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Best Classic Rides at the Calgary Stampede

  • July 4, 2024
  • By Cody Battershill

best classic rides at the annual Calgary Stampede

Top 10 Classic Rides at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

Whether you’re a reasonably tall youngin’ (most rides have height limits) or a fully-fledged adult looking for some of the best Calgary Stampede rides, these below will leave a smile on your face from ear to ear.

And the best part is that they have been around for a while – hence, the best classic rides at the annual Stampede. We hope you have a wonderful stampede season this time around! Also see:

1001 Nacthsbest classic rides calgary stampede

This ride reminds me of a pendulum clock; once you swing to the top, the ride swings back and forth until its momentum dwindles and leaves you at the bottom once again.

1001 Nacths is a good ride for people who don’t like being strapped in and at the mercy of a machine a hundred feet up in the air -- a.k.a. afraid of heights.

It is also good for those who need to break themselves in before getting onto one of the bigger and more thrilling rides.

This ride is located close to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo Stadium, making it easy to spot.

Bonzaibest classic calgary stampede rides bonzai

This ride is similar to 1001 Nacths (above), but instead of facing perpendicular, you are strapped in parallel to the swinging motion.

On the way down forward and back, it's exciting to see the others riding on the second platform zip by your face at crazy speeds (let's hope that everyone keeps their food in).

Yet again, this is another good ride for those looking to break themselves in for rides like Mach 3 (a good 100 feet in the air, upside down and swinging) or others even more intimidating like the Slingshot.

You can't miss this ride; it is usually perched up near the slides in the Stampede Ride area of the grounds.

Drop of Doombest classic calgary stampede rides drop of doom

The drop of doom is about as high as it gets for coupon rides at the Calgary Stampede. It brings you up quite a distance then drops suddenly – without a moment’s notice – which is the whole thrill of it.

The anticipation of the drop had a whole colony of butterflies flying around in my stomach all the way up, especially as you wait for it to drop at a moment's notice.

The only downside is that for the coupon cost, the ride is relatively short with just one time up and down, but if you have the patience, it’s worth it!

Try hitting up the Stampede before 1pm to hitch a ride on the Drop of Doom with a relatively short line up, it'll be worth it!

Fire Ball (small)best classic calgary stampede ride fireball small

This ride puts a spin on what 1001 Nachts and Bonzai do – literally.

Instead of being strapped in parallel or perpendicular to the direction of the swing, this time you are strapped into a circular rotating platform that spins while moving back and forth in a pendulum motion.

This is another good “starter ride” for those looking to get their Calgary Stampede ride beginner's belts before moving on to the more intense ones you`ll find.

Fire Ball (big)best classic calgary stampede rides fireball (big)

The second Fire Ball ride is completely different than the smaller version. It reminds me of a roller-coaster loop – without the rest of the track.

Just the experience of spinning around and around again and again on the same track is worth the coupons and the wait. It's almost as if you are a hamster running around in circles on a hamster wheel.

This is about as close as it gets to a good roller coaster ride at the Stampede. Be prepared to wait for this ride, unless you arrive at the grounds just after opening time at 11am daily.

Orbiterbest classic calgary stampede rides orbiter

This orbiting ride keeps you close to the ground (for those scared of heights) and has a pretty reasonable duration.

Swinging underneath the arm is exhilarating because you feel like you might smash into the centre until it picks you back up and then down and around again and again.

This one is a favourite for families and young ones who make the height restriction.

Mach 3best classic calgary stampede rides mach 3

Mach 3 is the most thrilling ride you can line up for and pay with coupons.

At each end of its massive structure is a seat for two people to enjoy getting whipped around in a circular motion at mind-bending speeds while feeling like you will smash into the ground every time you come downwards.

Part of the ride includes a pause at the very top while the other seat is loading new riders; meanwhile, your seat is flipping back and forth which usually puts you in a freaking scary upside-down position.The thrill is worth it if you ask us!

Zippercalgary stampede rides zipper (280x272)

Of all the rides I have tried at the Calgary Stampede, I got to say that the Zipper was one of the craziest for its size!

Each cage sits on a hinge that spins on its own axis while also being on a belt that moves around the wheel's perimeter, making for one heck of a ride no matter how experienced you are.

This is one ride that isn’t for the faint of stomach either – save yourself and everyone else from a messy puke if you can’t handle having your sense of direction being thrown forcefully into the Twilight Zone in almost every which way imaginable.

SlingshotCalgary stampede slingshot amusement ride scary

The slingshot is pretty self-explanatory.

You are strapped into a small ball-like structure with one other person, slung into the air at a ridiculous speed, top out, and fall back down to the ground with each bounce being lower than the last.

If you want to spend the cash per person for a short but totally nutty thrill, this is the ride for you. Unfortunately, this ride does not accept coupons.

SupermanCalgary stampede ride midway superman scary

I am still not sure what the name of this ride is even though I’ve been on it a handful of times. Think of it like the Mach 3, but bigger and much more adrenaline-inducing.

I call it the Superman because you really do feel like you are flying – with the full effects of the G-forces on your body – like Superman would in a Hollywood blockbuster.

This one is also cash only, but it is 100% worth it, and the ride lasts much longer than the slingshot. Check it out!

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