No amusement park trip is ever complete unless you’ve climbed aboard almost every single ride. While the bumper cars and pirate ships are appealing, the most adventurous and daring will be in line for the roller coaster rides. Amusement parks spend millions of dollars each year in an attempt to claim ownership of the fastest and most exciting roller coasters in the world.
There are dozens of incredible roller coasters across the world, from the older wooden coasters to the newest and most technologically advanced. We scoured the earth for the 21 most thrilling roller coasters on the planet, but don’t take our word for it – check them out for yourself!
Located in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, Medusa was one of the first floorless roller coasters erected in this park. If you thought roller coasters were scary before, imagine flying through the air with your feet dangling in – well – nothing. Imagine looking down to see not only your feet but the ground beneath you during a 150 foot straight drop – or the sky above you during an inverted loop! The hottest feature is the g-loop, taking riders in a 360 degree loop on as little track as possible. Don’t look down!
20. Kentucky Rumbler
The Kentucky Rumbler coaster can be found at Beach Bend Park in Kentucky. It’s a wooden roller coaster, for sure – but with more twists and turns than you’re used to seeing. Most roller coasters today are made of steel, or a hybrid mix of steel and wood. This brand new authentic wooden roller coaster travels at speeds up to 50 mph and seats 24 people for a ride over a track spanning over half a mile! With companies like Great Coasters International in existence, the original wooden roller coaster will never disappear!
The Typhoon roller coaster is situated in the Bobbejaanland Family Park in Lichtaart, Belgium and gives riders the feeling they’re in flight! The coaster includes a terrifying 97-degree drop, an exhilarating vertical loop, and three separate heartline rolls! Stop on by for what Belgium considers one of the most exciting “25 meters of screaming” you’re ever going to experience!
18. Superman Ride of Steel
The Superman Ride of Steel hides in the Six Flags New England amusement park in Agawam, Massachusetts. If a 221 foot drop isn’t enough, imagine looking down to see yourself dropping into a black hole at 70 miles per hour! The hills, drops, turns, and airtime will leave you feeling like Superman. All you need now is a cape.
17. Canyon Blaster
The Canyon Blaster can be found in the Adventuredome in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Adventuredome is an indoor theme park that allows everyone to enjoy a pleasant 72 degree atmosphere all year round. The two vertical loops, two corkscrews, and the helix turns will invert you up to four times while traveling at top speeds of 45 miles per hour, through mountains and tunnels. Not bad for an indoor coaster!
16. Manhattan Express
The Manhattan Express is located within the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada (how’s that for confusing?). The hotel is designed to remind visitors to Las Vegas of the New York City skyline and the coaster actually wraps around the outside of the hotel! Imagine experiencing vertical loops combined with twist and dive inversions while flying past a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
15. Texas Giant
Found in Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas, the Texas Giant is truly historic. It is located in one of the original Six Flags parks and is one of the first over-sized wooden roller coasters ever built that remains in good working condition. The 14-story high track looms in the Texas skyline, threatening to drop you 143 feet into its center where you’ll only be met with another series of twists and turns. Even those with iron stomachs question their abilities after tackling this beast!
The Richochet coaster can be found in Paramount’s Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia and packs a larger punch than you might believe at first glance. The wild-mouse style coaster will propel you across bumps, around turns, and through twists before dropping you 50 feet to the ground and shooting you across bunny hops to the end of the track. The drop itself is a huge surprise as they are not normally found on this type of coaster! Don’t let the small size fool you.
13. Boulder Dash
In Bristol, Connecticut you’ll find the Lake Compounce amusement park and the Boulder Dash roller coaster. This incredible wooden roller coaster was the first ever to be built on a mountain. The coaster takes you over 8 hills, including double ups, speed hills, and even a surprise drop in the middle of the track! Combine these with the picturesque mountain atmosphere and you’ll never forget this ride!
Buffalo Bill’s Hotel and Casino in Primm, Nevada is home to the Desperado. This coaster is one of the longest in the world, with track spanning almost 5,500 feet in length. It’s considered a hypercoaster because it features incredible drops and air time but does not invert its passengers. Not sure what I mean? You’ll understand after you experience the 155-foot spiraling drop!
11. Storm Runner
Located in Hershey Park, Pennsylvania, the Storm Runner coaster seems to move relatively quickly but don’t worry about that – the coaster will repeat itself in reverse for those who weren’t paying attention the first time. The hydraulic launch will catapult you from 0 to 72 miles per hour in 2 seconds, drop you 180 feet, and invert you three times. Need we say more?
These eleven hot coasters mark just the beginning of our incredible roller coaster search. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll explore ten additional coasters. We guarantee you’ll be screaming for more!