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Scariest Rides on the Planet
A roller coaster ride can move from thrills to sheer terror, and it seems that coasters are getting scarier all the time. Travel + Leisure identifies the top 10 scariest rides on the planet:
X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles. This ride’s predecessor, X, opened in 2002 as the first “fourth-dimensional” roller coaster, meaning the seats extend off the track so that riders can rotate in any direction. It was closed in 2007 for refurbishing, and it has reopened with more tunnels and more special effects.
Fahrenheit at Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa. Riders start by ascending to 121 feet off the ground – and then they swoop down at a 97-degree negative drop, which is the most extreme in the world. If that’s not enough, there are an inverted loop, a couple of inverted corkscrew rolls and more. And the ride takes less than a minute and a half.
Insanity at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. Not actually a coaster, this is a centrifuge that sticks out from the hotel tower. It spins at more than 40 mph while riders look down on the streets of the famous Las Vegas Strip – 900 feet below.
Colossus in Thorpe Park, Chertsey, Surrey, U.K. This coaster has more inversions than any other, with 10 – including a double corkscrew roll and a nifty little maneuver called the quadruple-heartline roll. There is an exact replica of this ride, called the Tenth Ring, in Chimelong Paradise in Guangzhou, China.
Kingda Ka in Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, N.J. This is the world’s highest roller coaster – 456 feet above ground at its highest point. And riders reach that point in only 3.5 seconds – because they are traveling 128 mph. Coming down is only slightly less thrilling.
Eejanaika in Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Japan. Like X2, this is a 4-D roller coaster. But it is even higher, at 250 feet. If you can manage to keep your eyes open, you even can catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji.
Tower of Terror in Dreamworld, Gold Coast, Australia. This is the southern hemisphere’s tallest thrill ride – and, reaching speeds of 100 mph, it is the fastest, too. The ride climbs to 377 feet, and then it drops, achieving zero gravity.
Expedition GeForce in Holiday Park, Haßloch, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. One of the largest coasters in Europe and a perennial favorite with coaster aficionados around the world, this combines a height above 200 feet and speeds of more than 70 mph – and seven periods of weightlessness.
Maverick at Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky, Ohio. There are 17 coasters at Cedar Point, but this might be the best. It has it all – height, speed, harrowing turns and twists. And the ride lasts a heart-stopping 2.5 minutes.
Superman Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England, Agawam, Mass. Although there are three versions of this ride, this is pretty universally believed to be the best. It reaches speeds of 77 mph and drops 221 feet into a tunnel, and riders achieve weightlessness for a total of 10 seconds.