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The disadvantages of a steel roller coaster

Updated November 21, 2016

Roller coasters provide exciting rides that thrill seekers enjoy and are the major attraction at most amusement parks. Steel roller coasters have become the most common and popular type of roller coaster over the past 50 years. There are some great advantages to using steel over wood, but there are also some disadvantages to choosing steel roller coasters.

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The construction costs of steel roller coasters are higher than wooden ones. Steel is more expensive than wood, and it costs more to design and build a steel roller coaster than a wooden one. However, over the long run the costs between wooden and steel roller coasters will be about the same, since maintenance costs for wooden roller coasters are significantly higher.


Steel coasters lack the nostalgia and unique ride experience that wooden roller coasters provide. Wooden roller coasters feature rickety movements and quick, unexpected turns; they can also seem more dangerous and unreliable, which provides an extra thrill to riders. Steel roller coasters provide a smooth ride that arguably diminishes some of the thrill.

Family Friendliness

Steel roller coasters are built to be intense; they can incorporate high speeds, loops, drops and even sections where riders are upside down. Many people see this as a great quality and as a reason why steel roller coasters are the best. However, for people who are trying to find a nice family ride, all of these thrills might be a bit too much. It is tough find an extreme steel roller coaster that the entire family can enjoy.

Overall Experience

Some people think that steel roller coasters fail to match the exciting experience of wooden roller coasters; if you are not riding a steel roller coaster that is built for extreme height or incredible speeds, you are often left with a less exciting ride. Because wooden roller coasters seem rickety and more dangerous, even the smaller ones offer a better overall experience than the smaller steel types for wooden coaster aficionados.

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