10 Most Insane Loop-the-Loop Roller Coasters on Earth
Posted by SimonePreuss on Friday, January 7th, 2011
Image: Thorpe Park
There are no two ways about roller coasters – either you like them or or you don’t. Our list of ten of the most insane (shall we say loopy?) roller coasters is based on the number of inversions, and the focus is on steel roller coasters. Though individual tastes vary and some coasters with fewer inversions may be wilder than those with more, we guarantee you a good time on any of them. Unless you’re not into roller coasters, of course, in which case you still gotta admire the sleek designs and inventive themes. Watch the videos to be really awed!
10. Olympia Looping, Munich, Germany – 5 Loops
Image: Bernhard J. Scheuvens
The creators of the German Olympia Looping roller coaster must’ve thought that the five Olympic rings lend themselves to becoming coaster loops. Apart from looking stylish, the Olympia Looping roller coaster is also portable – well, as portable as a roller coaster can be. It’s a traveling coaster that moves from fairground to fairground – the Oktoberfest, for example (because getting shaken is what you’ll want after all that beer!).
Because the roller coaster’s loops are quite round, rather than being oval as is usually the case, the g-force working on each passenger is up to an unusually high 5.2 G, which means 5.2 times a passenger’s own weight is working on him or her! The track length is 4,101 ft, the highest drop 99 ft, and the maximum speed achieved 52 mph. The entire structure weights 900 tons – no wonder then that it takes a 200 ton crane, two fork lifts and a team of 10 men one week to construct the whole coaster. It usually visits six to eight fairs per season and travels from one to the other by train, occupying 50 freight cars. Here’s a great video that’ll make you want to go through each and every loop yourself.
9. Riddler’s Revenge, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA – 6 Inversions
Riddler’s Revenge holds the record for the most inversions on a stand-up roller coaster and also for the highest drop at 146 ft, longest track (4,370 ft) and highest speed at 65 mph. Riders can expect a 124-ft vertical loop that wraps around the lift hill, two diving loops, one inclined loops and two corkscrews. Phew! Any questions? Then watch this front-row video taken on the ride. Don’t miss the loops around the steel construction, making it look as if riders might crash into it at any moment:
8. Alpengeist, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA – 6 Inversions
Alpengeist is currently the world’s tallest and fastest full-circuit inverted roller coaster. What can riders look forward to? After a 170-ft drop, they’re in for an enormous Immelmann loop with a twist at the top. Then, there’s a 106-ft vertical loop, followed by a large cobra roll and a high-speed curve. After the block brake and the zero-G roll, passengers finish with a corkscrew and a helix, shaken and also a bit stirred.
This video is awesome – steady and taken from the front-row seat – so check to see if you can stomach it as riders seem to be upside-down most of the time:
7. Pyrenees, Parque Espana, Shima, Japan – 6 Inversions
Pyrenees is widely regarded not only as Bolliger & Mabillard’s but as the world’s best inverted roller coaster. It is currently the longest and tallest inverted roller coaster ride at 4,048 ft long and 148 ft tall. No wonder Pyrenees is on the wish list of many a coaster enthusiast. Unfortunately, it is a bit out of the way for most, but the specs are enough to make anyone’s palms sweaty: after the great drop, it goes straight into a loop plus further inversions and forceful helixes.
For those sick of themes, Pyrenees provides a nice change – there’s no theme other than the reference to the southwestern European mountain range. Pyrenees is a purist’s dream, with nothing to distract you from the many twists and turns – other than the amazing views. The next best thing to boarding a plane and jumping on the ride? Watching this video from the front row seat:
6. Hulk, Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL – 7 Inversions
The Incredible Hulk Coaster, as it’s officially called, is incredible insofar as it operates using a launch lift hill instead of a conventional chain lift. That means faster acceleration for the train – so those who suffer as the coaster slowly goes up the hill will be relieved that at least this part is over soon. But hold on: before the 105-ft drop, we have a zero-G roll first. Then, after the drop, it’s a cobra roll, vertical loop, corkscrew, a smaller vertical loop flanked by two over-banked turns, and finally another corkscrew and then a turn-around and a helix. Enough excitement for you? Watch out, here’s the incredible video:
5. Kraken, Sea World Orlando, Orlando, FL – 7 Inversions
Roller coaster fans can really look forward to a ride on Kraken because, first of all, it has one of the longest tracks in the southern United States and the ride lasts two minutes. Kraken was also the first floorless roller coaster in the south when it opened in 2000. Passengers can buckle up for a 119-ft vertical loop after the 144-ft drop, followed by a 101-ft diving loop. From there, it goes straight into a zero-gravity roll, a two-inversion cobra roll, a smaller vertical loop and finally a flat spin. Enough of going up and down for you? Watch the video and feel your stomach churn. Judging by the riders’ shrieks, this one’s a real killer:
4. Kumba, Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay, FL – 7 Inversions
With seven inversions, Kumba is not for the faint of heart. After a 135-ft drop, riders can expect a 114-ft vertical loop that wraps around the lift hill – apart from Riddler’s Revenge the only one to do so. Then comes engineering company Bolliger & Mabillard’s first-ever diving loop, followed by a zero-gravity roll, a Cobra roll and finally two interlocking corkscrews. Feeling a bit nauseous yet? If not, then watch this video:
Montu, named after the Egyptian god of war, is an Egyptian-themed roller coaster ride that was once the world’s tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster. Despite having been surpassed in these stakes, with seven inversions, it still holds the record for the largest number of inversions on an inverted roller coaster. The highest drop is 128 ft and riders reach a maximum speed of 63 mph.
But that’s not all. Montu features an unusual combination of a 104-ft vertical loop after the first drop, then an Immelmann loop, followed by a zero-G roll topped off by a rare Batwing element, thus making it our No.3. Wow! Here’s a video of the amazing ride:
Dragon Khan is part of the Port Aventura amusement park in Salou, Catalonia. Its eight inversions were a world record upon the park’s opening in 1995 but one that was soon broken, as you will see below. While riding Dragon Khan, riders can expect a 125-ft vertical loop after the 141-ft drop, followed by a diving loop, a zero-G roll and a cobra roll. One smaller vertical loop and two interlocking corkscrews round off the 1 min 45 sec long ride. Here’s the stomach-churning video – hold onto your breakfast!
Image: Stefan Scheer
Our list is topped by Colussus at Thorpe Park in England. This roller coaster holds the world record for having the most inversions – ten in all. Just the picture of this entry is enough to give coaster enthusiasts sweaty palms. Colossus stands 99 ft tall at its apex and reaches speeds of 45 mph at its fastest. After the drop, riders can look forward to a vertical loop, a cobra roll, two corkscrews and five heartline twists. We wonder whether riders even take in the Atlantis theme after so many twists and turns and a g-force working at 4.2. The picture above shows most of the ride, an exact replica of which can be found in Chime-Long Paradise in Guangzhou, China. Here’s a beautiful video of the ride – or, at least it’s all fine until the five twists at the end:
Feel like getting onto the next roller coaster yet? We can’t blame you. With new inventions and designs leading to ever faster, taller and crazier rides, we’re sure to post an update soon. Till then, safe twisting and turning…