Nothing quenches a thrill seeker’s thirst quite like an amusement park. While Ferris wheels are popular, as are bumper cars and the like, roller coasters usually draw the largest crowd, and for good reason.
These rides have height, drops, speed, and more—though not all are equal in these factors. So let’s take a look at the tallest and fastest among the world’s coasters, in search of the ultimate thrill.
View Roller coaster rankings in a full screen map
All of the tallest coasters are made of steel. In fact, the tallest steel coaster (456 ft.) is three times the height of the tallest wooden coaster (127 ft.)! That’s a huge height discrepancy, and there are many other coasters beyond the wooden leader.
Here are the very tallest of the tall:
- Kingda Ka – 456 ft. tall
- Top Thrill Dragster – 420
- Superman: Escape from Krypton – 415
- Red Force – 367.3
- Fury 325 – 325
- Steel Dragon 2000 – 318.3
- Millennium Force – 310
- Leviathan – 306
- Intimidator 305 – 305
- Orion – 287
Kingda Ka is the tallest among these rides, towering at an impressive height of 456 feet or 139 meters. It’s closely followed by Top Thrill Dragster at 420 feet (130 meters) and Superman: Escape from Krypton at 415 feet (126 meters). All three of these roller coasters are located in the United States, though at different parks: Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, Cedar Point in Ohio, and Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, respectively.
The majority (7) of the tallest roller coasters in the world are located in the U.S. In addition to those already mentioned, Fury 325, Millennium Force, Intimidator 305, and Orion are scattered throughout the nation. However, it’s far from the only country. Spain, Japan, and Canada are also represented by one coaster each: Red Force, Steel Dragon 2000, and Leviathan, respectively.
The 10 tallest of these rides are all made of steel. Wooden coasters, on the other hand, are all much shorter, as you’ll find on the map when you group the map by “Type.” However, the overall height isn’t necessarily the most important factor among these coasters, even related to height.
Drop length is another height-related roller coaster factor. The steepest drops range from 418 to 141 feet, the lengthiest of which is, once again, Kingda Ka.
|Name||Drop length (ft)||Drop length (m)|
|Top Thrill Dragster||400||120|
|Superman: Escape from Krypton||328.1||100|
|Steel Dragon 2000||306.8||93.5|
While the table consists of the same roller coasts as the list of the tallest, several are in a different order. Red Force, for example, ranks at #3 in drop length as opposed to #4 in height. Others with shifting positions include Superman: Escape from Krypton, Leviathan, and Millennium Force.
Of course, beyond height and drop length, there’s also overall length, which you can find on the map when you group by “Length (ft).” And—not to mention—speed.
Height and drop length are key to a roller coaster’s experience. However, speed just might be the most important factor for thrill seekers. The fastest of these rides flies along its track at a speed of 149.1 mph, though the rest of the fastest coasters aren’t too far behind, as you’ll see on the list below.
- Formula Rossa – 149.1mph
- Kingda Ka – 128
- Top Thrill Dragster – 120
- Red Force – 111.8
- Do-Dodonpa – 111.8
- Superman: Escape from Krypton – 100
- Ring Racer – 99.4
- Fury 325 – 95
- Steel Dragon 2000 – 95
- Millennium Force – 93
Kingda Ka is no longer king. The tallest coaster with the lengthiest drop has dropped to second place when it comes to speed. The #1 spot goes to a coaster that doesn’t even rank among the top 10 in height at 170.6 ft. tall. However, that is for safety reasons. Formula Rossa has a height restriction in place, and riders are required to wear goggles—also for their safety. If you’re still interested, you can ride Formula Rossa yourself, goggles and all, when you visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Or check it out from the front rider’s point of view:
Another thing that rolls—though perhaps not as fast as these roller coasters—is the world’s largest rollerskate. You can read more about that on the World’s Largest Map of the World’s Largest Roadside Attractions.