Summers spent visiting amusement parks and riding rollercoasters are a favorite pastime for many families. Thrill seekers will stand in line, sometimes for hours, for a few minutes of breathtaking suspension in the air—and it’s worth the wait.
Here are some of our favorite coasters from around the country:
MILLENNIUM FORCE, TOP THRILL DRAGSTER, MAGNUM-XL 200
Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH
Nearly four million people a year flock to Cedar Point, one of the top 20 amusement parks in North America. The Millennium Force, standing at 310 feet tall, takes you up 30 stories at 93 mph. The whole ride only takes about 2.5 minutes but can take your breath away.
Top Thrill Dragster is another favorite, taking you 420 feet high at speeds up to 120 mph. Using a hydraulic launch system, it rockets riders up and over a 90-degree tower in 3.8 seconds.
Magnum-XL 200 was the first coaster to rise higher than 200 feet and provides views of Lake Erie and Canada from the peak, before taking you more than 72 mph through the rest of the ride. In 19 seasons of existence, it’s had nearly 40 million passengers.
KINGDA KA, EL TORO
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
Kingda Ka launches passengers out of the gate at 128 mph, straight up a 456-foot hill, and straight down with a spiral twist. Lasting only 59 seconds, it’s the tallest roller coaster in the world and fastest in North America.
SUPERMAN THE RIDE
Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA
How does climbing 208 feet and dropping 221 feet into an underground fog-filled tunnel at 77 mph sound? With back-to-back hills and plenty of twists and turns, this ride is sure to give you a thrill.
Holiday World, Santa Claus, IN
This wooden coaster seems to defy gravity as it drops 154 feet and accelerates to nearly 70 mph. In 24 seconds, you will dive underground eight times (three times in a row at one point, into total darkness) through a theme of “voyage of the pilgrims.”
King’s Dominion, Doswell, VA
Named after NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, this coaster will take you to heights of 305 feet at speeds of 90 mph. With surprising and abrupt twists and turns, this steel ride has a smooth track that gives you the feeling of gliding through the air.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA
The world's first "fourth dimension" coaster takes you 175 feet in the air, backward, with a drop of 215 feet nearly straight down. The seats are arranged on either side of the tracks, giving the appearance of wings, and spin 360° forward and backward—all while hitting speeds up to 76 mph. If you're a heavy metal fan, this ride is for you—it blares out of the onboard speakers.