When amusement parks started using cameras to snap shots of guests on rides, the companies thought it would just be a good way to make some extra money. Little did they know that the cameras would also serve as the backdrop for elaborately staged photos that only become more ridiculous given their setting.
XKCD inspired many of these pictures with a cartoon about someone gluing pieces to a chessboard to create the most epic ride picture ever. The comic started a meme of people trying this out for themselves, but Redditor The Panda of Mexico took the concept to its next logical conclusion with this picture of rage faces playing chess on a coaster—making a meme of memes.
2. Don’t Go Alone, Take These
Ukuleles, stuffed chickens, and chess? It’s just another delightfully goofy picture inspired by that same classic XKCD comic, this time courtesy of Redditor Compoundaudio and his friends.
3. Get Ready For Action
This delightful picture from Redditor t*tsforf*ck—which is filled with typical morning bathroom behaviors—is even more impressive when you realize that the ride they’re on, Millennium Force, reaches a top speed of 93 miles per hour.
4. Making A Splash
Redditor mynameiszachary posted this delightful Splash Mountain picture featuring a riveting game of beer pong.
5. Dinner for Two
A few months after taking their beer pong photo, mynameiszachary returned with his sister and their cousin to take another silly picture, this one quite a bit classier. Despite encountering a few problems with Disney security when trying to bring in their photo props, the trio eventually got their picture taken and the photo booth staff was so impressed they even gave the group a free framed photo.
6. It’s the Circle of Rides
7. Brothers of a Feather
Redditor DannyCabes and his brother had some fun when they discovered where the cameras were on the log flume and Gold Rush rides at Rainbow’s End. They didn’t stop with one goofy picture, but took at least a dozen—this is just one of our favorites.
8. Dapper Snaps
Redditor Ayalat took this fun pic on Space Mountain during the annual Dapper Day at Disneyland. Hey, when you’re dressed up that nice, you might as well snap some selfies—even if you're on a roller coaster.
9. Love Is A Roller Coaster
If you and your gal love coasters, a ride might be a great place to propose—but instead of popping out a ring and risk it flying off the coaster, take advantage of the in-ride photo to surprise her. That’s exactly what Redditor Nightzel did—and his girlfriend said yes!
10. What A Creeper
This picture might not be as over the top when it comes to props and planning, but there’s no denying that Redditor BPP198’s friend planned to turn into a Creeper before he hopped onto Las Vegas’ New York, New York coaster.
11. Clowning Around
Brent Ray Fraser’s Clown Series shows the artist as a very grumpy clown having fantastically miserable experiences at an amusement park. The roller coaster picture is particularly amazing. Warning: This link to his artwork is very NSFW.
12. and 13. Creative Gamers
Perhaps the most impressive of all the posed coaster pictures ever taken is this one, featuring a gang of friends casually enjoying a game of Super Smash Brothers on the log ride’s biggest drop.
That same group also managed to keep playing their Monopoly game on the ride a little while before that.
14. A Close Shave
Of course, the award for most dangerous Splash Mountain picture has to go to Reddit user cefriano. I hope that’s a safety razor.
You've heard of Snakes On A Plane, but what about Snakes on a Flume?
16. Another proposal
The most romantic staged ride picture is probably this one. Here’s the story, as told by Redditor Joefamous:
Lindsay is, in fact, the girl in the front and she did say yes. I would know because I was holding up one of the signs! The guy right behind her is her fiance, Chris. I carried a backpack around all day with the signs folded up in the laptop sleeve along with snacks and jackets so she wouldn’t suspect anything. The 5 of us behind her practiced holding the signs the day before so they wouldn’t block each other from view. As soon as we were far enough on the ride, I passed out the signs(which were numbered so we had them in the right order) one by one and we hid them until we started going up the hill to the drop. As soon as we hit the peak, we all pulled out the signs and held them up until the pic was taken, then immediately passed them to the back of the log where I re-hid them in my backpack. She didn’t see what happened until they posted the pic on the screen at the end of the ride! The actual ring was hidden in the backpack as well to keep it safe. As soon as we got off the ride he gave her the ring and we purchased the pics! We actually planned the whole thing and practiced so that it would be a complete surprise to her and pulled it off with a great picture to remember it by and a funny story to tell!
17. An unbalanced breakfast
Sometimes the best staged photos are those that are completely nonchalant, like this one showing Tsetan Tenzin, who'sholding the Honey Bunches of Oats, and three friends enjoying a delicious breakfast filled with whole grain.
18. Rocky VII
It seems appropriate to stage a fight from the movie Rocky IV, complete with announcers and fans, at the Raging Bull coaster at Six Flags Great America in Illinois. Granted, these friends of Redditor Zeuslightning could have done a scene from Raging Bull, but that might just be overkill.
19. and 20. Bring a paddle
Here is the same group of gents trying their hand at ping pong on Raging Bull a few months earlier.
Those Raging Bull fans aren’t the only ones who enjoy playing ping pong on roller coasters. Here are Mike McFerran and his friends staging a match on The Comet at The Great Escape & Splash Water Kingdom.
It’s important to always have fresh breath, which is why Matthew Morrell, Alicia Kramer, Rob Meyer, Abby Decker, and Jessica Brosius made sure to stay true to their brushing schedule even though it meant doing so on the Coal Cracker at Hersheypark.
22. - 27. Chess trend
The most common form of staged coaster pictures these days though are those involving a chess board or other game. That’s because they were all inspired by this XKCD comic. Since then, the site has a whole gallery dedicated to people who tried out the idea for themselves. These are a few of the best:
Here’s Thomas Hart and Daniel Madden at Canobie Lake Park.
These chess masters are Cam O'Grady, Jake Barnett, and Shelby Fowler who staged their tournament on the Cedar Point Millennium Force.
Karl Malakoff and his cousin, Lori Coulson, enjoyed a game on the Diamondback coaster at King's Island on Halloween. Eventually, Karl lost when his white king fell off the board.
Now this looks like a serious game, even if spectator Billy Brooks doesn't seem too into it. Players Kristjan Moore and Daniel Carey definitely seem to know what’s at stake during their match on the Loggers Leap at Thorpe Park.
Of course, chess was just too easy for Randall and Ben Wald, so they decided to build a house of cards on the 79 foot drops of the Goliath coaster at Six Flags over Georgia.
Justin Howell and his friend felt the same way, which is why they took to playing Extreme Jenga while riding Thunder Run at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.