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Keeping Track of the Biggest Thrill Machines
Roller coasters are known for their speed and height, but what about their length? It's somewhat ironic that coaster lovers will often stand for hours in line (not to mention travel great distances) just to spend a minute or two (if that) screaming like ninnies aboard thrill machines. Sometimes, dazed riders will depart a roller coaster wondering what just happened. But a select few coasters reward the anticipation with extra-long rides.
Before we get to the top 10 longest coasters, let's pause to consider an unusual ride. For years, the mighty Colossus thrilled visitors at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The classic wooden, twin-track, racing coaster even scored a cameo in the original Vacation film. Magic Mountain stood in for Wally's World, and Colossus was referred to as the Screaming Mimi.
The park closed the ride in 2014 and transformed and reopened it in 2015 as Twisted Colossus. In its original form, it had two, side-by-side tracks, each measuring 4,325 feet. As Twisted Colossus, it... became a wood-steel hybrid ride and no longer race since it has a single steel track. The reborn ride stole some length from the closed track and reemerged as a 4,990-foot monster. That's not enough to put it into the top 10 -- or even the top 20 -- for long coasters. But at nearly 5,000 feet and lasting over three-and-a-half minutes, it is quite long. Its evolution into an, um, colossally long coaster was interesting.
OK, on to the looooong rides. The following are the world's ten largest roller coasters. The stats have been updated for 2017.Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Number 10: Desperado - 5843 Feet
- Location: Buffalo Bill's Casino-Resort, Primm, Nevada
- Style: Hypercoaster
- Duration: 2:43
What is a roller coaster doing in the middle of nowhere? And why is it in the middle of a casino? The ride begins inside Buffalo Bill's Casino, goes through its roof, climbs 209 feet, and drops 225 feet (which makes it one of the tallest as well as one of the longest coasters in the world) into an underground tunnel. It then meanders around 5843 feet of track and continues to deliver pops of airtime. Despite its intense speed, Desperado's long track allows it to clock in with a 2:43 ride.Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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Unranked: Vertigorama - 5958 Feet
- Location: Parque de la Ciudad, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Style: Twin track steel coaster
- Duration: Unknown
One of the oddest entries on the list of the world's ten longest coasters, Vertigorama is really two coasters. With two separate tracks, each spanning 5958 feet, the ride actually boasts a total length of nearly 11,800 feet. That's a lot of track! It is unranked, however, because the ride is standing, but not currently operating. Even odder: Although Vertigorama was built in 1983 and appears to have been completed, it has never opened. To make matters even stranger, none of the coasters at Parque de la Ciudad are operating, although the city-owned park's smaller rides are open.Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Number 9: California Screamin' - 6072 Feet
- Location: Disney California Adventure, Anaheim, California, US
- Style: Launched steel coaster
- Duration: 2:36
Disney isn't typically known for record-holding coasters, but California Screamin', all 1.15 miles of it, is quite a long coaster. And although it looks like an old woodie (befitting its location in the retro Paradise Pier section of the park), it's actually a souped-up magnetically launched coaster that goes from 0 to 55 mph in 4 seconds and includes a dramatic loop high above the faux vintage boardwalk and midway.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Number 8: Voyage - 6442 Feet
- Location: Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana, US
- Style: Wood coaster
- Duration: 2:45
Often voted at or near the top of fans' favorite wooden coaster lists, The Voyage holds the record for the most air time (24.2 seconds) of any wood coaster. It also features a number of underground tunnels and reaches an impressive height of 163 feet and speed of 67.4 mph (making it one of the world's tallest and fastest wood coasters).Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Number 7: Formula Rossa - 6562 Feet
- Location: Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Style: Hydraulic launch coaster manufactured by Intamin AG of Switzerland
Befitting its race-car theme, Formula Rossa accelerates from 0 to 100 km (62 miles) in 2 seconds. More fittingly, it reaches a peak speed of 149 mph, which makes it the world's fastest roller coaster. With all of that speed, Formula Rossa needs a lot of track to burn off its pent-up energy. It's no surprise then that it is among the world's longest coasters. Formula Rossa starts inside the indoor theme park, accelerates through the dome, travels outside the park, and returns to the loading station inside the building. The train's cars look like flashy red Formula One Ferraris. See more photos of Ferrari World.Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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Number 6: Millennium Force - 6595 Feet
- Location: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, US
- Style: Steel out and back terra-coaster
- Duration: 2:20
Impressive on many levels, Millennium Force reaches a staggering height and speed of 310 feet and 93 mph, respectively. Cedar Point's ride is so intense that I experienced a brief moment of "grayout" at the bottom of the first drop when I rode the coaster. And it's so fast, Millennium Force covers its 6595 feet of track in a mere 2:20. Read about Cedar Point's other favorite coasters, the Maverick and Top Thrill Dragster.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Number 5: Fury 325 - 6602 Feet
- Location: Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Style: Out and back Giga-Coaster
- Duration: 3:25
When it debuted in 2015, Fury 325 laid claim as the world's tallest (at -- yup -- 325 feet) Giga-Coaster. All of that height generates some serious pent-up energy, which has to be dissipated somewhere. That somewhere is along its 6602 feet of track.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Number 4: Fujiyama - 6709 Feet
- Location: Fuji-Q Highland, Yamanashi, Japan
- Style: Steel Hypercoaster
- Duration: 3:36
Like many thrill machines that make the cut for the world's top-10 largest coasters, the massive Fujiyama is represented on other record-holder lists. The Japanese monster is also among the world's tallest (259 feet) and fastest (80.8 mph) coasters. Fujiyama has an impressive running time of 3:36. That's a long time to endure such intense thrills.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Number 3: The Beast - 7359 Feet
- Location: Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, (near Cincinnati), US
- Style: Wood coaster
- Duration: 4:10
To keep the momentum going over the course of its looooong 7359-foot race through the Ohio woods, the legendary Beast has two lift hills. After the second lift hill, it drops 141 feet, which is a long way down for a woodie. At nearly 65 mph, it also is one of the world's fastest wooden coasters -- although The Beast is often heavily braked and may not reach its intended top speed. Read about Kings Island's superb hypercoaster the Diamondback.Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Number 2: The Ultimate - 7442 Feet
- Location: Lightwater Valley, Ripon, Yorkshire, UK
- Style: Steel terrain coaster
- Duration: 5:36
Like The Beast, Ultimate also features two lift hills, and it spends a lot of time racing through grassy and wooded areas. At 5:36 minutes, it may hold the coaster record for the longest duration.Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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Number 1: Steel Dragon 2000 - 8133 Feet
- Location: Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Japan
- Style: Steel out and back terra-coaster
- Duration: 4:00
Steel Dragon 2000 is the only coaster in the world to break the 8000-foot threshold. It is noted for other world-class specifications as well. Four minutes may not seem like much, but it can be an eternity on a coaster -- particularly one that rises a staggering 318 feet and reaches a mind-numbing speed of 95 mph (the most for any non-launched coaster).