New show, ‘Thrill Factor’ debuts this week on Travel Channel

by Banks Lee

Thrill Factor Travel Channel Tory Kari

Travel Channel is giving viewers a look at how thrill rides work with its all-new series “Thrill Factor,” and Busch Gardens Tampa gets featured in the first episode.

In this 10-part half-hour series, hosts and thrill seekers Kari Byron and Tory Belleci take viewers along for the ride as they explore the exciting world of thrill rides, waterslides and heart-pounding experiences around the globe through a scientific lens.

Byron and Belleci are no strangers to experimenting. Best known for their work on “MythBusters,” the two are pros at investigating the science behind some of the most interesting and crazy rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages and news stories. Now, the duo reunites, taking their passion for adventure, travel and science to the max as they dive into the amazing engineering, physics and biomechanics that explain why these wild rides excite adrenaline junkies around the world. From racing IndyCars in wine country to studying what it takes to plummet down the world’s tallest waterslide in Kansas, each episode travels to amusement spots near and far, offering a different and daring thrill.

“We are thrilled – no pun intended – that Kari and Tory are joining the Travel Channel family,” said Ross Babbit, senior vice president, programming and development, Travel Channel. “As true adventure seekers, they epitomize what travel is all about, and offer a unique scientific perspective to this great new series. Travel Channel is the perfect home for these outrageous experiments on some of the most amazing rides in the world.”

In the premiere episode, Byron and Belleci investigate how drop rides are designed to exploit our natural fear of falling to both torture and thrill us. Heading to Busch Gardens Tampa, they take a ride on Falcon’s Fury – the tallest freestanding ride in North America – to experience the adrenaline firsthand. Then in the second half-hour premiere, Byron and Belleci travel to Indiana to determine whether there’s any difference in how men and women react to extreme thrill rides. With the launch coaster Thunderbird as their lab, Byron and Belleci use high-tech biosensors to dissect the stress responses of male and female riders.

Whether they’re jumping out of planes in Vegas or riding the world’s first upside-down wooden rollercoaster in Wisconsin, Byron and Belleci serve as test subjects as they strap into these fast and frightening rides, collecting data behind the science of fun.

“Thrill Factor” premieres with back-to-back episodes on Aug. 12 starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT. For more information, head to TravelChannel.com.

Get a look at how our hosts of Orlando Attractions Magazine: The Show did on Falcon’s Fury in the video below:

Attractions hosts dive face-first on Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens

Here’s our interview with Kari from February last year when the MythBusters exhibit was visiting Tampa:

Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition with Kari Byron at MOSI

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