The United States may be the most well represented country upon this list, but Canada, Japan, and Australia prove to have some thrills of their own! Several of the rides to make the list were designed and built by International Amusement Installations (INTAMIN), a company headquartered in Wollerau, Switzerland.
10. Thunder Dolphin, Dome City Attractions, Japan (262 feet)
Located in the amusement park of the extensive entertainment hub of Tokyo Dome City in Tokyo, Japan, is the 10th tallest continuous circuit roller coaster in the world, the Thunder Dolphin. The steel roller coaster, designed and constructed by Intamin, achieves an impressive height of 262 feet and covers a 3,500-foot-long course that passes through a hole into the LaQua building, and through a hole known as the Big-O in the world’s first Ferris wheel, all within the amusement park. The maximum speed attained by the roller coaster is 130 kilometers per hour. The only known accidental case associated with this roller coaster happened on December 5, 2010, when a 25 centimeter-long bolt dropped from the moving Thunder Dolphin, and subsequently injuring a 9 year old visitor to the amusement park. Following this incident, the ride was suspended until August 1, 2013, and is currently operating again.
9. Intimidator 305, Kings' Dominion, Virginia, USA (305 feet)
The world famous roller coaster known as the Intimidator 305 is located in the Safari Village section near Anaconda at the Kings Dominion park in Doswell, Virginia, United States. The roller coaster started operating on April 2, 2010, and wass the 14th roller coaster at the Kings Dominion park. Built by the Switzerland based company Intamin, the $25 million roller coaster has a height of 305 feet and achieves a maximum speed of 140 kilometers per hour. The roller coaster derives its name from the NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, nicknamed ‘The Intimidator’. The trains of the roller coaster are also themed according to Earnhardt’s infamous black No. 3 race car.
8. Leviathan, Canada's WonderLand, Canada (306 feet)
Leviathan is the most hyped roller coaster in the history of Canada’s Wonderland, located in the Greater Toronto area of the Canadian province of Ontario. The ride is positioned in the northeastern edge of the 379-acre amusement park, and is built on top of one of the park’s former roller coasters, the Dragon Fire. It took 150 people a period of one year to complete the construction of this ride. The Leviathan was designed by the Swiss roller coaster specialists Bolliger & Mabillard, and cost nearly $28 million. A typical ride in this 306 feet roller coaster lasts for around three and a half minutes, and the ride achieves a maximum speed of 148 kilometers per hour.
7. Millennium Force, Cedar Point, Ohio, USA (310 feet)
The Millennium Force is a steel roller coaster located inside the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, United States. The ride debuted in the year 2000, breaking 10 world records at the time of its debut. With a height of 310 feet, it was the world’s tallest and fastest full circuit giga-coaster at opening. The Millennium Force is a 6,595-foot-long machine, with 3 tall hills with respective heights of 310 feet, 169 feet and 182 feet, a breathtaking 300 feet drop at an 80 degree angle, 3 over-banked turns, and 2 dark tunnels. The ride achieves a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour. The roller coaster was designed by Intamin, and cost nearly $25 million to complete.
6. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima SpaLand, Japan (318 feet)
One of the world’s most powerful steel roller coasters, the Steel Dragon 2000 is located in the Nagashima Spa Land Amusement Park in the Mie prefecture of Japan. Designed by Steve Okamoto and Morgan Manufacturing, the Steel Dragon 2000 demanded more steel than other roller coasters of its magnitude in order to produce a ride that is protected from the earthquakes which frequent the region. The roller coaster rises up to 318 feet and achieves a maximum speed of 153 kilometers per hour. It has three hills of 318 feet, 252 feet, and 210 feet, respectively, and provides a maximum drop of 306 feet. Since it started operating on August 1, 2000, it has drawn thousands of tourists to this park, as they come seeking a thrilling ride on this world famous roller coaster.
5. Fury 325, Carowind's, North Carolina/South Carolina, USA (325 feet)
Fury 325 is a gigantic roller coaster located at the Carowinds amusement park just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. The roller coaster debuted in March 28, 2015, breaking the 14-year-old record of the Steel Dragon, and thereafter establishing itself as the world’s tallest giga-coaster. The machine, manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard, attains a height of 325 feet at its highest point, and subjects the thrill-seekers to a nearly vertical drop of 320 feet. The highest speed attained by the Fury 325 is 153 kilometers per hour. The roller coaster, with three open-air, steel and fiberglass trains, is themed after a hornet insect, which is also the mascot of the local NBA basketball team, the Charlotte Hornets.
4. Tower of Terror 2, Dreamworld, Australia (377 feet)
A powerful steel shuttle roller coaster, the Tower of Terror II is located at the Dreamworld Amusement park in Queensland, Australia. The ride was opened to the public on January 23, 1997. Manufactured by Intamin, the construction of the entire machine cost the amusement park a staggering sum of $16,000,000 AUD. The Tower of Terror II reaches an astounding height of 377 feet with a breathtaking, completely vertical, drop of 328 feet. In the short 28-second duration of this exhilarating ride, the roller coaster achieves a maximum speed of as fast as 160 kilometers per hour.
3. Superman, Six Flags, California, USA (415 feet)
Superman: Escape from Krypton, the third tallest roller coaster in the world, is located at the Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, United States. The steel shuttle roller coaster, built by Intamin, was re-launched on 2011. The ride is the successor of the roller coaster Superman: The Escape”, which operated between 1997 and 2010, and had to be suspended for several issues related to its launch system. The roller coaster has an impressive height of 415 feet, provides a mind-boggling drop of 328.1 feet, and all the while achieves an adrenaline-pumping maximum speed of 167.4 kilometers per hour!
2. Top Thrill, Cedar Point, Ohio, USA (420 feet)
The Top Thrill Dragster, located in Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, definitely lives up to its name. It has the second tallest lift, second highest drop, and the third fastest speed among the roller coasters of the world. The steel accelerator roller coaster, designed by Intamin, has been in operation since May 1, 2003. Stretching along a distance of 2,800 feet, the Top Thrill Dragster is 420 feet high, provides a drop of 400 feet, and moves up to a maximum speed of 190 kilometers per hour. The machine is themed on the Top Fuel Drag Racing motor sport. It thus possesses six dragster-themed trains with five cars each.
1. Kinada Ka, Six Flags, New Jersey, USA (456 feet)
The Kingda Ka is definitely the king of all roller coasters in the world. It is the world’s tallest roller coaster, and the fastest one in the United States. The colossal machine was designed by Intamin, and launched at the Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, United States on May 21, 2005. It achieves a stupendous height of 456 feet, and a maximum speed of 206 kilometers per hour. Within a ride time of only 50.6 seconds, the Kingda Ka offers an abundant adrenaline rush to those who dare to take a ride upon it. The ride is themed as a mythical tiger, and its name refers to a 230-kilogram tabby Bengal Tiger that lived in an adjacent exhibit of the park before being shifted to the park’s safari area. The design of the entire set-up is based on a jungle theme, with "jungle music" playing throughout the wait time for the riders.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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