10 Highest Roller Coasters on Earth

Posted by KarlFabricius on Monday, September 20th, 2010

Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Image: adpowers

Roller Coasters. If you’ve got a head for heights and can stomach huge drops, there’s no greater thrill in the theme park. First patented in 1885, these wonders of modern engineering and design quickly became the most popular rides at amusement parks across the globe.

Millennium Force, Cedar Point
Image: Coasterman1234

As history rode its course through the 20th century, roller coasters just got bigger, and bigger, and their designs ever more inspired. In 1989, the first Mega or Hyper Coaster, over 200 feet-tall, was created in the shape of Cedar Point, Ohio’s Magnum XL-200. And still those coasters got bigger…

Millennium Force, Cedar Point
Image: Coasterman1234

As Giga and Strata Coasters were built, with heights topping 300 and 400 feet respectively, even coaster fans quietly gulped. Here are the top 10 tallest roller coasters currently gracing the face of our planet. Vertigo sufferers have been warned…

10. Titan, Six Flags Over Texas, Texas, USA

Titan, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas
Image: Chris Hagerman

Height: 245 feet (75 m)

Designer: Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmgH

The mighty Titan of Six Flags Over Texas rides it at number ten. Like the Greek elder gods it derives its name from, this mind-blowing roller coaster can lift men up like matchsticks. It doesn’t waste time in doing so, either, hauling riders up a 245 foot (75 m) hill before hurling them into a 255 foot drop – one of the largest in the US – which runs straight into an abyssal tunnel. As if this were not enough, passengers are then subjected to the intense g-forces of dizzying carousel turns, sustained for nearly six seconds at the finale. A giant among most other coasters on the planet, Titan made its debut in 2001, topping out its twin, Goliath of Six Flags Magic Mountain, CA, by just 10 feet (3 m). They say size isn’t everything, but in the Herculean world of roller coasters some may beg to differ.

9. Eejanaika, Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan

Eejanaika, Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan
Image: Vantey

Height: 249 feet (76 m)

Designer: S&S Arrow

Kudos to Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland, which features two Mega Coasters in the world’s top ten tallest. Opened in 2006, the smaller but arguably more interesting of these is Eejanaika, a “4th Dimension” roller coaster whose design allows the seats to swivel forward or backward 360 degrees as the massive trains run their hair-raising course. For passengers, a huge vertical drop, 249 feet (76 m) in the air, is followed by 14 inversions – more than any other coaster and enough to make you dizzy for a week – with the spinning seats playing their part. Pronounced “Ee ja nai ka”, this coaster’s name has various meanings relating to festive 19th century celebrations, or more simply translates as, “Ain’t it great!” We’re sure it is – unless of course you’re of a queasy disposition. Then it most definitely isn’t.

8. Fujiyama, Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan

Fujiyama, Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida
Image: Geomr

Height: 259 feet (79 m)

Designer: Morgan

Standing indomitable over the surrounding landscape like its iconic namesake, Mt Fuji, Fujiyama reaches a vertiginous 259 feet (79 m) at its highest point, ten feet more than Eejanaika, its neighbor in Fuji-Q Highland. When it opened in 1996, Fujiyama was the tallest roller coaster on Earth at 259 feet (79 m) and boasted the world’s biggest drop – 230 feet (70 m). Named after Japan’s most famous peak, Fujiyama’s moniker means words to the effect of “king of mountains” – and this traditional styled coaster certainly brings mountainous terrain to mind with its none-too-gently meandering bunny hills, which arrive after the famously massive 23-story first drop. As they say, it’s not getting up the mountain but getting back down it. Pure white-knuckle excitement from beginning to end.

7. Thunder Dolphin, Tokyo Dome City Attractions, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan

Thunder Dolphin, Tokyo Dome City Attractions, Tokyo, Japan
Image: Tanki

Height: 262 feet (80 m)

Designer: Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmbH

The brilliantly named Thunder Dolphin is a Japanese leviathan of a roller coaster – but don’t be fooled by the serene marine connotations. Despite its smooth ride and aesthetic grace, the emphasis here is on thunder – and frightening elemental forces certainly spring to mind as the coaster soars to the summit of a 262-foot (80m) hill before an incredible first plunge. The 3,500-foot (1,066 m) long track takes riders, eyes wide shut, through a hole in a nearby building plus straight through the middle of the neighboring Big-O ferris wheel. Velocities of up to 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) ensure speed freaks don’t go home hungry either. The world’s tallest Hyper Coaster, Thunder Dolphin nevertheless concedes to the 300 and 400-foot plus peaks of the so-called Giga and Strata Coasters.

6. Intimidator 305, Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia, USA

Intimidator 305, Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia
Image: emily_mcdonald

Height: 305 feet (93 m)

Designer: Intamin AG

Climbing to a maximum height of 305 feet (93 m), Intimidator 305, in Kings Dominion, Virginia muscles its way to sixth on the list of world’s tallest roller coasters – the ‘smallest’ of the Giga Coasters but a hugely frightening prospect nonetheless. Completed in early 2010, this speedway inspired ride takes passengers to the crest of its first hill – a giant structure with just three support points – care of a cable lift. Then it’s down, down, down the 300-foot (91 m), 85 degree drop at speeds of almost 80 miles per hour (128 km/h). Speed is the name of the game here, as Intimidator 305 is themed after the late NASCAR racing ace Dale Earnhardt. Two trains, colored silver and red, add to the feeling of being in a stock car on steroids. Entertainment design doesn’t come much more menacing.

5. Millennium Force, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA

Millennium Force, Cedar Point
Image: Nick Nolte

Height: 310 feet (94 m)

Designer: Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmbH

One of two coasters in the top ten to be found in Cedar Point, Ohio, Millennium Force towers a colossal 310 feet (95 m) tall at its apex, offering scenic views over lovely Lake Erie. Still, there any tranquil associations stop with a vertigo-inducing lurch – followed by a scream. Opened, as its name implies, at the turn of the 21st century, this award-winning coaster scores consistently high in fan polls. The ride experience starts with a cable lift pulling the train up the first hill at a crawling 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), but by the time passengers reach the top of their climb, this slow start is long forgotten as they plummet into a 300 feet (91 m) drop, reaching phenomenal speeds of up to 93 mph (150 km/h). “The future is riding on it,” says the coaster’s tagline. Who are we to argue?

4. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Mie, Japan

Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Mie, Japan
Image: Ivan Lucas

Height: 318 feet (97 m)

Designer: Steve Okamoto

Aptly opened in 2000, Asia’s Year of the Dragon, Steel Dragon 2000 is Nagashima Spa Land’s star attraction – a beast of a roller coaster that climbs to 318 feet (97 m) before its 95 mile per hour (153 km/h) first drop – enough to strike fear into the hearts of even seasoned coaster fanatics. When it was first unveiled, it held the title of world’s highest complete circuit roller coaster and is still the tallest to use a chain lift – as well as the longest, with a track snaking for just over 8,133 feet (2,479 m). A metal behemoth among coasters, Steel Dragon 2000 needed more steel than other rides of its ilk as a precaution against the earthquakes to which the Land of the Rising Sun is prone. Silhouetted against the sky, this curve-backed monster might indeed be mistaken for a dragon of our times.

3. Tower of Terror II, Dreamworld, Coomera, Queensland, Australia

Tower of Terror II, Dreamworld,  Queensland, Australia
Image: Licence libre

Height: 377 feet (115 m)

Manufacturer: Intamin AG

“Face gravity, face first,” says this ride’s tagline. Opened in 1997, then re-launched in 2010, Australia’s Tower of Terror II is the only top ten tallest roller coaster not located in Japan or the US. This steel shuttle adrenaline rush is what it says on the tin: pure fear. After shooting down the launch tunnel at 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h), riders are sent rocketing to the summit of a gigantic tower that dominates the skyline of Queensland’s Dreamworld, ready – or not – for the hair-raising 330 feet (100 m) descent. Seated in an electro-magnetically powered (and ironically named) car called the ‘Escape Pod’, passengers are made weightless as they’re pitched up and then back down the vertical track. Those waiting in line must pass inside a giant skull, an unnerving addition to the ride’s primal theme of terror.

2. Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA

Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point
Image: Ryan Brietzke

Height: 420 feet (130 m)

Designer: Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmgH

One of only two Strata Coasters in existence, Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster boasts a jaw-dropping height of 420 feet (130 m). Riders better hold on tight when they reach the crest of this ride’s tower as it’s a heck of a way down. When it opened in 2003, this high octane coaster broke records as the tallest, fastest and steepest on Earth, before conceding to Kingda Ka, which shares its design. Top Thrill’s fear factor is defined by the ascent up a vertical slope before the twist at the top and crash to sweet oblivion. The theme rocks too. Based on Top Fuel Drag Racing, the ride features motor revving sound effects, three-yellows-to-a green Christmas tree lights like those at a drag strip starting line, and it even feels like a dragster as it rockets from 0 to a blazing 120 miles per hour (193 km/h) in 3.8 seconds.

1. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ, USA

Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
Image: Pablo Costa

Height: 456 feet (139 m)

Designer: Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmgH

Kingda Ka, situated in Six Flags, New Jersey, has been the king among coasters since it debuted in 2005 – literally towering over its rivals at a terrifying 456 feet (139 meters). Not only the tallest but also the fastest roller coaster on the planet, this bad boy leaves riders with faces whiter than sheets and knuckles all but transparent. Launched by a hydraulic mechanism that takes it from 0 to 128 miles per hour (206 km/h) in just 3.5 seconds, the train climbs the top hat tower, twisting on its side before the stomach-churning big drop. So tall it was struck by lightning in 2009, Kingda Ka is themed as a mythical tiger and named after the real 500 lb big cat that lives in the pen next door. Bamboo surrounding those queuing and appropriate music top off the Indian jungle motif. A truly wild ride.

Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure
Image: Dusso Janladde

30 responses to “10 Highest Roller Coasters on Earth”

  1. Ring Too says:

    Dude thats totally insane! No way Id get on any of them!


  2. Evan says:

    Holy crapola!

  3. Carlo R. says:

    Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, Ohio was where I sh!t myself waddling in a daze out of the park to my car trying to figure out how I should go into the Target Department Store in Sandusky to buy some new undershorts, socks, and a new pair of baggy bombardier pockets pants. Lucky I had a plastic garbage bag in the trunk of my car with a roll of toilet paper just in case of such a tragic itinerary. You should’ve seen the looks on peoples’ faces wrinkling up their noses at the smell as i had this plastic garbage bag wrapped around my waist until I could select a fresh outfit in the store. It was clever how I got past the surveillence cameras to use the restroom to clean myself, find a new garbage bag placed in the bottom of the trash barrel, discard my pooped up underpants and pants, wrap the new bag around my waist, checkout with my MasterCard, and go back to the restroom to get dressed again… I’m really good when it comes to sh!tting myself.

  4. fingirl says:

    Great article, love the pics! I’ve been on top thrill and millenium. My 11 year old daughter is to short to ride top thrill, but she rides the fromt seat of millenium and keeps her hands up the entire time!

  5. karinrosen says:

    Very very good

  6. Courtnay says:

    I can’t wait to hit Kingda Ka and Intimidator 305 next summer with my step kids!! We love going to parks with the highest and fastest roller coasters!!

  7. ZORY says:

    been on 4 out of 6.. i think that’s pretty good.
    i guess i need to travel to Texas, Australia and Japan to go on the other 6..

  8. Elliott Fredricks says:

    I really like visiting theme parks and going on the roller coasters! I always get a rush and like the feeling of the blowing wind passing by. Reading this article makes me want to visit the theme park right now!

  9. Shelby says:

    I am a thrillseeker. hich is the bst?

  10. Johnny says:

    The Titan is VERY big i live close to that place

  11. JeNnA says:

    Me and My Friend rode the intimadator!!! And It Was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Imawinner says:

    This is how I wanna die. Kinda Ka, I’m coming for yuu. Someone burry me next to this bad boi, leave a huge R.I.P stone and scare the sh!t outta people.

  13. Mary says:

    Oh mylanta! That rollercoaster is ferocious! I think i need 2 go 2 a little do-si-do to get my mind of of that big ol tractor! wwwwhhhhhoooowwwweeeeeee thts a big bull!

  14. Zach says:

    I went on Millenium Force. It was amazing!!! Personally speaking, Tower of Terror II isn’t a roller coaster. It’s a Drop Tower, Cedar Point has one of those…

  15. Dylan says:

    I have ridden number 2 the dragster and 1 the kinda ka and personally the dragster is better

  16. Ariel says:

    I live about 10 mins from Six Flags Over Texas and the Titian is amazing! With its EPIC positive and negative G’s it’s one of the best rides at the park (besides Mr. Freeze Reverse) its an amazing ride! So amazon I rode it 7x in a row! :) (I’m 12 and already love thrill rides) really wanna ride the rest or at least the ones in the U.S. 😀

  17. Christine says:

    I can not wait to go to Jersey this week to go on the Kingda Ka

  18. Rob says:

    If you include the Tower of Terror (which I probably wouldn’t) why wouldn’t you include Superman: Escape from Krypton, which is actually higher?

  19. Trisha says:

    I went to Cedar Point for the first time on 09/16/12. I’d never been on a roller coaster as heights terrified me. I got on the Gemini first and had to go a second time. Next, on to the Top Thrill Dragster. Tempted to go a second time, but when I got back to the ground and looked at it again, I could not believe I’d done it the first time. The Millennium was nothing short of AMAZING!!!

  20. crystal says:

    I like that!! That’s what i thought when i seen the kingda ka from the parking lot, “here i come”…

  21. crystal says:

    Kingda ka is the most intense ride i have been on in my life. I love it!! If its you’re first roller coaster ride, u will either never want to get on one ever again or u’ll LOVE IT! The kingda ka got me pumped for the day – first & last ride :)

  22. jonas says:

    You forget a rollercoaster at Europe. He will stand on the ninth place. The coaster is called Shambhala located at Port Aventura, Spain. The coasterit pushed the European roller coaster height record up to 249 ft. It also racked up records for the tallest drop (256 feet) and longest hypercoaster track (5,410 feet).

  23. mohammad says:

    i want build this train in my country iran.
    please help me

  24. Alleghenymike says:

    Have ridden all of the coasters listed here in the USA (You forgot Superman Tower at Magic Mountain btw – however not sure I consider that nor the one in Austrailia listed above as a “coaster”.

    Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka are decent rides of you are impressed by speed and height. Millenium Force IMHO is highly over rated and almost boring – no surprises, everything is big and transitions are predictably slow…..

    NOT SO with INTIMIDATOR 304 – YESSSS!!!!! This monster kicks some serious coaster BUTT with its high G turns and lightning quick snap rolls from one direction to the other that set this ride completely apart from all others. But beware – you should be in good physical shape to ride this beast as it takes the physical demands on the rider to levels not before experienced.

  25. Geraldine says:

    Hahaha, I went to six flags yesterday. I had my heart set on Kingda Ka. When I got their the first thing we went on was Nitro. Which is 240 feet or something around their. When we got off Nitro I looked at Kingda Ka and thought to myself “Nope”.

  26. Rhett says:

    Been on all of the biggest at Cedar point which holds the most big coasters on the planet. Havent been on the Kingda Ka someday maybe but the parks only good ride kinda a big fail.

  27. Ben says:

    FYI Top Thrill Dragster is an Intamin.

  28. Zander says:

    What about Fury 325 at Carowinds North Carolina/South Carolina???

  29. Hi Zander, this is an older article and needs to be updated! That’s a great point, though. Fury 325 would make the list for sure.

  30. tiggz16 says:

    You’re missing Fury325 (Carowinds) as well as Leviathan (Canada’s Wonderland).

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