The World's Fastest Roller Coasters

Titan Dusk 2
••• Courtesy of Six Flags
  • 01 of 17

    What a Rush!

    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 10 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.

    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.

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  • 02 of 17

    Number 1: Formula Rossa - 149.1 mph

    Formula Rossa coaster
    ••• Courtesy of Ferrari World
    • 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 from the desert sand.

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  • 03 of 17

    Number 2: Kingda Ka - 128 mph

    Kingda Ka
    ••• Chun Yip So / Flickr

    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. (It is still the tallest, however.) If speed is what you are after, Kingda Ka delivers.

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  • 04 of 17

    Number 3: Top Thrill Dragster - 120 mph

    Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point
    ••• Courtesy of Cedar 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 holy moly in no time. Top Thrill Dragster is essentially similar (if slightly slower and smaller) than Kingda Ka, but is smoother than the New Jersey ride.

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  • 05 of 17

    Number 4 (tie): Red Force - 112 mph

    Vertical Accelerator coaster at Ferrari Land
    ••• Courtesy of 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.

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  • 06 of 17

    Number 4 (tie): Dodonpa - 112 mph

    ••• Courtesy of Theme Park Review
    • Fuji-Q Highland, Yamanashi, Japan
    • F1 Thrust Air coaster

    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.

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  • 07 of 17

    Number 5 (tie): Superman: Escape from Krypton - 100 mph

    Superman Escape From Krypton
    ••• Courtesy of 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.

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  • 08 of 17

    Number 5 (tie): Tower of Terror II - 100 mph

    Tower of Terror Dreamworld
    ••• Courtesy of 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.

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  • 09 of 17

    Number 6 (tie): Steel Dragon 2000 - 95 mph

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

    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.

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  • 10 of 17

    Number 6 (tie): Fury 325 - 95 mph

    ••• Courtesy of Carowinds
    • 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.

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  • 11 of 17

    Number 7: Millennium Force - 93 mph

    Millennium Force Cedar Point coaster
    ••• Courtesy of 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.

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  • 12 of 17

    Number 8: Leviathan - 92 mph

    Leviathan Coaster
    ••• Courtesy of 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.

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  • 13 of 17

    Number 9: Intimidator 305 - 90 mph

    Intimidator 305
    ••• 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.

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  • 14 of 17

    Number 10 (tie): Goliath - 85 mph

    Goliath rollercoaster
    ••• 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, I nearly passed out from extreme positive G forces while enduring Goliath's punishing helixes.

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  • 15 of 17

    Number 10 (tie): Phantom's Revenge - 85 mph

    Phantom's Revenge
    ••• Courtesy of 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).

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  • 16 of 17

    Number 10 (tie): Titan - 85 mph

    Titan Dusk 2
    ••• Courtesy of Six Flags
    • 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.

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  • 17 of 17

    Unranked: Hyperion - 88 mph

    • Energylandia, Zator, Malopolskie, Poland
    • Mega-coaster

    When it opens in 2018, the mega-fast coaster will climb 262 feet, drop at a hairy 84 degrees and hit a potent 88 mph. It will be the second-fastest coaster in Europe.