The popularity of amusement rides stems from the illusion of danger. No matter how fast the ride or how high the roller coaster is, or even the number of loops you go through, you know you’re safely seated in your chair.
Tagada disco rides, however, are different. When you抮e in a Tagada, there’s no illusion of danger, you are truly in danger. Although they are not as quick as a rollercoaster, or drop from a certain height like a drop tower does. Rather, you sit down inside a Tagada disc. The operator, who also acts as DJ, will then spin the disc. You bounce from the tilt of the disc, and from the fact that you aren’t restrained, in order not to get thrown around, you have to hold on to the steel bars behind you. If you抮e unlucky, you could fly from your seat to the other end of the disc.
Of course, the people in the United States and other thrill-ride havens might not be too excited about the lack of safety measures. Most Koreans, however, maintain that part of the fun is in being thrown from your seat.
The tagada disc rotates from 64 to 68 seconds in one direction before it rotates in the other direction. This change in direction is where most people fall back to the hard chair and break their tailbone.
Make no mistake, while they look clunky, tagadas are actually nasty monsters. It may seem like nothing at first but it can get dangerous. My experience with the tagada, however, has been safe for the most part, although there were times when it was absolutely embarrassing especially with comments from the DJ.
If you抮e a foreigner in Korea, you will stand out when you ride a Tagada disco. So, be prepared for any special mention or attention by the DJ. Watching people from other countries get tossed from their seats is, I guess, funny to Koreans.
I heard that Tagada disco rides are also available in amusement parks in China. I’ve never been to China so I don抰 know for sure. But it would surely be nice if I could ride a Tagada when I go back to Florida this summer.