The World’s Ten Tallest Roller Coasters

If you’re a roller coaster enthusiast, you know there’s nothing more exhilarating than the suspense of climbing that first hill, looking over the edge, waiting… waiting… waiting. And then whoosh! You plummet, surrounded by screams of terror and glee, hands in the air, leaving your life in the hands of the wood or steel supporting you.

Newer technologies mean you may not get that same suspense through an initial climb, as some of the tallest steel roller coasters instead launch you to the top of the climb in a matter of seconds. No matter what kind of climb they offer though, the trip back down is often the most exciting part of the ride. If you’re the type of person who’s always looking for taller, faster, or longer rides, you’ll get a thrill out of these — the world’s ten tallest roller coasters!

#10 — Titan

245 ft. — Six Flags Over Texas — Texas

Credit: Chris Hagerman (via Wikipedia)

Credit: Chris Hagerman (via Flickr)
Credit: Chris Hagerman (via Flickr)

Titan — even its name screams “big.” And as the tenth tallest roller coaster on our list, it lives up to its name! Arguably, Titan could be considered the ninth tallest coaster on our list, but I’m choosing to rank it conservatively.

Titan’s drop is larger than its climb. When you board the train, you climb 245 ft. But then you’re dropped 255 ft! That’s because the drop takes you down a bit further than your starting level, taking you into a tunnel. Titan’s more than a tall coaster — it’s a fast one. According to Six Flags, you’ll hit a top speed of 85 mph.

Its near-twin, Goliath (located at Six Flags Magic Mountain), barely missed making our list. It has the same 255 ft drop, but only climbs 235 ft. Still, it’s another impressive coaster, so if you enjoy Titan, don’t miss Goliath.

#9 — Eejanaika

249 ft. — Fuji-Q Highland — Japan

Credit: ddimatteo (via Wikipedia)
Credit: ddimatteo (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Lars K. Jensen (via Flickr)
Credit: Lars K. Jensen (via Flickr)

Eejanaika looks like a wild ride if ever I’ve seen one. As the world’s second 4th dimension roller coaster, riders are not only suspended from the track (like with other hanging steel coasters), but the seats rotate during the ride!

Like Titan, this roller coaster has a debatable quality of its own. It holds the Guinness world record for the most inversions, but that status includes seat inversions rather than only track-based ones. If you’re a stickler for details, you may or may not credit Eejanaika with that record, but somehow I think when riding it you’ll have far more important things on your mind.

#8 — Fujiyama

259 ft. — Fuji-Q Highland — Japan

Credit: Geomr (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Geomr (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Odysseygate (via Flickr)
Credit: Odysseygate (via Flickr)

Fujiyama is an old coaster by some standards — built in 1996. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with a classic steel coaster when it serves up a killer drop, speed, and a relatively long ride. With a maximum speed of 82mph, it’s faster than the Eejanaika from the same park, and slightly taller (interesting since parks often go for bigger when they build new roller coasters, especially given how close their heights are).

This beast of a thrill ride was no small feat for the mid-90s. At the time, it was the tallest coaster in the world.

#7 — Thunder Dolphin

262.5 ft — LaQua — Japan

Credit: 663highland (via Wikipedia)
Credit: 663highland (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Freakazoid! (via Flickr)
Credit: Freakazoid! (via Flickr)

On the surface, Thunder Dolphin might not sound very impressive. Its name hardly strikes fear into waiting riders. Its top speed of a little over 80 mph seems par for the course, and a maximum 80 degree vertical drop isn’t much compared to the 90 degree drops of other coasters (not that it’s something to sneeze at — certainly steeper than some older roller coasters). It’s also not terribly long.

What truly makes this Tokyo Dome City roller coaster unique is the path it takes. Not only does it cut through the park’s ferris wheel, but it goes through a building (which you can see in the photo above)! That change of scenery alone makes this super coaster worthy of a ride.

#6 — Millennium Force

310 ft — Cedar Point — Ohio

Credit: Matt Dempsey (via Flickr)

Credit: Andrew Borgen (via Flickr)
Credit: Andrew Borgen (via Flickr)

Millennium Force is certainly one of the most impressive roller coasters on our list. Not only did it break ten world records when it was opened in 2000 (according to Cedar Point – the coaster’s home park), but it’s also an award-winner. It’s won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket award for being the best steel roller coaster in the world five times (and has won second place several times in the last few years as well).

What first jumped out at me was the steep lift hill. It looks steeper than most chain lifts, which explains why Cedar Point opted for a cable lift system instead (the lighter cable is quieter, faster, and can work on much steeper inclines than a chain). After that climb, you’ll hit a maximum whopping 92 mph as you plummet back to earth.

#5 — Steel Dragon 2000

318 ft — Nagashima Spa Land — Japan

Credit: thecrypt (via Flickr)
Credit: thecrypt (via Flickr)
Credit: thecrypt (via Flickr)
Credit: thecrypt (via Flickr)

Japan’s Steel Dragon 2000 is the second gigacoaster on our list (roller coasters exceeding 300 ft tall). As you can see in the above photo, the roller coaster was designed with a series of camel humps made to look similar to a dragon’s tail.

You’ll notice it has a more gradual incline than the Millennium Force. That’s because Steel Dragon 2000 relies on a standard chain lift instead of a cable. However, because the chains are so heavy, the incline had to be broken into two chain lifts. The fastest roller coaster on our list so far, Steel Dragon 2000 tops out at 95 mph and boasts the longest track at over 8100 ft. It was released the same year as Millennium Force, overtaking Millennium Force’s “tallest roller coaster” status after only a few months.

(On a side note, Steel Dragon 2000 appears to be a similar but larger version of the same manufacturer’s Steel Force roller coaster in Pennsylvania’s Dorney Park. For those in the U.S. who aren’t able to travel to Japan, Steel Force is a decent ride in its own right — I’ve ridden it myself at least 50 times over the last decade, and keep going back for more.)

#4 — Tower of Terror

377 ft — Dreamworld — Australia

Credit: Lakeyboy (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Lakeyboy (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Lakeyboy (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Lakeyboy (via Wikipedia)

I know some of the die-hard roller coaster fans may not consider Australia’s Tower of Terror to be a “real” roller coaster, because it’s not a full-circuit coaster (meaning you ride out and back on the same stretch of track instead of in a continuous loop), but I’m including it anyway. After all, we’re looking for the biggest, tallest thrills here. If you want to get technical, Tower of Terror is a reverse freefall roller coaster (a type of shuttle coaster). Essentially you’re accelerated quickly horizontally, then taken up at a 90 degree angle. When you reach the top of your climb, your car freefalls back down (reverse, because you’re falling backwards).

The Tower of Terror is the first on our list of the world’s tallest roller coasters to reach a top speed of 100 mph. The ride itself is a short one, lasting less than 30 seconds. While Tower of Terror is ranked #4 on our list, it actually has the same drop distance (but a shorter overall height) as our #3 coaster, another reverse freefall coaster designed by the same company.

#3 — Superman: The Escape

415 ft. — Six Flags Magic Mountain — California

Credit: Martin Lewison (via Flickr)
Credit: Martin Lewison (via Flickr)
Credit: Konrad Summers (via Flickr)
Credit: Konrad Summers (via Flickr)

Superman: The Escape is a nearly identical ride to the Tower of Terror reverse freefall coaster. Despite the fact that they both drop 328 ft., Superman takes riders higher, to a total of 415 ft.

You can see the tower of Superman: The Escape on the left portion of the image above, seeing how it towers over even Goliath, the near-twin roller coaster of Titan (which barely made our list at the #10 spot).

#2 — Top Thrill Dragster

420 ft — Cedar Point — Ohio

Credit: Matt Dempsey (via Flickr)

Credit: monkeyatlarge (via Flickr)
Credit: monkeyatlarge (via Flickr)

The name might not sound threatening, but that twisted mountain of steel could strike fear in nearly anyone’s heart. It sports a vertical lift, rounding down into a vertical drop, and all while exceeding 400 ft in the process. Top Thrill Dragster isn’t the first Cedar Point roller coaster to make our list, but it is our first stratacoaster, and that’s saying something. The ride may be short at only 17 seconds, but when you hit the top speed of 120 mph, I have to imagine you’ll welcome the relief!

Top Thrill Dragster was created by the same company that produced Tower of Terror, Superman: The Escape, and Millennium Force — not to mention our yet-to-be named tallest roller coaster in the world!

#1 — Kingda Ka

456 ft — Six Flags Great Adventure — New Jersey

Credit: Dusso Janladde (via Wikipedia)
Credit: Dusso Janladde via Wikipedia
Credit: Dusso Janladde (via Flickr)
Credit: Dusso Janladde (via Flickr)

Here we are with the #1 tallest roller coaster in the world — Kingda Ka! As you can see, it’s much like its sister stratacoaster Top Thrill Dragster in its vertical climb and drop setup. Unfortunately you won’t be shot out of the station at 128 mph on this monster of a coaster any time soon though. It’s (again) closed for extended maintenance.

Roller coaster enthusiasts everywhere are being forced to anxiously await its reopening, as Kingda Ka has faced numerous technical problems since being struck by lightning earlier this year. This isn’t the coaster’s first long shut-down though. It was also shut down a while for repairs in 2005 due to launch cable problems.

I don’t know about you, but technical problems have a better chance of scaring me away than the title of “World’s Tallest Roller Coaster.” That said, to say Kingda Ka looks like “one sweet ride” would be a serious understatement!

Written by
Jennifer Mattern
Join the discussion

    • How about we stay off that topic and stay on the actual roller coaster topic. I agree with you, but it is really not necessary here.

  • Well then again, we all know bigger is better. Were “biggest” really synonymous with “tallest” though, I’d give you the pat on the back you seem to be seeking for making your very own little “funny.” But when it comes to people who feel a need to inject politics into every little thing in life, I find it’s usually best not to encourage them.

  • All these roller coasters look really scary. I don’t know if I will have the courage to try them out. To me it seems easier to try the bungee jump than these roller coasters.

  • BK – Whew! You’re braver than I am. 🙂 I’ll take being strapped into a car on a well-engineered track over plummeting at the edge of a bungee any day. At least there’s something to hold onto! 🙂

  • What you meant to say is, “How about this economy left by Bush” we are still on that roller coaster, but thanks to Obama we are finally ending this coaster ride. Let’s get it straight folks”.

    • Really you can just shut up because no one cares about your f*****g in put your just a dumb a** piece of steaming SH*T. Obama fu**ed it up more and flat out lied about taking the soldiers out not that bush did any better. Obama already broke one rule he WAS born here but he has duel citizen ship with here and Indonesia do I hear impeached

  • Roller coaster economy under Obama. Well that implies ups and downs. Nice change compared to the continous free fall economy under Bush. THEY really took us for a ride…

  • Millenium force is an amazing ride, a rush from start to finish.
    To all you political posters: Did you flunk government class? The president is only one branch of government and does not make laws, congress does (including banking laws). Presidents are not as powerful as people seem to think.

  • Both Bush presidencies took us for a wild ride with the economy. Like father, like son, both were forgettable. You might not like Obama’s policies or whatever, but you won’t ever forget him will you?

  • I’ve been on the Millenium Force and the Top Thrill dragster! Both are great rides. The TTD isn’t as bad as it looks, believe me, if I can do it anyone can. Both of these rides were one of the first roller coasters I’ve ever been on and let me tell you I loved it! It’s natural to be scared of them but for the TTD the whole ride goes by so fast you’re down before you even know it.

  • Hmmm. Hopefully we don’t elect people on how memorable we think they will be. Hitler was memorable. That’s not always a good thing. Based on the man’s experience, let’s hope the real people that run the country…congress, not the president, straighten things out, but I have my doubts. Strap on tight, I live near Sandusky so I’ve rode the big coasters, this government is a whole lot scarier.

  • ON TTD when you get launched you run into dozens of bugs and they feel like needles thats the worst part of the ride

  • Cedar Point is amazing…has so many incredible rides, for an unforgetable trip.

    If any of you get the chance, ride the Millennium Force, but ride in the FIRST car!!! Such a thrill.

  • ive been on king da ka its not bad u have to accoplish ur fear of how tall it is then u got it wen u go on king da ka can can go on any ride i have been on it 5 times i want to go on all the other rides also

  • i have been on King Da Ka many times it is the greatest roller coaster of all time. =D you go so fast you dont have time to scream and when you get to the top the view is amazing. I am so happy King Da Ka is the number one roller coaster.

    • OMG that is amazing all of my other comments aside I rode it thirteen times and every time I got the same thrill.

  • omg i wanna ride the kingda ka soooooo much!!!!!!! (and i thought the voyage at holiday world in santa clause in. had a really big drop of 100ft geeeeezzzz i mean just look at them they go straight down!)

  • I love how every blog turns into american politics, ie bush and barack roller coaster rides lol. PS where’s Canada’s Wonderlands behemoth

  • I have rode Kinda Ka before. It is absolutely breath taking and amazing, but not as scary as it seems due to the fact that the ride is 59 seconds long.still amazing and by far the best ride i have ever riden.

  • I rode Kingda Ka 10x Before I Almost Died! I have also rode all the others too!I travel the world to find the scariest rides!

  • I’ve only been on one of these coasters – the Titan. I think that means I need to travel more, right? Surely that justifies a summer road trip to try the others!

    The Titan is definitely worth a spin.

  • I have ridden the Titan twice, once when I was about 12 and just yesterday I went to Six Flags OVER TEXAS BABY, not some rip off and it is THE fastest, tallest and steepest roller coaster at Six Flags. I think that it should be #1 because it last longer, but this is the Top Ten Tallest Roller Coasters. The Titan is VERY high and VERY fast. If you can ride the Titan, the other rides at Six Flags are a piece of cake 😀

  • Hey guys!! I am scared now! Those rides look scary! I almost cried when I went on the Ride of Steel at Darien Lake and that is only 180 feet tall! I can never ride the Top Thrill Dragster een more Kingda Ka! Nice blog, very informative!

  • hey jennifer! my name is gabby and i have to do a long term research project on rollercoasters. I have heard all about negative g’s and positiveg’s can kill u and blah blah blah, but what i am really wondering is Kingda Ka the most safe rollercoaster u have ever been on. Yes it seems safe, but w/ all of the repairs it has had to go threw i am starting to think twice about going on it. Get back soon!

  • I love right here in NJ I’ve been on kingda ka and it is the most scariest thing ever actually going up is worse than going down because the wind actually pushes you so hard!

    • Is that a new one I haven’t come across yet? Where is it located? I’d like to learn more about it and see if it’s somewhere I can get to. 🙂

      • Laviathon is 10 minutes north of toronto @ Canada’s Wonderland and is the tallest and the fastest ive ever had the rush to be on ,,, aMERIKA’s GOT NOTHIN on us ,,, Canada RULES,and don,t start me on that hussinn binladden obamma illuminati puppet felow,,,lol

        • Thanks for the additional information on Laviathon. I’ll certainly look into it and consider checking it out the next time I’m up that way. In the meantime, let’s please keep political conversations in more appropriate places. Thanks. 🙂

  • You forget indimadator 305! The best coaster in virgina! Drops 305 feet at a 87 degree angle! It’s in kings dominan (much better than Busch gardens ride wise by the why). You might want to add it to the list!