9 Roller Coasters That Will Scare You Absolutely Silly
Ted Cromwell, creator of Coasterfanatics.com, has personally hit more than 300 of these undulating heart-stoppers. Here are some of his favorites.
1. The Voyage, at Holiday World (holidayworld.com), in Santa Claus, Indiana. The be-all and end-all of wooden coasters, this 6,442-foot-long course serves up nearly every single element that makes a coaster great: tunnels, unrelenting speed, lateral forces, air time, and giant drops.
2. Goliath, at Six Flags Over Georgia (sixflags.com), in Atlanta. With a high point of 200 feet, this steel coaster has mammoth hills that seem to go on forever.
3. Nemesis, at the Alton Towers Theme Park (alton-towers.co.uk), in Alton, England. Local building-code limitations on height forced the park to build the coaster in a trench. The tight surrounds amplify the speed.
4. Phantom’s Revenge, at Kennywood (kennywood.com), in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. In 1991 Kennywood broke the speed and highest-drop records with the Steel Phantom. After 10 years, the ride was modified to extend the drop and replace the coaster’s inversions with bunny hops. The result? An intense collection of speed and negative-G moments that will thrill even the most jaded theme-park veteran.
5. Thunderhead, at Dollywood (dollywood.com), in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. A wooden twister harking back to the golden age of coasters on California’s beaches, this ride features more track crossovers than you can count, and it flies through the station halfway along the course.
6. Kumba, at Busch Gardens Africa (buschgardens.com), in Tampa Bay, Florida. Smooth-as-glass transitions, seven inversions, and an aggressive layout make this steel thrill machine the top of its class.
7. Millennium Force, at Cedar Point (cedarpoint.com), in Sandusky, Ohio. When Millennium Force was introduced in 2000, Cedar Point was the first park to build a ride higher than 300 feet. After the massive drop, this steel coaster stays close to the ground and covers 6,500 feet of track faster than you can blink.
8. SheiKra, at Busch Gardens Africa. Opened in 2005, SheiKra became the first vertical-dive coaster in the United States, with two giant hills that drop you 90 degrees to the tracks below.
9. Raven, at Holiday World. It may not be a giant wooden coaster, but this bird packs huge thrills. With the view completely hidden by surrounding trees, you won’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into until it’s too late!