Do you love the rush of fear and adrenaline from a great roller coaster? You’re not alone. There are more than 2,000 roller coasters in operation all over the world, and everybody’s got their favorite. But a few coasters deliver a really special, one-of-a-kind experience.
From incredible speed to gut-churning drops to head-spinning inversions, there’s something for everybody on our list of the best roller coasters in the world. They are one of the most popular amusement park rides and can be found in amusement parks all over the world.
Best Roller Coasters in the World
1. Dodonpa, Fuji-Q Highland – Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Dodonpa is a steel roller coaster at Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park in Yamanashi Prefecture, just outside Tokyo, Japan. Designed by Mitsushige Nakai and built by Premier Rides, it was the fastest roller coaster in the world when it opened on July 16, 2001, with a top speed of 106 miles per hour (171 km/h).
It held this record until 2004, when Kingda Ka surpassed it at Six Flags Great Adventure. Dodonpa uses a compressed air-launch system to send riders from 0 to 106 miles per hour (171 km/h) in 1.8 seconds, making it the world’s fastest roller coaster.
Riders experience 4.5 times the force of gravity during the launch. If you can pry your eyeballs open for a second, you’ll see Mount Fuji sitting serenely on the horizon.
Riding Dodonpa will depend on the amusement park you visit, but it’s generally around $25-30. So if you’re looking for a thrill and don’t mind shelling out a bit of cash, Dodonpa is definitely worth a ride.
See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World
2) Dueling Dragons, Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida
If you’re looking for a heart-pounding coaster experience, look no further than Dueling Dragons at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. This coaster is a true dueling experience, with two tracks that race side by side at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. You’ll feel the wind in your hair as you twist and turn your way through the curves and drops of this coaster.
What makes Dueling Dragons so special is the unique design that allows two coasters to race. You feel like you’re part of the action as you speed through the curves and drops of this coaster. And with speeds up to 62 miles per hour, it’s sure to get your heart racing.
The cost of riding Dueling Dragons at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, will set you back $80 for an adult ticket. But it’s well worth the price for an adrenaline rush. With two tracks racing side by side at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour, this coaster will surely get your heart pumping fast.
3. Taron, Phantasialand – Brühl, Germany
Taron is a steel roller coaster at Phantasialand theme park in Brühl, Germany. Designed by Werner Stengel, it was the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster when it opened on April 28, 2015.
But it’s already a fan favorite, thanks to its unique design that allows riders to experience both forward and backward motion at the same time.
The coaster is also one of the longest and tallest in Europe, reaching 205 feet and speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. So if you’re looking for a truly unique coaster experience, be sure to check out Taron at Phantasialand in Germany.
As one of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coasters, Taron at Phantasialand in Germany has a steep price tag. A single ride on Taron will set you back €37, or about $41. But if you’re looking for a truly unique coaster experience, it’s well worth the cost.
See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World
4. Intimidator 305, Kings Dominion – Doswell, Virginia, USA
The ride in Kings Dominion is one of the most intense roller coaster rides you’ll ever scream your way through; the first drop of the Intimidator 305 had to be re-profiled during its first year of operation; people were actually blacking out in the dive.
Chances are you’ll still feel a bit queasy as you navigate the 305-foot drop, which speeds up to 90 miles an hour.
5. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land – Kuwana, Japan
The Steel Dragon in Nagashima Spa Land is a marathon ride — the world’s longest at 8133 feet of pure adrenaline. The one-minute climb to the top of the first hill will have you squirming in suspense. And the drop that follows? 306 feet straight down.
Hang on to your hat — this is your introduction to three more minutes of thrills. It is also the tallest steel roller coaster in Japan, with a height of 318 feet.
The Steel Dragon 2000 is not a cheap coaster to ride. At $27, it’s one of the most expensive in the world. But for true thrill-seekers, the cost is worth it.
6. Silver Star: Europa Park – Rust, Germany
Europe’s second-tallest roller coaster, the Silver Star, is smooth, fast, and minimalist. This steel coaster features a great series of helixes, turnarounds, and hills with lots of airtime. The restraint system on this coaster is especially comfortable — no accident since Mercedes-Benz sponsors it. Silver Star is one of the most popular roller coasters in Europa Park. It’s a steel roller coaster that Mack Rides built.
Riders experience speeds of up to 93 km/h and a height of 73 meters. The ride lasts two and a half minutes. Silver Star is located in the France section of Europa Park, which is considered one of the best amusement parks in Europe.
See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World
7. Formula Rossa: Ferrari World – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Want the feeling of racing in a Ferrari? Try the Formula Rossa in Ferrari World. The launch system is hydraulic and gives you the sensation of taking off in a fighter jet.
The top speed of this coaster is 149 miles per hour, making Formula Rosa one of the fastest roller coasters in the world. Riders are given protective glasses to keep their eyes safe, but dealing with the 1.7 Gs it generates is up to you. Formula Rossa is not a cheap ride. If you’re looking to experience the thrill of a race car, be prepared to pay.
A single ride on Formula Rossa costs $90, which is pretty pricey compared to some of the other roller coasters on this list. But for the speed and excitement you get, it’s nothing compared to the other roller coasters.
See Related: Best Bungee Jumping Locations In The World
8. Storm Runner, Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA
Storm Runner was the first coaster to combine inversions with a hydraulic launch. While it’s not a record-breaker anymore, Storm Runner still delivers huge thrills.
This freaky ride packs intense acceleration, an 18-story drop, a white-knuckle snake dive, and its trademark 135-foot cobra loop into a high-speed trip that comes in at around 30 seconds.
Storm Runner is one of the most popular roller coasters at Hersheypark. Riders experience speeds of up to 73 mph and a height of 20 stories. A single 30 seconds ride on Storm Runner costs $15.
See Related: Best Hot Air Balloon Rides Around the World
9. Colossus: Thorpe Park – Surrey, England
Don’t eat anything before you ride the Colossus. It feels like it was designed to make you lose your lunch. It’s a rough ride from start to finish, with ten loops in just under two minutes.
To sheer surprise, the best inversion is probably the last one — it happens when you think the ride is getting ready to pull into the station. A single ride on Thorpe Park‘s Colossus costs £13, which is about $17.
10. Coney Island Cyclone, Coney Island – Brooklyn, New York, USA
The Cyclone at Coney Island is one of the most iconic roller coasters in the world. It’s also one of the oldest, having been built in 1927. It’s a wooden coaster that features 27 drops and reaches speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Riding the Cyclone is an exhilarating experience that will leave you breathless.
It’s probably the most famous roller coaster of its generation, and it’s now designated as a historic landmark. It was one of the fastest wooden roller coasters back then. The fastest and longest wooden roller coaster is the Goliath, Six Flags Great America.
But that’s not why you should ride it — desp1654ite its age. The Cyclone delivers world-class thrills. The ride begins with a bone-rattling 85-foot drop and rolls into six twisting bends and eight more drops with the aggressive, disjointed movement characteristic of classic wooden coasters. Depending on your age, a single ride on the Coney Island Cyclone will cost you $13 – $21.
See Related: Best Vacations in the United States
Tips before going on a roller coaster
Before jumping into our roller coaster rankings of the best wooden coasters, you should keep a few things in mind.
- Never ride if you’re pregnant or have a heart condition.
- Every coaster is different, so it’s important to research and know each ride’s height, speed, and intensity.
- Ensure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes – you don’t want anything to restrict your movement or get caught in the ride.
- Avoid eating a big meal before going on a coaster, as it might make you feel sick.
- And finally, if you have any other health conditions that could be exacerbated by riding a roller coaster, it’s probably best to sit this out.
These rides deliver intense, thrilling experiences that will leave you breathless and alive. The best part is, with so many roller coasters in the world, there’s an adventure for everyone regardless of age or location! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next coaster adventure today!
- Best Bike Friendly Cities in the World
- Best Ski Resorts in the US to Visit
- Most Scenic Bike Trails Across America
Lock In Your Travel Now
Find Cheap Flights
Use Skyscanner to find flight deals. As my personal favorite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours websites and airlines across the globe, leaving no stone unturned to help you find the best deal possible. And if you really want to take your savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights). With access to exclusive mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you'll be packing your bags and jetting off on your next adventure before you know it.
Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!
Discover the Best Travel Tools
Be sure to visit our page on our favorite travel resources to learn how you too can visit over 10 countries in year.
Thursday 7th of August 2014
Scary stuff! I'm old school - only done The Big One and the late Grand National in Blackpool and the late Corkscrew which was at Alton Towers.