3. Lisebergbanen: Liseberg, Gothenberg, Sweden
This terrain-hugging steel coaster was built in 1987 by the famous German coaster designer Anton Schwarzkopf and replaced the park's wooden scenic railway. Themed like railroad trains, the vehicles leave the station at the bottom of the hill and make a sharp left turn to climb the hillside to the top. The coaster utilizes the topography of the hill to incorporate a number of high-speed turns, including three highly banked "loops" that are basically lying on the steep slope of the hillside. The track is quite close to the ground, which makes it seem like it's going even faster than it is.
When it first opened in 1979, the Beast was the world's longest wooden coaster, at 7,539 feet. And it still is. Only the first lift hill can be seen from the queue line, since the majority of the expansive ride, covering 35 acres, is situated in the woods surrounding the park. The four-minute, ten-second ride features two lift hills, three tunnels, and a 540-degree helix finale along its disorienting course. Even though the coaster celebrated its 32nd anniversary in 2011, it is still a perennial favorite on most coaster enthusiasts' top 10 lists.
It is said that on a clear day, Canada, on the opposite shore of Lake Erie, can be seen from the top of this 12-year-old, 310-foot-high lift hill. It starts with a bang: a 300-foot drop off the 6,595-foot-long, high-speed (93 mph) runs. Although there are no inversions, the ride features several overbanked (up to 122 degrees) curves. Cedar Point is also home to 16 other coasters, including the first ones to break the 200- and 400-foot height barriers, Magnum XL-200 and Top Thrill Dragster, respectively.
6. Euro Mir: Europa Park, Rust, Germany
Located in the Black Forest region, Europa Park was originally conceived as a showplace for prototype rides manufactured by Mack Rides, but it has grown into the most popular amusement park in Germany. Among its eclectic collection of coasters is Euro Mir, which is a coaster with cars that spin as the train goes through an indoor and outdoor course. One highlight: The spiral lift "hill" takes place in complete darkness to the accompaniment of European techno music. The elevated track runs between several mirrored towers before encountering a couple of swoop turns near ground level—all while cars spin. Not for the queasy.
7. The Cyclone: Astroland Amusement Park, Brooklyn, New York
Easily the most famous roller coaster on the planet, the Cyclone (built in 1927) was originally one of three major wooden coasters in Coney Island. Known for its intense drops and strong force in the turns, this rickety, neck-snapping coaster is a mecca for coaster enthusiasts. Although there have been several attempts to replicate the Cyclone's track layout, or build even larger "Texas-sized" copies, the experience of the original has never been duplicated.
Do you feel like a kid when you ride a roller coaster?