5 Best Roller Coasters in America

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

Maverick | Only Twisted Horseshoe Roll

Cedar Point | Sandusky, Ohio

1 Maverick 5 Best Roller Coasters in America

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 | First Floorless Dive Coaster

Busch Gardens Europe | Williamsburg, Va.

2 Griffon 5 Best Roller Coasters in America

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.

Boulder Dash | Only Mountain Terrain Coaster

Lake Compounce | Bristol, Conn.

3 Boulder Dash 5 Best Roller Coasters in America

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.

X2 | First Rotating Seats

Six Flags Magic Mountain | Los Angeles, Calif.

4 X2 5 Best Roller Coasters in America

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 | World’s Tallest and Fastest Coaster

Six Flags Great Adventure | Jackson, N.J.

5 Kingda Ka 5 Best Roller Coasters in America

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.

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  1. Bob Says:

    That first one is the “Corkscrew” at Cedar Point isn’t it? The “Maverick” was one of the fastest but it doesn’t have any loops.

  2. Kara Mann Says:

    The Kingda Ka is the best! I crapped my pants!

  3. Gabriel Says:

    So, wait- it’s a 4D ride, that’s going to be 5D? Do these people even know what those terms mean?

  4. The griffon doesnt last 3 minutes..perhaps 30 seconds..but it still rocks!

  5. Dan Says:

    Gabriel… it doesnt literally mean 5 dimensions, it means the effects of the ride(ie visual, audio)

  6. jake Says:

    Nah the corkscrew is blue and much older and less sweet.

  7. Joe Says:

    Yeah, That’s Maverick. Corkscrew is much different looking. Speaking of cedar point though, why is millennium force not on this list?


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