride texting.

    Candy - November 18th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  12. I went on this ride for the first time last year at the state fair. Right before I went on I had a greasy corn dog and a warm beer. I should have known better because I hurled on this teenager in a halter top. Her boyfriend got made at me but what could I do. It’s all physics don’t you know.

    Bob - December 5th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

  13. I love the ride but I absolutely hate the operators (most of them anyway). Most of them take the safety guidelines waaayy too seriously. Like I understand if they at least RECOMMEND that you don’t stand or anything (I tried this once and it’s really difficult and if you don’t have strong legs or good balance you’re gonna be in a world of pain). But legit one time I got 37 kinds of shit from the op because my head was tilted forward, and another time because my body was rotated about 10 degrees from vertical! Like are you FUCKING serious?!?! But luckily The one time I was good friends with the owner of the show (Mr. James Strates himself). And I told him what happened and basically the operator got in shit and was taken off the midway for a day. So that was a proud moment right there! But he wasn’t the only one. I am actually aspiring to eventually buy my own gravitron just so I can have the slightest bit of fucking freedom on the thing! Cause usually when I go on one at a fair there’s nothing I want to do more than smash the operator’s head in with a fucking mace! Gravitron operators are fucking OCD-stricken punks! End of story.

    Mack - December 7th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

  14. I don’t know the capacity of the ride guys do you guys know?

    Patty - December 25th, 2013 at 10:28 am

  15. Hi there I opperated and set up the gravitron now called allien abduction for astro.. I know live in South africa and want to buy one.. Cause under my knowledge we sont have one here and I think its time the people here experience it. So would be nice if you could help me out … Oh and to the person said that the opperators are to full of shit with the rules .. They have to be the riders live is in their hands believe me its not easy for one person to check on 30plus people at a time while spinning at that speed so try and understand their point aswell

    rolo - January 28th, 2014 at 6:15 am

  16. centripetal force* not centrifugal….

    Austin Woerner - May 5th, 2014 at 3:16 am

  17. I did not like this ride it was fun but it almost gave me a heart attack

    Christopher hofacker - June 23rd, 2014 at 8:38 am

  18. This is my favorite ride of all time

    Janelle hartwick - June 23rd, 2014 at 8:42 am

  19. Straightened my back – better than a chiropractor!

    Griff - July 4th, 2014 at 4:52 am

  20. The second weekend in March, at the rattlesnake roundup in Sweetwater, TX I rode this ride with my children. First off I want to say that I have always loved thrill rides, and have rode this many times. It is an easy ride, no real thrill to me..just an interesting experience to feel so much gravity pulling on you, and it looks cool. While we were on the ride, we started to smell something, and then it started to get smokey. I knew something was not right and a couple of the teenagers started to panic. I told my kids and the kids next to me that the gears were grinding together, but not to worry..the man controlling the ride opened a hatch door which was very close to where we were standing to vent out the smoke. I was worried that if I looked scared some dumb kid or my own might try to get out through that hole. I knew as big as it was and as fast as it was going if a person jumped down they could get their head chopped off, or some similar horrific event. I just talked calmly and rationally, let them know I was the adult and the boy freaking out was an idiot who was not worth listening to. I told the kids that there was no way it will catch fire because it was metal, and we were much safer just waiting because the ride stops fast enough for the smoke to not hurt us. (not necessarily true, but it made them not as scared, I had no idea what was actually happening) As soon as the ride stopped I asked the controller what happened…he didn’t release the brakes!! This has always been one of my favorite rides, but if I get on it again I might fell compelled to tell the carnie to release the brake before the ride starts. It was funny how as soon as the ride was over he was trying his best to get the kids to stay on again for a full ride, but they were laughing at him and saying yeah right! I’m sure he didn’t want anyone to find out about his mistake. Who would have thought the gravitron could be scary?

    Holly - July 22nd, 2014 at 2:39 pm

  21. Hi there, I managed to ride the Gravitron two days ago, at the Washington County Fair in Hollsboro, Oregon. However, I didn’t know riders were not allowed to go alone. I also didn’t see any rules here as to what the requirements are for the Gravitron, so I’m wondering if it’s up to the operator who should decide what is safe or not. I should mention that I have not ridden the Gravitron since 2004, so I was very anxious when I finally found it, and when I was told I can’t go alone, even as an adult, I really felt torn apart. Was there something that the operator holding back? Did I need a spotter of some sort?

    Sensation Experience - July 27th, 2014 at 2:22 am

  22. I’ve ridden the gravitron before, today I rode it again multiple times. I ate some before-hand. I wasn’t sick during the demolition derby. When I get home and try to go to sleep, I feel like I’m going to vomit, but can’t; and also I feel dizzy, I’m shaking, and I couldn’t balance normally to save my life. DON’T EAT BEFORE RIDING!!! Otherwise this ride is fun.

    Tucker - September 1st, 2014 at 6:57 pm

  23. They took out the gravatron at the south florida fair after the 2013 year. they used the starship 2 0 0 0 for 2014 and this year they have the centrifuge

    Green Ninja - January 12th, 2015 at 11:28 am

  24. I need in one in Washington.

    Lucian Sidorov - February 1st, 2015 at 7:04 pm

  25. Hi, get this, I’m 39 and have never ridden one of hose. I’m totally blind and a little nervous to try it but at the same time I want too so damn bad!

    Kerri - February 24th, 2015 at 3:33 pm

  26. Mack your a tossed mate don’t put down gravitron operator’s if you want to get seriously hurt don’t listen to the operator’s morons like you should never ever own one as your a fxxxn idiot that will kill yourself or someone else you clown I’ve operated one for years and never had accident

    craig hallam - June 16th, 2015 at 3:50 pm

  27. Hi,Arlene here. I’ve ridden the this ride since my late teens. because of my partial vision. I thought I was going into a school portable to watch some music videos. Big mistake! I found myself laying on what I thought was a bed! What turned out I and the others were taken up the wall. I told some kids I looked after that you ride this thing it puts you onto a bed then it takes you off. They thought it was funny! Since then I’ve liked this ride! the last time I rode it was in the late 90s. I don’t remember what fair it was at. I’ve never ridden the star ship. I was told it’s like the gravitron. Okay all you attendents who run this ride. Have yourselves a good laugh! Because of my partial vision I thought the operator did everything at the door! Cause when you get in. he’s at the door. When you leave he’s at the door! Oh yeah, to the dude who doesn’t like the attendents who run the ride, they got a job to do and they are responsible for everybody who’s on either the gravitron or the starship. it’s hard when you are trying to run this ride when you get riders who come in and act like a bunch of dorks! I hope I see this ride again! Just my 2 cents!

    Arlene - July 27th, 2015 at 5:23 am

  28. Comment 10 you realize if you weigh 225 with 4G you would weigh 900lbs and you think it was more than that?

    ???? - September 8th, 2015 at 2:09 pm

  29. Wow, I remember really enjoying Gravitron when I was about 12. I’m now 34 and I rode it today for the first time in 22 years.

    I also now weight 323 pounds.

    Let me just say, it was very uncomfortable. I have heard differing reports that the ride is either 3 g’s or 4 g’s at max speed. Either way, I effectively weighed somewhere between 969 and 1292 pounds.

    Yeah. My belly was pushing up into my chest and I found it difficult to breathe.

    Could definitely be a concern for middle aged men at risk for heart attack.

    So… Not really recommended for people my size. WAY more intense than I remember it being from when I was 12

    Scott - October 8th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

  30. I need to purchase the gravitron as soon as possible. I am conducting and experiment where I remain in the gravitron for 2 months to see physical results to my body. Thank you! “Let’s make history”!

    Logan Bellamy - December 14th, 2015 at 3:30 pm

  31. I STILL say it is a waste of space on the midway! They just all need to fly into space where all flying saucers belong!!! Love ya Arnie!

    anthony - December 22nd, 2015 at 3:14 pm

  32. The ride movement can be summed up two words: centrifugal force – all 4 G’s of it pushing the standards of safe amusement ride physics. This was not the first ride to use centrifugal laws to pin its standing occupants – other prior examples include the Rotor and Roundup

    Sorry to be pedantic but the above is incorrect. Its standing occupants, as rotating masses, will be exerting a centrifugal force not subject to such a force. Any decent book on physics will confirm this.

    Frank Smith - December 25th, 2015 at 9:24 am

  33. What’s your problem with my ride? Its a good ride just peoples kids dont know how to lisson to the opprater of the ride

    Arnie Hallum - June 12th, 2016 at 9:23 am

  34. I used to love standing horizonal in those things.

    Meot - February 20th, 2017 at 11:45 am

  35. Where can I purchase a “UFO” for myself. I’m trying to fly to the moon for space cheese and alien life forms. I was contacted by Aliens from the dark side of the moon to fly there.

    Wig Wam wade - March 8th, 2017 at 3:13 am

  36. There used to be a Gravitron at the fair where i live, but now they rebranded it as the Centrifuge

    Michael - April 5th, 2017 at 8:11 am

  37. Pretty bad time today at the Auckland fair. Never saw the warning sign. Never received instruction or advice about positioning the body once started. Had an extremely uncomforable experience. I weigh 100 Kg. 1.9m tall. 54 years old. Reasonably fit. Mtb etc. standing on an angle and having the weight of my guts and blood pressed into my upper torso and face was extruciating and unexpected. Highly irresponsible to not provide a proper briefing. And if you decide to ridicule or have a go at me… the. I’m prepared to listen, but only once you’ve reached my age, strapped some extra kilos to your chest and belly snd remained in the slanted standing position. Otherwise piss off! Dangerous ride.

    Smart enough to do it only once - April 14th, 2017 at 7:16 pm

  38. What happens if the operator suddenly dropped dead? Does the ride have a timer on it or something?

    Greg - May 2nd, 2017 at 8:07 am

  39. I love the gravitron when on it for the first time today and was so much fun

    Matthew Smith - August 6th, 2017 at 4:09 pm

  40. That ride is fun it’s totally worth after the first time going on it and makes me think of using the sanitare vacuum at church and the lunch startup repair on the computer at school

    Matthew Smith - August 6th, 2017 at 4:13 pm

  41. There’s one at Funland in Rehoboth, Delaware . It’s my fave ride, typically has good music playing (This year best song was Animals by Martin Garrix). Lily

    Lily - August 28th, 2017 at 10:35 am

  42. There used to be one of these at Alton Towers. It got moved around a bit (a lot) and now it is in an awful condition.

    Terra Verso - October 22nd, 2017 at 6:59 pm

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