America has some of the most beloved roller coasters in the world. If you’re seeking excitement, riding a roller coaster is one of the quickest, most fun ways to get your adrenaline going. Whether you’re looking for stomach-dropping intensity, an indoor adventure, or a heart-pounding log flume, there’s a perfect ride for you.
These US coasters are not for the faint of heart. Ride one of these favorite thrillers the next time you want to add some excitement to your day.
Skyrush, Hershey Park, Pennsylvania
Skyrush is perfect for riders who enjoy big drops. The roller coaster’s first drop is a massive 200 feet and propels riders downhill at 75 miles per hour. You’ll experience zero gravity as you fly over the hills of the roller coaster.
Cannibal, Lagoon Park, Utah
Lagoon Park in Utah features Cannibal—a coaster with a 208 foot climb, a beyond vertical free-fall that shoots riders into an underground tunnel, an inverted loop, and a water feature. If you’re looking for a thriller that has it all, look no further than this coaster.
Kingda Ka, Six Flags, New Jersey
The famous Kingda Ka is the world’s tallest and second fastest roller coaster in North America. Riders launch from 0–128 miles per hour in a matter of only 3.5 seconds, racing straight up a U-shaped hill and spiraling, then falling down that same mountainous hill.
Goliath, Illinois, Six Flags
Goliath in Six Flags of Illinois is the world’s tallest drop for a wooden roller coaster, reaching speeds of 72 miles per hour as it falls 180 feet. As if that wasn’t enough, Goliath is also the world’s steepest drop for a wooden roller coaster, reaching an 85-degree angle.
Afterburn, Carowinds, North Carolina
Afterburn in Carowinds mimics a fighter jet’s quick speeds and sudden flips. Riders will experience six inversions, a space drop, a vertical loop, and a zero gravity roll, amongst a number of other flips and turns. If you’re looking to feel like a fighter pilot jetting through the air, head to Charlotte for this thrill.
Millennium Force, Cedar Point, Ohio
Millennium Force is one of the most beloved steel coasters in the country. It flies over hills and races past lagoons and through tunnels. This Cedar Point coaster was the first to break 300 feet when it opened in 2000.
X2 Six Flags, California
X2 at Six Flags of California carts riders 200 feet into the air and drops them down at 76 miles per hour, traveling through flips and even two raven turns, which are half loops that transform into drops halfway through.
Lightning Rod, Tennessee
Lightning Rod goes from 0 to 45 miles per hour up 20 stories before dropping 165 feet and eventually hitting 73 miles per hour. This is the fastest speed of a wooden roller coaster in the world. Riders will hit 20 seconds of airtime, so this coaster is perfect for anyone who wants to feel as though they’re flying on a roller coaster.
Apollo’s Chariot, Busch Gardens
Based off the mythology of Apollo’s chariot, this coaster will surely get your adrenaline going. It features constant drops and reaches a top speed of 73 miles per hour. The coaster is perfect for riders who enjoy fast, thrilling drops.
Best Indoor Coasters
Sometimes, when it’s hot outside and you’re looking for thrills in a cooler environment, indoor coasters are the way to go. They also add an element of surprise that outdoor coasters don’t offer in broad daylight.
Flight of Fear, Kings Dominion, Ohio
Flight of fear at Kings Dominion launches riders from 0–54 miles per hour in only four seconds. The pitch-black indoor coaster features four inversions and is famed for its thrilling acceleration.
Fire in the Hole, Silver Dollar City, Missouri
Fire in the Hole is a family-oriented roller coaster that takes riders through a dark Ozark night. The story of the ride makes it especially thrilling. The coaster sets the scene that Baldknobbers have set a town on fire and riders can only escape through a fiery bride. Full of high speed drops and exciting, surprising scenery, this ride is exciting for everyone.
Rock n Roller Coaster, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Florida
This Aerosmith-themed indoor coaster shoots riders from 0–57 miles per hour in only 2.8 seconds while blasting Aerosmith hits. Riders race along with the band through traffic jams and past neon signs on the mock highway that makes up the indoor coaster.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Florida
This Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride will take fans of the worldwide book and movie phenomenon through the strictly concealed Gringotts bank. You’ll dive through cave-like passageways as you explore the hidden depths of this incredibly accurate model of the famed top-security bank.
Favorite Log Flumes
Log flumes are exciting blends of roller coasters and water slides, combining thrills and drops with huge splashes. The US is home to a number of beloved long flumes.
Splash Mountain, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Florida
Splash Mountain, a favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, contains about 950,000 gallons of water. It carries riders in log-shaped carts through three dips and a five story drop, all from the perspective of a rabbit fleeing a fox and bear that are chasing him.
Daredevil Falls, Dollywood, Tennessee
Daredevil Falls takes riders through an abandoned logging camp, dropping the boats over a 60-foot waterfall at 50 miles per hour. Riders should prepare to get wet because this thrilling log flume makes a wave-like splash.
Grizzly River Run, Disneyland, California
Grizzly River Run at Disneyland in California features eight-person rafts that carry riders through what looks like the remains of an old mining company. You’ll ride down the river together and fly down thrilling drops along the way.
If you’re looking for high-speed fun, plan a trip to visit one of the amusement parks across the country that is home to these legendary thrill rides.