A drop tower or big drop is a type of amusement park ride incorporating a central structure or tower. Drop towers vary in height, passenger capacity, lift type, and brake type. Many are custom-made, although there are some mass-produced designs. The most widely sold drop towers have been manufactured by Intamin and S&S Sansei, however Larson International and Funtime have their own drop tower models available as well. Riders initially experience a sense of weightlessness via free fall, followed by rapid deceleration, after which a magnetic brake system brings the ride to a stop. The entire experience generally lasts less than one minute.
With most drop towers, a gondola carrying riders is lifted to the top of a large vertical structure, then released to free-fall down the tower. Magnetic brakes immediately slow the gondola as it approaches the bottom half of the tower. Some attractions have expanded on the design concept, with features such as rotating gondolas or several bounces before coming to rest. At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, for example, Falcon's Fury takes riders to the top of a 335’ (102 m)-tall tower before an automated system slowly rotates the seats forward to face the ground, greatly enhancing the sensation of ‘falling’; the seats automatically return to their normal, forward-facing position just before the end of the ride.
Most drop towers require child riders to meet a minimum height; limits vary widely depending upon the nature of the tower, with a 9-metre (30 ft) tower for smaller children at least 95 centimetres (37 in) tall, and a 37-metre (120 ft) tower for children at least 130 centimetres (51 in) tall.These rides also have weight restrictions. Not following the restrictions is what caused Tyre Sampson's death on March 24, 2022, at ICON Park in Orlando, Florida.

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