Are you a thrill-seeker? Do you like to give your body a boost of adrenaline now and then? Does the idea of plunging fast from great heights excite you? If so, you will want to keep reading.
We have compiled a list of 12 of the fastest, most intense roller coasters. So hang on — or put your hands in the air. You are a ride warrior, so get ready to be thrilled!
- Leviathan (Ontario, Canada)
- Intimidator 305 (Doswell, Virginia)
- Millennium Force (Sandusky, Ohio)
- Top Thrill Dragster (Sandusky, Ohio)
- SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton (Valencia, California)
- Red Force (Salou, Catalonia, Spain)
- Do-Dodonpa (Yamanashi, Japan)
- Kingda Ka (Jackson, New Jersey)
- Formula Rossa (Abu Dhabi)
Leviathan (Ontario, Canada)
Start your roller coaster journey at Canada’s Wonderland amusement park. While here, you’ll find Leviathan, a steel roller coaster that resembles a sea creature. Since its opening in 2012, it has been a fan favorite amongst Wonderland guests.
The train starts by climbing a chain lift hill. When it reaches the top at 306 feet, it drops at an 80-degree angle and reaches a maximum speed of 92 mph. The ride also features overbanked curves, more drops, and high-speed turns that are sure to excite any rider.
Leviathan holds the record for the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada. Along with this, Canada’s Wonderland launched an auction in which bidders competed to be one of the first 96 public riders. They raised over 40,000 Canadian Dollars, which they donated to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
What could be better than a thrilling ride that also contributes to charity?
Intimidator 305 (Doswell, Virginia)
Kings Dominion is an amusement and water park in Virginia that hosts a variety of roller coasters and rides. Possibly one of the most well-known coasters at Kings Dominion is the Intimidator 305. It’s one of the tallest, fastest, and most thrilling roller coasters on the East Coast.
The “305” represents the height in feet of the ride at its tallest point. Its first drop of 300 feet at an 85-degree angle makes for a thrilling and adrenaline-packed adventure that could make the strongest stomach turn during the plunge. The Intimidator reaches a speed of 90 mph, making every aspect of the ride thrilling.
The roller coaster is named after NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, who was widely known as “The Intimidator.” The plaza near the coaster’s entrance features Earnhardt’s famous Monte Carlo race car. With ties to one of the world’s most famous and beloved drivers, the Intimidator 305 is sure to fill any thrill seeker’s desires.
Millennium Force (Sandusky, Ohio)
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is one of the most beloved amusement parks to exist. There’s a reason it’s known as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. It has more than 70 rides, with 18 being thrilling coasters covering more than 18 miles of track. One of the most beloved coasters in the park is the Millennium Force.
The Millennium Force was built over two decades ago, and to this day, it remains a fan favorite. It stands 310 feet above the ground and features two tunnels, three turns tilting beyond 90 degrees, and four hills. Quite possibly the most astounding feature is the 93 mph speeds that it can reach.
At one time, the Millennium Force was a record-breaking ride, as it was known as the world’s tallest and fastest complete-circuit roller coaster for a few months after it opened in 2000.
Despite not remaining first on the leaderboards for that long, the Millennium Force broke other records by being the first coaster to use a new magnetic braking system that could slow the train down from 65 mph to a standstill in only six seconds. It’s a timeless classic that you can’t pass up.
Top Thrill Dragster (Sandusky, Ohio)
Speaking of Cedar Point, a trip would not be complete without experiencing the iconic Top Thrill Dragster. This steel accelerator coaster is one that people travel from all over the world to ride. It makes history as being one of only two strata coasters (a complete-circuit roller coaster between 400 and 499 feet tall) in the world.
The Top Thrill Dragster starts with the train leaving the station and entering the launch area. Once it launches, it accelerates to 120 mph in less than 4 seconds. As it ascends a 90-degree incline, it also twists 90 degrees clockwise. It stops for just a second when it reaches the top at 420 feet and then descends quickly, twisting 270 degrees just before leveling out.
Like the Millennium Force, the Dragster also set world-breaking records. From 2003 to 2005, it was both the world’s fastest and tallest roller coaster. It’s so tall that at the top of the ride, the horizon stretches out so far that you can technically see Canada.
Just be prepared for possible rollbacks, where the train is launched without enough speed, causing it to roll back to the launching area. Nonetheless, this coaster is full of speed, twists, turns, and excitement — no wonder it has “thrill” in its name!
SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton (Valencia, California)
Just outside of Los Angeles, California, lies a theme park so thrilling that coaster fanatics consider it to be one of the best amusement parks in the world. Six Flags Magic Kingdom in Valencia is known for its extreme roller coasters and thrill rides.
While the park has many impressive rides, Superman: Escape from Krypton may be the most exciting.
Known to many as simply “Superman” the ride shares the same colors as the superhero and bends up to the sky 415 feet high. You’ll start in a car and blast off, just like Superman himself. This launch takes you from 0 to 100mph in seven seconds flat. Oh, and did I mention it’s in reverse?
From there, you’ll go completely vertical and experience a good 6 or 7 seconds of weightlessness as if you are flying. After that, you’ll come back down the track at a rapid 92 mph.
When Superman opened in 1997, it was the world’s fastest and tallest roller coaster for a few years. These records were eventually beaten by newer coasters, but Superman remains the fastest roller coaster in California. With a thrill level of “maximum,” this ride is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. You may even feel like Superman himself!
Red Force (Salou, Catalonia, Spain)
The next coaster is located in a park called Ferrari Land, which is quite fitting considering its quickness. The Red Force in Spain reaches an insane speed of 112 mph in just five seconds. You’ll be able to spot this coaster instantly since it sports the Ferrari symbol on the tallest section of the ride.
The Red Force initially launches and reaches its top speed. Following it is an ascension towards the “top hat” or the tallest point of the ride. This section is very similar to the Top Thrill Dragster. Once the train goes over the top hat, it makes its descent as it twists at a 90-degree angle. The train then travels back to the launch area where riders are let off.
Currently, the Red Force is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Europe. It is also the tallest Giga coaster, which is a complete circuit roller coaster between 300 and 399 feet tall. The Red Force seats 12 passengers per train, with 2 seats next to each other for 6 rows. Grab your significant other, best friend, or ride warrior buddy and take on the fastest roller coaster in Europe!
Do-Dodonpa (Yamanashi, Japan)
At the base of Mount Fuji sits the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park. Here, you’ll be able to find roller coasters, haunted houses, and even Thomas the Tank Engine rides. Among this variety of attractions, you can also find Japan’s fastest roller coaster, Do Dodonpa.
The name stems from the deep, ominous sound made by taiko drums, an old traditional Japanese drum that was used to demonstrate power and influence in pre-modern Japanese villages. This sound often plays through the speakers while guests wait in the queue line.
When you ride Do Dodonpa, you will start on a track that takes you to the launch pad. There, it will stop while the air compressor begins to build. Once the ride is ready to launch, a voice will shout “launch time!” and then counts to three.
But be on your toes because the ride contains a “false start” feature where riders will think the launch failed, but will then experience a delayed launch which many are not ready for.
As the fastest roller coaster in Japan, Do Dodonpa reaches a maximum speed of 112 mph. The ride also contains curves and vertical loops for maximum thrill level. From 2001 to 2003, it was the world’s fastest roller coaster. While that record holder has since been replaced, Do Dodonpa remains the fastest launch accelerating roller coaster in the world.
Kingda Ka (Jackson, New Jersey)
One of the fastest roller coasters in the world can be found at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Kingda Ka created quite the media buzz in 2015 when it was announced that it would be the tallest and fastest coaster in the world. At insane heights and lightning speed, Kingda Ka is not for the faint of heart.
Kingda Ka’s layout is almost identical to that of the Top Thrill Dragster. The train starts by moving out of the station and towards the launch area. It then rolls back slightly so that the catch car can latch on to the middle car, and the brakes retract on the launch track. Then, a recorded voice tells you, “arms down, head back, hold on!”
Once the train is launched, the ride reaches an insane speed of 128 mph in just under four seconds. When you reach the top hat, you are at an astonishing 456 feet high. But don’t get too comfortable because seconds later, you are dropping 418 feet straight down in a 270-degree clockwise spiral.
Kingda Ka is the second-fastest roller coaster in the entire world, and it holds the record for the tallest roller coaster. With records like these, it should be top on your must-ride list.
Formula Rossa (Abu Dhabi)
Here it is, the moment you have been waiting for: the fastest roller coaster in the world. In Ferrari World of Abu Dhabi, you can find the amazing Formula Rossa. Since its debut in 2010, it has been the number one roller coaster to ride on many bucket lists.
Formula Rossa contains a launch that takes riders from 0 to 149 mph in just five seconds. From there, the Ferrari-inspired train soars along a 6,790-foot track built with hills and sharp turns that resemble a racetrack. Its shape was inspired by the Italian racetrack Monza Circuit, and the train cars look just like Formula 1 cars.
Because Formula Rossa reaches such high speeds, all riders are required to wear safety goggles that protect them from flying insects and airborne particles. Claus Frimand, the director for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, stated that the goal of Formula Rossa is to “bring the sensation of what a Formula One driver is experiencing.”
If you’d like to experience the feeling of the fastest car in the form of the fastest roller coaster, then you must ride the Formula Rossa!
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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