10 Best Roller Coasters

Ever since the origin of roller coasters mankind has been pushing the envelope to see how fast and hard a person can safely be hurtled down a track. The further you venture from a soft, comfortable ride the thrill seeker gets the more fun is to be experienced. Things have developed a whole lot since the early days of ice slides and wooden roller coasters. Now it is more common for a coaster to have 90 degree drops, reach speeds in excess of 100mph and throw you into corners with G forces normally only experienced by fighter pilots. Here are ten of the best roller coasters in the world that are sure to leave you on a major high!

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Kingda Ka: Arms down, head back and hold on: the Kingda Ka may not be very long but it's bound to leave you wide eyed and twitching! Kingda Ka reigns supreme as the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world at the Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. This ride towers high at 456ft tall with a 418 ft incline and a sickening drop at a sheer 90 degrees with a half twist. From a completely stationary position, KingDa Ka will catapult a cart to 128 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Crazy! But so cool.

 

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Steel Dragon 2000: What could cause the normally polite and somewhat restrained Japanese to squeal and scream in public? Answer: the Steel Dragon 2000. You might be used to getting on a rollercoaster and stepping off much sooner than you hoped - scream, scream and it's all over. Not on this ride - the Steel Dragon is quite the endurance coaster. It's so long that you might actually deplete your ability to scream by the end of the record breaking 8,133ft long track. The Steel Dragon 2000 has a massive 306ft drop from its tallest point of 318ft and zips along the steel frame reaching a maximum speed of 95mph.

 

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Millennium Force: Cedar Point's mammoth Giga-Coaster, the Millennium Force, has terrifying rides that hurtle round 6,595ft of steel track for well over 2 minutes. At the tallest section you'll endure a stomach-churning 300 ft drop. Passengers rush and plunge along the track through two separate dark tunnels and two crazy 122 degree overbanked turns that produce a gut-wrenching G force. Frequently heard phrases from the 10 million people who have been on the ride include: "Ahhhhhhhh", "Ohhhh noooo", "S&%t!" and "We're gonna die".

 

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Top Thrill Dragster: The Top Thrill Dragster is essentially the older and marginally shorter, slower version of its arch rival - the Kingda Ka. Now, when I say marginally inferior I mean the drop is only 18ft shorter and rattles along 8mph slower - both rides have the same short and intense duration and I doubt you'll feel much of a difference. The Top Thrill Dragster snorts and revs like a real dragster and for some added fear can sometime stall at the top and roll back down in reverse ... which is apparently normal on both this ride and the Kingda Ka.

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Dodonpa: The Dodonpa at the Fuji Q Highland Park is the third fastest coaster in the world - so there won't be much time to admire nearby Mt. Fuji. Take a ride on Dodonpa and you'll reach 107 mph in less than 2 seconds, that's faster than any supercar on earth! Dodonpa messes with your mind fromt he start as passengers are forced to wait anxiously in a darkened tunnel before the countdown to an insanely fast acceleration out of the tunnel, screaming down the track and then getting fired up and over two humps which have 90 degree drops on each side. At the time of writing Dodonpa still holds the record for the fastest launch acceleration.

 

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Thunder Dolphin: The Thunder Dolphin, at the LaQua section of the Tokyo Dome City, is an excellent coaster and it deserves extra kudos for a unique design around the building in central Tokyo. The Thunder Dolphin starts off with a dizzying 218 foot lunge at a steep 80 degree angle. You then race around the track at speeds in excess of 80 mph making this impressive 3,500-foot long, 26-story tall a mental joyride. If you are ever in Tokyo, definitely do not miss out on the Thunder Dolphin coaster!

 

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Goliath: Goliath is a rollercoaster of biblical proportions and like its namesake this ride was a world beater when it was revealed in Feb 2000, but was subsequently overtaken by leaner, stronger and faster opposition. The layout of the ride follows an out and back form into a twister for the second half. Riders on Goliath experience intense G forces of 4.5 Gs for over six seconds straight! As you would expect with a name like Goliath, the coaster towers at a monstrous 255 feet above the ground and the 3 minute long rides reach speeds of up to 85 mph covering over 4,500 feet of steel track.

 

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Dragon Khan: Located at the Port Aventura theme park in Spain, Dragon Khan has a story behind it: the evil Prince Hu of Beijing has been brought back to life in the body of this rollercoaster and his fury is dealt out each time a human dares to climb atop his back. Whether you get into the story or not, Dragon Khan's 4,165 feet of tangled, red steel track is so full-on that it will have your heart in your mouth for an entire minute! Dragon Khan starts off with a 161ft drop with top speeds of up to 65mph as you hurtle through its 8 inversions. The ride is remarkably smooth and held the world record for the most inversions for many years.

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Titan: The Titan in Six Flags Over Texas puts each passenger through a bone-jarring joyride of twists and turns. The impressive layout includes a negative G camelback turn and a double helix turn that produces 6 full seconds of sickening G force of up to 4.5 G. The Titan has a massive drop, 255ft at the tallest section, and reaches speeds of 85mph during a 5,280ft long ride lasting for 3 and a half rather thrilling minutes.

 

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Nemesis: Alton Towers' leading ride is the aptly named Nemesis, a gut-wrenching thrillseeker's inverted coaster waiting to take its retribution out on you through a sequence of crazy plunges and mind-numbing turns! Experience up to 4 G's as you are propelled at 50mph through 4 inversions. The ride corkscrews and loops along the 2,349 ft track for one and a half minutes of sheer excitement.

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