Roller Coasters are often the main attraction at Theme Parks and Amusement parks. They routinely draw in crowds of thrill-seekers looking for a scary adrenaline-filled experience that they won't soon forget. But what elevates a Coaster from an entertaining joy ride to a jaw-dropping mind-blowing must-try experience? Is it the heart-pounding acceleration of the launch? Is it the stomach-sinking first drop or the crazy inversions? Or is it a combination of these factors blended together devilishly with break-neck speed and unnerving airtime? In this list we feature some of the biggest, baddest, fastest and scariest roller coasters across the world. Some of them are record breakers, others are deceptively frightening owing to their wooden construction - but all of them have what it takes to be on every coaster fanatic's scary hall of fame. Go through the list to experience the incredible POV videos included and let us know by ranking the list which ones you think deserve to be on top (pun intended)!
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Kingda Ka is a steel accelerator roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. It is the world's tallest roller coaster, the world's second fastest roller coaster, and was the second strata coaster ever built.
El Toro is a wooden roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. When it opened, it had the steepest drop of any wooden roller coaster in the world at 76 degrees, until the record was broken by T Express in 2008 by one degree. Overall, its structure height of 181 feet (55 m) is ranked fourth, its drop height of 176 feet (54 m) is ranked second, and its top speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) is ranked fourth among all wooden roller coasters in the world.
Intimidator 305 is a steel roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, United States. Standing at 305 feet (93 m) tall and reaching speeds of 90 miles per hour (140 km/h), it is the second Giga Coaster to be built in North America – the first was Millennium Force at Cedar Point. Intimidator 305 has a first drop of 300 feet (91 m), with a maximum descent angle of 85 degrees. The overall height of Intimidator 305 is higher than the observation platform of the park's Eiffel Tower replica, making it one of the tallest rides at Kings Dominion.
Sky Scream is a launched steel roller coaster located at Holiday Park in Hassloch, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. In addition to being scary on its own, the ride has a horror theme to it with the buildings around it designed to look like an abandoned industrial complex.
Goliath is a wooden roller coaster in County Fair at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois. It set three world records for wooden roller coasters when it opened to the public on June 19, 2014: the longest drop at 180 feet (55 m), the steepest drop at 85°, and the fastest speed at 72 miles per hour (116 km/h). The ride also features two inversions.
Formula Rossa is a launched roller coaster located at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Formula Rossa is the world's fastest roller coaster with a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph). The coaster train accelerates to its top speed in 5 seconds using a hydraulic launch system which generates a release velocity similar to that of steam catapults on an aircraft carrier. Riders experience up to 1.7 g of force during acceleration and up to 4.8 g throughout the ride. The roller coaster track is 2.2 km (1.4 mi) in length, ranking it sixth in the world for steel roller coasters.
Colossos is a wooden roller coaster located at Heide Park in Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany. Manufactured by Intamin, the roller coaster opened in 2001. Unlike traditional wooden coasters, its track was prefabricated, laser-cut in a factory to a high degree of precision, with sections designed to snap together like Lego pieces.
Banshee is a steel roller coaster located at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio. Banshee opened on April 18, 2014. The roller coaster features 4,124 feet (1,257 m) of track making it the longest inverted roller coaster. Banshee is also the first inverted coaster built in the United States since the Patriot debuted at Worlds of Fun in 2006.
Steel Dragon 2000 is a steel roller coaster at Nagashima Spa Land amusement park in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Built by Morgan Manufacturing, Steel Dragon was opened in 2000, in the year of dragon in Asia. As of 2019, it is the longest roller coaster in the world.
The Gravity Max is located in Lihpao Discovery Land in the Houli District of Taichung, Taiwan. It is the world's first coaster to feature a true 90-degree drop and the world's only tilt coaster.
Full Throttle is a steel launched roller coaster located in Six Flags Plaza at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. It opened on June 22, 2013 and featured the world's tallest vertical loop at 160 feet (49 m) - a record that has since been surpassed on January 1, 2016 by Flash which opened at Lewa Adventure in Xianyang, China. It is also the first roller coaster to feature a top-hat element on top of a vertical loop.
Wicked Twister is a second generation steel Inverted Impulse roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Wicked Twister consists of two 215 feet (66 m) tall spikes. Both ends of the towers (track) are designed with 450-degree vertical twists which is the main difference between Wicked Twister and other Inverted Impulse roller coasters.
The Takabisha is a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter steel roller coaster located at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. It is famous for having a drop angle of 121° – the steepest coaster in the world. The Japanese name Takabisha translates to "high-handed" or "domineering" in English. The name is a pun, in that the three kanji in the name literally mean "high fly car".
Ultra Twister is a roller coaster located at Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Built by TOGO, which is also one of the few ultratwister models still in operation in Japan. It is almost identical to the other Ultra Twister models in the United States except it has a vertical chain lift hill and an 84 degree drop. Other ones had a steep lift hill and drop as well. The car goes slowly through the station, loads riders, and then flips the car straight up, into the lift hill, which is partially very slow, but soon speeds up as the car is almost at the top. As the drop, into an airtime hill, and then up into a heartline roll, a very small hill, and then a brake run, going down into two heartline rolls, and then a magnetic trim brake run allows a car to go slowly back into the station.
Hades 360 is a wooden roller coaster at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. It was originally known as Hades before the 360 degree roll was added in 2013. It is the largest roller coaster in the park. Hades 360 is a rarity among wooden roller coasters due to its 360 degree roll, 110-degree over banked turn, steep 65-degree drop as well as its 90-degree banked turn, as drops and angles this steep are generally not included on wooden roller coasters due to structural limitations.
Shivering Timbers is a wooden roller coaster at Michigan's Adventure in Muskegon County, Michigan. The ride's out and back layout is 5,383 feet (1,641 m) long, making it the fourth-longest wooden roller coaster in the world. The ride starts with a left turn out of the station and on to the 122 ft (37.2 m) lift hill. At the base of the lift hill, the train reaches its maximum speed of 57 mph (91.7 km/h). Following the lift hill are two camelback hills, the first being 100 ft (30.5 m) tall, and the second being 95 ft (29 m) tall. In these hills, riders experience "ejector air-time". The train then jumps a bunny hop and another camelback hill and a double up hill, before turning around for the second half of its course. After the turnaround, the train hits another bunny hop and another double up hill. After the double up hill there is a series of six bunny hop hills. After the last hill there is an on-ride photo camera and the ride's finale, a 630 degree helix, in which riders experience lateral g-force. After the helix, the train slides on to the final brake-run and executes a U-turn back into the station.
Superman: Escape from Krypton (originally known as Superman: The Escape) is a steel shuttle roller coaster located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. When it opened in 1997, it was the tallest roller coaster in the world, and its speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) was tied for the fastest with Tower of Terror II, a similar roller coaster which opened two months earlier at Dreamworld in Australia. These two coasters were the first to utilize Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) technology to propel vehicles to top speed. After refurbishment in 2011, the ride featured new trains which face backward moving at speeds of up to 104 mph (167 km/h), and was painted with a new color scheme. As of 2013, Superman: Escape from Krypton has the third-tallest structure, the fifth-fastest speed and the third-longest drop of any roller coaster in the world.
Fury 325 is a steel roller coaster located at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, it features a 6,602-foot-long (2,012 m) track that reaches a maximum height of 325 feet (99 m). Riders experience speeds of up to 95 miles per hour (153 km/h), winding through high-speed curves and passing over and under the park's main entrance. Fury 325 is the sixth-tallest roller coaster in the world and the tallest to use a traditional chain lift hill. It has also been voted the world's best steel coaster for three consecutive years in Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards beginning in 2016, which ended Millennium Force's six-year streak.
Cannibal is a steel roller coaster at Lagoon amusement park in Farmington, Utah, United States. Opened on July 2, 2015, the $22-million ride was built and designed mostly in-house. It features the steepest drop in North America, fourth-steepest in the world, and holds the world record for the tallest beyond-vertical drop on a roller coaster. The roller coaster features a 208 feet (63 m) elevator lift, enclosed in a huge tower structure, a 116° beyond vertical drop, inversions including an Immelman-like loop as well as an inversion unique to the park, a water feature, and a tunnel 20 feet (6.1 m) underground. It is the tallest roller coaster in the state and the longest ride in the park. The ride cars accommodate 12 passengers (3 rows of 4), and the duration of the ride lasts approximately two and a half minutes.
GateKeeper is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Designed by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), it was the fifth Wing Coaster installation in the world. GateKeeper features the highest inversion in the world, with its 170-foot (52 m) Wing Over drop. It has broken several Wing Coaster records, including those for height, speed, track length, drop height and number of inversions. The coaster has a 170 ft (52 m), 40-degree inclined lift hill with a 164 ft (50 m) drop and features two support towers with keyhole elements that the trains travel through. Its top speed is approximately 67 mph (108 km/h).
The Smiler is a steel roller coaster located at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Manufactured by Gerstlauer, It was the world's first Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster and it features 14 inversions and holds the world record for most inversions on a roller coaster. A key feature of the ride is the large spider-like structure that serves as a centrepoint for the coaster track. Called ‘The Marmaliser,’ it has 5 legs, each with a distinct function to manipulate riders into "smiling". It is also equipped with a wraparound screen, which displays graphics and video relating to the theme of the ride. The roller coaster intertwines within the structure causing greater interaction with riders to enhance the experience. The track is divided into 5 block sections, permitting up to 5 trains to operate on the ride at once, which would create a theoretical capacity of 1200 people per hour (pph).
Griffon is a steel Dive Coaster roller coaster located at the Busch Gardens Williamsburg amusement park in James City County, Virginia, United States. It is 205 feet (62 m) high, and is the second-fastest (71 miles per hour (114 km/h)) Dive Coaster built. The roller coaster features two Immelmann loops, a splashdown, two vertical drops and was the first of its kind to use floorless trains. Griffon was announced to the public on August 23, 2006, and opened on May 18, 2007, to positive reviews by both newspapers and enthusiasts. In 2007, Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards voted it the third-best new steel roller coaster of that year and the 27th-best steel roller coaster. It was voted the 33rd-best steel roller coaster in 2013.
Fahrenheit is a steel roller coaster at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Located in the Pioneer Frontier section of the park, the roller coaster opened on May 24, 2008. It features six inversions and became the steepest roller coaster in the world when it opened with its first drop of 97 degrees. Fahrenheit briefly held the record until Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach, which featured a 111-degree drop, opened several weeks later on July 5. It is now the 7th steepest roller coaster in the world.
Valravn is a steel roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Built and designed by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), it opened on May 7, 2016, as the tallest, fastest, and longest Dive Coaster model in the world and the first in the Cedar Fair chain. This record has been broken by Yukon Striker at Canada's Wonderland in 2019. Valravn is also the first dive coaster to use B&M’s state of the art hydraulic vest restraints. It was the third Dive Coaster overall to open in the United States, after SheiKra and Griffon at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
X2 (formerly known as X) is a steel roller coaster operating at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. It is the world's first 4th Dimension roller coaster and was the final roller coaster conceived and installed by ride manufacturer Arrow Dynamics. The ride is unique in that the trains' seats pitch 360 degrees forwards and in reverse independent of the main chassis.
The Joker is a steel roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. The ride opened on May 29, 2016, as a rebuild of former wooden roller coaster Roar, adding a new steel track on top of Roar's wooden support structure. This hybrid configuration was implemented by Rocky Mountain Construction and is themed to the Joker, a comic book character villain featured in DC Comics publications. The original Roar roller coaster was constructed by Great Coasters International and opened in 1999.
The Beast is a wooden roller coaster located at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. Built in-house by the park, it opened in 1979 as the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in the world. Decades later, The Beast is still the longest at 7,359 feet (2,243 m), spanning more than 35 acres (14 ha) and utilizing the surrounding terrain for many of its elements. Two lift hills contribute to the ride's duration of more than four minutes, which also ranks as one of the longest among roller coasters. The Beast has been rated in the industry as one of the top roller coasters in the world, having earned a solid reputation among roller coaster enthusiasts. It has consistently placed in the top ten overall in annual rankings released by Amusement Today since the publication's debut in 1998. After nearly 40 years, it also remains one of the most popular rides at Kings Island, having accommodated over 53 million riders.
Millennium Force is a steel roller coaster located at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. Manufactured by Intamin, it was the park's fourteenth roller coaster dating back to the opening of Blue Streak in 1964. Upon completion in 2000, Millennium Force broke six world records and was the world's first giga coaster, a term coined by Intamin and Cedar Point to represent roller coasters that exceed 300 feet (91 m) in height and complete a full circuit. It was briefly the tallest and fastest in the world until Steel Dragon 2000 opened later the same year. The ride is also the third-longest roller coaster in North America following The Beast at Kings Island and Fury 325 at Carowinds. Millennium Force features a 310-foot-tall (94 m) cable lift hill with a 300-foot (91 m) drop, two tunnels, three overbanked turns, and four hills. The coaster also has a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h).
Outlaw Run is a wooden roller coaster located at the Silver Dollar City amusement park in Branson, Missouri. The ride was the first wooden roller coaster manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction and the first wooden roller coaster with multiple inversions, in which riders are turned upside-down and then back upright. The 2,937-foot-long (895 m) ride features three inversions and a top speed of 68 miles per hour (109 km/h), making Outlaw Run the sixth-fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. The 162-foot-tall (49 m) first drop of the ride is the fourth steepest in the world among wooden roller coasters, at 81° beyond horizontal.
Colossus is a steel roller coaster at Thorpe Park in Surrey, England, and the park's first major attraction. It was built by Swiss manufacturers Intamin and designed by Werner Stengel as an adaptation of Monte Makaya in Brazil, with consultation from Tussauds attraction developer John Wardley. Colossus was the world's first roller coaster with ten inversions; an exact replica, called the 10 Inversion Roller Coaster, was later built at Chimelong Paradise in Guangzhou, China. It retained its title of having the most inversions on any other roller coaster in the world until The Smiler at Alton Towers took the record in 2013.
Phantom's Revenge (formerly known as Steel Phantom) is a steel roller coaster at Kennywood. When it opened in 1991, Phantom's Revenge featured the longest drop of any roller coaster in the world and was also the fastest. The ride was originally manufactured by Arrow Dynamics but was later modified and renovated by D.H. Morgan Manufacturing during the 2000–2001 off-season. The changes included an increased drop and track length, as well as the removal of its four inversions. A unique feature is that the roller coaster's second drop is longer than its first.
Expedition GeForce is a steel roller coaster located at Holiday Park in Hassloch, Germany. It is one of the largest roller coasters in Europe and has an 82 degree first drop. The trains travel up to 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph) through a course 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) long with seven periods of weightlessness. At its highest, the ride reaches 53 metres (174 ft) above ground. Until the opening of Silver Star at Europa-Park, it was the tallest roller coaster operating on the European mainland.
Do-Dodonpa, formerly known as Dodonpa, is located at Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. The ride uses compressed air to launch its trains. This steel roller coaster made its debut on 21 December 2001, making headlines when it broke two records. On opening, it claimed the records of fastest roller coaster in the world, previously shared by Superman: The Escape and Tower of Terror and the fastest acceleration in the world, with an acceleration from 0 to 180 kilometres per hour (0 to 112 mph) in 1.56 seconds, a record it still holds to this day.
Leviathan is a steel roller coaster in the Medieval Faire section of the park at Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. It exceeds a height of 91.5 metres (300 ft), putting it in a class of roller coasters commonly referred to as giga. At 1,672 metres (5,486 ft) long, 93.3 metres (306 ft) tall, and with a top speed of 148 kilometres per hour (92 mph), Leviathan is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada, taking the records previously held by Behemoth on the opposite side of the park. As of 2018, Leviathan is ranked as the ninth-tallest roller coaster in the world and the fourth-tallest traditional lift-style coaster in the world.
SheiKra is a steel Dive Coaster roller coaster at the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay amusement park in Tampa, Florida, United States. The ride is 200 feet (61 m) high. SheiKra reaches a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) and has a total track length of 3,188 feet (972 m). It first opened on May 21, 2005, and was converted to a floorless roller coaster on June 16, 2007. SheiKra was the first Dive Coaster to be constructed in North America; its track includes a splashdown and an Immelmann loop, both a first for its kind. It broke the records for the world's longest, tallest, and fastest Dive Coaster, but lost these records when Griffon in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States and Dive Coaster at Chimelong Paradise in Guangzhou, China opened. The name SheiKra is derived from the word "shikra", an Asian-African hawk that is known to dive vertically for its prey.
Steel Vengeance, formerly known as Mean Streak, is a steel roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Upon completion, Steel Vengeance set 10 world records including the tallest wooden coaster in the world with the longest drop height. After more than 25 years of operation, Cedar Point closed Mean Streak on September 16, 2016 and confirmed its track conversion in August 2017. It was marketed as the world's first hybrid hypercoaster – a wooden and steel roller coaster at least 200 feet (61 m) in height – and reemerged as Steel Vengeance in May 5 2018.
Time Traveler is a steel spinning roller coaster located at the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri, United States. Time Traveler features the fictional story of clockmaker Charles Henry and his daughter spotlighting human achievements through time travel. The roller coaster reaches a height of 100 feet (30 m) with a maximum speed of 50.3 miles per hour (81.0 km/h) and a total track length of 3,020 feet (920 m). Upon opening, Time Traveler became the fastest and tallest complete circuit spinning roller coaster, the first to feature three inversions.
Twisted Timbers, formerly known as Hurler, is a steel roller coaster located at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. The track was converted from wood to steel to allow for more aggressive elements including three overbanked turns, three inversions, and twenty airtime moments. Twisted Timbers is also faster than its predecessor, reaching a maximum speed of 54 mph (87 km/h). The roller coaster takes riders to a height of 111 feet (34 m) before entering a barrel roll inversion and dropping them 109 feet (33 m) down the first hill. It reaches a maximum speed of 54 mph (87 km/h), features twenty airtime moments with three overbanked turns, and takes riders through two additional inversions including a cutback and zero-g roll.
The Voyage is a wooden roller coaster located at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. The roller coaster is themed to the famous voyage of the Mayflower by Pilgrims to North America in 1620. Among wooden coasters, The Voyage ranks second in length and sixth in height, featuring a track length of 6,442 feet (1,964 m) and a maximum height of 173 feet (53 m). Also, its 24.3 seconds of air-time is the most produced on a wooden coaster to date. Another unique statistic is the ride's five underground tunnels. In 2006, it won a Golden Ticket Award for "Best New Ride" from Amusement Today magazine, which also ranked The Voyage as the "Best Wooden Roller Coaster" from 2007 through 2011.
Manta is a steel flying roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando. The attraction allows guests to encounter numerous species of ray before boarding a manta ray-shaped train that takes them on a 3,359-foot-long (1,024 m) roller coaster ride above the park, reaching top speeds of 56 miles per hour (90 km/h). After departing from the station, the train will make either a slight left or right turn—depending on which station it leaves—into the 140-foot (43 m) chain lift hill. From the top of the lift hill, the train makes a 113-foot (34 m) downward right turn into a 98-foot (30 m)-tall pretzel loop, after which it turns left, leading into the first of two inline twists. The train then makes a right turn followed by a slight upward left turn into a corkscrew, before turning right into the mid-course brake run. The train then drops to a point just above a body of water, at the same time making a 270-degree right turn, where water jets spray up near the train to produce the effect of the train actually hitting the water. After exiting the turn, the train goes by a waterfall, goes through the second inline twist, makes a left turn into the final brake run, then makes a left turn into one of the two stations where the next riders board.
Red Force is a steel launched roller coaster at Ferrari Land at PortAventura World in Salou, Catalonia, Spain. With a height of 112 metres (367 ft) and a maximum speed of 180 kilometres per hour (112 mph), Red Force is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Europe as of 2019. Once the train leaves the station, it is accelerated zero to 180 kilometres per hour (112 mph) in 5 seconds. The train then ascends a 112-metre (367 ft) tall top hat, twisting 90 degrees to the left. Once the train goes over the top hat, it descends back down, again twisting 90 degrees to the left. This sends the train travelling parallel to the launch track but in the opposite direction. The train then enters a flat brake run and then ascends a short incline before entering the final set of brakes.
Flash is a steel roller coaster located at Lewa Adventure in Jingyang, Xianyang, Shaanxi, China. The ride is the tallest and fastest roller coaster from Mack Rides and, along with Full Throttle, holds the record for tallest vertical loop at a height of 160 feet.
Dive Coaster is a Floorless Dive roller coaster operating at Chimelong Paradise in China. Dive Coaster features a 90°, 197 foot vertical drop that exits into an Immelmann loop. After the Immelmann, riders will swoop down to the ground then climb a curve up to the block brake, then go over a second near vertical dive dropping into an underground tunnel. Upon exiting the tunnel, riders make an overbanked turn into a water splash feature which exits into a bunny hill then into a helix before entering the final brake run. This ride is very similar to Griffon and Sheikra (the first half being part of Griffon and the other part being Sheikra). It broke the record for the world's longest roller coaster when it opened and is still the longest inverted roller coaster in the world.
Superman The Ride (formerly known as Bizarro and Superman: Ride of Steel) is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts. Built by Swiss manufacturer Intamin in 2000, it features a 208-foot (63 m) lift hill, a 221-foot (67 m) drop, and 5,400 feet (1,600 m) of track. The park announced plans to change the name from Bizarro to Superman The Ride for the 2016 season, as well as adding a virtual reality feature to the ride, starting June 11. Superman The Ride has been voted the number one steel roller coaster in the world in Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards five times since 2003 and had not been ranked lower than #2 in that same poll until it was ranked at #3 in 2016. It has swapped with Millennium Force at Cedar Point for the top position five times in the last eleven years, with Fury 325 displacing both in 2016.
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