Nothing screams heart-pumping action like rocketing from 0-120 mph in under four seconds. Seriously, blink and you just might miss the experience entirely. All over the world, engineers have continued to create roller coasters that not only defy all conceivable notions of appropriate speed, height, and acceleration, but they also laugh in the face of any riders not brave enough to dare step on board their endorphin-inducing constructions.
For all of you adrenaline junkies out there with an undying need for speed, buckle up and keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times, because it's gonna be a wild ride.
As the only Canadian roller coaster in the top 10, Leviathan has some serious claims to fame. With an heart-pumping top speed of 92mph (about 148km), this mythical sea monster-themed ride is 3 minutes and 28 seconds of pure adrenaline.
It’s both the tallest and fastest coaster in the country, located at Canada’s Wonderland Park, in Ontario. When it was constructed back in 2012, the beast notched up a price tag of $28,000,000 USD (CoasterPedia) and became one of only six Giga coasters around the world (as told by CoasterCritic). Riders must be between 54” and 80” in height and are recommended to eat from one of Wonderland’s many restaurants after riding.
9 Millennium Force
If you’re after two minutes of pure thrills, look no further Cedar Point amusement park’s, Millennium Force. Reaching a peak height of 310 feet and a top speed of 93mph, the Millennium Force coaster flies through two tunnels and climbs four hills along its action-packed journey.
The Cedar Point theme park is located in Ohio, USA, and offers plenty of rides, attractions, food, and entertainment for guests of all ages. The park provides hotels and camping and even some suggested itineraries. For those scorching summer days, guests can cool off and splash around at the Cedar Point Shores Waterpark.
8 Steel Dragon 2000
While it might not be the fastest roller coaster on the planet, Steel Dragon 2000 can boast the fact that it’s officially the longest, navigating through 2,479 m (8,133 ft) of twists and turns along its four-minute journey.
With a top speed of 95mph, two miles faster than Millennium Force, the Steel Dragon 2000 is certainly scream-inducing like few before it. It’s located in Japan’s Nagashima Spa Land Amusement Park, which sits in the Mie Prefecture, and has been operating since the turn of the century (hence the name ‘2000’). Who would be brave enough to ride this roaring dragon?
7 Ring Racer
We all know that Formula One cars fly around the track at rapid speeds, and that’s exactly what this roller coaster imitates. Located in Germany’s Nurburgring Motorsports Complex, the Ring Racer as a formula-one themed roller coaster reaches a whopping top speed of 99.4mph.
It was intended to be built as the world’s fastest roller coaster with a desired top speed of 135mph, however, that vision was sidetracked after “a problem with the launch system” surfaced (according to the LA Times). Even if it didn’t break any world records, it’s still one seriously exhilarating experience for anyone who dares give it a go.
6 (Equal) Tower of Terror II / Superman: Escape from Krypton
At an equal top speed of 100mph, it's impossible to separate these two coasters.
Situated at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast in Queensland, the Tower of Terror II boasts the title of the fastest ride in Australia. While it has been operational since 1997, it was rebranded as a version-2 of the ride in 2010 when the rider positions were altered to face downward for an even more heart-pumping thrill. Riders are thrust from a horizontal track to a vertical tower, only to drop back down to earth at rapid speed.
Sadly, a freak accident on another one of Dreamworld’s rides forced the temporary closure of the park and its thrill rides, but the Tower of Terror II was reponed in early 2017.
While it may be a very different style of ride to the aforementioned Tower of Terror II, the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, California matches it with an alarming top speed of 100mph. Incredibly, riders reach this top speed from a still start in seven seconds!
5 Red Force
Since opening in April 2017, Red Force has been thrilling each and every rider who has dared take a seat on board. With a max speed of 112mph and a peak height of 367ft (112 meters), this Ferrari-themed ride currently boasts the applaudable status of being both the fastest and tallest roller coaster in Europe. I that wasn’t enough to brag about, it also takes writers to a flat 90° ascent and then, of course, descent.
The heart-pumping ride can be found alongside plenty of other attractions at Ferrari Land in PortAventura World, located in Salou, Catalonia, Spain.
Coming in at a respectable fourth place on the list of the world's fastest roller coasters is Do-Dodonpa, a Japanese engineering marvel that reaches a mind-numbing top speed of 107mph. At the time of its construction, it actually held the title of the world's fastest roller coaster, until our next entries surpassed it.
People seeking the thrill of Do-Dodonpa can find the intimidating coaster at the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park in Yamanashi, Japan. While it might only last 55 seconds, it'll be up there with the best 55 seconds of any of our lives, hands down. This one isn't for the faint of heart.
3 Top Thrill Dragster
Sitting in Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park, Top Thrill Dragster stakes its claim as the second fastest roller coaster in the United States, and the third quickest worldwide. With a top speed of 120mph, the Top Thrill Dragster is 30 seconds of pure adrenaline and excitement.
For roller coaster enthusiasts who aren’t quite ready to tackle America’s biggest, baddest, coaster (which we’ll get to shortly), this one serves as a perfect warm-up. Although with an unheard of acceleration of 0-120mph in 3.8 seconds, this isn’t exactly the most relaxing of warm-ups. Before you know it, you’ll have broken lightspeed.
2 Kingda Ka
Coming in at a highly commendable silver medal position is the seriously intimidating Kingda Ka, which reaches a pants-wetting top speed of 128mph. This roller coaster is not to be underestimated, and it has been thrilling riders ever since its opening back in 2005. While it might only have a duration of 28 seconds, that doesn’t detract from the fact that this beast of steel and engineering is officially the tallest roller coaster in the world, sitting at 456 feet above the ground.
Kingda Ka is located at the Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in New Jersey, USA, and while the park has plenty of other attractions to boast, nothing quite compares to the great Kingda Ka.
1 Formula Rossa
We’ve made it! Taking the number one spot on our list and earning the official title of the world’s fastest roller coaster is none other than Ferrari World’s own Formula Rossa. Reaching a top speed of 149.1mph, riders will seriously be feeling the wind rushing through their hair.
Ferrari World is an indoor theme park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. While the park has plenty of other attractions, nothing quite measures up to the allure and acclaim of Formula Rossa. After riding the heart-pumping coaster, visitors can check out Ferrari-themed shows and experience plenty more thrills.