Do you love roller coasters and theme park rides? The more thrilling the better? Whether it’s the Eejanaika in Japan or Kingda Ka at Six Flags in New Jersey, these attractions all have something in common. They’re the world’s scariest theme park rides and rollercoasters!
1. Fahrenheit – Hersheypark in Hershey, USA
Finished in 2008, Fahrenheit is considered the first roller coaster to have gained attention through the use of a viral marketing campaign. At the time of its construction, it had the steepest incline of any roller coaster, at a staggering 97 degrees reaching speeds of nearly 60 miles per hour! Fahrenheit features six inversions including a couple of corkscrews, a barrel roll, as well as a few other frightening surprises. Fun fact: the name is not only a nod to the 97 degree drop, it’s also inspired by Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451. The ride may not be as terrifying as that dystopian future, but it’s still pretty scary!
2. Superman The Ride – Six Flags New England in Agawam, USA
Although Six Flags has a handful of coasters named Superman Ride of Steel at other locations, we’re talking about the world-famous ride that’s been consistently called one of the top steel roller coasters in existence. Though at a glance, it is not as fancy as some of its contemporaries, it does boast speeds of 77 miles per hour and a 221 foot drop. In 2016, they introduced a virtual reality experience with a narrative about Superman duking it out with Lex Luthor’s bots. Although a novel concept, the VR feature was removed in 2017, proving that sometimes an old-school coaster can be even more thrilling and intense than CGI!
3. X-Scream – The STRAT Hotel, Casino & Skypod in Las Vegas, USA
The STRAT is a combination hotel, casino and tower which features a mini theme park at the very top. Though the rides may be simple, they are some of the scariest! With only one car that sits on a 68 foot rail, X-Scream hangs off the side of the tower at a stomach-churning height of 866 feet. The track tilts downwards, catching the riders off-guard and simulating nearly falling off the tower. It then retracts the car back and tilts down at a steeper angle to do it all again! It’s simple, but so very effective in creating one of the world’s scariest theme park rides!
4. Giant Canyon Swing – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, USA
You know a ride that makes you sign a waiver before you get on means business. The Giant Canyon Swing sits 1,300 feet high, overlooking Glenwood Canyon. You’ll swing over the canyon at 50 miles per hour while at the same time getting a breathtaking view of the surrounding area – if you’re brave enough to open your eyes! This is a ride so scary that its own creator has reportedly only ridden it once. Don’t let the word swing give you a false sense of security – you’ve never encountered anything like it in the playground!
5. Kingda Ka – Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, USA
Named after a rare Bengal tiger once held in a neighboring exhibit and later moved to the park’s safari area, Kingda Ka certainly lives up to its impressive namesake. It’s the world’s second fastest roller coaster! After the ride tells you to hold on, passengers are thrust forward at speeds reaching 128 miles per hour in less than four seconds. The car then climbs the tower that reaches a little over 400 feet, going over a spiral and then dropping back down almost as fast. Kingda Ka only lasts 28 seconds, but that’s all this ride needs.
6. Colossus – Thorpe Park in Surrey, England
Many of the scariest theme park rides on this list are the world’s first-something in the roller coaster scene, and Colossus is no exception. It was the world’s first roller coaster with ten inversions! Translation: as a rider you’ll be going upside down ten times in just a minute and 45 seconds. Is your head spinning just thinking about it? This roller coaster is so impressive that an exact replica of it was built in Guangzhou… Albeit with the not so creative name of ‘Ten Inversions Roller Coaster’. But hey, they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery!
7. X2 – 6 Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, USA
What can you expect from a roller coaster with the name X2? How about the world’s first fourth-dimensional roller coaster? Basically, when you’re on the ride your seat twists and turns at the same time to give you an experience unlike any other. While the coaster is climbing hills, going through inversions or dropping, your seat is changing directions on its own to coincide with the track in unexpected ways. Originally called X, this ride was revamped between 2007 and 2008, during which time it acquired flamethrowers. As if it isn’t one of the world’s scariest theme park rides already!
8. Eejanaika – Fuji-Q Highland Park in Fujiyoshida, Japan
How does the expression go? Anything you can do, I can do better? Well this is definitely the case with Eejanaika, the world’s second fourth dimensional roller coaster which is both faster and taller than its American counterpart. Reaching a height of nearly 250 feet and a speed of 78 miles per hour, this mechanical monster soundly beats its predecessor. It also holds the Guinness World Record for most inversions on a roller coaster, thanks to the many times the seats turn. In addition to the three inversions of the track itself, you are looking at 14 inversions in roughly two minutes.
9. Insanity, The STRAT Hotel, Casino & Skypod in Las Vegas, USA
Also located atop The STRAT, Insanity hangs you 64 feet off the side of the building, giving you a view that’s both amazing and terrifying. You are then spun around fast enough to experience 3Gs! In the process, your seat tilts to a 70 degree angle so that you can’t really help but look down. While all the other rides on this list have had you feeling safe in a car, iInsanity literally dangles you 900 feet in the air. Count yourself lucky you weren’t one of several riders who had to endure hanging there for 90 minutes in 2005, that one time the ride was shut down to prevent a malfunction.