These Are the 10 Scariest, Loopiest, Wildest Roller Coasters in the U.S.

  • These Are the 10 Scariest, Loopiest, Wildest Roller Coasters in the U.S.

    Unlike in outer space, everyone will hear you scream.

    Some theme park rides are designed to induce joy and childlike wonder. Others, like the rides on this list, are built to strike fear in the hearts of those who dare climb on board. These 10 coasters hurl riders further, higher, and faster than their kiddie counterparts, but for daredevil coaster enthusiasts, that’s a good thing. 

    ©2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster

    WHERE: Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida

    The Incredible Hulk Coaster‘s formidable green track looms large over Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure Park. So much so that you can see the coaster’s loops and curves from practically every corner of the park (and hear the riders’ screams as they shoot out of the launch tunnel at more than 60 mph). That initial launch catapults you into a zero-gravity roll and down a 105-foot drop, reaching a top speed of 67 mph. From there, you’ll experience a series of loops and inversions, one of which plunges you straight toward the Islands of Adventure Lagoon. A mid-course brake run gives you a quick moment of reprieve before you finish out the remainder of seven total inversions.

    ©2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

  • Top Thrill Dragster

    WHERE: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

    Cedar Point has a total of 18 world-class coasters, but it’s hard to top the Top Thrill Dragster. Literally. At 420 feet, it’s the tallest attraction at the park. Don’t close your eyes on this “blink or you’ll miss it” ride or you’ll never know what it looks like to see the world speed by at 120 mph as you hurtle toward the top of that 90-degree incline in only 3.8 seconds. After you crest the top hat, you’ll complete a 270-degree twist before racing toward the finish line. No medals are awarded when you deboard, but if you have what it takes to conquer Top Thrill Dragster, you’re a winner in our book.

    Arthur Matsuo/Shutterstock

  • Mako

    WHERE: SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida

    Mako was Florida’s first hypercoaster (a coaster with a height of at least 200 feet) and you climb that 200 feet right out of the gate. What goes up, must come down so you must also endure the 200-foot dive back toward Earth. From there, the coaster reaches a top speed of 73 mph as you soar over nine zero-gravity hills that get your butt out of your seat (whether you like it or not). The mako may be the fastest sharks in the ocean, but they’ve got nothing on this coaster.

    VIAVAL TOURS/Shutterstock

  • The Voyage

    WHERE: Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

    The Voyage is consistently ranked as one of the top wooden roller coasters in the US. With a top speed of 67 mph, a height of 163 feet, and an unrelenting ride experience that doesn’t let up until you pull into the station, it’s easy to see why. There are no inversions on The Voyage, but you won’t miss them when there are nearly 25 seconds of airtime, breakneck turns, and five underground blackout tunnels.

    Patrick McGarvey [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

    WHERE: Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida

    A roller coaster millions of years in the making, Islands of Adventure’s fastest and tallest launch coaster drops riders into the questionably moralistic world of the Jurassic World franchise. The Jurassic World VelociCoaster is a high-speed (and high-stakes) race through the Velociraptor paddock, with said Velociraptors chasing close behind. While tearing through the paddock, the VelociCoaster performs a series of heart-pumping maneuvers including two launches (the fastest of which boosts you to a top speed of 70 mph), a 150-foot top hat, multiple inversions, and an overwater barrel roll so close to the Islands of Adventure Lagoon you can almost reach out and touch it.

    ©2021 Universal Orlando. All rights reserved.

  • Fury 325

    WHERE: Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina

    Fury 325 is named for the “fury” of a hornet chasing its target and the coaster’s massive 325-foot lift hill. Hornets may be tiny, but Fury 325 packs a major sting. The coaster reaches a top speed of 95 mph as you race through a series of heart-pumping twists, turns, and air-time hills. It’s possibly also the only coaster in the U.S. where you can boast of leaving one state and riding into another. During your ride, you’ll momentarily cross into South Carolina before crossing the border back into North Carolina.


  • Griffon

    WHERE: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia

    If the term “floorless dive coaster” doesn’t scare you off, you may just be the target audience for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Griffon roller coaster. The floor you step on to board Griffon’s coaster train magically drops away before the coaster leaves the station. After a seemingly endless 205-foot ascent to the top of the lift hill, your feet will literally dangle over the edge of Griffon’s 90-degree (that’s straight down for those of you who’ve been out of school for a while) drop. There’s a second almost-90-degree drop and two hair-raising loops that will make you feel like you’ve sprouted wings and learned to fly.

    Stephen Dettling [CC BY-NC 2.0]/Flickr

  • Steel Vengeance

    WHERE: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

    To say that many of the coasters on this list are in a category of their own is not just a clever expression. Cedar Point’s Steel Vengeance coaster was dubbed the world’s first hyper-hybrid (a wooden and steel coaster that tops out at 200 feet or more) coaster when it opened in 2018. Thanks to a series of bunny hills and big drops, Steel Vengeance delivers a whopping 30 seconds of airtime. That’s equivalent to approximately 1,500 butterflies in your stomach.

    Ken Srail [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr

  • Cheetah Hunt

    WHERE: Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida

    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay does have its own floorless dive coaster by the name of SheiKra, but it has another coaster that’s equally thrilling. Cheetah Hunt –named for the world’s fastest land animal–sprints through three launches and a 360-degree heartline roll, the ride’s only inversion. To up the fear factor, Cheetah Hunt runs adjacent to an actual Cheetah enclosure called Cheetah Run.


  • Candymonium

    WHERE: Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania

    Candymonium may sound sweet, but don’t let the sugary name and chocolate-brown track fool you. This 210-foot-tall, 76-mile-per-hour behemoth is Hersheypark’s tallest, fastest, and longest coaster. There are some intense drops and turns, but no inversions. If you love thrill rides, but also enjoy being right-side up, Candymonium just may be your golden ticket.


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