Clink. Clink. Clink. Those are usually the first sounds you hear as your car heads up the first hill of the track. If you’re like me, this is probably the most exciting part of your day. After the long wait, sometimes as long as two hours, you are finally buckled in and looking to sky, keeping your head against the head rest and knowing your arms will not be holding on to the grab bar— they will be in the air. Suddenly you’re looking downwards because gravity is forcing the coaster down at top speed.
I am such a roller coaster freak that I’ve decided to find the top ten must-ride roller coasters on the east coast for my fellow fanatics. However, they’re not in any particular order because it is just too hard to rank them.
Time Machine in Freestyle Music Park, Myrtle Beach, S.C. is probably the best coaster of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s depending which decade you’re on, that’s right, on as in riding on. This coaster has constant twisting and turning like a true roller coaster, and while you ride, you get to listen to great music from the decade whose doors you walk through to board. Don’t worry if you do not like the decade you’re on, just hope in line again and take another trip through time.
Dueling Dragons coasters are two coasters that duel to the finish at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Fla. The Ice Dragon battles against the Fire Dragon in a 55mph race. The two coasters intertwine, narrowly missing each other. At one point, they corkscrew around each other, and you’re no longer able to tell who is in your car and who the enemy is.
This coaster doesn’t use gravity to propel the cars forward. It shoots you up the hill with lightning speed. The Hulk, also at Islands of Adventure, tears through the sky, dips and turns. You have no idea where it is going next. The Hulk has a great ride time of over two minutes and well worth the wait.
Of course, included in this list is the tallest, fastest roller coaster on earth: Kingda Ka. This ride reaches 128mph with camel dips and plunging vertical spirals. This coaster travels world record heights of 456ft and includes death defying turns and zero G’s. The Kingda Ka is a bucket list-worthy coaster found in nearby Six Flags, N.J.
Have you ever ridden in a limo? How about a limo soaring through the air? In Disneyworld’s MGM Studios, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster takes you on a ride from Aerosmith’s practice session all the way across Los Angeles to their concert. Even if you aren’t a fan, you must ride this fast and impressively designed thrill.
You don’t have to wait until nighttime to ride this coaster in the dark because it soars through space. The only light on Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain is the stars and comments that pass you by. This amazing coaster is indoors with no way of knowing when you will drop or turn.
Don’t let the 121ft 97 degree drop scare you away from Hershey Park, Pa.’s Fahrenheit. The ride is fast with an inverted loop and multiple corkscrews. This colorful coaster makes you feel like a snake in the sky. As you look to either side, the track seems nonexistent. There only is the feeling of being rocketed through the air.
Apollo’s Chariot in Busch Gardens, Va. is the first sight you see as the tram takes you into the park. Its enormous hills rise above the trees like a sea monster. If hills are your favorite type of track, Apollo’s Chariot is the ride for you. It is king, excuse me, god of hills with one dip after another, and for those who love twists, this ride circles downward at the end.
Busch Gardens’ Alpengeist also makes this list. As the “Ghost of the Alps” takes you on a wild ride through snow covered scenery, you feel like you are freezing as the ride twists and turns out of control. For what seems like a century, you corkscrew up a mountain only to find yourself corkscrewing back down. Alpengeist is truly a ghost story to be afraid of.
Busch Gardens also boasts the Griffon, a stadium-style seating coaster with a 200ft drop. The coaster takes you up the first drop and gives you a great view because it stops and lets you look over the edge. As you fill with anxiety, you have no clue when it will drop you. When you do, you travel down, nearly missing a bridge. It has so many turns and loops that it doesn’t seem to end until you fly towards the water at the end of the ride leaving a tidal wave behind you.