Rollercoasters are getting bigger, longer and higher all the time. They’re also getting faster. If you’re an adrenaline junkie who will travel the world for the next big thing – the kind of person who will play Rollercoaster Tycoon in your spare time just to get a theme park fix – then we’ve picked five of the most extreme roller coasters on earth for you to try. From Dubai to the USA, Spain to Japan, there are heart-stopping rides at amusement parks all over the world. Are you brave enough to give any of them a try?
Formula Rossa, Dubai
They don’t do things by half in Dubai, what with the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa dominating the skyline. It will come as no surprise then that the city also boasts the world’s fastest rollercoaster. The Formula Rossa is part of Ferrari World and reaches a face-flattening 149mph in under five seconds! Sitting in a replica Ferrari Formula One car, you are propelled round the circuit at high speed, encountering corners and chicanes inspired by race tracks from around the world. It’s the closest most of us will come to driving in a Grand Prix!
Furius Baco, Spain
The Furius Baco in Salou, Spain is one of Europe’s fastest ‘coasters. Hitting nearly 84mph in 3.5 seconds, the highlight of the ride is a dive into an inline twist that takes passengers to within inches of a lake. Part of the PortAventura park in Salou, riders of the Furius Baco dangle from the side of barrel-like cars on a ride that lasts around a minute. Such is the speed of the rollercoaster that it was fittingly opened by superbike champion Valentino Rossi, a man who knows all about riding at the limit.
El Toro, USA
If you prefer your rollercoasting more traditional but still want the thrill of speed, El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, USA, is the fastest wooden rollercoaster in the world. Spanish for “The Bull”, El Toro reaches a top speed of 70mph and features a drop of 176 ft. On nine occasions, riders experience weightlessness on what is a modern, smooth ride. Are you brave enough to take El Toro by the horns?
When it opened in 2001, the Dodonpa in Japan was the fastest rollercoaster in the world. It may now have lost that title but it still boasts the fastest acceleration of any rollercaster. Using compressed air to launch the cars, the Dodonpa reaches its top speed of 107 mph in a mind-bending 1.8 seconds. It will come as no surprise that the Dodonpa regularly features on lists of the scariest rides in the world and is one that all rollercoaster enthusiasts really must try.
Home of the theme park, if you’re looking for the fastest thrill in Florida, try the Kraken at SeaWorld. It’s one of the tallest and longest rides in the Sunshine State and it’s also floorless! The ride gets its name from a giant mythological sea creature that used to terrorise sailors in the waters off Norway and Greenland. The name is particularly apt for a thrilling ride that reaches 65mph and features all the best elements of rollercoasting: loops, dives, zero-G rolls, cobra rolls and corkscrews. Hold on to your sunhat!
Have you ridden any of these rollercoasters or have a favourite fast one that we’ve not mentioned? Let us know!
Images by Sarah_Ackerman, Salvador Canet, g.bremer, joebaz, Travelin’ Librarian, all used under creative commons licence.