The amusement park rises bold and stark–Bruce Springsteen, “Born To Run” (1975)
Get ready for the most amazing, spine-tingling 4-D rides, free falls, roller coasters and other amusement park rides from the United States to Japan.
Does your idea of a perfect summer vacation include the adrenaline-infused rush from amazing, hair-raising rides? If so, forget about Disney World’s Space Mountain or Disneyland’s Matterhorn. They’re cool for kids, but you need something that will make you truly tremble.
So try something new and really exciting. Try a ride that will a G-force that will knock you silly. Prepare for fantastic free-fall drops that will make you both laugh hysterically and scream prayers to any and all gods listening to save your life.
Dare to ride the record-breakers as you travel around the world. It’s all here from one of the earliest wooden coasters opened in 1941 at the Six Flags New England, and a Las Vegas “mini-theme park” perched over the famous strip, to Germany’s G-Force and the critically-acclaimed Superman Ride of Steel in Massachusetts. So, if you’re up for some rockin’ rides this summer, get out your credit cards and prepare to rack up a few frequent-flier miles, and check out this list:
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles (Valencia)
Brace Yourself for the X2. This is the new and improved version of X which operated from 2002 to 2007. It was then billed as the world’s first “fourth-dimensional” ride complete with 360-degree rotating seats. It was revamped to the tune of $10 million and reborn as the X2 in 2008. It now features additional audio-visual enhancements, wing-shaped trains, and immersive tunnels.
Hersheypark Hershey, Pennsylvania
The Fahrenheit is an inverted vertical loop “lift” roller coaster. First, it swoops passengers 121 feet into the air only to drop them down again in a record-setting steep, 97-degree negative drop. At the crest, riders see nothing at all–not even track.
But there’s more. There is also a 107-foot inverted loop, an inverted corkscrew roll, an airborne inverted S-roll, a second inverted corkscrew, a small stomach floating airtime hill, a fast banked curve, a second hill, and then a speedy banked curve. The entire ride takes approximately 85 seconds. You couldn’t eat a Hershey Bar that fast and after the ride, you might no longer have the appetite for it.
Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
If you’ve ever been to the very top of the Space Needle-like Stratosphere Hotel, you know that not all of the amazingly scary rides are actually roller coasters. The most frightening of the trio of rides there is the green centrifuge named Insanity. The ride actually extends 64 feet over the edge of the hotel tower.
The ride spins at more than 40 m.p.h. Passengers are angled downward 70 degrees and see nothing but the strip, 900 feet below them. Critics claim it is one of the most harrowing rides in the world.
Thorpe Park Chertsey, Surrey, U.K.
Launched in 2002, the Colossus holds the record for most inversions. (It has 10.) Riders are flipped over and over in the double corkscrew, the quadruple heart-line roll, and the cobra roll. If you prefer to visit China instead of the UK, you can ride the Chinese equivalent named the Tenth Ring Roller Coaster, at Chimelong Paradise in Guangzhou.
5. Kingda Ka
Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, New Jersey
Considered by some critics to be the “big daddy” of roller coasters, this ride allows the rider to experience both positive and negative G-force. Passengers are catapulted as high as the ride’s record 456 feet (or 45 stories) at a record speed 128 m.p.h. It hits its top height in only three and a half seconds and has a noteworthy 270-foot spiral on the way down.