Do you love roller coasters? Do you count yourself as one of the few people who have ridden the top coasters in the world? Take a look at this list of 20 of the world's biggest and baddest roller coasters and see how many you can check off your list.
Roller coasters consistently draw big crowds to amusement and theme parks. Everyone, from teens to adults, hopes to catch the next big thing in these rides, and some people go to whatever lengths they can to ride the biggest and best coasters in the world.
These roller coasters can be found everywhere from the United States to Europe and Asia. They all deliver different kinds of thrills and adrenaline rushes, but they all deliver on the promise of keeping riders coming back for more.
These 20 roller coasters have been selected for this list because they deliver the best thrills possible. From inverted wooden coasters to steel tracks that twist and turn a record number of times, all 20 of these roller coasters are sure to leave riders fighting for air as they scream. The only question is: which of these rides leaves riders screaming for more, and which ones leave them screaming for their mother?
20 Intimidator 305, United States (Named After A Nascar Driver, So You Know It Has To Be Fast)
The Intimidator 305 is a whopping 305 feet tall, making it the 10th tallest roller coaster in the world. Named for NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt, Sr.,
this ride starts off with a 300-foot, 85-degree drop reaching a top speed of 200 miles per hour. How does that sound for scream your lungs out?
If that is not enough, though, how about this? The ride pulls a massive 4.5 G's, which is more than astronauts experience on a rocket launch. However, the original ride was at six G's, but the engineers had to apply the brakes because people were passing out from that much force.
So, just to give you an idea of what it is like to ride the Intimidator 305, you start out dropping so far and at such an angle that your top speed rivals Dale, Sr.'s speed when he was racing his race car. You will be going so fast and taking turns so quickly that you will experience more force than astronauts do when they are being blasted into space. Is your mind blown yet? Do you have what it takes to ride the complete Intimidator 305 roller coaster without losing it? Or will you scream like a little girl the whole time?
19 Ultra Twister, Japan (Twist And Turn And SHOUT)
The Ultra Twister roller coaster puts riders through the ride of their lives and then some. This roller coaster gets all of its excitement from shooting riders through a tube at high speeds with a number of inversions.
How many inversions? Well, three, to be exact. That means that riders are flipped upside down a total of three times over the length of the ride.
The Ultra Twister starts out with a slow ride through the main station, after passengers have boarded. But, as soon as the cars leave the station, the tube flips to near vertical and riders climb up before being shot upwards at the end of the climb, only to be inverted, twisted, turned, and inverted again and again.
The actual ride does not have a lot of high, steep climbs and drops but is really more of a twist-and-turn type of coaster. The whole thing takes place inside a tube, which provides an extra sense of the crazy that so many roller coaster fans love.
If you want to be twisted and turned like never before and flipped upside down so many times you no longer know which way is up, then the Ultra Twister is going to be the ultimate ride for you. Or, it will leave you crying like a baby as you stumble off.
18 Goliath, United States (World Record-Holding Wooden Coaster)
The Goliath is a wooden roller coaster that holds three Guinness World Records in the realm of roller coasters, although one of those records was beaten in 2013. However,
this coaster still holds the record for the longest and steepest drop for a wooden roller coaster (those are two separate records) with a drop length of 185 feet at an angle of 85 degrees. The previous record it held was for the fastest wooden coaster at 72 miles per hour.
If riding on a world record-holding wooden roller coaster is not enough for you, how about the fact that the length of the entire ride is 3,100 feet with two inversions and two overbanked turns?
This is no ordinary wooden roller coaster, though. It takes advantage of some pretty slick technology which allowed the builders to twist and warp the underlying wooden rails so that the ride on the Goliath is more dynamic and crazy when compared to other wooden roller coasters. Although some riders may not like how smooth the ride is, there are those that will appreciate it.
The Goliath is a true monster of a roller coaster that does some things that other wooden coasters only dream of doing. And because of that, riders are left screaming for more on this super ride.
17 The Smiler, England (So Intense Most People Are Afraid To Ride It)
The Smiler is a roller coaster that will leave you doing anything but smile. Perhaps the name comes from the twisted sense of humor that whoever designed it had as they were putting it together. Whatever the case may be, this is one intense roller coaster that is all about the thrills.
The Smiler holds the record for the most number of inversions–that is flips upside down–at 14. Can you imagine riding a ride that flips you upside down a total of 14 times over the track length of some 3,800 feet? See where the idea that whoever came up with it had a twisted sense of humor?
The biggest drop on The Smiler is about 100 feet, and it reaches a top speed of 54 miles per hour, which may not seem like much even to a novice roller coaster rider. But the upside down acrobatics that you will be doing when riding on this and the 4.5 G's that you will be pulling as you do those acrobatics will more than make up for any perceived lack of speed.
The Smiler is so intense that there are a lot of people who are too afraid to ride it. But that should not stop you from getting on and screaming your head off as you flip and turn repeatedly along the track.
16 Full Throttle, United States (Record-Breaking Vertical Loop)
Full Throttle puts the pedal to the metal as a roller coaster that is designed to be fast and intense. This roller coaster is 2,200 feet long and reaches a top speed of 70 miles per hour. And if that is not crazy enough for you, it includes a 160-foot-tall vertical loop. And yes, in case you were wondering, that is a record-breaking vertical loop.
From the station, you are propelled to a speed of 70 miles per hour in a matter of seconds before being launched into that crazy tall loop. And after that, all you can do is hold on as the ride whips you from left to right, around embanked turns, and up and over hills and inversions.
If getting whipped around and flipping upside down is not enough for you, the Full Throttle pulls several G's on the turns and drops, which are sure to leave you breathless. And the whole thing will take less than a minute from the time you are strapped in to the time you are climbing back out in the station.
Full Throttle really tests the limits of what riders are capable of handling, and several riders have just about lost it on this ride. But as one of the world's ultimate roller coasters, it should be on anyone's "do and scream" list.
15 Formula Rossa, United Arab Emirates (Riders Move Faster Than An F1 Race Car!)
One of the fastest roller coasters in the world, the Formula Rossa reaches a top speed of over 150 miles per hour. And it accelerates to that speed in under five seconds. With that kind of acceleration (over 4.8 G's) and speed, riders are moving faster than an F1 race car!
Imagine tearing up the track at speeds faster than anything most people will ever experience in their own car. True, you are not in a car on the road, but the Formula Rossa is designed to give the feeling that you are racing in a race car around the curves of the track. Although, like all roller coasters, the Formula Rossa has hills in addition to the curves, so it is not exactly like racing in a race car.
The Formula Rossa is located at Ferrari World, so it has to be one of the fastest and most "polished" roller coaster rides out there. You will feel just like you are cruising in a Ferrari when riding this particular roller coaster. Riders are treated to one of the fastest rides they will ever experience, and the intensity of that ride will leave you gasping for breath when you stumble out of the car at the end of the ride.
14 Eejanaika, Japan (Faster, Taller And Longer)
Eejanaika is the second fourth-dimension roller coaster in the world, which means that the engineers who designed it took advantage of lessons learned with the first such ride and made Eejanaika better by making it faster, taller, and longer. This roller coaster is over 3,700 feet long and has a maximum height of nearly 250 feet. There are three planned inversions, but with the free moving seats, riders can experience up to 14 flips throughout the ride.
The free rotation of the seats is what makes Eejanaika such an intense roller coaster. Because the seats are free to move on their own, independent of the track, riders will have a new ride each time they climb aboard the roller coaster, which reaches a maximum speed of over 75 miles per hour. At that speed, riders are catapulted through the twists, turns, and flips of the ride in just over two minutes.
Eejanaika is breaking new barriers with regards to roller coasters with its fourth dimension of the ride that gives you a different experience each time you climb aboard. The intensity of the ride is such that riders are going crazy for the Eejanaika roller coaster, and that is enough to keep the ride itself screaming along for the foreseeable future, which will give you an opportunity to get in some good screams of your own on this four-dimensional ride.
13 Wicked, United States (Totally Lives Up To Its Name)
Imagine starting a roller coaster ride in complete darkness. You ride along for over 100 feet, not knowing what is next as it twists and turns before shooting you out at over 40 miles per hour. That is how the Wicked roller coaster gets things started for riders who are left wondering if the ride can get any more terrifying.
And then it does.
With a completely vertical drop of 110 feet and a total length of over 2,000 feet, the Wicked coaster lives up to its name 100%. The ride subjects riders to loops and turns unlike any other roller coaster, and that keeps people screaming for more on this roller coaster that tops out at 55 miles per hour.
Leave it up to the designers of the Wicked roller coaster to give riders such a terrifying ride that includes 90-degree turns with near inversions all in one. This ride is so beyond belief that it has been used as the starting point for a number of other roller coasters around the world.
The Wicked roller coaster knows how to deliver a million thrills in a short period of time, and that leaves riders screaming the whole time they are riding this monster roller coaster.
12 Takabisha, Japan (The Only One Like It In The World)
The Takabisha roller coaster holds the Guinness World Record for steepest drop, at 121 degrees. That means riders are actually going backwards at the same time they are going down on this beast of a ride. And that is just one aspect of the 3,000-foot ride that has over 140 feet of vertical change throughout.
Takabisha starts out with a drop into darkness, which gets the adrenaline pumping on even the most seasoned riders. Reaching a top speed of over 60 miles per hour is not a problem for this roller coaster with its intense twists, turns, inversions, and over-vertical drop. In fact, there is so much change in height on this ride that there are multiple mechanisms for transporting the cars to the "top," only to drop them back down into another sickening, gut-wrenching drop and turn.
The Takabisha is such an insane ride that it had to be custom-designed and built. That means that you will not find another roller coaster like it anywhere in the world.
It could even be argued that the ride is so crazy that no other park in the world would want to have a ride like it on their premises. That means that riding the Takabisha will definitely give you a once-in-a-lifetime rush!
11 Wicked Twister, United States (You'll Probably Only Want To Ride It Once)
Looking for the ultimate in roller coaster rides? How about the tallest inverted roller coaster in the world? That distinction belongs to the Wicked Twister, which has a height of 215 feet and a drop of 206 feet. For a ride that only does one thing, it really does it well. The Wicked Twister shoots riders off at a speed of over 70 miles an hour for a ride that is only about 600 feet long. But that ride is upside down and twisted. That is right, Wicked Twister not only inverts riders; it also twists them, living up to its name!
The Wicked Twister roller coaster is such a crazy ride that if it was any longer, no one would ever want to ride it again. The short burst of a ride is engineered to give riders the ultimate roller coaster thrill in minimum time. But do not let that fool you as you stand in line for the ride. The Wicked Twister delivers more thrills per foot of track than any other roller coaster, and it is certainly better at delivering than any other inverted roller coaster out there.
This ride will leave you screaming. Whether it is for more or for your mother is up to you.
10 The Voyage, United States (Zero Gravity)
Rated the best roller coaster in the world in 2013, The Voyage knows how to deliver an outstanding experience. This massive roller coaster is over a mile long and has a height of over 150 feet, making it one of the biggest roller coasters in the world. But it is not the size of The Voyage that makes it so awesome to ride.
This ride has a top speed of over 65 miles per hour, which may not seem all that fast, but traveling that speed in a roller coaster really packs a punch. And, considering the fact that there are a record of five tunnels on The Voyage, that speed will seem terrifying. However, the speed and tunnels are not what make this roller coaster so amazing.
Just what is it that makes The Voyage the best roller coaster in the world? How about the amount of time that riders experience zero gravity? On this particular roller coaster, you will have a full 24.3 seconds of zero gravity, and that period of weightlessness is mid-course, not something that happens right at the beginning of the ride as on many other coasters.
So, for a big roller coaster that delivers a record number of tunnels and nearly 25 seconds of pure weightlessness, hitch a ride on The Voyage.
9 Kingda Ka, United States (Tallest Roller Coaster In The World)
If you look for height and speed when you go searching for the next roller coaster to conquer, look no further than Kingda Ka. This massive ride has a maximum height of over 450 feet and a top speed of 128 miles per hour. That makes it the tallest roller coaster in the world and the fastest coaster in North America. And that is saying something.
From a stop, Kingda Ka accelerates to its top speed in only 3.5 seconds, before shooting riders up to a 90-degree vertical that immediately turns into a 270-degree spiral. Yes, that is the beginning of the ride, and it only gets better from there, with a total track length of over 3,100 feet.
Kingda Ka takes riders on a wild ride that seems to last for only a fraction of a minute. However, this roller coaster packs punch after punch over the full length of the ride. With a couple of big humps in the middle of the track, Kingda Ka demonstrates what it means to be the king of roller coasters.
So, when it comes to riding the biggest and fastest roller coaster there is, definitely head to Kingda Ka, which is capable of delivering all that you want and more.
8 Gravity Max, Taiwan (Yup, That's A Tilt)
Gravity Max is probably one of the most unique roller coasters out there. The whole ride is less than 2,000 feet long, and it only has a top speed of about 55 miles per hour. So, you may think that Gravity Max is nothing in the world of roller coasters, but you would be wrong.
Gravity Max is the first roller coaster in the world that includes a "tilt function." With this bonus to the ride, the coaster comes to a halt in the horizontal position, then the whole thing rotates and plunges vertically down 114 feet into a 180-degree turn and a tunnel. Forget about this being a simple, short, slow roller coaster. Gravity Max is a massive ride that makes up for what it is lacking in speed and size with that crazy tilt that gets thrown in.
Many people have presumed that they can handle what Gravity Max throws their way. And many riders have come up lacking when it comes to actually withstanding the sheer thrill of the ride. You know you are on a good roller coaster when you can get off of it screaming and be ready to get back on once again. And Gravity Max definitely delivers that kind of thrill.
7 Steel Dragon 200, Japan (Try To Catch Your Breath)
The longest roller coaster in the world is over 8,000 feet long, drops over 300 feet, and exceeds 90 miles per hour in speed. And it is called Steel Dragon 200.
When riders are on this particular roller coaster, they are going to feel like they are on the back of a dragon. A dragon trying to shake the car off of its back. The ride starts out with that 300-plus-foot drop, then goes into humps and twists the likes of which many roller coaster riders have never experienced. And because the length of the track is so long, this is one roller coaster ride that never seems to end!
Steel Dragon 200 is such a long roller coaster that it would stop in the middle of the ride if it was not re-accelerated to massive speeds by a second set of drive chains.
That may seem like a problem, but in reality, it keeps the ride going super fast for the entire length of the track. And that is what riders are looking for, and the slight pause in the speed before speeding back up is a quick opportunity to catch your breath.
Steel Dragon 200 is a super roller coaster that will leave passengers screaming for more as they race back into the line for this one-of-a-kind ride.
6 Sky Scream, Germany (Don't Let Its Small Size Fool You)
Sky Scream is more than just a roller coaster. It is a scream factory. It may be less than 1,000 feet long with a total drop of less than 150 feet, but this particular roller coaster generates its thrills with its horror theme.
Many roller coasters go for the thrill of the ride, with twists and turns that delight the passengers. And while Sky Scream definitely has those same twists and turns and drops and accelerations that keep roller coaster fans coming back for more, the real secret to the screams you will hear emanating from the passengers' mouths is the horror show that is going on while they are on the ride.
Yet, even if you are not terrified by the scary show that you are participating in, Sky Scream keeps the thrills constant by slowing down at the top of hills to increase the sensations that all riders feel during the peaks and troughs of any roller coaster. All of these things combine together to make a very unique roller coaster ride.
It may be on the small side for a roller coaster, but make no mistake, Sky Scream definitely knows how to deliver the same thrills (and screams) that its bigger counterparts are capable of generating.
5 El Toro, United States (Not For The Faint Of Heart)
If you are looking for the scariest wooden roller coaster around, then look no further than El Toro. This bull of a ride is 4,400 feet of pure wooden coaster adrenaline pumping nonstop thrills. The ride includes (but is certainly not limited to) a 181-foot drop at 76 degrees that will leave your head pounding, your lungs gasping, and you wanting more.
El Toro is the steepest wooden roller coaster in the world, which makes for some pretty serious thrills throughout the ride. Like every wooden roller coaster, riders are subjected to bumps and thumps along the way. But with El Toro, you are going so fast and so crazy that you feel like you are going to lose your head to the bull.
Riders beware. This ride is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you cannot handle even the most basic steel roller coaster, then you are not going to want to go anywhere near this monstrous wooden ride. Wooden roller coasters are specifically engineered to deliver a million moments of pure awesomeness, and El Toro delivers that and more. This ride will definitely get you screaming from the moment you leave the station, and you will probably be screaming for more by the time you get back.
4 Hades 360, United States (You'll Be Asking Yourself Why You Decided To Get On This Ride)
Hades 360 will take you on such a wild ride that you will wish you had actually gone to the mythical Greek underworld instead of getting on the ride. This wooden roller coaster is the first such ride in the world to invert passengers. That means riders are going upside down while riding on a wooden rails.
If that thought does not scare you enough, consider this. Hades 360 has the world's longest underground tunnel on a roller coaster and tops out over 70 miles per hour. Riders will experience over three G's of force while riding this trip to the underworld. All of those factors, plus more, combine to make this one of the craziest roller coaster rides you will ever go on.
Hades 360 is such an intense wooden roller coaster because the designers wanted it to live up to its name. The ride is meticulously engineered to deliver thrill after thrill along the entire length of the track.
From the moment you get into your car in the station to the moment you exit, you will be asking yourself one question over and over: why did I decide to do this?
And that thought will be resonating through your mind even as you try to catch your breath from all the yelling that you will be doing.
3 The Banshee, United States (Not For Beginners, That's For Sure)
If you live for inversion roller coasters, then The Banshee will be the ultimate ride for you. This steel ride is over 4,100 feet long and holds the record as the longest inversion roller coaster in the world. It has six inversions and a million adrenaline pumping thrills.
The Banshee begins its course out of the station with a 150-foot drop that starts the passengers screaming. From there, the course winds, flips, turns, and rolls through knots, zero gravity drops, and inversions. You will be surprised at how much is packed into one single roller coaster ride.
This roller coaster is not for beginners, that's for sure. The Banshee was designed to get people screaming, and it definitely delivers on that design promise. Typical roller coasters will leave you breathless. The Banshee will leave you gasping for air by the time you get back to the station.
A ride on a roller coaster like The Banshee can have several effects on the passengers. For starters, it can scare them away from ever riding another roller coaster. Or, it can have the opposite effect and cement a relationship with this type of ride that will last for the rest of their lives. Regardless, The Banshee has riders screaming like its namesake each and every time it leaves the station.
2 T-Express, South Korea (One Of The Top Wooden Coasters In The World)
Consistently ranked as one of the top wooden roller coasters in the world, T-Express is built into a hillside to take advantage of the terrain to generate a world-class ride. This roller coaster is one of the first of its kind, utilizing three trains instead of one or two in order to keep riders going as fast as possible.
T-Express may not be the fastest or tallest roller coaster in the world, but it is one of the most unique. It has some innovations that other roller coasters are starting to take advantage of, such as the three trains and the method of prefabrication of the track, and that puts T-Express near the top of roller coasters in terms of how it delivers the thrills.
With a top speed of about 60 miles per hour and a 77-degree drop, riders of T-Express are subject to some pretty big thrills, especially since this is one of the longer wooden roller coasters in the world. Anyone who is a fan of the wooden coasters knows that the thrills are better on longer rides, and you do not need to be going nearly as fast as on a steel track.
T-Express is a great ride for those looking for world-class thrills in a neat package.
1 Wildfire, Sweden (The Boss)
If you are looking for the ultimate roller coaster ride, then you should probably check out Wildfire. This is the boss of just about every other roller coaster out there, and that is saying something.
From the station, the ride gets off to a quick start, and over the 4,000-plus-foot length of the ride, it will top speeds over 70 miles per hour and have drops of over 150 feet. All of this in just over two minutes of intense roller coaster thrills.
Wildfire subjects riders to a total force of up to four G's and a maximum vertical drop of about 85 degrees. This makes a roller coaster ride that is difficult to beat, but that is not all that this ride has to offer. There are hills and drops, curves and turns, and a ride that will be unforgettable for even the most seasoned roller coaster rider.
Wildfire may not be the top ranked roller coaster in the world, but it certainly deserves a look–and a ride–from true roller coaster lovers. If you consider yourself to be someone who can appreciate the finer points of a good roller coaster ride, then a ride on Wildfire should be in your future.