Last updated: 10:52 AM ET, Tue August 16 2016

Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day at The Top Ten Coasters in the United States

Features & Advice | SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment | Erik Yates | August 16, 2016

Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day at The Top Ten Coasters in the United States

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

For many coaster junkies, asking to name your favorite coaster is akin to asking what your favorite child is. Each offers up something completely unique and thrilling that it can be a challenge to even quantify what makes something “the best.” But, it being National Roller Coaster Day, we must try.

As this is National Roller Coaster Day, we’ve limited our list to coasters located in the United States that are currently up and operation. So what did we choose?

10. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure: This coaster is the tallest in the world, and one of the fastest. Before you have time to scream, the ride is over, and all that is left is the mess you made in the seat.

9. Cobra’s Curse, Busch Gardens Tampa: The family spinning coaster isn’t huge, or intense by any means. What it lacks in record breaking thrills, it makes up for in fun. From the queue that takes you into the realm of the Snake King, all the way until the last overbanked turn, the coaster packs a bit of a punch and has fun with it.

8. The Beast, Kings Island: It’s legendary, and was the first coaster I ever rode. It is the longest wooden coaster in the world, and winds through the trees and woods of the Ohio countryside so well that you swear you’re going to hit something! It’s a legend, and constantly on the top lists of every poll ever.

7.Space Mountain, Walt Disney World: Yes, sacrilege, but this is an original. It uses tubular steel, and complete darkness to turn an ordinary wild mouse coaster into a sensory overload. It’s the original, and hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years. It also became a staple at many other Disney parks to come

6. Matterhorn Bobsleds, Disneyland: The first tubular steel track, designed by Arrow Dynamics. The coaster broke the mold, and made many other coaster designs possible. Add in the fact that you come face to face with the Abominable Snowman, and that amazing mountain, and you have a certified classic

5. Loch Ness Monster, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Another historical coaster, this coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg used interlocking loops, and at one time could have two trains face off in the loops against each other. The drop into the lake is also one of the few that makes your stomach come into your throat, and it’s not even that big!

4. Mako, SeaWorld Orlando: Being my list, I can include the newest coaster in Orlando into the mix! Besides, it is a great new coaster, with tons of air time and some pretty sweet speed. Plus, it’s a B&M so it’s smooth as glass!

3. Millennium Force, Cedar Point: No coaster fan worth their salt would overlook MF. The original GigaCoaster, MF was the first to break the 300-foot mark. It set the standard, and still wins awards to this day!

2. Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City: It was the first wooden coaster to loop. It has three inversions, a massively fast drop and incredibly steep. It is smooth, intense and only uses lapbars and seat belts to keep you in, which adds to the dramatic effect.

1. Incredible Hulk Coaster, Universal’s Islands of Adventure: Yeah, yeah…I know. Fanboy, East Coast bias…but you can’t deny the raw power that is HULK! The coaster takes the top for sentimental reasons, as it’s one that my kids cut their teeth on as coaster riders, and for both of them it was the one monster that stood in their way. It also underwent a new refurbishment that gives it a new look, a new story and even new trains! It’s an awesome coaster, and it dominates the Orlando area.

Wow. That was harder than I thought! I love all kinds of coasters, and it’s really hard to pick ten of your favorites! Other runners up include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (that ride’s fun), Dragon Challenge (we miss the Dueling), Thunderhead, Steel Eel, and Verbolten. No matter if you agree or not (and I’m betting not), coasters are always a great way to spend a day!


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