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The 8 Best Roller Coasters in the World

Find out the fastest, highest, longest roller coaster rides in existence.

Jul 31, 2019

The speed…the height…the twists, turns and upside-downs…that screaming in your stomach when you fly down a hill.  A roller coaster ride lasts only for a few minutes, but you remember it for a lifetime!  It’s a thrilling experience that keeps you coming back for more.  Have you ever wondered which roller coasters are the best ones ever made?  If so, you’re in luck!  The following list highlights some of the best roller coasters in the world.  Find out why these winners make the list!

Official "Kingda Ka" On-Ride at Six Flags Great Adventure

 

8. "Outlaw Run"

  • Amusement Park:  Silver Dollar City
  • Branson, Missouri

This is the first roller coaster ever built with multiple inversions and has the most inversions of any wooden roller coaster in the world.  What’s an inversion?  It’s when you’re turned upside down and then right-side up again.  Riders are turned upside down three times on this ride and reach a speed of 68 miles per hour.  "Outlaw Run" is the 6th fastest roller coaster in the world and has the 4th steepest drop among the world’s wooden roller coasters.

Outlaw Run has the most inversions of any wooden roller coaster in the worldOutlaw Run has the most inversions of any wooden roller coaster in the world

7. "The Smiler"

  • Amusement Park:  Alton Towers
  • Location: Staffordshire, United Kingdom

This roller coaster holds the world record for the most inversions—It has 14 inversions!  Made of steel, it opened in 2013.  A huge spider-like creature called “The Marmaliser” sits in the center of its track.  Each of its five legs supposedly “tricks” the riders into smiling.  A screen wraps around the track, playing video and displaying graphics.

The Smiler takes riders upside down 14 times! The Smiler takes riders upside down 14 times!

6. "The Beast"

  • Amusement Park:  King’s Island
  • Location: Mason, Ohio

Built in 1979, "The Beast" is the world’s longest wooden roller coaster at 7,359 feet.  Over 54 million people have experienced riding it!  It has set world records for height, speed, track length and duration, and still holds records for length and duration.

The Beast is the world's longest wooden roller coaster.The Beast is the world's longest wooden roller coaster.

5. "Steel Dragon 2000"

  • Amusement Park: Nagashima Spa Land
  • Location: Mie Prefecture, Japan

The "Steel Dragon" opened in the year 2000, the year of the dragon in Japan.  It’s the longest roller coaster in the world.  It’s the seventh tallest steel roller coaster in the world at 318.3 feet and has the sixth largest drop at 306.8 feet.  It cost over $50 million to build because it required much more steel than other roller coasters in order to protect it from earthquakes.

The Steel Dragon 2000 opened in the year of the dragon in Japan and is the longest roller coaster in the world.  The Steel Dragon 2000 opened in the year of the dragon in Japan and is the longest roller coaster in the world.

4. "Lightning Rod"

  • Amusement Park: Dollywood
  • Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The "Lightning Rod" lives up to its name—It’s the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster as well as the world’s first “launched” wooden roller coaster.  Launched roller coasters use a launch system instead of a traditional chain lift to get up hills.   Themed to hot-rod cars from the 1950’s, it reaches 73 miles per hour.

The Lightning Rod is the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, reaching 73 miles per hour.The Lightning Rod is the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, reaching 73 miles per hour.

3. "Formula Rossa"

  • Amusement Park: Ferrari World
  • Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Reaching 150 miles per hour, this is the world’s fastest roller coaster.   It's a steel roller coaster and reaches its top speed in five seconds!  That's because it uses a hydraulic launch system.  It was built after a famous Italian racetrack.  If you choose to ride this, you must wear protective glasses, the same kind that skydivers use.

Formula Rossa riders must wear protective glasses, the same kind that skydivers use.  Formula Rossa riders must wear protective glasses, the same kind that skydivers use.

2. "Goliath"

  • Amusement Park:  Six Flags Great America
  • Location: Gurnee, Illinois

When "Goliath" opened in 2014, it set three world records for wooden roller coasters:  The longest drop at 180 feet, the steepest drop at 85 degrees, and the fastest speed at 72 miles per hour.  The fastest speed record was later stolen by the Lightning Rod in 2016.  It’s 3,100 feet long with two inversions.  It only takes 105 seconds to complete this ride.

Goliath has the longest and steepest drop in the world among wooden roller coasters. Goliath has the longest and steepest drop in the world among wooden roller coasters.

1. "Kingda Ka"

  • Amusement Park:  Six Flags Great Adventure
  • Location: Jackson, New Jersey

Are you up for anything?  This may be your ultimate thrill ride, but only if you’re at least 4.5 feet tall!  "Kingda Ka" is the world’s tallest and second fastest roller coaster.  The ride’s hydraulic launch system shoots the train from a speed of 0 to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds.   Its first hill climbs to 456 feet, followed by a drop of 418 feet.  The whole experience only lasts 28 seconds!  The jungle-themed ride portrays a mythological Bengal tiger.  Seconds before the craziness begins, a recording announces, “Arms down, head back, hold on!”  Riders, take its advice!

Kingda Ka is the world’s tallest and second fastest roller coaster.Kingda Ka is the world’s tallest and second fastest roller coaster.Courtesy of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Share Your Thoughts

People like different roller coasters for a variety of reasons, and each of these listed, along with many that aren’t listed, are amazing in their own way.  Have you ridden any of these roller coasters?  Do you like wooden or steel roller coasters better?  What was your best roller coaster experience ever?  Kidzworld wants to know!