Top 5 craziest roller coasters from around the world

Published September 18th, 2013

If you’re prone to motion sickness, look away now because things are about to get a little topsy-turvy. We’re talking “screaming in decibels only dogs can hear” kinds of craziness kids, for these are some of the tallest, fastest, scariest rollers you will ever coast.



Let’s be clear, I am not a thrill seeker by any definition. I admit without shame that I couldn’t even stomach the Mad Tea Party at Disneyland or, as I like to call them, the spinning pastel torture chambers of doom. As I am researching this I am questioning the sanity of the general population, so if the below “rides” appeal to your inner adrenaline junkie, you go right ahead. And may God have mercy on your soul.


Kingda Ka, Six Flags – New Jersey, USA

We’re not going to ease you into this; you know what you signed up for. Kingda Ka, which I believe translates to “I am going to grab onto this stranger next to me like a boa constrictor”, is the tallest roller coaster in the world. It’s also the fastest in North America. No biggie. According to my calculations, Kingda Ka will propel you into the stratosphere at 205 kilometres per hour within 3.5 seconds and will see you soar to the grand height of 139 metres before plunging into a 270-degree spiral. Kingda Ka was built to overtake Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragstar in the insanity rankings and it mostly definitely succeeded. You must be at least “this” crazy to ride.


The Smiler, Alton Towers – Staffordshire, England

My, what a deceptively innocuous name you have Mr Smiler. “All the better to dupe you with, my dear,” he replies. The ride is talking, you see, because you become delirious after you have been pulled through time and space on it. Who wouldn’t want to ride The Smiler? It sounds so pleasant and convivial, right? Yeah no. The Smiler has a grand total of 14 loops – the world record – with delightful “psychological effects” including optical illusions, blinding lights and extreme near misses. The Smiler’s PR people (which I believe it controls with its mind) claim it will “marmalize” riders. What does that even mean?! It turns people into marmalade? That’s cool.


Eejanaika, Fuji-Q Highland – Yamanashi, Japan

Everyone put your hands up! Oh, sorry, you can’t. The Newtonian magic of G-force (“g” standing for gravity or gut-wrenching, either way) will make sure of that. Eejanaika, the magnificent beast, is the second fourth dimension roller coaster ever built (the first is at Six Flags, but enough about those guys already). The seats can rotate a fully sick 360-degrees, backwards and forwards, causing some serious optical poptitude I would imagine. What better way to take in the view of Mount Fuji than for a micro-second at the top of Eejanaika before being hurled into the fourth dimension? This is beyond cray-cray. This is 50 Shades of Cray-Cray.


Bandit Bomber, Yas Waterworld – Abu Dhabi, UAE

Theme park ride engineers would refer to the Bandit Bomber officially as a “steel inverted roller coaster”. Still in its inaugural year, this newborn bouncing bundle of bolts and rails seems pretty standard as far as roller coasters go, with little curved drops, a series of small hills known as bunny hops and brake runs to adjust speed. Yawn. Oh, but there are laser guns and water bombs IN EVERY SEAT as well as waterfalls, geysers and cannons to spritz/saturate you  as you cruise along the 515-metre track. It gets pretty muggy up in Abu Dhabi and the kindly people at Yas Waterworld are really just looking out for your wellbeing. They should employ this technology at music festivals next.


Colossos, Heide Park – Lower Saxony, Germany

Ah yes, ye olde woodeny roller coastery. It may seem pretty mundane, but the true roller coaster aficionados out there will appreciate this fine piece of craftsmanship. There are no hi-tech bells and whistles to this bad boy. In true German moxie, it relies on pure grit and probably runs on some kind of beer. When you’re whooshing down the world’s tallest wooden roller coaster at 120 kilometres per hour, things can get a bit rickety. Apparently the track is built to fit together like Lego pieces. Who wouldn’t feel safe riding on a Lego roller coaster, eh? Colossos isn’t to be confused with Colossus, another Six Flags instalment. Those guys must have a patent on awesomeness.


Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg