For the truly dedicated adrenaline junkie – the kind always on the lookout for “the ride, the ultimate ride” that eventually got Bodhi killed at the end of Point Break – theme parks are usually a colossal waste of time. You’re hardly going to get filled up with froth on a gentle boat ride through the Tunnel of Love, and it’s hard to imagine anyone but doddering, incontinent pensioners browning their pants during a spin in the tea cups…
But if Danger is your middle name (and not just because your parents are “hilarious” pranksters) don’t be too hasty to rule out theme parks as a potential bastion of untapped, eye-widening thrills. Yes, the following ten bowel-loosening monuments of modern technology are testament to the fact that, despite the grossly inflated price of admission, theme parks can offer testicle-shrinking experiences to rival those of skydiving, croc wrestling, or walking in on your gran making a “home video” with her boyfriend. When it comes to height, speed, length, pure pulse-pounding insanity and potential for ending up in a bleeding, dismembered heap of death, this collection of the world’s craziest coasters ticks all the boxes. Strap yourself in!1. Kingda Ka, Six Flags, New Jersey, USA
Officially the world’s fastest (it reaches speeds of up to 206km/h in 3.5 seconds) and tallest (140m) coaster, this is a must-ride-before-you-die type deal. If you can ignore the fact that it looks like a giant boner…
2. Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Ohio, USA
Second only to the Kingda Ka in terms of height and speed, this bad boy is famous for its “rollback” feature - the carriages roll frighteningly backwards several times before getting up enough speed to reach the coaster’s 120m peak.
3. Dodonpa, Fuji-Q Highlands, Yamanashi, Japan
Okay, so this Japanese effort isn’t as high or as fast as some of the others, but it holds the world record for fastest coaster acceleration – a stomach-hollowing 173km/h in two seconds flat.
4. X2, Six Flags Magic Mountain, California
Kicks off with a sheer 65m drop and places the pedal firmly against the metal for the rest of its 1100m length. Seats that individually spin a full 360 degrees will have you upchucking your hotdog in no time.
5. Mindbender, Galaxyland, Alberta, Canada
Leave the missus to aimlessly shoe shop for hours on end and kill time on this mental Canadian coaster – housed entirely within a massive shopping mall. Loopier than Lindsay Lohan and Amy Winehouse’s lovechild.
6. Titan, Six Flags, Texas, USA
Notorious for its six full seconds of G force, potentially reaching 4.5 Gs thanks to its giant camelback turn and two 540 degree spins, this baby comes with the very real possibility of blacking out and/or screaming like a little girl.
7. Colossus, Thorpe Park, Surrey, England
Holds the world record for most amount of inversions – 10 in total – of any coaster, and also boasts several vertical loops, corkscrews and five consecutive gut-churning twists.
8. Tower of Terror, Dreamworld, Queensland, Australia
This reverse freefall ride reaches 120m into the Queensland sky, hits speeds of 160km/h in seven seconds and gives its pants-wetting riders a full 6.5 seconds of scarifying weightlessness.
9. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima, Japan
Holds the record for the longest coaster with a staggering height of 96m, the Dragon reaches ear-tearing speeds of 152km/h and cost $50,000,000 to build due to the cost of all the steel needed to withstand Japanese earthquake tremors.
10. Bizzaro, Six Flags, New England, USA
Formerly called “Superman: Ride of Steel”, this maniacal 21-storey contraption hurtles about at vicious 120km/h speeds and has caused many a seasoned rider to spew. It even killed a bloke when he fell from the ride in 2004.
Watch ZOO Man crash the ultimate MOTHERLAND theme park!
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