Roller coaster rides at an amusement park
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Tallest, Fastest, and Wildest Theme Park Record Breakers

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Roller coaster rides at an amusement park
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Theme Park Thrills

The Top Thrill Dragster, one of Cedar Point's most impressive coasters, has officially been shut down after a year-long hiatus because of a serious injury caused by a flying part in 2021. But adrenaline junkies need not despair. There are still plenty of seriously insane rides for those who've got a need for speed or want to soar to new heights. If you're on the hunt for the next great theme park adventure, this list of destinations the world over offers some of the fastest, tallest, and wildest rides around. Let us know in the comments section if we missed any other record breakers.


Related: 25 Theme Parks That Aren't Horrible for Parents


Top Thrill Dragster
Top Thrill Dragster by Cmedinger (CC BY-SA)

Top Thrill Dragster

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio


The Top Thrill Dragster was the first strata coaster in the world — a ride that used a power-packed launching system that propelled the coaster up (420 feet, to be exact) at a 90-degree angle and descended back down that same angle. When the ride opened in 2003, it snatched the spot as the world’s fastest and tallest roller coaster, though it was surpassed by the time it was shut down in August 2021, after a guest waiting in line for the ride was seriously hurt from parts flying off the coaster.


Related: 17 Abandoned Theme Park for Thrills, Chills, and Nostalgia

Kingda Ka
Kingda Ka by Dusso Janladde (CC BY-SA)

Kingda Ka

Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey


The fastest roller coaster in North America just so happens to be the tallest coaster in the entire world. Opened in 2005, Kingda Ka has an upside down, U-shaped track that sends riders up 45 stories, a whopping 456 feet. Of course, to reach such heights, some serious acceleration is necessary. From the time riders leave the stationary position after buckling up, the ride goes from zero to 128 mph in just 3.5 seconds, so keep your mouth closed if you don’t want your cheeks flapping in the wind. The ride goes straight up a 90-degree angle and plummets back down a 270-degree spiral. Plus, there’s a 129-foot hump that’s sure to give you goosebumps.


Related: Fun Facts About America's Favorite Summer Tourist Destinations

ain dubai
ain dubai by Jpbowen (CC BY-SA)

Ain Dubai

Bluewaters Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Ferris wheels are often associated with whimsy and even romance — the seats allow for cozy cuddling and the view is usually pretty incredible, after all. But Ain Dubai, opened in 2021, will rock every notion you’ve ever had about Ferris wheels. As the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, “whimsical” and “romantic” aren’t exactly the adjectives that come to mind —  at 820-feet-tall, “thrilling” and “hair-raising” are more appropriate descriptors. The ride took 11,200 tons of steel to construct and it’s nearly twice the size of the London Eye. The Ain Dubai also holds the record for the number of passengers able to ride at the same time, with a seating capacity of 1,750. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind by Eden, Janine and Jim (CC BY)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind didn’t nab a spot on this list because it’s the most thrilling or the fastest. Instead, the ride holds the record as the most expensive coaster, surpassing Expedition Everest, another Disney World coaster, and Universal Studio's Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure that previously held the record. The indoor ride, which takes passengers through a story about Star-Lord, Groot, and the like while speeding along at 60 miles per hour, opened in May and industry experts estimate it cost a whopping $500 million to construct.

Formula Rossa
Formula Rossa by Jazon88 (CC BY-SA)

Formula Rossa

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Ferraris are known for their speed, so naturally, the fastest roller coaster in the world is at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and its inspiration drew from the famous luxury sports cars with a flashy cherry red color and a sleek design. So just how fast does the Formula Rossa coaster go? Just a Sunday-drive style 149 mph — no big deal. In just two seconds, the ride accelerates from zero to 60 mph, and it’s so fast that passengers wear goggles for the ride. 

The Beast
The Beast by WillMcC (CC BY)

The Beast

Kings Island Amusement Park, Mason, Ohio


Before there were coasters made of thousands of tons of steel, wooden coasters set the standard for thrill-seekers. And there are still plenty of wooden coasters around for those who love the adrenaline-inducing, rickety rides. But if you’re looking for the cream of the crop, you’ll want to head to Kings Island and take a ride on The Beast — the world’s longest wooden roller coaster. When it first opened in 1979, it shattered more than one record. And despite already holding the record as the longest coaster of its kind, the ride recently went under construction to get even longer and make a steeper first drop as part of the park’s 50th anniversary celebration. The coaster now boasts a length of 7,361 feet. 

Sign for Jersey Devil Coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure
Sign for Jersey Devil Coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure by Martin Lewison (CC BY)

Jersey Devil Coaster

Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey


In June 2021, the Jersey Devil Coaster debuted as the tallest, fastest, and longest single rail coaster in the world. If a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feeling is what you’re after, a single rail coaster is sure to do the trick. These coasters have a narrow track that make you feel like you’re about to skyrocket into the air since there aren’t rails on each side of the coaster. Clocking in at 3,000 feet, the Jersey Devil reaches a maximum speed of 58 mph for a guaranteed heart-pounding thrill.

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom
Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom by User:Mar247 (CC BY-SA)

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom

Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey


Imagine dropping from an extreme height and leaving your stomach at the top, only for it to return to your body when the ride is over. That’s pretty much the experience you’ll get on Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. As the world’s tallest drop tower ride, this adrenaline rush lifts passengers 415 feet in the air before plummeting back to the ground at a mindblowing 90 mph, in just 10 seconds.

TMNT Shellraiser
TMNT Shellraiser by Martin Lewison (CC BY)

TMNT Shellraiser

Nickelodeon Universe, East Rutherford, New Jersey


Don’t underestimate the extremity of indoor roller coaster rides. TMNT Shellraiser isn’t your run-of-the-mill mall ride. With a fun, Ninja Turtle theme, it’s actually the steepest roller coaster in the entire world with a 121.5-degree angle and seven inversions.

Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror by George M. Groutas (CC BY)

Tower of Terror

Gold Reef City in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa


Gravitational force (better known as G-force) conveys values of force and acceleration, and in roller coaster lingo, a higher G-force makes for a more intense ride experience. If you’re looking for the roller coaster with the highest G-force, that record goes to the Tower of Terror coming in at 6.3 G-forces. The coaster has held its record for 21 years.

Riddlers Revenge
Riddlers Revenge by Jeremy Thompson (CC BY)

The Riddler’s Revenge

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California


Not all roller coasters follow the same sit-down format. Stand-up coasters strap riders in an upright standing position and because of their intensity, the rides usually require stricter height requirements. The record-setting Riddler’s Revenge is as extreme as these coasters come — it has the longest, tallest, and fastest stand-up track in the world. And to round out the wow-factor, it also has the biggest loop and the most upside down action for a stand-up roller coaster.

Iron Gwazi
Iron Gwazi by Adog (CC BY-SA)

Iron Gwazi

Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida


Hybrid roller coasters include a track made of steel while the structure is made of wood. And in early 2022, Busch Gardens pushed the envelope for hybrid coasters when it introduced Iron Gwazi. The ride is the tallest hybrid roller coaster in North America and it’s also the world’s steepest and fastest coaster of its kind. The jaw-dropping ride plunges passengers from a staggering 206-foot peak to a 91-degree drop, all while zooming along at 76 mph. 

Steel Curtain Kennywood
Steel Curtain Kennywood by Roller Coaster Philosophy (CC BY)

Steel Curtain

Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania


If you’re into roller coasters that are riddled with twists, turns, and upside-down action, you’ll love Steel Curtain — it’s the roller coaster with the tallest inversion in the world. The coaster has a mind-blowing nine inversions and a peak of 220 feet. Introduced in 2019, the ride quickly became a stalwart for Kennywood theme park. The two-minute thrill ride is sure to get your blood pumping along the 4,000 feet of track traveling at a whopping 76 mph.

EpiQ Coaster
©TripAdvisor

EpiQ Coaster

Quest, Doha, Qatar


Standing at a staggering 197-feet, EpiQ Coaster is the tallest indoor roller coaster in the world. The steel coaster has a backwards launch up a twisting, vertical spike, a 90-degree drop angle, and two inversions, proving once again that indoor roller coasters can raise their fair share of adrenaline.

Steel Dragon 2000
Steel Dragon 2000 by Ivan Lucas (CC BY-SA)

Steel Dragon 2000

Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana City, Mie, Japan


Opened in 2000, the Steel Dragon 2000 roller coaster broke a handful of records when it debuted. Though it has since been surpassed by others for speed and height, the coaster remains the longest in the world with 8,133-feet of track. The 318-foot ride hurls passengers along at an astonishing 95 mph. 

Kilimanjaro
©TripAdvisor

Kilimanjaro

Aldeia das Aguas Park Resort, Barra do Piraí, Brazil


Kilimanjaro holds the record as the tallest waterslide in the world, measuring 164 feet. The body slide sends riders off on a 60-degree incline as they reach an estimated 62 mph — what a way to cool off.