Roller coasters are the staple of every respectable theme park. While some of them offer relatively smooth and mellow rides, there are several coasters across the US that have the right to be called the “scream machines.” They are big, fast, intimidating and incredibly frightening.
If you are a thrill-seeker and you like the excitement a roller coaster offers, here are the top five scariest roller coasters in the US:
Kingda Ka is the tallest and the fastest roller coaster in the world. It is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. The coaster accelerates from 0 to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. It goes straight up like a rocket to its highest point at 465 feet (open your eyes to check out panoramic view of the park) and then drops down twisting in a 270-degree spiral. The plunge creates so much pressure that you can’t even scream. The second hill, which is “only” 128 feet tall, provides some airtime and helps you realize that you are still alive. The whole ride lasts about 30 seconds and is somewhat bumpy. Some people avoid riding it more than once.
Kingda Ka opened in 2005 and never ceased to attract roller coaster enthusiasts. However, in May 2009 the coaster was struck by lightning and was closed for most of the season.
It is the scariest roller coaster at Cedar Point park in Sandusky, Ohio, known for many outrageous rides. It is also considered one of the top ten world’s best coasters. Top Thrill Dragster shoots upward with the speed of 120 miles per hour and after reaching its peak at 420 feet above the ground, it plunges 400 feet spiraling down at over 100 miles per hour. The coaster reaches maximum speed in less than 4 seconds and the entire ride takes only 17 seconds.
Here is another Cedar Point’s roller coaster that made it on the list of the best coasters in the world. Its opening hill is 310 feet tall and it lasts more than two minutes. The cars are pulled to the top of the hill and then they drop 300 feet down at an 80-degree angle accelerating from 10 to 93 miles per hour. The twists and turns that follow could easily make you see stars by the time the ride is done.
Millennium Force is 6,595 feet long and is the third longest roller coaster in the US. The two longest coasters are the Beast (7359 feet long) and Son of Beast (7032 feet long), both located at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio.
Goliath at Magic Mountainin Valencia, CA is one of the most popular coasters in the world. A chain lift pulls the coaster to the top of the 235 feet-tall peak. Then, it drops 255 feet downward at a 61-degree angle. As it reaches top speed of 85 miles per hour, the coaster enters a 120 foot-long underground tunnel. Then, it climbs another hill and drops down again going through twists and banks, a double helix, and then more turns before it finally finishes the run. The whole ride is only three minutes long, but for many riders even that is too long. Goliath is designed to be fast and intense through and through and, oftentimes, its extreme g-forces seem to be way to scary even for roller coaster enthusiasts.
Goliath’s popularity inspired Six Flags to build a similar coaster, called Titan, at Six Flags Over Texas. Titan is 10 feet taller and represents a slightly modified version of Goliath.
This rather unique roller coaster is located at Kennywood Park in Pennsylvania. Its design incorporates the steep terrain of the park. While the coaster’s maximum height is only 160 feet, its drop down the side of the hill exceeds 230 feet. It seems as the trainfalls into a ravine. Phantom’s Revenge was originally built in 1991 and was at first called The Steel Phantom. It was the first steel hypercoaster in the world to include inversions. In 2000, due to several complains, the ride was closed for reconstruction. Some of the inversions were removed, while new ones were added.
The new, improved Phantom was opened again in 2001. With its speed of 85 miles per hour and interesting design it ranks high among the best roller coasters in the world.
There are many other great roller coasters that are worth mentioning, such as Bizarro at Six Flags New England, Superman The Escape at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, and many more. Choosing the scariest roller coasters is often a matter of personal experience and preferences. The best way to find the most frightening rides is to take the challenge of each one of them. That’s how you will learn your limits and maybe even conquer your fears.