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The Big Debate: Is taller always better for roller coasters?

Leviathan concept art

In this week's poll, we ask whether taller roller coasters are always better than their shorter counterparts.

This week has seen the opening of the highly-anticipated Leviathan roller coaster at Canada's Wonderland. Standing at an impressive 306-feet-tall, it towers over the park's other rides and dominates the skyline, instantly warranting your attention as you approach it from any direction.

Leviathan is the tallest coaster in Canada and will therefore receive instant respect and awe from all thrill-seekers. Hitting a top speed of 90 miles an hour at the bottom of the 80-degree first drop, this surely will guarantee an experience which simply can't be challenged by many shorter rollercoasters around the world.

Or can it?

Head a few thousand miles south-west from Canada's Wonderland and you will arrive at SeaWorld San Diego where the multi-launch Manta coaster awaits its opening day on May 26, 2012. Due to planning restrictions, SeaWorld did not have the luxury of creating an gravity-defying ride standing hundreds of feet tall. Instead, Manta tops out at just 54-feet (about a sixth of the height of Leviathan, although the park's topology is used to make it seem taller). On paper, it looks like a walkover for Leviathan, but with Manta boasting two launch sections and more than a dozen twists and turns is it really all just to do with the height?

Is the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach twice as good as Nemesis at Alton Towers, just because it features a first drop that is twice as high? Height is no doubt important but is it the ultimate factor in deciding which roller coaster is the best?

Vote Now

So, it's a tricky one - let us know whether you think taller roller coasters are always better by voting in our poll below.

Is taller always better for roller coasters?

Share your thoughts

Thanks for voting in Theme Park Tourist's Big Debate. Why not let us know why you voted as you did using the comments section below?


There are 4 comments.

I went to CW on SPPN last Friday, and I found Leviathan to be quite disappointing. I think I found it that way mainly because it was 0 degrees (C) that night but I wasn't impressed with the overall layout. I like air-time and if you do too, this is not a ride for you. Leviathan is about SPEED and Behemoth is about AIR-TIME. I will have to ride the coaster again in warmer weather to see if the weather makes a difference to the ride.

Thanks Dom. I have to say, Behemoth is one of the smoothest and most enjoyable coasters I've ever had the pleasure of riding, so it was hard to see how the park would top it with Leviathan.

Leviathan's layout looks disappointing. Agree that it seems that it was built for height and speed as there don't seem to be many airtime filled hills. The break run is really high aswell, it seems to end prematurely. Shambhala, B&M's Mega Coaster which also opens this year, isn't as tall as Leviathan but looks awesome, especially that bizarre turn around element, I'm more excited by that.

Taller doesn't mean better!

I said No. We have one of the best wooden coasters in the world. Many I have toured with, told me so. And I agree. And the main first drop of it is what? Under 70 Feet??? It still packs a great galop of a ride. And I have ridden several other coasters around the world, steel and non, under 100 feet tall in first lift hills...and they're all great! Everything has its place. But taller ISN'T necessrily better. It just LOOKS more impressive, at the time. The proof is in the ride itself.

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