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The 5 Scariest Roller Coasters in the World

Cristina is a Florida native and Realtor by trade. She enjoys writing about travel, real estate, and several other interesting topics.



The degree of a roller coaster’s fear factor depends on the person riding it.  Some people simply do not like roller coasters and even a small mild roller coaster is scary.  For hard-core coaster riders, a roller coaster is not scary if it doesn’t have speed, height, airtime, g-forces and a roller coaster designer’s ultimate thumbs-up:  huge scream factor.  Recent technological advances in acceleration and design continue to push the envelope for thrill-seeking coaster riders.  The best rides are scattered around the world, and though there are hundreds of great roller coasters, these are the scariest according to various online polls, roller coaster ezines, travel blogs and newspapers.

Kingda Ka Roller Coaster

Close-up of Kingda Ka's tower, one of the top 5 scariest roller coasters.

Close-up of Kingda Ka's tower, one of the top 5 scariest roller coasters.

Kingda Ka

Location: Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey

Height: 456ft (139m)
Drop: 418ft (127m)
Length: 3,118ft (950m)
Max speed: 128mph
Duration: 28 seconds
Acceleration: 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds

The king of roller coasters, as well as the tallest and fastest in the world. Kingda Ka grabbed the title from Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point when it opened in 2005. Though it doesn’t have any upside-down inversions, it is 28 seconds of super speed strato-coaster “Oh, my God!” heart-stopping thrill. The train pulls away and quickly accelerates as it climbs to 456 feet, makes a 90 degree left and drops on the other side down 418 feet.

Steel Dragon

Steel Dragon 2000 roller coaster at Nagashima Spaland in September 2005 (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Steel Dragon 2000 roller coaster at Nagashima Spaland in September 2005 (courtesy of Wikipedia)


Steel Dragon

Location: Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Japan

Height: 318ft (97m)
Drop: 306ft (93m)
Length: 8,133 ft (2,479m)
Max speed: 95mph
Duration: 4 minutes 

Steel Dragon makes the list for being one of the world’s tallest and fastest, but especially for its four action-packed minutes of g-forces, drops, and fear.  It still holds the world record as the longest thrill ride. 

Millenium Force

Millenium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio has been scaring riders for years.

Millenium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio has been scaring riders for years.

Millennium Force

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Location: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Height: 310ft (94m)
Drop: 300ft (91m)
Length: 6,595 ft (2,010 m)
Max speed: 93 mph (150 km/h)
Duration: 2 minutes 20 seconds

Given a top ten list, Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster would have made the list as well being the world’s second tallest roller coaster . Millennium Force edged it out, however, due to length – a wonderfully frightening almost 2 ½ minutes, compared to a few seconds for Top Thrill Dragster. Millennium Force is consistently voted the best roller coaster in the world and is the most popular ride at Cedar Point. With three big drops, high speeds and rating as a gigacoaster, Millennium Force is a must-ride.

Tower of Terror II

Tower of Terror at Dreamworld in the Gold Coast, Australia has been revamped and renamed but still remains one of the tallest, fastest, and scariest roller coasters in the world.

Tower of Terror at Dreamworld in the Gold Coast, Australia has been revamped and renamed but still remains one of the tallest, fastest, and scariest roller coasters in the world.


Tower of Terror

Location: Dreamworld, Queensland, Australia

Height: 377ft (115m)
Drop: 328ft (100m)
Length: 1,235ft (376m)
Max speed: 100mph (160km/h) 

Arguments abound as to whether this is really a roller coaster, but everyone agrees it’s flat-out scary.  It rips up the track at 100 mph, pulls 4.5 Gs at a 90 degree angle and speeds back down the same track.  It’s also the southern hemisphere’s fastest and tallest ride. 


Fahrenheit at Hersheypark

Fahrenheit at Hersheypark



Location: Hershey Park

Height: 121 feet
Drop: 115 feet
Length: 2,700 feet
Max speed: 58 mph
Duration: 85 seconds 

Fahrenheit makes the list because of its one-of-a-kind 97 degree negative drop.  The drop is so extreme, riders have the frightening sensation of falling out of the cars.  The ride also has a 107-foot inverted loop, 2 inverted corkscrew rolls, a cobra and an airborne inverted S-roll.  Add pulling 4.5 Gs in places, 2 airtime hills and two high-speed banked curves and this roller coaster gives riders 85-seconds of heart-stopping thrills.

Designers continue to push the envelope for roller coaster engineering, as well as pushing the human mind and body to extremes with g-forces, negative drops, back-to-back turns and rolls, and cars that give all riders unobstructed views of what awaits them.  Thrill seekers love these scary roller coasters, and the many others that consistently thrill riders year after year.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Cristina Vanthul


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Cristina Vanthul (author) from Florida on September 24, 2012:

Perhaps I need a part 2! Add Leviathan and TTD. TTD was definitely on the list of top scariest roller coasters.

CSNewYork from New Jersey on August 06, 2012:

No Top Thrill Dragster? Basically the same as Kingda Ka and the only other Strata Coaster in the world. TTD should be on here in my opinion but nonetheless a very nice hub and I love roller coasters!!!

Jay on August 03, 2012:

Where's the Leviathan?!!? It is awesome!

Magmamistake on June 26, 2012:

I have ride th e millennium force, and it was the best thing l have ever done. Its actually not that bad if you like coasters. The anticipation is everything.

Abbie on May 19, 2011:

I think roller coasters are okay. I went on space mountain when I was 8. That was like 10 years ago. My mom was screaming like a baby. It was like a medium scary ride. But a ride called Big Thunder mountain railroad was so fun and scary at the same time!

Cristina Vanthul (author) from Florida on June 27, 2010:

How did you like Farenheit, Katie? Was it worth the wait? That's one heck of a first roller coaster ride!

katie on June 27, 2010:

omg! i went on farenheit after a 45 min wait. and the longest the wait got to was like 4 hours...:) my friends forced me to go on! my first roller coaster

Cristina Vanthul (author) from Florida on May 29, 2010:

So glad you stopped in, Kush. It's great to hear from someone who's recently been on one of these roller coasters.


Kush on May 29, 2010:

I went on fahrenheit yesterday and it is really scary because you feel like your falling out

Cristina Vanthul (author) from Florida on April 23, 2010:

Awesome, Laura!! You have to... must, absolutely must (!), write a hub about your trip.. and take lots of photos to include. Have a great time!


lauralolita from Florida on April 23, 2010:

I've always wanted to go to Cedar Point and finally, in 1 month, my husband and I will be driving up there! I'm so excited! Millennium Force, here I come! Awesome hub, Thanks!

~ Laura

Cristina Vanthul (author) from Florida on March 28, 2010:

I'd have to agree with you! Tower of Terror and Kingda Ka.

mhuze from USA on March 27, 2010:

These all look scary, but the Tower of Terror has to be the most frightening!

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