Appreciating all that makes America special

Americana: Roller Coasters

This is Bizarro, Six Flags New England, given the Golden Ticket by Amusement Today magazine as Best Roller Coaster 2009. Uploaded by

I read the history of roller coasters, and let me tell you: boring. The thrills and speed possible now make anything constructed before about 1980 just seem quaint, like lace handkerchiefs.

What we want to know is where is the fastest, the tallest, the scariest roller coaster, and how can we get there? Here are the answers:

TALLEST: 456 feet – Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
BIGGEST DROP: 418 feet – Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
TALLEST VERTICAL LOOP: 145 feet – Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, TX
FASTEST: 128 mph – Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
LONGEST: 8,133 feet – Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Japan

Kingda Ka. Uploaded by

Even with these superlatives, Amusement Today magazine presented its Golden Ticket Award for the best roller coaster to Bizarro, at Six Flags New England.

And if you want the ultimate in thrills available, save up your dough and head to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Formula Rossa is scheduled to open there in October 2010, and here’s what coaster expert Arthur Levine said about it: “The coaster will accelerate from 0 to 100 km (62 miles) in 2 seconds, climb 52m (171 feet), and riders will experience 1.7 Gs. Formula Rossa will start inside the indoor theme park, accelerate through the dome and travel outside the park, and return to the loading station inside the building. The train’s cars will be made to look like flashy red Formula One Ferraris.” The top speed: 149 mph!

Take a ride on the mighty Kingda Ka:


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