Teen builds roller coaster in home’s back yard

Georgia teenager Ben Tolliday explains how he built a roller coaster in his family's backy ard during three weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo from Video/WSB via CNN)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (WSB) — Imagine being able to walk outside your back door and into a mini-amusement park.

That’s a reality for one teenager in suburban Atlanta. Teenager Ben Tolliday built his own roller coaster and for the time being he’s enjoying the ride without having to wait in line.

Ben never thought one day he’d be a test pilot but somebody had to do it. “I was absolutely terrified but because I built it I knew how sturdy it was, so I was pretty confident that I’d be OK but, yeah, I was screaming my head off. It was crazy.”

That seems like a natural reaction to the roller coaster Ben built in his back yard of his family’s Sandy Springs home. With his own two hands in just three weeks, he put together a collection of two-by-fours, PVC pipes, cinderblocks and sandbags to construct the car.

“So I’ve always been interested in building things. About 5 years ago, I built a little soapbox car, a little go-cart.”

“It’s on casters, three sets of four wheels. We’ve got four that go on the top here to hold it on the top. We have another four on the side here and then another four underneath.”

Even his mom went for a ride. She’s proud of what her son has created but she wonders when it is coming down.

Katherine Tolliday said, “I’m looking forward to getting my yard back. I’ve got some plants that are trying to grow through underneath it and yeah this is not going to be a permanent fixture in my yard, I can tell you that.”

Ben’s roller coaster has got thousands of “likes” on social media and just maybe the “soon to be” college freshman will go into business. “That would honestly be a dream job to build stuff like this for people and then see their reaction when they go down it for the first time. But, yeah, I’ve had so much fun building this thing.”