The World's Fastest Roller Coasters

  • 01 of 17

    Honorable Mention: Xcelerator - 82 mph

    Xcelerator coaster
    ••• jvoves / Flickr / CC by 2.0

    Do you have a need for speed? Want to test your mettle against the world's speediest metal behemoths? The world's 11 fastest roller coasters are all made of steel (no wood coaster currently cracks the list), come in a variety of designs, and use an assortment of launch systems to catapult their rides into the record books. Hang on tight. Seven of the fastest roller coasters reach or exceed 100 mph. Yikes!

    If you are looking for speedy woodies, see the fastest wooden roller coasters. And if you want to ride a bunch of coasters, discover which theme parks have the most roller coasters in the world. Instead of quantity, maybe you go more for quality of thrills. If so, check out my rundown of the 11 scariest coasters.

    Honorable Mention: Xcelerator- 82 mph

    Considerably smaller and slower than either Kingda Ka or Top Thrill Dragster (but still plenty tall at 205 feet), the similar Xcelerator nonetheless reaches a...MORE bone-rattling speed in a matter of seconds. It certainly doesn't feel a heckuva lot slower than its enormous cousins when you are barreling down its straight launch track staring at the top hat tower ahead. If speed is relative, consider Xcelerator relatively fast.

    Read a review of Xcelerator.

    More Knott's Berry Farm Info:

    Continue to 2 of 17 below.
  • 02 of 17

    Honorable Mention: Furius Baco - 84 mph

    Furius Baco coaster
    ••• Port Aventura

    The utterly unique ride is designed for speed—and nothing but speed. It has no hills and few elements. A wing coaster, its seats are on the outside of the track. Furius Baco delivers a whopping 4.7 Gs.​

    Read a review of Furius Baco.

    Continue to 3 of 17 below.
  • 03 of 17

    Number 11 (tie): Goliath - 85 mph

    GoliathSFMM.jpg
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    Oh, it's fast all right. But fast for fast's sake isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to coasters. Case in point: More than the brief grayout I felt on Millennium Force (number 8 on the fastest coasters countdown), I nearly passed out from extreme positive G forces while enduring Goliath's punishing helixes.

    Read my (not particularly positive) review of Goliath.

    Continue to 4 of 17 below.
  • 04 of 17

    Number 11 (tie): Phantom's Revenge - 85 mph

    ••• Kennywood
    • Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
    • Hypercoaster

    The coaster once known as Steel Phantom debuted with four inversions. As The Roller Coaster at New York New York demonstrates, inversions at such high speeds can be punishing. Recasting the ride as Phantom's Revenge in 2001, Kennywood ditched the loops, thereby placing the focus on the coaster's powerful speed (where, I believe, the focus belongs on hypercoasters).

    Continue to 5 of 17 below.
  • 05 of 17

    Number 11 (tie): Titan - 85 mph

    Titan-Dusk-2.jpg
    ••• Six Flags. Used with permission.
    • Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas
    • Hypercoaster

    The 3-minute-and-30-second ride, which uses a traditional lift chain, soars down a 255-foot first drop and zooms through a 120-foot long tunnel. It is similar to Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

    Continue to 6 of 17 below.
  • 06 of 17

    Number 10: Intimidator 305 - 90 mph

    Intimidator305.jpg
    ••• © Arthur Levine.

    As a "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 Intimidator 305 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.

    Read a review of Intimidator 305.

    Continue to 7 of 17 below.
  • 07 of 17

    Number 9: Leviathan - 92 mph

    Leviathan-Coaster.jpg
    ••• Cedar Fair Parks

    The fastest 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.

    Read a preview of Leviathan.

    Continue to 8 of 17 below.
  • 08 of 17

    Number 8: 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 I experienced a panic-stricken "grayout" moment when I rode it. Oddly, after its terrifying first drop, I found Millennium Force somewhat lackluster.

    More Cedar Point Info:

    Continue to 9 of 17 below.
  • 09 of 17

    Number 7 (tie): Fury 325 - 95 mph

    Fury-325-Carowinds-Preview.jpg
    ••• Carowinds. Used with permission.
    • Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Out and back Giga-Coaster

    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.

    Continue to 10 of 17 below.
  • 10 of 17

    Number 7 (tie): Steel Dragon 2000 - 95 mph

    Steel Dragon 2000 coaster
    ••• Theme Park Review
    • Nagashima Spa Land, Nagashima, Japan
    • Out and back terra-coaster

    Unlike the rides that follow 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 ​loooooong time to climb that hill, but the payoff is a face-melting speed of 95 mph.

    Continue to 11 of 17 below.
  • 11 of 17

    Number 6 (tie): Superman: Escape from Krypton - 100 mph

    SupermanEscapeFromKrypton.jpg
    ••• Six Flags. Used with permission.

    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.

    More Six Flags Magic Mountain Info:

    Continue to 12 of 17 below.
  • 12 of 17

    Number 6 (tie): Tower of Terror II - 100 mph

    Tower-of-Terror-Dreamworld.jpg
    ••• Theme Park Review
    • Dreamworld, Queensland, Australia
    • Magnetic induction shuttle coaster

    Using magnetic motors like the Superman ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Tower of Terror (which has nothing to do with the same-named Disney drop tower ride) launches straight ahead, rises up an L-shaped track, stops at the top, and retraces its route ​backwards reaching 100 mph in both directions.

    Continue to 13 of 17 below.
  • 13 of 17

    Number 5: Dodonpa - 107 mph

    Dodonpa.jpg
    ••• Theme Park Review
    • Fuji-Q Highland, Yamanashi, Japan
    • F1 Thrust Air coaster

    Using a compressed air launch, Dodonpa goes from 0 to 107 mph in just under two seconds. Unlike Germany's ring racer, 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.

    Continue to 14 of 17 below.
  • 14 of 17

    Number 4: Red Force - 112 mph

    Vertical Accelerator coaster at Ferrari Land
    ••• Port Aventura

    Scheduled to open in 2017 as part of Ferrari Land (inside PortAventura), Red Force will use magnetic motors to launch its trains at 112 mph towards a top hat tower that will look similar to Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka (which are listed later in the fastest coaster rankings). It will be the fastest and tallest coaster in Europe.

    Continue to 15 of 17 below.
  • 15 of 17

    Number 3: Top Thrill Dragster - 120 mph

    Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point
    ••• Cedare Point.
    • Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
    • Hydraulic launch rocket coaster

    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 yee-ahhhhh! in no time.

    Read a review of Top Thrill Dragster

    More Cedar Point Info:

    • Magnum XL-200 - Review of the original hypercoaster and one-time coaster speed champ.
    • Maverick - Review of Cedar Point's launch coaster
    Continue to 16 of 17 below.
  • 16 of 17

    Number 2: Kingda Ka - 128 mph

    KIngda.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 but has since been eclipsed. (It is still the tallest, however.) It's similar to Top Thrill Dragster (although faster), but it feels rougher. If speed is what you are after, Kingda Ka delivers.

    Read a review of Kingda Ka

    More Kingda Ka Info:

    Continue to 17 of 17 below.
  • 17 of 17

    Number 1: Formula Rossa - 149.1 mph

    Formula Rossa coaster
    ••• Ferrari World
    • At Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates
    • Hydraulic launch coaster manufactured by Intamin AG of Switzerland

    Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines! The fastest roller coaster on the planet reaches an astonishing top speed of 149.1 mph (240 kmh). That, coaster fans, is fast. Formula Rossa accelerates from 0 to 100 km (62 miles) in 2 seconds, climbs 52m (171 feet), 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.