The thrills of a roller coaster may be fleeting, but on-ride photos help commemorate those sometimes hilariously hair-raising moments. With the camera set up to capture the exact moment riders take the big plunge, these souvenirs are always bound to be entertaining. The best roller coaster photos used to be just the expressions of wide-eyed petrified riders, but now these speedy photo-ops have become an art form themselves.
Once intentionally comedic roller coaster photos caught on, the more seasoned riders have continued to go above and beyond to make their on-ride photo a memorable one.
From impressively elaborate setups to faces that only an amusement park could generate, there’s no denying that these photos had the gift shop giggling. Here are 24 roller coaster photos where riders hilariously turned big thrills into big laughs.
1. As if popping the big question wasn’t scary enough as it is, this guy decided to do it while plunging down a log flume. You have to admire the coordination that must have been necessary to pull this one off. While these guys may have managed to hold on to the signs during the plummet, let’s just hope Lindsay’s hopeful fiancé was able to hold on to the ring.
2. Cedar Park’s 300 ft Giga coaster Millennium Force may be one of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters, but this family clearly has one high tolerance when it comes to thrills. The way this guy managed to put shaving cream on his face is questionable, but you can only imagine how confused the queuing riders must have been when the train came back to the station.
3. There’s a reason theme parks repeatedly warn you to keep your arms and legs on the roller coaster at all times. It’s one thing to keep your hands up in the air when descending a coaster hill, but to keep your hands confined in your sleeves is a whole other level of commitment.
4. Before boarding a ride, it’s important to make sure that you secure all loose items to avoid a situation like this. The on-ride photo managed to capture the exact moment one rider lost his keys. Miraculously, his friend somehow was able to catch them mid-air. If he hadn’t these guys may have ended up staying at the amusement park a lot later than they intended to.
5. If it’s not the disillusionment that comes with discovering the truth behind Santa Claus, it’s the first time your parents take you on a roller coaster that they promise won’t be that scary that truly makes you question their trust. It’s safe to say that this roller coaster was probably this kid’s last ride of the day.
6. Sometimes it’s not even how these people were able to pose mid-ride that’s impressive, it’s how they figured out a way to get these intricate props on the ride without getting caught. “We managed to get everything set up and had a full-on table, and a turkey on a serving tray,” wrote Reddit user mynameiszachary.
7. “Took my girlfriend on her first roller coaster ever,” wrote Imgur user jetsetter1. “I think it was a success. She’s 23.” Something tells us that this was probably this guy’s girlfriend’s last roller coaster ever as well. This is not the face of someone who readily shouts “again!” after pulling back into the station platform.
8. “Wife didn’t know Splash Mountain had a drop at the end,” wrote Reddit user Turtlefast. Judging by the smile on this husband’s face, it’s safe to say that he was well aware that there was a drop at the end. Anyone who has ever fallen victim to this trap knows that the aftermath is usually not pretty.
9. “It took half an hour to convince my little sister to go on Splash Mountain at Disneyland. We told her it would be fun and worth the experience,” wrote Reddit user austin217. “She was unimpressed.” Apparently plunging down a faux mountain and getting soaked is not everyone’s idea of entertaining.
10. “They always warn you not to lean forward on roller coasters. They were right. Please, learn from my mistake (and resulting whiplash),” thrawy20 wrote to warn the Reddit community. While the pain of the whiplash may eventually subside, this humiliating visual memory is bound to haunt this young woman forever.
11. This woman explained to Reddit that her boyfriend complained that he didn’t get wet enough on Splash Mountain. Well, she made sure that this time, that would not be the case. Before even hitting the big splash, this woman gave her boyfriend an unexpected soaker which will leave him dripping even if the ride doesn’t live up to its name.
12. On-ride photos are just one of the ways that amusement parks get you to hand over some extra cash, but this person figured they could just take their own on-ride photo. However, considering Splash Mountain usually delivers on its name’s promise, this could very well have been this phone’s last selfie.
13. “Our friend wasn’t able to join us at the amusement park, so we brought her home a gift,” wrote Reddit user Bmchaps. Poor Rachel, first she misses out on a day of theme park fun and then her friends decide to pour salt in the wound by commemorating her absence with this.
14. “I wouldn’t go on Splash Mountain with my wife,” shared Imgur user Blackthorne519. “Wife got a little perturbed that I wouldn’t accompany her on the ride.” If this guy was waiting where they screen the photos, he was already informed of his wife’s disappointment before she even got off of the ride.
15. Roller coasters are not for everyone, and judging by the fact that this kid looks like he just saw his life flash before his eyes, it’s probably safe to assume that he is not a roller coaster person. This family probably didn’t think they’d end up buying an on-ride photo, but sometimes you can’t not.
16. “My boyfriend and his friends have been pretending to be bodyguards for one of their choir mates all day in Disneyland,” Reddit user gingershminger shared with the community. “This is them at Splash Mountain.” As long as your friends think you’re a big deal, you can make others think so as well.
17. Not all roller coaster photos have to actually take place on the ride to be great. This guy found a solid way to waste time while waiting in line for the ride. He managed to get the perfect timing with this shot, which makes sense considering he probably had several attempts to do so.
18. Anyone who has ever played a game of Monopoly is well aware that it can go on for quite some time. However, this group of friends isn’t going to put life on pause until they finish the game. It’s probably safe to assume that some pieces were definitely lost in this round.
19. These friends saw an opportunity to create a scene from Rocky IV while riding Six Flags Great America’s roller coaster Raging Bull in Illinois. From the announcers to the fans, these guys did not skimp out on detail. However, you have to wonder, how did these coaster boxers manage to get so sweaty?
20. Everyone has a different threshold when it comes to thrills. Apparently, Steel Force’s 205-foot drop, which makes riders experience over 2.5 G’s at the bottom, was just not enough to keep these two front riders entertained. The girl behind them, however, looks like she would have probably opted for fewer Gs.
21. Apparently, not everyone makes it back to the station platform after descending Disney’s famed log flume, Splash Mountain. By the looks of these riders’ faces, one might assume that it wasn’t the plunge that took their friend, but quite possibly the mountain-residing bear, which is ominously insinuated in the ride’s logo.
22. Photobombing the on-ride photo for the cart behind you is not easy, but this ambitious rider somehow managed to do it. This family may not have any relation to this presumably super tall man with Home Alone gloves, but now he will be a part of their memories forever.
23. When you’re going to an amusement park, it’s probably best to wear an outfit not so loosely fitting. It’s one thing to have a wardrobe malfunction while on a ride, but it’s another thing entirely when that malfunction is captured by the on-ride photo for all of the other riders to see.
24. One way to easily up the stakes of any game is to do it on a log plunging down a mountain into a wave of water. The time frame in which you can play is very limited, but there’s no denying that it will certainly add a unique challenge.