When it comes to the best roller coasters in the world, the thrill isn’t just found in the ride itself, but in the entire experience – the mounting anticipation, the creeping fear, the exhilaration, and finally, the triumph of having braved some of the world’s most terrifying attractions. Whether you’re an experienced thrill-seeker hunting down the scariest roller coaster in the world, or a curious beginner exploring the scariest roller coaster in the US, these roller coasters promise a heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping adventure that you won’t easily forget.
Top 10 Best Roller Coasters in the World
As an adrenaline junkie and a seasoned travel writer, my relentless pursuit of thrill has led me on a global journey, seeking out the most terrifying, exciting, and downright insane roller coasters that the world has to offer. If your ideal vacation includes heart-stopping drops like those on the scariest roller coaster in California, dizzying speeds similar to the best roller coasters in the U.S., gravity-defying flips and twists, and experiencing g-forces that rival those on the Kingda Ka roller coaster, you’re in for a treat. Allow me to introduce you to the top 10 best roller coasters in the world, which are guaranteed to test your mettle and skyrocket your adrenaline.
If you’re specifically aiming to brave the scariest roller coaster in Florida or reminisce about the scariest roller coaster in the world, this list will quench your thirst for thrill and give you a daring challenge to conquer. Buckle up, because you’re in for a wild ride!
Kingada Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USAView Website Get Directions
This hydraulic-launched beast of a roller coaster is the tallest in the world, offering an unparalleled view—if you can keep your eyes open. It shoots you up to 456ft at a breathtaking speed of 128mph. The fear factor doesn’t just lie in the monstrous height or the breathtaking speed, but also in the suspense of the countdown before the sudden launch. Kingda Ka is sure to provide the adrenaline rush you crave.
Here is an official POV video of the Kingada Ka ride:
Thrill Factor: Known for its heart-stopping ascent, the breathtaking view at the top is only a brief reprieve before the terrifying drop that leaves riders feeling weightless.
History and Design: Opened in 2005, Kingda Ka was designed to break all records, becoming the world’s tallest and second-fastest roller coaster. Its striking green tower can be seen from almost anywhere in the park.
Rider Experience: “Kingda Ka is like the Mount Everest of roller coasters. It’s a ride you have to conquer at least once in your lifetime!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: Six Flags has implemented strict safety measures for Kingda Ka, including secure harnesses and a meticulous daily inspection of the tracks and train.
Awards and Records: Guinness World Records holder for the tallest roller coaster.
What to Expect: Six Flags Great Adventure offers a plethora of rides for all ages, live entertainment, and a variety of dining and shopping options.
Practical Information: Best time to visit Kingada Ka is in May or September to avoid peak crowds. The height restriction is 54 inches.
Ride Duration: The entire experience, from the suspenseful climb to the thrilling drop, takes less than 30 seconds, making it one of the most exhilaratingly brief rides on earth.
Height: 456ft | Speed: 128mph | Inversions: 0 | Duration: 0.5 min | Unique Feature: World’s tallest coaster
“Kingda Ka” stands out as the tallest roller coaster, here is a chart comparison between all the other roller coasters mentioned in this list
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Formula Rossa, Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, UAEView Website Get Directions
Put simply, Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster in the world. It blasts off, accelerating to its top speed in under five seconds, mimicking the feeling of a Formula 1 race car driver. Riders are even required to wear goggles to protect their eyes, just like in a real racing experience. This isn’t just a ride—it’s an expedition into the extreme.
Pov Video of the Ride:
Thrill Factor: Emulating the speed of a Formula 1 car, this coaster’s acceleration offers an incomparable adrenaline rush. The ride is so fast that riders must wear safety goggles!
History and Design: Opened in 2010 as the centerpiece of Ferrari World, the Formula Rossa was designed to give riders a taste of the G-forces a Formula 1 driver feels.
Rider Experience: “There’s nothing like the rush of the Formula Rossa. One moment you’re at the start line, and the next, you’re almost flying. It’s exhilarating!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: The coaster’s restraint system includes hydraulic lap bars and the use of safety goggles due to high speeds.
Awards and Records: Holds the record as the fastest roller coaster in the world.
What to Expect: Ferrari World is a car enthusiast’s dream, with numerous high-speed thrill rides, a variety of Italian restaurants, and plenty of Ferrari-branded memorabilia.
Practical Information: Avoid visiting in the summer due to high temperatures. Height restriction is 51 inches.
Ride Duration: At top speeds, the ride lasts a brief 1 minute and 32 seconds.
Height: 170ft | Speed: 149mph | Inversions: 0 | Duration: 1.32 min | Unique Feature: World’s fastest coaster
“Formula Rossa” stands out as the fastest roller coaster in the world, here is a chart comparison between all the other world-class roller coasters
The Smiler, Alton Towers, Staffordshire, UKView Website Get Directions
Experience: With a world-record 14 inversions, The Smiler isn’t for the faint-hearted. This is a roller coaster that will twist and turn you until up and down lose all meaning. Plus, the ride features psychological elements designed to mess with your mind, including flashing lights and mirrors.
Pov Video of The Smiler:
Thrill Factor: The Smiler’s 14 inversions create a mind-boggling sensation of disorientation that leaves riders simultaneously thrilled and bemused.
History and Design: Opened in 2013, The Smiler took the crown for the most inversions on any roller coaster worldwide.
Rider Experience: “The inversions on The Smiler are insane, you never know which way is up. It’s a complete mind-warp!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: Riders are securely held by over-the-shoulder restraints, and the coaster undergoes regular thorough safety inspections.
Awards and Records: Guinness World Records holder for the most inversions on a roller coaster.
What to Expect: Alton Towers is one of the UK’s top theme parks, with a variety of thrill and family rides, beautifully landscaped gardens, and on-site accommodations.
Practical Information: Visit outside of school holidays to avoid long queues. Height restriction is 55 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
Height: 98ft | Speed: 53mph | Inversions: 14 | Duration: 2.45 min | Unique Feature: Most inversions
X2, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA, USAView Website Get Directions
X2 takes the concept of a roller coaster and turns it on its head—literally. This 4D roller coaster has seats that rotate 360 degrees forward or backward in alignment with the track, creating a disorienting, adrenaline-pumping ride that is amplified by the ride’s multimedia effects.
Here is a front-row POV view of the ride:
Thrill Factor: X2’s seats rotate 360 degrees while the train navigates the track, creating a unique sensation of free-falling in all directions.
History and Design: X2 is the world’s first 4D roller coaster, debuting in 2002 as “X” before being revamped and renamed in 2008.
Rider Experience: “Riding X2 is like being in a tornado. You’re twisting, turning, and dropping all at once. It’s a total thrill!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: X2 employs an individual ratcheting lap bar and a chest harness to ensure rider safety.
Awards and Records: Recognized as the first 4D roller coaster.
What to Expect: Six Flags Magic Mountain boasts an impressive collection of thrill rides, along with a variety of dining options and live entertainment.
Practical Information: Try to visit on weekdays to avoid large crowds. Height restriction is 48 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts for about 2 minutes.
Height: 175ft | Speed: 76mph | Inversions: 2 | Duration: 2 min | Unique Feature: 4D coaster
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Eejanaika, Fuji-Q Highland, Yamanashi, JapanView Website Get Directions
Another 4D roller coaster, Eejanaika, takes riders on a chaotic journey of spins and inversions, all while your seat spins independently of the main chassis. The result is a sensation of flying freely through the air, a unique and disorienting experience that isn’t for the squeamish.
Video of the Ride:
Thrill Factor: Eejanaika’s seats rotate 360 degrees independently from the orientation of the track, creating an extra dimension of disorientation and thrill.
History and Design: Unveiled in 2006, Eejanaika is the second 4D roller coaster ever built. Its name translates to “Ain’t it great!” in English.
Rider Experience: “Eejanaika’s seat rotation adds a totally new level of surprise. You never know what’s coming next!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: In addition to the standard safety harness, this ride includes seat belts and ankle restraints to ensure riders’ safety.
Awards and Records: It is one of the only two 4D roller coasters in the world.
What to Expect: Fuji-Q Highland is located near the base of Mount Fuji and offers spectacular views, along with an array of other thrill rides.
Practical Information: Avoid weekends and holidays when the park is most crowded. Height restriction is 51 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts about 3 minutes.
Height: 249ft | Speed: 78mph | Inversions: 14 | Duration: 2 min | Unique Feature: 4D coaster
Tower of Terror II, Dreamworld, Queensland, AustraliaView Website Get Directions
Riders experience 4.5Gs of pressure as they’re launched upwards and backward, hitting speeds of up to 100mph before dropping back down a 377-foot tower. A true embodiment of its name, the Tower of Terror II offers a heart-stopping journey to the sky and back.
Pov Video of the Ride:
Thrill Factor: This ride’s backward launch into a 330-foot tall tower provides an unmatched sensation of anticipation and surprise.
History and Design: Launched in 1997, it was one of the first rides to break the 100 mph speed barrier. In 2010, the ride was reimagined to launch riders backward.
Rider Experience: “You have no idea when the drop will come because you’re launched backward. The suspense is heart-stopping!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: Riders are secured with over-the-shoulder restraints and seat belts.
Awards and Records: It was the first roller coaster in Australia to reach a speed of 100 mph.
What to Expect: Dreamworld is Australia’s largest theme park with over 40 rides, multiple themed lands, and a wildlife park.
Practical Information: Visit during the shoulder season (February – June) to avoid the biggest crowds. Height restriction is 47 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts just 28 seconds.
Height: 377ft | Speed: 100mph | Inversions: 0 | Duration: 0.27 min | Unique Feature: 4.5Gs pressure
Holding the title of the world’s tallest and fastest “giga” coaster, Fury 325 invites riders to climb a colossal 325 feet into the air before diving down a 190-foot drop at an 81-degree angle, reaching a top speed of 95 mph. It’s a daring, non-stop adrenaline rush from start to finish.
Official On-Ride POV Video:
Thrill Factor: The 325-foot drop and high-speed twists and turns of Fury 325 give riders the sensation of being a furious hornet.
History and Design: Opened in 2015, this Bolliger & Mabillard creation is designed to mimic the flight of a hornet, buzzing around the park and crossing state lines between North and South Carolina.
Rider Experience: “The first drop on Fury 325 is an absolute adrenaline rush. It’s like a controlled free-fall!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: Riders are secured by a lap bar and seat belt system, and the ride is equipped with automatic shutdown systems for any operational irregularities.
Awards and Records: Fury 325 holds records as the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster.
What to Expect: Carowinds offers a variety of other thrill rides, family rides, a water park, and on-site accommodation.
Practical Information: The park tends to be busiest on weekends and during school holidays. Height restriction is 54 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts about 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
Height: 325ft | Speed: 95mph | Inversions: 0 | Duration: 3.25 min | Unique Feature: Tallest giga coaster
Takabisha, Fuji-Q Highland, Yamanashi, JapanView Website Get Directions
If you’re a fan of free-falling, Takabisha is the coaster for you. It holds the record for the steepest drop in the world, a gut-wrenching 121 degrees. The dark enclosed start, sudden launch, and rapid-fire succession of twists and flips add to the fear factor.
Pov Video of the ride. Skip to 0:50 for POV in action
Thrill Factor: With the steepest drop in the world, Takabisha combines an adrenaline-pumping blend of dark, enclosed elements, a rapid-fire succession of inversions, and a breathtaking free fall.
History and Design: Opened in 2011, Takabisha means “dominant” in English, and with its gravity-defying drop, it lives up to its name.
Rider Experience: “The drop on Takabisha is unlike anything else. The moment of suspense at the top is absolutely terrifying in the best way possible!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: Over-the-shoulder restraints and seat belts keep riders secure throughout the ride’s dramatic inversions and drops.
Awards and Records: It holds the record for the world’s steepest roller coaster with a freefall angle of 121 degrees.
What to Expect: In addition to its record-breaking roller coasters, Fuji-Q Highland also offers beautiful views of Mount Fuji, hot springs, and other attractions.
Practical Information: To avoid queues, try to visit on a weekday. Height restriction is 51 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts about 2 minutes.
Height: 141ft | Speed: 62mph | Inversions: 7 | Duration: 2 min | Unique Feature: Steepest drop
Intimidator 305, Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA, USAView Website Get Directions
Named in honor of the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, this ride is as intimidating as its namesake. The first drop of 300 feet and top speeds of 90 mph combine to create an intense experience that’s not for the faint-hearted. Brace yourself for this one!
Front seat on-ride POV Video:
Thrill Factor: With a 300-foot drop and high-speed, low-to-the-ground turns, Intimidator 305 gives riders the sensation of being a NASCAR driver hurtling around the track.
History and Design: Opened in 2010, the coaster was named and themed after the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, “The Intimidator”, with a red track and supports to mirror Earnhardt’s famous #3 car.
Rider Experience: “The g-forces on the turns are incredible. It’s like being in a fighter jet!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: Intimidator 305 is equipped with a lap restraint and seat belt system for security during the intense ride.
Awards and Records: It’s one of the tallest, fastest, and most intense roller coasters on the East Coast.
What to Expect: Kings Dominion is home to over 60 rides, including 12 roller coasters, and a 20-acre water park.
Practical Information: The park can get quite crowded during summer weekends. Aim for a weekday visit if possible. Height restriction is 54 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts about 3 minutes.
Height: 305ft | Speed: 90mph | Inversions: 0 | Duration: 3 min | Unique Feature: Intense g-force
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH, USAView Website Get Directions
As the world’s tallest and fastest hybrid roller coaster, Steel Vengeance combines the classic wooden structure with smooth steel tracks. The ride offers a relentless, thrilling 2.5-minute experience with a 200-foot drop, four inversions, and a top speed of 74 mph.
Official POV video of the Steel Vengeance:
Thrill Factor: With its hybrid design, Steel Vengeance combines the smoothness of steel tracks with the wild, unpredictable nature of wooden coasters. Expect lots of airtime and unexpected turns!
History and Design: Opened in 2018, Steel Vengeance is a Rocky Mountain Construction IBox track conversion of the former Mean Streak wooden roller coaster.
Rider Experience: “The combination of speed, height, and airtime is incredible. There’s nothing else like it!” – Rider Review
Safety Measures: A lap bar and seat belt system securely hold riders, and a network of sensors constantly monitors the ride for any irregularities.
Awards and Records: Steel Vengeance holds multiple records, including the world’s tallest hybrid roller coaster and the most airtime on any roller coaster.
What to Expect: Cedar Point, known as “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World”, has a total of 17 roller coasters and a variety of other attractions.
Practical Information: Visit in May or early June to avoid the summer crowds. Height restriction is 52 inches.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Height: 205ft | Speed: 74mph | Inversions: 4 | Duration: 2.5 min | Unique Feature: Tallest hybrid coaster
Quick Facts Table: Roller Coasters
|Rank||Roller Coaster||Park||Location||Height (ft)||Speed (mph)||Inversions||Duration (min)|
|1||Kingda Ka||Six Flags Great Adventure||Jackson, NJ, USA||456||128||0||0.5|
|2||Formula Rossa||Ferrari World||Abu Dhabi, UAE||170||149||0||1.32|
|3||The Smiler||Alton Towers||Staffordshire, UK||98||53||14||2.45|
|4||X2||Six Flags Magic Mountain||Valencia, CA, USA||175||76||2||2|
|5||Eejanaika||Fuji-Q Highland||Yamanashi, Japan||249||78||14||2|
|6||Tower of Terror II||Dreamworld||Queensland, Australia||377||100||0||0.27|
|7||Fury 325||Carowinds||Charlotte, NC, USA||325||95||0||3.25|
|8||Takabisha||Fuji-Q Highland||Yamanashi, Japan||141||62||7||2|
|9||Intimidator 305||Kings Dominion||Doswell, VA, USA||305||90||0||3|
|10||Steel Vengeance||Cedar Point||Sandusky, OH, USA||205||74||4||2.5|
Important Considerations and Guidelines for Riding a Roller Coaster
Before deciding to embark on a rollercoaster ride, you should take these points and guidelines into consideration:
- Safety Regulations: Prior to joining the queue for a roller coaster, it is crucial to be aware of the specific height and age restrictions imposed by the ride for safety purposes. It is recommended to thoroughly review these requirements beforehand.
- Health Precautions: Roller coasters are known for their intense and physically demanding nature, which can exert significant stress on the body. Individuals with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or women who are pregnant are typically advised against riding to prioritize their well-being.
- Securing Personal Belongings: Before the roller coaster commences, it is essential to safely secure all personal belongings. Loose items can easily become dislodged and lost during the ride, so it is important to ensure that everything is properly stowed away.
- Maintaining a Firm Grip: Roller coasters often feature sudden drops and sharp turns, which can be exhilarating but also potentially jarring. To ensure personal safety, it is advisable to firmly hold onto the designated handles throughout the entire ride.
- Anticipating Surprises: Roller coasters are meticulously designed to provide thrilling experiences filled with unexpected twists and turns. Being mentally prepared for these surprises can enhance the overall enjoyment and excitement of the ride.
- Embracing the Experience: Above all, remember to immerse yourself in the moment and enjoy the ride. Roller coasters are ultimately intended to provide entertainment and amusement, so make the most out of the experience and have a great time!
Every corner of the globe offers roller coasters that can satisfy the most insatiable thrill-seekers. These best roller coasters in the world, with their earth-shaking speed, dizzying heights, and intense g-forces, are the ultimate test of your courage. So, buckle up, hold on tight, and let these rides take you on the thrill of a lifetime!
Best Roller Coasters in The World
Height requirements on roller coasters are in place primarily for safety reasons. The restraints that keep riders secure in their seats are designed for people of a certain height range. If a person is too short, the restraints may not be effective, which could potentially result in harm. Each roller coaster has its own specific height requirement, set by the manufacturer and the amusement park, based on the design of the ride.
Roller coasters are thrilling rides that may involve high speeds, sharp turns, and steep drops, which can significantly increase heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, people with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or other serious medical issues are usually advised to avoid these types of rides. However, less intense roller coasters may be suitable. Always consult with a healthcare provider and check the ride's warning signs and guidelines before deciding to ride a roller coaster.
The fastest roller coaster in the world is the Formula Rossa, which reaches a maximum speed of 149 mph. It is located at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Roller coaster safety is a primary concern for engineers. Multiple factors are taken into consideration in the design phase including physics principles, material strength, and human tolerance to acceleration. Engineers conduct numerous tests, simulations, and inspections during the building phase and throughout the life of the coaster. Regulatory bodies also play a part in enforcing safety standards. Despite the thrills, roller coasters are statistically one of the safest forms of transportation.
The oldest roller coaster still in operation is the Leap-The-Dips in Lakemont Park, Pennsylvania, USA. It opened in 1902.
The longest roller coaster in the world is the Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Japan. It is 8,133 feet long.