From tiered seating to a hydraulic launch, the built-in smarts of these coasters—even if they don’t stack up to the super-steep new Fahrenheit—make this America’s scariest handful of theme-park rides for cheap package holidays
This steel coaster has ten banked turns from 62 to 92 degrees, plus the only twisted horseshoe roll in the world. It starts with a clockwise corkscrew turn followed by a 180-degree banked turn and finishes with a second, counterclockwise corkscrew.
Griffon uses tiered seating to put every rider in the front row as the coaster pauses at the top of a 205-ft. hill, then plunges straight down at 75 mph. The 3-minute ride also has two inverted loops.
Built into the side of a mountain, the wooden Boulder Dash makes the most of the terrain’s natural features. The first hill drops riders 115 ft. at 60 mph—through trees. From there, it’s a fast-paced 2 1/2 minutes of scenic action.
Initially called X, the world’s first “4D” coaster has wing-shaped seats that allow riders to independently rotate 360 degrees forward and backward. This summer, the coaster will reopen as X2, with audio, visual and sensory effects that take it to 5D.
Kingda Ka’s hydraulic launch system catapults riders from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds, up 90 degrees and through a quarter turn to 456 ft., then straight down a 270-degree spiral. Official ride time is 50.6 seconds, but most riders say it feels more like 30 seconds.