It might sound silly or even shocking to some but the truth is there have been quite a few surveys and scientific studies that focus on why so many people seem to love dangerous activities for the thrill of it. One obvious answer is that some people are adrenaline junkies and this is the main reason so many extreme sports have risen in prominence in the past few decades. Another possible explanation is the freedom such activities give to an individual to act wildly and blow off steam. This appears to be one of the main reasons why so many millions of people around the world flock to amusement parks every year.
Of course, roller coasters are a major part of this attraction, and the people who run the parks keep looking for ways to make coasters taller, faster, and scarier. Here follows a list of 25 of the most intense roller coasters ever created, the vast majority of which are still operating today so you can visit them anytime you wanna get your adrenaline pumping.
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Rebel Yell is a wooden racing roller coaster located at Kings Dominion and opened with the park in 1975. This year Rebel Yell celebrates its fortieth anniversary and throughout the years it has earned multiple honors and awards for its safety and unique design with the greatest being in 2003 when it received the prestigious ACE Coaster Landmark Award.
Batman: The Ride
Batman: The Ride, which is located at Six Flags Over Georgia, isn’t the fastest, tallest, or prettiest roller coaster out there. Instead, it’s one of the most unattractive and plain ones you will probably ever see. However, in 2008 after a young man got decapitated by the roller coaster car while trying to retrieve his lost hat, Batman: The Ride became one of the most macabre roller coasters on the planet even though the park was not responsible for the fatal incident.
Located in the LaQua section of the Tokyo Dome City Attractions is this impressive twenty-six-story tall, 3,500-foot-long roller coaster that has seduced all the locals and tourists who are after adventure and high speeds. It has been described as the Coliseum of roller coasters and judging from the photos we must agree it looks like the epitome of a ridiculous thrill ride.
This is the only roller coaster on this list that is still under construction but we couldn’t ignore it for all it promises to offer. This spring Fury 325 will be the world’s tallest, fastest giga-coaster and may place the Carowinds Amusement Park, located in South Carolina, on the map as the world’s biggest and baddest amusement parks in the world.
Full Throttle, which is located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, opened to the public on June 22, 2013, and immediately set the record as the world’s tallest loop de loop at 160 feet in the air. It’s also the first roller coaster to feature a top-hat element on a loop and has drawn hundreds of thousands of brave visitors in less than two years of operation.
The Gatekeeper is a relatively new addition to Cedar Point Beach in Ohio and this steel wing coaster has broken the record as the world’s tallest inversion coaster at 170 feet off the ground, featuring stomach-dropping falls at 70 mph.
Oblivion is located at Alton Towers, England, and opened as the world’s first vertical-drop roller coaster on March 14, 1998.
When the Dodonpa opened in 2001, it was the fastest roller coaster in the world, a record that has been broken since then even though the famous roller coaster, located at Fuji Q Highland Park, Japan, is still one of the five fastest in the world.
Even though the name Intimidator 305 sounds like a badass spaceship someone like Darth Vader would ride, in reality it is named after NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, a.k.a the Intimidator, and it is the tallest, fastest and most thrilling roller coaster on the East Coast. The ride stands 305 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 300 feet at an 85-degree angle, and most enthusiasts rave about its high-speed twists and turns. Last but not least, this roller coaster, which you can find at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, was voted “Best New Roller Coaster of 2010” by Amusement Today, adding more prestige to the coaster’s already decorated history.
Steel Dragon 2000
This impressive roller coaster at Nagashima Spa Land Amusement Park in Mie Prefecture, in Japan, boasts the longest track length on the planet: a mighty 8,133 feet (2,479 m). Because the Steel Dragon, named for the Chinese year of the dragon in 2000, was built in Japan, it required far more steel than other roller coasters because of the necessary earthquake protection, putting its cost at more than $50 million.
Derby Racer Roller Coaster
Derby Racer was the name of two very unique wooden roller coasters that operated at Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts. The first coaster opened in 1911 and went out of business in 1936 while the second coaster of the same name was built in 1937, replacing the first. Both coasters were racing roller coasters, with side-by-side tracks where two coaster trains would race each other around the circuit. However, thanks to its many accidents which resulted in a couple of deaths and multiple injuries, the derby racers were permanently decommissioned.
The locals at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, wonder what the Roller Coaster Capital of the World (as they call it) would be without roller coasters. That’s why they constructed a true giant among coasters—the Millennium Force: a 310-foot and 93-mph record-breaking monster of a thrill ride. It is so huge that it unofficially created a whole new category of roller coasters: the giga-coaster
Volcano (The Blast Coaster)
Volcano debuted as the world’s first inverted linear motor-launched (LIM) roller coaster with the highest inversion. Roller coaster enthusiasts consider it the quintessential thrill-seeking experience, and it is the only roller coaster to shoot riders straight out of a raging volcano. What more can you ask for from a roller coaster?
The Wicked Twister at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is one of the tallest, fastest, and most intimidating inverted roller coasters in the world. The brave riders who get on shouldn’t be afraid of heights or high speeds because they will have to face breathtaking 450-degree spirals at more than 70 mph.
The Coney Island Cyclone
If you’ve ever been to New York’s legendary Coney Island, then you have definitely seen the Cyclone. This classic wooden roller coaster is one of the most popular amusement park rides in the US, but unfortunately it was responsible for the death of a maintenance worker in 1988 who was thrown from the coaster during duty and fell thirty feet, landing on a crossbeam and dying instantly.
Superman – Ride of Steel
This roller coaster, as its name tells us, is only for those who have guts of steel. As a matter of a fact, the Ride of Steel is such an intense experience that the people in charge had to come up with a whole new category for it. “Hypercoasters” are the modern breed of oversize roller coasters that rise up to more than 200 feet tall. SUPERMAN: Ride of Steel easily clears that distinction, with a height of 215 feet and a mind-blowing 208-foot drop.
The New Texas Giant is a steel roller coaster located at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. The ride opened in 2011 after an eighteen-month refurbishment of the former Texas Giant wooden roller coaster and winner of two Golden Ticket Awards for the best Top Wood Roller Coaster in the US. On July 19, 2013, a woman died after falling from the ride, resulting in modifications and additions to the ride’s restraint system.
Fujin Raijin II
The six-car Fujin Raijin II roller coaster at Expoland in Osaka, on which passengers could stand throughout the course of the ride, was considered one of the most impressive and exciting in all Japan, but unfortunately in 2007 all this suddenly changed. While the ride was in motion a fatal accident occurred from which a woman died and nineteen other passengers were injured. This event had a huge impact on all the parks across Japan and the Fujin Raijin II closed permanently, although the park reopened shortly after the accident.
Big Dipper (Omaha, Nebraska)
It’s no secret that old-school roller coasters were incredibly dangerous due to inferior engineering technology. Back in 1930, one of the most tragic roller-coaster accidents took place at Krug Park in Omaha, killing four people. Omaha immediately passed a law making roller coasters illegal in the city, and Krug Park closed down soon afterward.
Six Flags Great Adventure’s El Toro (“the bull” in Spanish) is a wooden coaster that offers a wild, mad ride. El Toro mixes the smooth ride, height, speed, and exciting twisting elements of steel coasters with a classic wooden design. Keep in mind that El Toro entered the Guinness Book of World Records at its opening for breaking the record for the steepest angle of descent on a wooden coaster at seventy-six degrees.
This upside down U-shaped track bolts up 45 stories into the sky. That’s 456 feet high! This leaves all other coasters in the dust. And of course it’s going to take some mighty acceleration to get you to the top. You’ll leave the starting point going from zero to 128 miles per hour in a jaw-dropping 3.5 seconds. Actually, there won’t be time for your jaw to drop.
Top Thrill Dragster
Let’s get a few things straight about this one: zero to 120 mph in less than four seconds; the kind of speed even the top drivers in NASCAR would be jealous of. A few seconds later you are 420 feet in the air and despite the ride lasting only about seventeen seconds, it’ll stay with you forever. To sum it up, in the race for pure adrenaline thrills, there is only one winner: Top Thrill Dragster.
The Tower of Terror II
If roller coasters are your thing, you’ll probably love the Tower of Terror II in Australia, which has served nearly ten million people in the past eighteen years. A bonus for riding this “monster” is that after the ride, guests are treated to an opportunity to purchase a photo of themselves enjoying their jolly jaunt on the Tower of Terror.
If you plan to visit Japan anytime soon and you happen to be a roller-coaster fan, then you might want to visit the Fuji-Q Highland, an amusement park that just added a very special attraction: the world’s steepest roller coaster. The Takabisha accelerates to 90 mph/h, has a forty-three meter drop and a 121-degree free fall. The Japanese roller coaster beat the former record holder, the Le Timber Drop in France, whose drop measures only 113.1 degrees.
At almost 150 miles per hour, Formula Rossa, located at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, has the official title of being the fastest roller coaster in the world since 2010. Using the same technology that propels fighter planes from warships, it accelerates into the burning desert from zero to 100 kph in two seconds flat. The question is, are you crazy enough to ride it?