The oldest still-operating roller coaster is the Leap-The-Dips roller coaster, located at Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania. It opened on May 30th, 1902, making it the oldest still-operating roller coaster in the world.
Leap-The-Dips is a wooden side friction roller coaster, meaning that it runs on wooden rails and is powered by gravity, with steel wheels providing lateral friction. It is 1,450 feet (442 m) long and reaches a maximum height of 70 feet (21 m). The ride features two drops, one of which is a double dip, and a figure-eight layout.
Leap-The-Dips was designed by Edward Prescott of the L.A. Thompson Scenic Railway Company, who also designed the nearby wooden roller coaster, the Johnstown Flood. The ride operated until 1985, when it was shut down due to deteriorating track.
In 1991, a group of roller coaster enthusiasts, the American Coaster Enthusiasts, raised funds to restore the ride, which reopened in 1999. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996, and is the only roller coaster in the world to have this designation.
Leap-The-Dips is an important part of roller coaster history, and continues to delight visitors to this day.
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