Home » The Top 10 Fastest Roller Coasters in the World

The Top 10 Fastest Roller Coasters in the World


In this latest article looking at the world’s most extraordinary thrill rides, I bring to you the ultimate the scream machines: the fastest roller coasters in the world. These definitive speed monsters range from traditional lift hills to ultra modern launches, but they all have one thing in common: serious velocity.

How many of these high-speed beasts have you experienced?

=10. Goliath (Six Flags Magic Mountain)


Image: Six Flags

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s big new coaster for the new millenium was Goliath, a hypercoaster manufactured by Switzerland’s Giovanola. Featuring a 255-foot first drop and hitting a top speed of 85 miles per hour, it was briefly the tallest and fastest coaster in the world before Millenium Force at Cedar Point opened a few month later.

After plunging down the first drop, the train races through an underground tunnel, before entering a series of banked turns and further drops.

=10. Titan (Six Flags Over Texas)

Image: Six Flags

Very similar in design to Goliath, Titan is an enormous hypercoaster manufactured by Swiss firm Giovanola. Featuring a 255-foot first drop and hitting a top speed of 85 miles per hour, it also boasts two 540-degree helices in its lengthy circuit.

=10. Phantom’s Revenge (Kennywood)

Image: Kennywood

Full marks to Kennywood, a family-owned park punching above its weight in this list. Formerly known as Steel Phantom, the ride opened back in 1991. In those days, it was the fastest roller coaster in the world, and also had the longest drop.

However, Steel Phantom quickly picked up a reputation as a very painful ride, and Kennywood decided to remove it in 2000. After a flurry of complaints, the park instead opted to renovate the ride, with all four inversions being removed, allowing guests to enjoy the speed without the head-banging.

9. Intimidator 305 – King’s Dominion

Image: King’s Dominion

As with many of the top coasters on this list, great height equals great speed, and therefore Intimidator 305 also appears in the top 10 tallest coasters. The Virginia park’s centrepiece attraction, Intimidator 305 stretches 305 feet into the sky and hits a top speed of 90mph following the 85 degree drop. The ride is an Intamin giga-coaster, constructed in 2010, and as with a few other Intamin rides has had serious problems. It proved to be so intense that many guests complained of headaches and even blackouts, resulting in the park throwing in trim brakes everywhere, cutting the speed to 80mph (which of course means that it wouldn’t be on this list). However, the result was an awful ride, devoid of airtime, and so the trims were removed and instead Intamin re-profiled the first turn, reducing the positive G-forces.

8. Leviathan – Canada’s Wonderland

Image: Canada’s Wonderland

The enormous, appropriately-named Leviathan changed the landscape of Canada’s Wonderland when it opened in 2012, with the coaster rising over guests’ heads as they enter the park. Incredibly, it is the 16th roller coaster at the park, placing it third in the “most coasters at a theme park” charts behind Six Flags Magic Mountain and sister park Cedar Point.

Leviathan is the first coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard to exceed a height of 300 metres, and is an amazing 5,486 feet long. It earns its place in this list with a top speed of 92 miles per hour, making it the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Canada.

7. Millennium Force – Cedar Point

Millennium Force


Image: Cedar Fair

Intimidator’s ever-so-slightly bigger sister, Millennium Force is the original Intamin giga-coaster, constructed in 2000 (hence the name). This monstrosity has appeared on not only the tallest, but also the longest list. After the ride’s first hill, it doesn’t go above 200 feet again, and as a result maintains its 93mph for most of the ride. Despite such an incredible speed the coaster is actually, ironically, not massively forceful. Nonetheless it still provides an unbelievable rush, and is very much at the forefront of one of the world’s finest parks.

6. Steel Dragon 2000 – Nagashima Spa Land


Image: Nagashima Spa Land

The fastest roller coaster in the world with a lift hill, and the third fastest overall in Asia, Steel Dragon hits a maximum speed of 95mph. It takes three 200 feet-plus hills and a record breaking length of track to burn off all of this energy, culminating in one of the most insane airtime finales around. Unfortunately due to its massive cost of $52 million it’s unlikely we’ll ever see one of these Morgan giga-coasters again.

=5. Tower of Terror II – Dreamworld

Tower of Terror II

One of the two original monster launch coasters, Tower of Terror II is the fastest roller coaster in Australia at 100mph. It’s an Intamin LSM coaster, and very simply travels in an L-shape, similar to a skate boarding quarter-pipe. The magnetic launch accelerates the single car, carrying 15 people, to its top speed in 7 seconds, which is actually a comparatively slow acceleration; however because of the sheer speed and the sensation of freefall you get at the top of the tower, it is most definitely a gut wrencher.

=5. Superman: Escape from Krypton – Six Flags Magic Mountain

 Escape from Krypton from distance

Image: Jennifer Harbourn

Superman: Escape from Krypton is identical to Tower of Terror, apart from the fact that it has two parallel tracks, and it is slightly taller. The speed however remains the same, and therefore the two rides come in at a joint 7th place. In previous years, vicious rumours have circulated that Six Flags Magic Mountain ran Superman at a lower speed in order to save energy (the magnetic launch consumes masses of juice every time it launches), but since its renovation in 2011, the trains seem to travel further up the tower, suggesting it is back to its best.

4. Dodonpa – Fuji Q Highlands

Image: Fuji Q

Fuji Q has appeared 3 times across the previous two top 10 lists; however this ride hasn’t yet been mentioned. Dodonpa (the name is meaningless, but supposed to be a three syllable chant) is the second of Fuji Q’s four major roller coasters, constructed in 2001, and is by far the fastest. Dodonpa blasts riders up to 107mph in a mind-melting 1.8 seconds. This makes it the quickest accelerating ride in the world by some margin. Whereas usually a ride with this speed would burn it off by sending you up a great height, Dodonpa doesn’t, instead it banks round a huge curve and then sends you up the relatively tiny 170ft top hat. This means the hill produces almost uncomfortable airtime due to the speed. Because of its location, it’s relatively un-ridden, but this ride is arguably the most ridiculous on the planet.

3. Top Thrill Dragster – Cedar Point

This is the fifth appearance for Cedar Point across the three lists, and Top Thrill Dragster is still the park’s signature ride. A very early Intamin accelerator coaster; Dragster catapults you to 120mph in 4 seconds, and it opened as the fastest coaster on the planet. As one of the first roller coasters to be built just for speed, it has been called a waste of energy: all it does it launch, travel up its 420 feet tower, drop down, and hit the brakes. However, this is simply unfair, it provides a rush like no other, and anything else on the end would be unnecessary.

2. Kingda Ka – Six Flags Great Adventure


Image: Six Flags

Much like Millennium Force’s relationship to Intimidator 305, Kingda Ka is Dragster’s slightly larger counterpart. The difference, of course, is that whereas Kings Dominion and Cedar Point are owned by the same chain, Six Flags is very much a competitor to Cedar Fair. For this reason, many accused Six Flags of copying Cedar Point, which is clearly partially the case. In truth, though, it is not the parks who design the rides, but the companies behind them (Intamin and designers Stengel). Whatever your stance, Kingda Ka delivers on the thrill front, and 128mph is not to be messed with.

1. Formula Rossa – Ferrari World

Image: Ferrari World

Knocking out its closest rival by the largest margin of any other on the list is Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster. Rossa is the most recent Intamin accelerator, and hits its terminal velocity of 149mph in 4 seconds. Like Dodonpa and Ring Racer it doesn’t have a massive first hill – although it stands at a reasonably sizable 170 feet, it is made to feel small at the speed you’re going. There is a disappointing, but obviously very necessary line of brakes over this hill, and despite them you travel around the rest of the track at a swift 70mph. Formula Rossa is the ultimate example of insane wealth giving total freedom to build anything you want, and as a result I doubt we will see anything overtake it in the near future.