15 Tallest Roller Coasters In The World | 2024 Edition

The history of roller coasters can be traced back to the 16th century when large ice-covered wooden slides were used as an amusement ride in Russia. The so-called Russian Mountains were between 21-24 meters tall with a steep 50-degree drop.

Although it’s not clear when ice slides turned into roller coasters, historians believe the world’s first true roller coaster was built in Paris in 1812, called Russes a Belleville.

The first roller coaster in the United States emerged in the mid-1880s when the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, was transformed into a tourist attraction.

The amusement park industry as we know it today is a result of a roller coaster boom in the 1970s and early 1980s. Over time, roller coasters became taller, faster, and more mechanically complex. Now, let’s explore the 12 tallest roller coasters in the world.

Did you know? 

Leap-The-Dips at Lakemont Park in Pennsylvania, USA, is the oldest operating roller coaster. It was opened in June 1902.

15. Wildfire

Wildfire roller coaster in Wildfire Park, Sweden

Height: 56 meters
Drop: 49 meters

Speed: 71.4 mph (115 km/h)

Located at Kolmarden Wildlife Park in Sweden, Wildfire is the second tallest as well as the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. The ride encompasses twelve hills and features three inversions, with a maximum vertical angle of 83 degrees.

In a surprising turn of events in late 2016, Wildfire faced an unexpected closure when its license was revoked by state authorities, citing environmental concerns. Despite widespread speculation that this might spell the end for Wildfire, the coaster was successfully revived a year later in mid-2017.

14. T Express

Height: 56.02 meters
Drop: 45.99 meters

Speed: 64 mph (103.09 km/h)

T Express, the world’s tallest wooden roller coaster, is located at Everland Theme Park in Yongin City, South Korea. This remarkable coaster was constructed by Intamin, a Swiss manufacturing company known for producing eight out of the twelve tallest roller coasters globally.

T Express officially opened to the public in 2008.

13. Hyperion

Height: 77 meters
Drop: 82 meters

Speed: 88 mph (142 km/h)

Hyperion is classified as a “mega coaster” due to its massive scale and height. It features a steel track and a conventional chain lift mechanism for the initial ascent.

The coaster has a steep first drop, with a descent angle of 85 degrees. It reaches a top speed of 88.8 mph, offering riders a thrilling and high-speed experience.

The track length is about 1,450 meters, and the entire ride lasts nearly two minutes. During the ride, the coaster passes close to the water’s surface, creating a dramatic visual effect.

12. Thunder Dolphin

Height: 80 meters
Drop: 66 meters

Speed: 81 mph (130 km/h)

Thunder Dolphin, a steel roller coaster situated at Tokyo Dome City Attractions, stands tall at approximately 262 feet (80 meters) and achieves a top speed of around 80 miles per hour.

It is known for its unique layout, which includes a section where the coaster travels through a hole in the LaQua building, a shopping and entertainment complex. The coaster also passes through a centerless Ferris wheel during the ride. This adds a level of excitement and visual appeal for riders.

11. Orion

Height: 87 meters
Drop: 91 meters

Speed: 91 mph (146 km/h)

Opened to the public in July 2020, Orion gained fame for its thrilling elements, including a first drop of 300 feet at an 85-degree angle, which provides riders with an intense freefall experience. 

Like many other roller coasters, it utilizes a traditional chain lift mechanism for the initial ascent. It features a total of eight hills, a top speed of 91 mph (146 km/h), and a series of airtime hills and banked turns.

Situated in the Area 72 section of Kings Island, Orion was built at a cost of nearly $30 million. This is one of the biggest investments in Kings Island’s history. 

10. Intimidator 305

Height: 93 meters
Drop: 91.4 meters

Speed: 90 mph (145 km/h)

Intimidator 305 is located at Kings Dominion Amusement Park in Doswell, Virginia. It proudly stands as the second Giga coaster in the United States, featuring a height and drop exceeding 91 meters.

The coaster’s name pays homage to the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, famously known as “The Intimidator.”

After leaving the launch station, the train is cable-lifted to the top of a 93-meter hill before descending at a thrilling speed of 145 km/h.

Intimidator 305 ran into trouble almost immediately after its launch. In its original design, the steep first drop caused some riders to experience temporary vision loss or blackouts under immense G forces. The ride was promptly closed and relaunched after remodeling.

9. Leviathan

Height: 93.3 meters
Drop: 93.3 meters

Speed: 92mph (148 km/h)

Leviathan took the crown as Canada’s fastest and tallest roller coaster in 2012, surpassing Behemoth (also situated at Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario). This thrilling ride draws inspiration from and is themed after the mythical sea monster of the same name.

The ride starts a few meters behind the tallest (chain lift) hill. After reaching the height of 93.3 meters, the train descends at an exhilarating speed of about 148 km/h.

Other elements of Leviathan include a 56-meter-high camelback followed by a 115-degree hammerhead turn.

8. Millennium Force

Millennium Force | Image Courtesy: Jeremy Thompson

Height: 94 meters
Drop: 91 meters

Speed: 93 mph (150 km/h)

Millennium Force is one of the seventeen roller coasters at Ceder Point amusement park in Ohio. It became the world’s first Giga coaster upon its opening in the year 2000.

Initially holding the title of the world’s tallest coaster for about two months, Millennium Force was surpassed by the taller Steel Dragon 2000 in Japan. The steel track spans a total length of 2,010 meters, and the entire facility covers 13 acres of land, making it currently the third-longest ride in the U.S.

Notably, Millennium Force’s design, particularly its cable lift system, proved to be so efficient in terms of cost-to-weight ratio that many subsequent roller coasters adopted the same technology.

7. Steel Dragon 2000

Steel Dragon 2000 | Image Courtesy: Ivan Lucas

Height: 97 meters
Drop: 93.5 meters

Speed: 95 mph (153 km/h)

Steel Dragon 2000, located at Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture, Japan, is the tallest roller coaster in Asia and the longest in the world. It was initially built by D.H Morgan Manufacturing in 2000, but Bolliger & Mabillard, a Swiss manufacturing company, replaced all its working trains in 2013.

What makes Steel Dragon 2000 unique is its significant use of resources, particularly steel, surpassing the requirements of other coasters of similar size. This decision was made to enhance the coaster’s resilience against the frequent earthquakes in the region.

The ride features a 96.9-meter chain lift hill followed by a 93.5-meter drop and subsequent smaller hills, with a total length spanning about 2,479 meters.

6. Fury 325

Fury 325 roller coaster at Carowinds

Height: 99 meters
Drop: 98 meters

Speed: 95 mph (153 km/h)

Fury 325 at Carowinds Amusement Park is presently the tallest roller coaster crafted by a company other than Intamin. Originally planned to stand at 92 meters, its height was later extended to 99 meters during the initial planning phase. The steel track of Fury is about 2,012 meters long and 99 meters high.

The entire project cost around $30 million.

Themed after a hornet, Fury 325 draws inspiration from Charlotte’s well-known nickname—a hornet’s nest. This nickname traces its origin to “a hornet’s nest of rebellion,” a term first used during the American War of Independence.

5. Red Force

Red Force roller coaster at Ferrari Land

Height: 112 meters
Length: 880 meters

Speed: 112 mph (180 km/h)

Situated at PortAventura’s Ferrari Land theme park in Catalonia, Spain, Red Force proudly holds the title of both the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Europe. It features an 880-meter-long horizontal track and a vertical track towering at 112 meters.

After leaving the station, the train takes about 5 seconds to reach 180 km/h. To propel trains at such speed, Red Force utilizes supercapacitors as an energy storage system. It effectively reduces the peak load from the main power grid.

Just before reaching the top hat, the train makes a 90-degree spiral to the right. Similarly, on its descent, the train performs a 90-degree left spiral, adding to the excitement of the Red Force experience.

4. Tower of Terror II

Tower Of Terror II Escape Pod making a descent 

Height: 115 meters
Drop: 108.3 meters

Speed: 100 mph (160.9 km/h)

Located at Dreamworld Theme Park in Queensland, Australia, the Tower of Terror II was the world’s first roller coaster to reach 160 km/h speed. Originally launched in 1997, the ride underwent a modernization process and was reintroduced in 2010.

The ride begins in a 206-meter-long launch tunnel, with the vehicle reaching 160.9 km/h in just 7 seconds. It then climbs the vertical tower. For about 6.5 seconds (3.5 seconds going up and 3.5 seconds coming down), passengers experience near weightlessness. It ends with the vehicle or ‘escape pod’ entering the tunnel on the horizontal track.

3. Superman: Escape From Krypton

Fortress of Solitude styled entrance and vertical tracks (on the left rear) | Image Courtesy: Jeremy Thompson

Height: 126 meters
Drop: 100 meters

Speed: 100 mph (160.9 km/h)

Superman: Escape from Krypton, initially launched in 1997 as Superman: The Escape, held the title of the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster at that time, sharing the distinction with Tower of Terror II. In 2011, the coaster underwent a makeover, introducing backward launching cars and a new color scheme.

The vehicles use linear synchronous motors to reach 0 to 160 km/h in about 7 seconds. Following the launch track, the trains embark on a vertical 90-degree ascent up the 126-meter tower, with riders either facing downward or earthward.

The brief but intense sensation of weightlessness, particularly during the descent, transforms Superman: Escape from Krypton into an exhilarating and truly ecstatic experience at Six Flags.

2. Top Thrill 2


Height: 130 meters
Drop: 120 meters

Speed: 120 mph (190 km/h)

Located at Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio, Top Thrill Dragster stands out as one of the only two strata coasters in the world, boasting a height and drop above 120 meters.

The ride is inspired by Top Fuel Drag racing sport. It once had decorative engines and spoilers, which were later replaced to enhance rider capacity.

Top Thrill 2 is the sole vertical speedway globally, featuring two sky-dominating towers. It is equipped with high-performance trains with a cutting-edge chassis milled from a single piece of aluminum and designed with an aerodynamic fiberglass and carbon fiber body. 

With their superior seat comfort and overall thoughtfully crafted design, Top Thrill 2’s trains give you a genuine open-air riding experience, allowing you to embark on a race unlike any other in the world. 

1. Kingda Ka

Kingda Ka the world’s tallest roller coaster

Height: 139 meters
Drop: 127 meters

Speed: 128 mph (206 km/h)

Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest roller coaster, is located at Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson, New Jersey. It is also the second-fastest roller coaster in the world after Ferrari World’s Formula Rossa. 

Additionally, it holds distinctions such as the World’s Tallest Complete Circuit Roller Coaster and the World’s Tallest Roller Coaster Drop. 

Kingda Ka features a switch track and a dual loading station that allows four trains to operate simultaneously.

The exhilarating ride begins with a robust hydraulic launch, propelling you from 0 to 206 km/h in just 3.5 seconds. The train navigates a 90-degree vertical spiral before reaching the top of the hill at 139 meters, followed by a thrilling 270-degree spiral during the descent. The entire ride lasts for a brief yet intense 28 seconds.

Falcon’s Flight (Under Construction)

Falcon’s Flight is currently being built at Qiddiya, the entertainment and sports megaproject in Saudi Arabia. It is planned to be the world’s fastest, longest, and tallest roller coaster. 

While the exact details are not publically available, it is expected to be 195 meters tall and 4,250 meters wide. With a maximum speed of 160 mph, it is poised to become one of the world’s most thrilling and iconic rides.

More to Know

The Fastest Roller Coaster

The Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is the world’s fastest roller coaster. Standing at 52 meters tall, it can reach an impressive top speed of 149.1 mph (240 km/h).

The Longest Roller Coaster

Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Japan has the lengthiest roller coaster track, spanning 2,479 meters. With a height of 97 meters, it can achieve a maximum speed of nearly 153 km/h.

How do roller coasters achieve record-breaking speeds and heights?

Roller coasters reach phenomenal speeds and heights through a combination of design principles and innovative engineering.

The initial ascent, usually facilitated by chain lifts or advanced launch systems, provides potential energy to the coaster. As it goes down, Earth’s gravity transforms this potential energy into kinetic energy, propelling the coaster at high speeds.

Many roller coasters use advanced propulsion systems, such as magnetic launches, which further increase the acceleration. Plus, the use of aerodynamic designs, specialized materials, and precise track layouts minimizes friction and air resistance, allowing coasters to reach impressive speeds and heights. 

Do roller coasters use any special materials in their construction?

Of course, modern roller coasters use various special materials in their construction to ensure safety, durability, and optical performance. For example, many roller coasters use 

  • steel tubing for tracks
  • Aluminum to construct the chassis or frame of the coaster trains
  • Fiberglass and composite materials for decorative elements and theming 
  • Polyurethane and Nylon for wheels and bearings 
  • Reinforced concrete for strong foundations and supports

Some coasters utilize specialized coatings on the track to reduce friction and enhance the overall smoothness of the ride. 

Traditional roller coasters, in contrast, often feature wooden structures, especially in the support framework. It gives a classic and nostalgic feel. 

Roller coaster market size

The global roller coaster market is expected to exceed $9 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.41%.

This growth is driven by a combination of factors such as the increasing disposable income of consumers, urbanization trends, the rise of global tourism, and competitive innovation within the amusement park industry. 

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Written by
Bipro Das

I am a content writer and researcher with over seven years of experience covering all gaming and anime topics. I also have a keen interest in the retail sector and often write about the business models/strategies of popular brands.

I started content writing after completing my graduation. After writing tech-related things and other long-form content for 2-3 years, I found my calling with games and anime. Now, I get to find new games and write features and previews.

When not writing for RankRed, I usually prefer reading investing books or immersing myself in Europa Universalis 4. But I am currently interested in some new JRPGs as well.

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