Nothing says summer vacation like going to an amusement park, and August 16 is the day designated to celebrate the roller coaster, that heart-stopping, thrilling perennial favorite ride that takes your breath away. Whether it is a wooden coaster, a steel coaster, one that hangs, or one with loops, roller coasters are the most exhilarating rides in the park. Every few years someone comes up with a roller coaster that tops all other roller coasters and becomes the “must do” ride of the summer. To honor this fun and exciting ride, we have been celebrating National Roller Coaster Day since 1986. So let’s take a look at some of the most notable roller coasters around the country.
The tallest roller coaster in America is also the fastest. The Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey currently holds the title. This steel coaster is 456 feet tall and reaches speeds of 128 mph. This is likely the ride most people make a beeline for as soon as the park opens. The longest roller coaster is at King’s Island in Mason, Ohio. The Beast is 7,359 feet long. The oldest coaster still running is Leap the Dips in Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Built in 1902, it has had some refurbishment over the years. In 1996 it was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Loops were introduced with the manufacture of the steel roller coaster. The largest roller coaster loop, Full Throttle, stands 160-feet tall at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. Six Flags Magic Mountain also has 19 roller coasters for visitors to ride, the most in one location.
Public opinion determines the top roller coasters in the US. As of July 2018, the Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is this year’s favorite. This two-minute, thirty-second ride reaches speeds of 74 mph and takes three cars of 24 people each run. It is a steel coaster, which runs much smoother than a wooden coaster.
For a bit of extra fun this summer, celebrate National Roller Coaster day by visiting an amusement park near you and enjoying a roller coaster ride.