Roller Coasters

Hello! I'm supposed to be going to Six Flaggs in San Antonio with my fiance soon, but I've heard mixed responses if I should go on roller coasters or not. I've heard no because some roller coasters are controlled by magnets in the motor and it can mess with my ICD's settings. I've also heard no because of the shoulder harness used on some thrill rides. I'm a pretty small girl, I don't really have any fat or much muscle over my ICD, so I read the harness could do harm. I have also heard everything contrary to what I just said. I just want to know if I can go or if we are wasting our money! I love roller coasters and would love to go, so feedback would be great! Any info for me? THANKS!



your decision

by sam78 - 2010-03-09 05:03:05

well you stated all the facts.... so I am not sure any of us are going to be able to tell you whether you can go or not. Should be something you should discuss with your doctor.

(for the record, my pacemaker sits really close to the skin and I had no issues with the harness)

everyone is different

by Tracey_E - 2010-03-09 05:03:16

Not all roller coasters have the magnets, just the newer ones and they're usually clearly marked. I think it's the brakes, not the motors, but I could be mistaken.

As for the harness, it won't damage the device, but it could bruise you up if it hits in the wrong place.

Do you pace? If you don't pace, do you need to worry about magnets? Magnets don't mess with the settings, they temporarily put it into test mode but it goes back to full function as soon as you get away from it. That's a bad thing if you're dependent on the pacing but is it bad for an icd?

Ultimately it's your decision what you want to do. We have quite a few members who have done roller coasters and feel fine. Have you asked your dr?

Should be fine

by leechi1 - 2010-03-09 10:03:26

As already stated above, most don't have magnets and the few that do are very clearly marked. As a pretty small 27 year old girl whose had pacemakers her whole life I can tell you that I've been on many rollercoasters including six flags (though not san antonio) and have never had a problem. If you're really sensitive over the site the harness could irritate you a bit, but nothing to point where it should be dangerous.
It's up to you, but have fun if you decide to go.

Good news!

by Charli - 2010-03-13 09:03:56

I asked my cardiologist about going on rollercoasters. He said he's had loads of people go on them and have no problems but they have to caution you about over the shoulder harness as it could harm it. If I was you just avoid the rough rides and go on the smoother ones!

Oh I guess it helps to say check the boards to see if it says anything about pacemakers!


by heather1723 - 2010-06-24 11:06:58

I work for Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL and my suggestion is to go to Guest Services and ask them which rides have "magnetic drive systems". These rides use powerful magnets to control there braking when coming to a stop or slowing down. We have 2 rides here that I need to stay away from, Giant Drop and V2 Vertical Velocity. When I was within 150 feet of Giant Drop I actually passed out while having a pacemaker. And if they don't know at Guest Services then ask them to find out from a Rides Supervisor because they will know for sure. Good luck and have fun!

Dismissive Comments

by Sheney - 2011-10-09 04:10:30

I have just joined this site and think it is marvellous. There is some really informative answers that have helped me a lot. Sadly though, there also seems to be some answers that seem inappropriately dismissive of peoples fears and worries.

I actually joined whilst looking for the answer to the question- are theme parks safe? The reason I ask is that my 16 year old daughter has just been told by the staff of her favourite theme park that she can't go on the vast majority of the rides as virtually all of them have massive electro-magnets as part of their braking system, in fact one of them is the size of a large double garage!

Yes, that's 'virtually all' not just one or two rides in the park. Admittedly, this is Thorpe Park in England and not Six Flags but it does sound a little irresponsible to give the impression that electro-magnets are a non-issue as far as theme parks go.

Anyway, as far as my problem is concerned I am none the wiser - she has been going to this park for the last four years with no problems and whenever I have asked in the past they always said it was fine but now they say that their latest advice is even walking around the park near some of the rides could be dangerous!

What my Dr. Said

by Thompkm - 2014-10-13 11:10:20

I asked my cardiologist of 15 years if I could go on roller coasters as I now have grandchildren and want to go to Disneyland with them. I love roller coaster's and even though I have had an ICD for 13 yrs (my 2nd now) I have never had an episode or even come close. When I asked him he did not mention the magnets but did tell me that if I did have an issue while I was on it that my insurance would not cover it! I honestly feel that I can handle a roller coaster and plan on doing it anyways. I will check on the magnets based on previous posts.

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