Theme parks are a fantastic way to get a dose of adrenaline pumping through your veins. Whether you’re a speed lover or prefer to find yourself high above the landscape, here is a collection of 12 of the biggest and best roller coasters and theme park rides worldwide
1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
Blast off on an awesome intergalactic chase through time and space on the longest fully enclosed roller coaster at any Disney theme park in the world. Featuring legendary cosmic outlaws – Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora and Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill), the innovative attraction is another major milestone in the ongoing transformation of EPCOT and made its debut as part of the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 composer Tyler Bates created more than two hours of new music for the attraction’s score.
Suitable for riders 107 cm+.
2. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
Standing at 456 feet tall and with a drop of 418 feet, Kingda Ka is the tallest rollercoaster globally. As the ride leaps out of the starting gate, you’ll find yourself rocketing up the height of a 45-story building, 90 degrees straight up! And what a speed. Kingda Ka reaches a speed of 128 mph in just 3.5 seconds, so you’ll feel the force throughout your body as you climb. And then the drop back down, complete with a 270-degree spiral, will sort the champs from the wimps. Can you handle the challenge?
Suitable for riders 137cm+.
3. Formula Rossa, Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, UAE
If speed is your thing, then look no further than the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi is the place for you. Officially the world’s fastest roller coaster, with eye-watering speeds of 149.1 mph, it’s no surprise that every rider is issued with protective goggles before they can ride.
Suitable for 140cm – 195cm.
4. Sledgehammer, Luna Park, Sydney, Australia
The Sledgehammer will carry you high above Sydney harbour as you are swung and spun simultaneously. The ride, which has both a full swing and a half swing mode, delivers incredible G-forces as you swing back and forth, with a twist for good measure. Prepare to feel the full force as the hammer drops.
Suitable for riders 132cm+ and wheelchair accessible. Guests using wheelchairs will be required to transfer up a ramp and transfer to the seat unit at the platform.
5. G-Force X, Sunway Lagoon X Park, Selangor, Malaysia
Prepare to leave your heart behind as you are launched from 0 – 74.5 mph in only 2 seconds. You’ll reach a height of 65 metres before free-falling back towards the ground. The G-Force X is Asia’s highest slingshot ride. Prepare to scream!
6. Ghost Rider, Knott’s Berry Farm, Anaheim, California, USA
The Ghost Rider is the longest and fasters roller coaster on the Californian coast. At nearly 5000 feet long, it is a great ride with plenty of twists and turns. Generally considered the crowning piece for Knott’s berry Farm’s park, the Ghost Rider is a wooden roller coaster, something that is increasingly hard to find. While steel roller coasters are becoming the mainstream choice, there is a character to wooden roller coasters that isn’t to be missed.
Suitable for: 122cm+.
7. Leviathan, Wonderland, Toronto, Canada.
The Leviathan waits for thrill-seekers on this will enjoy a 306-foot drop. You’ll meet an 80-degree incline as you race down the track at up to 91mph. Leviathan is the 8th tallest roller coaster, with the 7th largest drop. It’s smooth, it’s fast, and it’s an incredible thrill.
Suitable for: 122cm – 203cm. A wheelchair lift is available to transport guests to the ride platform.
8. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout, Disney California Adventure, Anaheim, USA
If you’re a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, or chaotic adventure in general, this ride is for you. With a range of special effects and a fantastic soundtrack, Mission: Breakout will take you through a series of 6 free-fall drops in the darkness of space!
Suitable for: 102cm+. Wheelchair users can transfer to the ride vehicle.
9. Hollywood Dream – The Ride: Backdrop, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan
To really throw you through a loop (pardon the pun!), you can choose to ride the Hollywood Dream forward or backward. When you reach the front of the main queue, you’ll be asked “Front or Back,” and be sure to know that they don’t mean the front or rear of the coaster, but which way round you want to ride. For the daredevils, try the ride backward to increase the unpredictability.
Suitable for 132cm+.
10. Emporer, SeaWorld Theme Park, San Diego, California, USA
The newest roller coaster on this list, the Emperor, opened on March 12, 2022. It features a 14-story vertical drop, loops, inversions, and barrel rolls. On this amazing ride, there is something for everyone on a track that boasts of being the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in California.
Suitable for 132cm+.
11. WildFire, Kolmården Wildlife Park, Kolmården, Sweden
There is something magical about the Wildfire roller coaster at Kolmården Wildlife Park as you race over rocky hillsides and between fir trees. The Wildfire is the fastest wooden coaster in Europe and the second tallest wooden track in the world. You’ll reach up to 71mph and travel through 3 inversions and numerous airtime hills.
12. Giant Canyon Swing, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA
Glenwood Caverns have an ingenious way to put you incredibly high above the land – simply have the land drop away. Your heart will be racing as you swing out over the Grand Canyon. The ride seats 4 people at a time, and for a change, the back seats get the most incredible thrill as you look down on the outward swing and find yourself hanging hundreds of feet above the ground—an absolute must ride for any thrill seeker.
Suitable for 122cm+.