The World's 10 Steepest Roller Coasters

Cannibal roller coaster at Lagoon
••• The Cannibal at Lagoon. Courtesy of Lagoon
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    Honorable Mention: 90-Degree Rides

    Kingda Ka, World's Tallest and Fastest Roller Coaster
    ••• Kingda Ka. Joe McNally/Getty Images

    I'm not quite sure that I completely understand the appeal of the world's steepest roller coasters. Other features, such as the world's fastest coasters or the world's tallest coasters make perfect sense. What thrill-seekers wouldn't want to tackle insane speeds or extreme heights, attributes that are intrinsic to the venerable rides? But coasters with drops that are beyond 90 degrees? What's the point?

    After all, roller coasters with inversions such as loops or corkscrews have been sending riders careening head over heels into full 360-degree acrobatic maneuvers for years. Still, there's something wild about cresting a coaster hill and not being able to see the bottom of the steeper-than-freefall drop. And it can be weird and wonderful to experience the drop with the front of the train angling inward as it barrels down the hill.

    Also, steep coasters give parks great marketing hooks. In addition to features such as speed, height, track length, track layout, and launch mechanism, parks...MORE can hype their coasters' crazy angles of descent.

    So which coasters are the steepest? (And by "steepest," I am referring to the angle of descent of the rides' primary drops.) Let's begin by looking at a couple of coasters that fall a "mere" 90 degrees -- that's straight down, folks. There are dozens of rides with 90-degree drops; these are two randomly chosen examples. Then, let's count down in reverse order to the steepest roller coasters.

    Honorable Mention: SheiKra- 90 degrees

    • Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa Bay, Florida
    • Floorless diving coaster
    • Top speed: 70 mph
    • Drop: 200 feet

    North America's first diving coaster, SheiKra takes riders to the precipice in a single 24-passenger, precariously open car, dangles them for a few heart-skipping seconds, then drops them straight down a 200-foot hill. And that's only the beginning of this wild ride.

    Honorable Mention: Kingda Ka- 90 degrees

    • Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey
    • Hydraulic launch rocket coaster
    • Height: 456 feet (world's tallest in 2006)
    • Top speed: 128 mph (world's fastest in 2006)

    It's 90 degrees straight up and 90 degrees down Kingda Ka's 456-foot, you-have-to-be-kidding-me, top hat tower. If that's not insane enough for you, the coaster reaches 128 mph both during its launch toward the tower and as it scales down the other side of the tower.

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  • 02 of 22

    Number 10 (tie): Maverick- 95 Degrees

    Maverick at Cedar Point
    ••• Craig Lloyd/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
    • Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
    • Launched terrain coaster
    • Height: 105 feet
    • Top speed: 70 mph

    It's not anywhere near the tallest coaster at coaster-crazy Cedar Point. And it's not the fastest. But, IMO, Maverick is the best. With its multiple launches, unique car design, silky smooth ride, and -- yes -- 95-degree drop, Maverick has a lot of compelling features and is incredibly fun.

    Read a review of Maverick.

    More Cedar Point Info:

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  • 03 of 22

    Number 10 (tie): Mystery Mine- 95 Degrees

    Mystery Mine, Dollywood
    ••• Jeremy Thompson/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
    • Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Top speed: 46 mph

    Many of the contenders on the steepest coaster list, including Mystery Mine, are "Euro-Fighter" models from the ride manufacturer, Gerstlauer. The rides generally feature large single-car trains (Mystery Mine's cars have two rows and seat eight passengers), climb 90 degrees up a top hat tower and soar down the other side of the tower at a vertical angle of descent greater than 90 degrees--in this case 95 degrees. What makes Mystery Mine unique is that it is a themed ride (what's it about? it's a mystery!) and part of the action takes place indoors.

    Read a preview of Mystery Mine.

    More Dollywood Info:

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  • 04 of 22

    Number 10 (tie): Dare Devil Dive and Krater - 95 Degrees

    Daredevil Dive
    ••• Wikimedia Commons

    Another Euro-Fighter coaster, Dare Devil Dive is a bit taller and faster than Mystery Mine at Dollywood. Helping to make its beyond-vertical, 95-degree drop a bit more freaky, the trains on Dare Devil Dive pause for a few agonizing moments at the top of the lift hill and let passengers contemplate the wackiness that is about to befall them.

    Another 95-degree-drop coaster is Krater at Parque Nacional Del Café in Montenegro, Colombia.

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  • 05 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Untamed- 97 Degrees

    Untamed at Canobie Lake Park
    ••• Canobielakepark/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
    • Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 72 feet
    • Top speed: 43.5 mph

    A smaller version of the standard model, Untamed is known as a "Compact Euro-Fighter." It does not include the themed elements that Dollywood's Mystery Mine offers, but it does feature three inversions, including an Immelmann and a Zero-G Roll -- and of course a beyond-vertical drop (in this case, 97 degrees).

    More Canobie Lake Park Info:

    • Canobie Lake Park Photo Gallery
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  • 06 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Fahrenheit- 97 Degrees

    Fahrenheit at Hershey Park
    ••• Matt Chan/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
    • Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
    • Steel vertical lift looping coaster
    • Height: 121 feet
    • Top speed: 58 mph

    One of the non Euro-Fighter models on the steepest coasters list, Fahrenheit (as in 97 degrees Fahrenheit, get it?) nonetheless features a vertical lift and -- of course -- a 97-degree drop. The seats are arranged stadium-style, the better to give all riders a clear view of the crazy elements such as a 107-foot inverted loop and an inverted corkscrew roll.

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  • 07 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Vild-Svinet- 97 Degrees

    Vild-Svinet rollercoaster
    ••• Håkan Dahlström/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
    • BonBon-Land, Holme-Olstrup, Sjælland, Denmark
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 72 feet
    • Top speed: 45 mph

    Like many of the other Euro-Fighters on the steepest coasters list, Vild-Svinet climbs a moderate height (72 feet), reaches a middling (in coaster terms) speed (45 mph) and has a beyond-vertical 97-degree drop. It also includes some camel-back hills for brief bursts of airtime. By the way, "Vild-Svinet" is Danish for "wild boar." Oink oink!

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  • 08 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Typhoon- 97 Degrees

    Typhoon roller coaster
    ••• Michael Welsing/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
    • Bobbejaanland, Lichtaart, Antwerp, Belgium
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 84 feet
    • Top speed: 50 mph

    One of the larger Euro-Fighter coasters, Typhoon climbs higher, goes faster, and lasts longer (a full 1:30, compared to the 1:00 duration of some of the other rides) than many of its counterparts at other parks. Its double heartline roll and other elements exert a strong 5G-dose of positive g-forces.

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  • 09 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Speed: No Limits- 97 Degrees

    Oakwood Speed roller coaster
    ••• Stefan Scheer/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
    • Oakwood Theme Park, Narberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 115 feet
    • Top speed: 59 mph

    An even bigger Euro-Fighter model than Typhoon, Speed: No Limits reaches a fairly lofty 115 feet and tops out at an almost blistering 59 mph.

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  • 10 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Rage- 97 Degrees

    Rage! roller coaster
    ••• whatleydude/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
    • Adventure Island, Southend On Sea, Essex, England, UK
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 72 feet
    • Top speed: 43 mph

    One of the "Compact Euro-Fighters," Rage is almost half the size of some of the larger coasters on the list. It "only" climbs 72 feet and reaches a "mere" 43 mph (which may not sound like much, but barreling down a 97-degree coaster drop, 43 mph can be quite exhilarating). Speaking of 97 degrees, a lot of the Euro-Fighter models have a 97-degree angle of descent -- as you have surely noticed if you have been clicking through the steepest coaster list. And there are more 97-degree-drop coasters to come.

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  • 11 of 22

    Number 9 (tie): Huracan- 97 Degrees

    Huracan roller coaster
    ••• Courtesy of Belantis
    • Belantis, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 105 feet
    • Top speed: 53 mph

    A custom-built, and relatively large Euro-Fighter model, Huracan climbs and drops over 100 feet, reaches a maximum speed of 53 mph as it races down its 97-degree drop, and lasts 1:30. Among its somewhat unique elements, the ride features interlocking corkscrews.

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    Number 9 (tie): Fluch von Novgorod- 97 Degrees

    Fluch von Novgorod
    ••• Courtesy of Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH/Wikimedia Commons
    • Hansa Park, Sierksdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 131 feet
    • Top speed: 62 mph

    Possibly the fastest Euro-Fighter coaster at the time it was built (2009), Fluch von Novgorod (which means "curse of Novgorod," a city in Russia) is also unique in that it is a launched coaster that uses LSM motors to catapult its trains from 0 to 62 mph in 1.4 seconds. Like Mystery Mine at Dollywood, Fluch von Novgorod also features indoor ride buildings and a themed story (presumably about the odd-sounding Russian curse).

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    Number 9 (tie): Falcon, Eurofighter, Predator, and Serpent- 97 Degrees

    Falcon Duinrell
    ••• milst1/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
    • Duinrell, Wassenaar, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 72 feet
    • Top speed: 43 mph

    Another "Compact Euro-Fighter," Falcon is apparently an off-the-shelf production model that shares the same specs as a number of other coasters. Like the other rides, the coaster includes an Immelmann roll and zero-G roll among its elements.

    Other 97-degree-drop coasters are Serpent at Parc Sinbad in Casablanca, Morocco, Predator at IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai, UAE, and Eurofighter at Zoosafari Fasanolandia in Fasano, Italy.

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  • 14 of 22

    Number 8: Saw - The Ride- 100 Degrees

    The Saw at Thorpe Park
    ••• Courtesy of Thorpe Park
    • Thorpe Park, Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK
    • Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 100 feet
    • Top speed: 55 mph

    The custom Euro-Fighter is themed to the grisly Saw movies. In addition to the usual coaster mayhem, there are some set pieces, including rotating saw blades, to set the tone.

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  • 15 of 22

    Number 7: Monster- 101 Degrees

    The Monster coaster at Adventureland in Iowa
    ••• Courtesy of Adventureland

    Monster was manufactured by the same company that builds the Euro-Fighter coasters, but it is a different model. Unlike most of the Euro-Fighters, the Adventureland ride reaches a robust 65 mph and includes five inversions.

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    Number 6: Steel Hawg- 111 Degrees

    Steel Hawg roller coaster
    ••• Patrick McGarvey/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    Another one of the few non-Euro-Fighter models on the steepest coaster countdown, Steel Hawg also uses single-car trains (with a total of four passengers). Unlike many of the other coasters on this list, Steel Hawg incorporates Wild Mouse-style hairpin turns to amp up the thrills.

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    Number 5: Mumbo Jumbo- 112 Degrees

    Mumbo Jumbo roller coaster
    ••• Courtesy of Flamingo Land
    • Flamingo Land, Malton, Yorkshire, England, UK
    • Steel coaster
    • Height: 98 feet

    Similar to Steel Hawg (and made by the same manufacturer), Mumbo Jumbo (nice name!) climbs about as high, goes about as fast, and is not a Euro-Fighter. It also shuttles back and forth in a compact space and features Wild Mouse-like hairpin turns.

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    Number 4: Timber Drop- 113 Degrees

    Timber Drop roller coaster
    ••• Freddo/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0
    • Fraispertuis City, Jeanménil, Lorraine, France
    • Steel coaster
    • Height: 59 feet
    • Top speed: 41 mph

    Another ride from the manufacturer of Steel Hawg and Mumbo Jumbo, Timber Drop features similar specs and offers a similar ride.

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  • 19 of 22

    Number 3: Cannibal- 116 Degrees

    Cannibal roller coaster at Lagoon
    ••• Courtesy of Lagoon
    • Lagoon, Farmington, Utah
    • Steel coaster
    • Height: 208 feet
    • Top speed: 70 mph

    Opened in 2015, Cannibal features an enclosed, vertical lift hill and an incredibly steep 116-degree drop. It is one of the highlights at Lagoon.

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    Number 2: Crazy Bird- 120 Degrees

    Crazy Bird roller coaster
    ••• Courtesy of Theme Park Review
    • Happy Valley, Tianjin, China
    • El Loco-style coaster
    • Height: 98 feet

    One of the world's steepest coasters is located at an indoor theme park in China. In addition to its beyond-90-degree drop, Crazy Bird includes two inversions: a dive loop and an in-line twist.

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    Number 1 (tie): Green Lantern- 121 Degrees

    Green Lantern roller coast
    ••• Phalinn Ooi/themeparkgc/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
    • Warner Bros. Movie World, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    • Steel coaster
    • Top speed: 41 mph

    This is an "El Loco" model, similar to Mumbo Jumbo (although Green Lantern is a bit steeper). There have been conflicting reports about the actual angle of descent with numbers ranging from 120 degrees to over 122 degrees.

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  • 22 of 22

    Number 1 (tie): Takabisha- 121 Degrees

    Takabisha roller coaster
    ••• Alex Brogan/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
    • Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan
    • Launched Euro-Fighter coaster
    • Height: 141 feet
    • Top speed: 62 mph

    A custom Euro-Fighter, Takabisha is a launched coaster. Instead of using a traditional lift hill, it uses magnetic launch motors to blast its cars from 0 to 62 mph in 2 seconds. In addition to holding the record for the highest angle of descent -- a crazy 121 degrees -- the coaster also offers seven inversions and a nearly 2-minute ride.

    Fuji-Q Highland, a major park in Japan, offers a number of record-seeking coasters, including Dodonpa, one of the fastest roller coasters in the world and Fujiyama, one of the longest and tallest roller coasters in the world.