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Best American Roller Coasters
It’s summer, and for many people, that means a trip to the amusement park. Some folks want to stick with the spinning tea cups and bumper cars. But others head for the roller coasters. According to the website Thrillist, these are the best 12 coasters in the country.
12. Goliath at Six Flags Mid-America, Gurnee, Ill. When Goliath opened in 2014, it was the tallest, steepest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the country. Plus it has a “zero-G stall” that leaves riders suspended upside down.
11. Maverick at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio. Maverick is not the fastest roller coaster at Cedar Point, but it has a unique ride. It launches out of the station and then down 100-foot drop at 95 degrees, which is more than straight down. Halfway through the ride, it stops in a tunnel, then blasts out at a heart-stopping 70 mph.
10. Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce, Bristol, Conn. Another wooden coaster, the Boulder Dash tops out at only 60 mph, but it takes riders along trees and boulders before coming to a screeching halt at the end of the ride.
9. X-2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, Calif. There’s a lot going on with this ride. You spin wildly at up to 76 mph, sometimes upside down. And while you are experiencing 4-G force, you are listening to heavy metal music at an alarmingly high volume.
8. Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas. This hybrid wood-steel roller coaster offers a smooth ride that reaches 70 mph and includes a barrel roll inversion – all against the backdrop of a beautiful limestone quarry.
7. Diamondback at King’s Island, Mason, Ohio. Diamondback is a “hypercoaster,” meaning that it features speed (up to 80 mph) and airtime rather than inversions. And it comes to a splash-filled close in a lagoon.
6. The Voyage at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Ind. This wooden coaster gets up to 67 mph and includes a 154-foot drop. But the scariest part might be that you are underground eight times during the ride, including three times in total darkness.
5. Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va. This is one of the first hypercoasters, opened in 1999. But with a drop of 210 feet and speeds of 73 mph, it shows it can still compete with the new guys.
4. Lightning Rod at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Opened in 2016, Lightning Rod is the first wooden coaster to have a magnetic launch. It is also the fastest wooden coaster at 73 mph.
3. Superman the Ride at Six Flags New England, Agawam, Mass. This coaster has it all: a 221-foot drop, 77 mph, underground tunnels (including one filled with fog) and a double helix.
2. El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, N.J. With a unique type of airtime known as ejector airtime, this wooden coaster offers a special kind of thrill. It also has over-banked turns that toss riders around.
1. Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, Calif. This hybrid coaster features two tracks of cars. And they are quite the tracks: You might be backward or forward, upside down or right-side up. But no matter how you are facing, you’ll enjoy the smooth ride full of 80-degree drops and lots of airtime.