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Top 5 Scariest Roller Coasters in the World

Updated on April 30, 2012


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 - Top 5 Scariest

Close-up of Kingda Ka's tower.
Close-up of Kingda Ka's tower.


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 - Top 5 Scariest

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 - Top 5 Scariest

Millenium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
Millenium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

Millennium Force

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 - Top 5 Scariest

Tower of Terror at Dreamworld in the Gold Coast, Australia.
Tower of Terror at Dreamworld in the Gold Coast, Australia.


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 - Top 5 Scariest

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.

How much do you love roller coasters?

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    • profile image

      Taniroh 2 years ago

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    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 4 years ago from Florida

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

    • CSNewYork profile image

      CSNewYork 5 years ago from New Jersey

      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!!!

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      Jay 5 years ago

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

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      Magmamistake 5 years ago

      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.

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      Abbie 6 years ago

      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!

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 7 years ago from Florida

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

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      katie 7 years ago

      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

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 7 years ago from Florida

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


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      Kush 7 years ago

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

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 7 years ago from Florida

      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 profile image

      lauralolita 7 years ago from Florida

      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

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 7 years ago from Florida

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

    • mhuze profile image

      mhuze 7 years ago from USA

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