There’s no doubt that the US is home to some of the most thrilling roller coaster rides in the world. You have Six Flags, which is home to the Kingda Ka roller coaster. This ride features 90-degree twists with great speeds, along with a 139-meter drop, 270-degree spiral, and a 129-foot camel hump. You also have the Goliath wooden roller coaster, with an extremely steep and long drop and the most exhilarating speeds. And that’s jut one park!
But go outside the country, and around the world you’ll find plenty of thrilling roller coaster rides that will set your heart pumping. Even Americans will enjoy these enthralling roller coaster thrills!
Formula Rossa, Ferrari World, Dubai, UAE
With the name of the ride and the name of the place, you might rightly expect that this ride is all about terrifying speeds. And that’s what you’re getting, starting with a train that actually looks like a Ferrari sports car.
Upon your launch, you then take only 5 seconds to reach that frightening speed of 150 miles an hour. The scare factor is much higher, since you’re out in the open instead of feeling safely ensconced in a sedan. The whole ride involves a track that resembles a Ferrari racing course, and you have 1.5 miles of track to enjoy.
Since this is regarded as the fastest roller coaster in the world, the whole ride doesn’t last all that long. Objectively, it’s only 90 seconds or so of your time. But when during the whole ride when your heart is pounding mightily, it sure feels a lot longer.
Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Resort, Japan
The builders of this roller coaster spent $52 million to get this ride going, and you’ll feel that the whole experience is worth every penny. You get 8,000 feet of track, with heights that top off up to 318 feet from the ground. The whole ride is totally invigorating, as you can reach speeds up to 95 miles per hour and experience drops of 306 feet.
T Express, Everland Resort, South Korea
This is a bit of an old-school ride, as it involves a wooden roller coaster. It’s also the 2nd tallest wooden roller coaster in the world, reaching up to 183 feet. With its hillside location, you get to enjoy a launch that starts with a drop of 150. The ride involves speeds of up to 65 mph, with cars going through 77-degree drops. It’s no wonder that it’s always listed among the most thrilling wooden roller coaster rides in the world.
The Smiler, Alton Towers, UK
Perhaps the name is a bit ironic. You may smile at the end—plenty of people do—but you better be ready for it. This ride involves 14 inversions throughout the whole thing, which means this roller coaster has more inversions than any other roller coaster. Most of the other roller coaster have only 2 or 3 rides, and those feel plenty already.
And you’re not slow going though these loops either. You’ll reach speeds of up to 53 mph while going through these inversions. You get corkscrews, dive loops, and heartline rolls to really get your heart pounding. You may not want to eat too much before you try this ride out.
Takabisha, Fuki-Q Highland, Japan
Back in Japan, you also have one of the most terrifying roller coaster rides ever. It only lasts 2 minutes long, but it just might be the 2 longest minutes of your life.
What makes this roller coaster unique is that it’s regarded as the steepest roller coaster in the world. You start the whole thing by suddenly plunging down into a dark tunnel, and that’s just the start. The start of the show is the 121-degree drop that’s “beyond vertical” and it involves several loops and inversions. If you have a fear of heights, this might be traumatizing enough to get you over your fear!
The Great Scenic Railway, Luna Park, Australia
With so many modern hi-tech rides these days, you might think that the old classics may no longer be as fun. This particular roller coaster ride will definitely disprove that absurd notion. It’s the oldest continually operating coaster in the world, and it’s been giving riders a good scare since 1912. It’s so old that it needs a brakeman to stand in the middle of the train.
Part of the thrill here is that nagging, subconscious worry whether the ride should still continue. It’s like the story of putting feathers on a camel. Your ride might just be the last feather that breaks the camel’s back!
Fønix, Fårup Sommerland, Denmark
With the Fonix, you’re getting the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Denmark. That may not mean much on paper, as the top height is just 131 feet and you’re only reaching 59 mph.
But this is the only roller coaster in the world (at least so far) that involves a stall loop. This stall loop refers to that section when you suddenly go through 2.5 seconds of utter weightlessness. Actually, with the many turns, loops and dips here, you get up to 90 seconds of zero gravity.
It can be quite a disquieting experience, but then afterwards, you’ll want to try it again!