It isn’t always the highest or the longest roller coaster that provides the biggest thrills and chills when you visit a theme park. The roller coaster rides that deliver on their promises, use extreme engineering mechanical innovation and try to suspend the laws of physics to give you the ride of your life.
Dondopa is truly the tower of doom. This roller coaster was opened in 2001, at Fuji-Q, in Japan. It’s short and gets straight to the point. Only 52 metres long, you are launched at nearly 3G’s out of a dark tunnel and straight up into the air only to descend again a fraction of a second later. One tight bend and another hill and you’re done. Done for on the Dodonpa.
The Strata Coaster in Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio held the record for the tallest, scariest and fastest rollercoaster in the world when it opened in 2003. Eclipsed by Kingda Ka in recent years, it is still open to the public, which the famed Kingda Ka, with its terrifying mechanical problems has not been able to do. Kingda Ka is located at Six Flags Amusement Park in New Jersey and is one of the world’s most famous roller coaster rides. Again it not very long, only about 30 seconds but when it works, Kingda Ka travels at over 200 miles per hour.
Also found in the Cedar Point Amusement Park is The Millennium Force which twists and turns through tunnels and then hurtles over 300 feet into the air. With massive G-Forces in the turns and death defying drops, The Millennium Force ride lasts for just over two, terrifying, minutes.
With millions of visitors each year, the world’s fastest roller coaster is found at Ferrari Park in Abu Dhabi. Formula Rossa travels at a stomach-turning 240 kilometres an hour and has a complete ‘launch system’, rather than letting your get used to the ride for a couple of seconds. When you start, you fly off, rather than trundle. It’s terrifying.
Furious Baco in Spain is slightly different. No gaping chasms and rising mountains, this roller coaster is all about speed and the chance to experience nearly 5G’s in the corners.
Steel Dragon in Japan is fast and furious and is one of the longest roller coaster rides in the world. This is true endurance roller coaster riding and you’ll have to hang on for just over four minutes of full-on fear if you want to ride the back of this dragon.
There are a number of roller coasters in Europe that use the Euro-Fighter model to deliver the flight fright that you are looking for. No-Limits at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales, ‘Rage’ at Adventure Island in Essex in the UK, and ‘Huracan’ in Leipzig in Germany are just a few of the world’s steepest and scariest roller coaster rides that offer a 97-degree deathly drop.
What is it that compels us to ride the roller coaster? Why do we get on, scare ourselves to the point of being physically ill and then, once off the ride, race round to join the back of the line? Why? Because it’s fun, of course!