Strapyourself tight and hold on to your soul as the world’s fastest roller coasterscan really scare the life out of the boldest daredevils. If you love a thrill andwant to test your audacity, this is where you should head the very nextweekend. Just two rules: don’t grab dinner (or tons of sugar candy) directlybeforehand and never conceive it as a good first date idea. The buddingattraction may not stand the test of harsh human physiology… unless this is thepoint. Besides, some things are a lot moretolerable if they come up later in a relationship.
Here’s 10of the most hair-raising roller coasters on the planet. Enjoy your ride!
10. Intimidator305: 90mph (140 km/h)
Kings Dominion – Doswell,Virginia,United States
It may notbe the fastest or the tallest of all, but it still stands as an amazingachievement and a challenge for even the most jaded of roller coaster fanatics.The ride is named and themed after Dale Earnhardt, a NASCAR driver whose aggressivestyle earned him the nickname “The Intimidator”. The train cars arefashioned after the iconic No. 3, which Earnhardt drove for most of hiscareer until his tragic death in 2001. As for the coaster, with the acceleration to 140 km/h,six air-time humps and three near-ground level high-speed turns, it truly hasthe potential to intimidate.
9. Leviathan: 92 mph (148 km/h)
Canada’sWonderland, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Just onepeek at the park’s major attraction justifies its name. The gigantic sinusoidalconstruction resembles the biblical creature’s undulating body in all its gloryand boasts equally impressive powers, of which the visitors are convinced inthe very first seconds of the ride. At 93 m (306 ft) tall and with a top speed of 148 km/h (92 mph), Leviathan is the tallest and fastestroller coaster in Canada. The term ‘monster of a thrill ride’ just cannot bemore apt here.
8. Millennium Force: 93 mph (150 km/h)
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, United States
Board theMillennium Force ride and may the force be with you! It was the first rollercoaster to exceed 91 m (300 ft) in height and the seed of the giga-coastercategory. Amusement Today, a periodical about all things relating to theindustry, consistently votes it the number one steel roller coaster in theworld, which seems quite fair considering its record-breaking history,impressive speed, fanciful curves and awesome location against legendaryLake Erie.
7. Steel Dragon 200: 95 mph (153 km/h)
NagashimaSpa Land, Nagashima, Mie, Japan
This giganticheap of steel with its impressive camelback humps (the construction has tobe earthquake safe) is alongside Dodonpa the scariest scream machine in Japan andprobably one of the most beautiful roller coasters in existence. Its name stemsfrom the fact that it debuted in 2000, which is referred to as the Year of theDragon in the Far East tradition. At 2,479 m (8,133 ft), it is the longestcoaster track in the world, which means if you’ve had enough half-way through,you just have to clench your teeth and wait it out.
6. Towerof Terror II: 100 mph (160 km/h)
Dreamworld, Coomera, Queensland, Australia
It has nosurprising inversions. Nor is it the fastest or the tallest roller coaster. Yetsome will most certainly find it the freakiest ride of all. As you sit withyour back completely straight and shoulders pulled back tight, which awfullyexposes your stomach to the churning sensation of gravity pulling you down, thecar shoots you backwards out of a 206 m (676 ft) tunnel and 100 m (328 ft) intothe atmosphere at 160 km/h, only to let you dangle for a couple of seconds andthrow you back into the pitch-black void of the tunnel… which, by the way, seems way too narrow!
5. Superman: Escape from Krypton: 100 mph (160 km/h)
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California, United States
If youbelong to those many who imagined themselves as Clark Kent – the inconspicuous saverof the world – Six Flags Magic Mountainis where you can pursue your childhood dreams. Forming a gigantic L-shaped superstructure, SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton blastsyou 126 m (415 ft) in the air at 160 km/h … and it does it BACKWARDS! Before youare hurled down to earth, make sure you catch a bird’s eye glimpse of thevalley (if you dare to open your eyes at all).
4. Dodonpa: 107 mph (172 km/h)
Fuji-QHighland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan
In the racefor pure adrenaline thrills, Dodonpa is a legitimate rival with itsoverwhelming acceleration of 172 km/h in 1.8 sec after launch (4.3 times fasterthan free fall!). However, it is not only speed, neck-breaking slopes andvertical drops that place it among the top scariest roller coasters in theworld. The name of the ride comes from a disturbing, sinister sound produced by taiko drums that were supposedlyused in warfare to distress the enemy. Today, the deep, percussive sound addsto the frightening Dodonpa experience, overwhelming the riders as they wait to boardthe cars. Go to Dodonpa official site and check it out.
3. TopThrill Dragster: 120 mph (190 km/h)
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, United States
As the tagline has it, the Cedar Point’s majorattraction is a spine-chilling “Race for the Sky”. Upon building in2003, the Top Thrill Dragster was the world’s first strata coaster, which is a complete-circuit roller coaster with a height or drop exceeding 120 m(400 ft). Today it is one of only two such coasters, surpassed by theamazing Kingda Ka built in 2005. The ride may take less than 20 seconds, butyour adrenaline level will keep you up until next day and memories are bound tolast forever.
2. Kingda Ka: 128 mph (206 km/h)
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson Township, New Jersey, United States
KingdaKa may have given the speed laurels over to Formula Rossa, but it still holdsthe record of the world’s tallest roller coaster. Riders rocket 139 m (456 ft)up towards the sky, then plunge vertically into a 270-degree spiral at fullspeed. It is sure going to be a memorable 60 seconds, yet hopefully not the wayit was for a 12-year-old New Jersey boy who was sitting in thefront car and got hit in the face by a pigeon. Fortunately, the boy suffered noserious injuries, except extensive bruises and scratches.
1. Formula Rossa: 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h)
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Ifsomething is the tallest, the highest, the largest or the fastest, chances areyou find it the Emirates. The Formula Rossa experience will make you realizethat everything you have considered fast so far is a mere ersatz of speed. Thistime you are up for a real Formula 1 action! The coaster cars, inspired by Ferrari’s “Rosso Scuderia” and accelerating to 240 km/h in less than 5 seconds,will hurl you around a 2.1-km (1.3 mile) track designed to resemble theglorious Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy. Riders are obliged to wear safetygoggles, but certainly not expected to stay as cool and self-controlled asprofessional racers.
Have you tried any of these? Let us know what it was like!