This list of the tallest, fastest, and most unique roller coasters in the world will have thrill-seekers drooling. Whether you like speed, inversions, or just a wild ride, you’ll find the perfect ride here. Including rides theme parks in Europe, Asia, and the United States, these thrill rides span the Northern Hemisphere and will lead you to a world of thrills.
Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great America
“Arms down, head back, hold on!” Kingda Ka, the tallest and second fastest roller coaster in the world, is a 50.6 second ride of pure adrenaline located at Six Flags Great America in New Jersey. The launch will steal your breath away as within 3.5 seconds, riders of Kingda Ka are blasted horizontally at 128 miles per hour. Before we knew it we were hurtling 45 stories in the air to the soundtrack of Eye of the Tiger as our carriage navigated the upside down U shaped track, rolling 90 degrees at the top. Kingda Ka is guaranteed to have thrill seekers screaming for its duration – the roller coaster is so epic we queued another 3 times to experience the incredible rush that only Kingda Ka can deliver!
Read more from Elaine and David on their site Show Them the Globe.
Millennium Force at Cedar Point
Millennium Force is my all-time favorite roller coaster. Located at Cedar Point, Ohio’s legendary theme park home to record-breaking coaster after record-breaking coaster, it was the tallest and fastest coaster in the world when it opened and the first to top 300 feet tall. The lift hill features an elevator-style system rather than a traditional chain so it’s a way faster climb than you’d expect, though with the views of Lake Erie stretching out to the horizon, you might find yourself wishing that it lasted just a bit longer. The first drop is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and Millennium Force never lets up with air time hills that have you launching up against your lap bar. Almost twenty years after it first opened, it’s still one of the top-ranked steel roller coasters in the world and should be on any thrill-seeker’s bucket list.
The Intimidator at Kings Dominion
One of the places near Washington DC that is known for its awesome roller coasters is Kings Dominion. This past summer I got the chance to visit and ride the fastest roller coaster I’ve ever been on. The Intimidator is 305 feet tall and reaches speeds of 90 mph. I was told by one of the park employees that they actually had to slow it down because so many people were blacking out on the coaster! It’s one of the fastest and tallest roller coasters in the world and it definitely lives up to its name. When we first walked up, I was fine with it and didn’t realize how high up it really went, but once we were on the coaster and overlooking the entire park, I was definitely scared! This is definitely a roller coaster you don’t want to miss if you love a thrill.
Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens
Rutschebanen (or The Rollercoaster) is an amazing ride located at one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s one of the oldest operating roller coasters in the world, and it’s a pretty thrilling one too.
There are some unique things that make this roller coaster something you have to put on your list of must-ride coasters. First of all, many a Disney fan knows that Walt was inspired to create Disneyland after a visit to Tivoli, and after seeing it in person, the mountain theming and decorations are strikingly similar to The Matterhorn at Disneyland.
Secondly, the cars are operated by an actual brakeman. You are probably asking yourself, “Uh, what do you mean a brakeman?” Well, there is an actual person who stands in the middle of the train and they make sure the train doesn’t go too fast for you by operating a manual brake. They also pose for pictures for you in the middle of the ride, so that’s a fun perk. Finally, even boarding the train cars is an adventure, since they barely stop when they arrive at the station. Basically, as the ride ends, the train comes slowly into the station and, if you follow the locals’ lead, you hop onto the train car while it’s still (slowly) moving! Needless to say, there was barely a wait because the trains never really come to a complete stop! Can you imagine that happening at Disneyland?
As you can see, this is not a roller coaster you want to miss. It’s a unique and very exciting ride that is unlike anything else you’ve experienced.
Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYLON at Universal Studios Singapore
I love roller coasters. I really do. The Battlestar Galactica roller coaster at Universal Studios Singapore, however, made my stomach churn. At first glance the roller coaster towers overhead and is visible from all over the park. When you get closer, you immediately realize that it has two parts: The human part and the Cylon part. The human part has the traditional roller coaster seats. If you choose Cylon however you will find your legs dangling under you. Both sets are released at the same time and gives the illusion that both the humans and the Cylons are engaged in battle which is really cool! It is the most popular ride in Universal Studios so the lines can get long. The best time with the shortest line is probably when the show at Water World is on. Then again, you may want to ride the roller coaster multiple times, so it really wouldn’t matter!
The Beast at Kings Island
This legendary wooden roller coaster has been rattling through the woods around Kings Island since 1979. Taking advantage of the park’s hilly terrain, the trains fly through drops and tunnels and its famous double helix feature. At the time it opened, it was the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in the world. Almost forty years later, it still holds the record as the longest wooden coaster, with a track that extends for over a mile. It’s rough. It’s wild. It’s not to be missed.
Python at Efteling
37 years ago, the Python steel roller coaster rolled down the track for the first time. Once the largest roller coaster in Europe, the Python roller coaster was the new daredevil icon of the Efteling Theme Park. Efteling started as a fairy tale forest, but the roller coaster was a great addition to the park to appeal to older kids and adults. With 2 loops, double corkscrews, and a helix, the Python roller coaster is forever etched in my memory as an absolute thrill ride. As a young girl, I sat in the roller coaster, screaming my lungs out of pure excitement and joy.
In 2018, the Python roller coaster has been demolished and completely rebuilt. The track is smoother, making the ride even more enjoyable. With its 53 mph (85 km/h) the roller coaster might not be the fastest one in Europe, but it is slowly becoming the oldest one.
Helix at Liseberg
Helix is the longest and fastest metal roller coaster in Scandinavia with a top speed of over 100 km/h. It’s located in the beautiful Swedish theme park Liseberg in central Gothenburg, Sweden. When this ride first opened in 2014, it was the main attraction in the region for several years, and has managed to remain one of the greatest ever since.
You really want to check and double check that you’re safely buckled up before the ride begins – there are seven loops and a number of high drops included in the two minute package. And when you think it’s all over, it starts over again and the screaming and shouting never seems to end.
The best thing with this ride must be the combination of speed, G-forces and the location on the rocky mountain side of the Liseberg Hill. It’s definitely a rush worth returning for over and over again.
Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Located in Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, The Iron Rattler opened in 2013. It is a revamped version of the original, all wooden roller coaster, The Rattler. The Rattler opened in 1992 as the tallest and fastest wooden coaster in the world, until the first drop was shortened in 1994. In 2012, it was announced The Rattler would close.
The Iron Rattler was built on the same wooden frame, but with some modifications to the supports and added a steel track. Changing to a steel track allowed for steeper drops and a barrel roll to be added. It makes for a very smooth, thrilling ride set well into the quarry wall and going through a tunnel.
Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point
Another record-setting roller coaster at Cedar Point, Top Thrill Dragster was the first to top 400 feet tall and 100 mph. If it looks somewhat familiar, you might be recalling the very first entry on this list – Kingda Ka. That’s because the previously mentioned coaster was a slightly taller and faster version of the Dragster – but don’t let that stop you from riding. The racing-themed coaster lives up to its name, as riders are launched from 0 to 120 mph in just a few seconds. When the safety spiel says to keep your arms down and head back, it’s not kidding. The launch is the most intense acceleration you’re likely to experience in your life. Once at top speed, the trains make a vertical climb to the top of the imposing tower. You have a few brief seconds to enjoy the view from the top before plunging back down to earth in a twisting 90-degree drop. The ride lasts less than thirty seconds, but it’s well-worth the wait.
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