The 10 Fastest Roller Coasters in the World

The World's Fastest Roller Coasters

 Ashley DeLeon / © TripSavvy 2018

Do you have a need for speed? Want to test your mettle against the world's speediest metal behemoths? The world's 10 fastest roller coasters are all made of steel (no “woodies” currently crack the list, but you can check out the fastest wooden roller coasters). The record-breakers come in a variety of designs, and use an assortment of launch systems to catapult their rides to the top of the list.

Hang on tight. Seven of the fastest roller coasters reach or exceed 100 mph.

01 of 12

Formula Rossa: 149.1 mph

Formula Rossa coaster
Ferrari World

Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines! The fastest roller coaster on the planet reaches an astonishing top speed of 149.1 mph (240 km/h) in 4.9 seconds flat. That, coaster fans, is fast. Formula Rossa climbs 171 feet (52m) and generates 1.7 Gs.

The ride 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 (and travel as fast). It is so intense, passengers are issued goggles to protect their eyes from the desert sand.

  • Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates
  • Hydraulic launch coaster
02 of 12

Kingda Ka: 128 mph

Kingda-Ka.jpg
Arthur Levine.

Kingda Ka is the fastest roller coaster in the United States. It was the fastest coaster in the world for a few years until Formula Rossa eclipsed it. (At 456 feet, Kingda Ka is still the world's tallest roller coaster, however.) To reach its crazy-fast speed in a matter of mere seconds, the Six Flags ride uses a hydraulic launch system. If going fast is what you crave, Kingda Ka delivers.

03 of 12

Top Thrill Dragster: 120 mph

Top Thrill Dragster coaster at Cedar Point
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

At 120 mph, Top Thrill Dragster has an apt racing car theme. Not only does it reach nerve-rattling speeds, its hydraulic launch system catapults riders from 0 to holy moly in no time. Top Thrill Dragster is essentially similar (if slightly slower and shorter) than Kingda Ka), but is generally smoother than the New Jersey ride.

  • Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
  • Hydraulic launch rocket coaster
04 of 12

Red Force: 112 mph (tie)

Red Force Ferrari Land coaster
PortAventura

Opened in 2017 as part of Ferrari Land (inside PortAventura), Red Force uses magnetic motors to launch its trains at 112 mph towards a top hat tower that looks similar to Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka. It is the fastest (and tallest) roller coaster in Europe.

  • PortAventura Park, Salou, Tarragona, Spain
  • Magnetic induction rocket coaster
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
05 of 12

Dodonpa: 112 mph (tie)

Do Don pa Rollercoaster

Nikm, via Wikimedia Commons

Using a compressed air launch, Dodonpa goes from 0 to 112 mph in just under two seconds. The Fuji-Q Highland coaster races up and down a 170-foot top hat tower at 90 degrees. The whole ride clocks in at 55 seconds. (Because they go so fast, most of the coasters on this list are fairly short in duration.)

  • Fuji-Q Highland, Yamanashi, Japan
  • F1 Thrust Air coaster
06 of 12

Superman: Escape from Krypton: 100 mph

Superman: Escape from Krypton coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Six Flags

Superman: Escape from Krypton has an incredible 415-foot tall tower. It holds the distinction of being the first coaster to reach 100 mph. When it debuted in 1997 (as Superman: The Escape), it was the world's tallest and fastest coaster. However, it often fell shy of its theoretical top speed of 100 mph when it was running. The prototypical ride often broke down. In 2011, Six Flags made Superman over with new cars, and it is running higher and presumably faster. It also does not have as much downtime.

Note that a similar ride, Tower of Terror II (which had nothing to do with the same-named Disney drop tower ride) at Dreamworld in Queensland, Australia, also hit 100 mph. It closed in 2019.

07 of 12

Steel Dragon 2000: 95 mph (tie)

Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spaland, Japan
Holiday Point/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Unlike the rides that precede it on the world's fastest roller coasters list, Steel Dragon 2000 uses a traditional lift hill (rising a remarkable 318 feet). It takes a ​mighty long time to climb that hill, but the payoff is a face-melting speed of 95 mph.

  • Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Japan
  • Out and back terra-coaster
08 of 12

Fury 325: 95 mph (tie)

Fury-325-Carowinds-Preview.jpg
Carowinds

At its debut in 2015, Fury 325 laid claim as the world's tallest (at, wouldn't you know it, 325 feet) “Giga-Coaster.” Like Steel Dragon 2000, Fury 325 uses a traditional lift hill to climb its enormous lift hill.

  • Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Out and back Giga-Coaster
Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12

Millennium Force: 93 mph

Millennium Force Cedar Point coaster
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Cedar Point loves fast coasters. In fact, it has two that made the world's fastest thrill machines list. Reaching a (literally) dizzying 93 mph, the ride is so intense that some passengers may experience panic-stricken "grayout" moments while onboard. Oddly, after its terrifying first drop and crazy speeds, Millennium Force does not deliver any out-of-your-seat airtime that would be expected.

  • Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
  • Out and back Giga-Coaster
10 of 12

Leviathan: 92 mph

Leviathan
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

The fastest (and tallest) coaster in Canada, Leviathan is the first Giga-Coaster from Bolliger and Mabillard, makers of super-smooth and sleek coasters. Given B&M's "track" record, it's no surprise that Leviathan is quite smooth, despite its wild speed.

11 of 12

Orion: 91 mph

Orion coaster at Kings Island

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Opening in 2020, Orion will also be manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard and should offer a similarly captivating ride (even if it will be a tad slower). Along with standouts such as Diamondback, Banshee, and Mystic Timbers, the Giga-Coaster will further establish Kings Island as a thrill machine stronghold.

12 of 12

Intimidator 305: 90 mph

Intimidator 305 coaster at Kings Dominion
Arthur Levine.

Another "Giga-Coaster," Intimidator 305 is all about wild height, intense G-forces, and, of course, crazy speed. Forget inversions or gimmicky features. Think insanely fast. Note that shortly after the ride opened in 2010, Kings Dominion added trim brakes which slowed its original speed of 94 mph. In 2011, Kings Dominion modified the ride and removed the trim brakes. That put it back in the speed rankings but at a slightly slower 90 mph.

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