North Fulton County

Amid pandemic boredom, metro teen builds backyard rollercoaster to help pass the time

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A metro teenager got a little bored during the pandemic, so he decided to build a thrill ride in his family’s backyard.

Ben Tolliday said he never thought he’d one day be a test pilot, but somebody had to do it.

“I was absolutely terrified. But I guess because I built it, I knew how sturdy it was. So, I was pretty confident I’d be OK, but I was screaming my head off. It was crazy,” Tolliday said.

Seems like a natural reaction to test-riding the roller coaster Tolliday built in the backyard of his family’s Sandy Springs home.

With his own two hands, over just three weeks, Tolliday told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that he put together the structure with two-by-fours, PVC pipe, cinder blocks and sandbags, as well as constructed the car.


“It’s on casters and we’ve got three sets of four wheels. Four go on here, another four are on the side, and another four underneath,” Tolliday said, showing how he built the car.

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

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

Tolliday’s roller coaster has gotten thousands of likes on social media and, just maybe, the soon-to-be college freshman will go into the rollercoaster business.

“That would be my dream job, to build stuff like this for people and then see their reaction when they go down it for the first time. Yeah, I had so much fun building it,” Tolliday said.