Top 25 Wooden Roller Coasters Ranked (2024)

Top 25 Wooden Roller Coasters

Rollercoasters have been around for over 600 years. The earliest coasters were ice slides supported by wood planks. Eventually, these turned into wagons made of wood, and by the 1700s, the earliest prototypes of rollercoasters were already operational.

Wooden rollercoasters have a special place not just in history but also in every rollercoaster enthusiast’s heart. Riders prefer wooden coasters over metal coasters because they want a classic experience and a smooth ride.

They also appreciate thrilling drops, tighter turns, and better gravitational effects. So, any resource that ranks the top wooden rollercoasters must consider these aspects.

Wooden rollercoasters can be compared against one another by comparing their speed, drop, and track length. That’s exactly what this resource does.

The top wooden rollercoasters at a glance are Phoenix, Voyage, and Thunderhead. But knowing the top three is not enough for a roller coaster enthusiast.

So worry not. In this article, 25 of the most critically and commercially acclaimed rollercoasters in the US will be found. But first, let’s consider the averages.

But first, here’s national data for wooden roller coasters (averages consolidated):

  • Earliest Operation Date: 1902
  • Park: 100+
  • Location: Almost every state
  • Capacity: 24 to 36 riders per train
  • Cost: $3 million to $8 million
  • Height: 100 ft
  • Drop: 95 ft
  • Length: 3,000 ft
  • Speed: 55 mph
RollercoasterParkDropSpeed
PhoenixKnoebels Amusement Resort72 ft45 mph
The VoyageHoliday World & Splashin’ Safari154 ft67 mph
El ToroSix Flags Great Adventure176 ft70 mph
ThunderheadDollywood100 ft53.7 mph
Boulder DashLake Compounce115 ft60 mph
BeastKings Island141 ft64.78 mph
Outlaw RunSilver Dollar City162 ft68 mph
GhostRiderKnott’s Berry Farm108 ft56 mph
Ravine Flyer 2Waldameer120 ft60 mph
Mystic TimbersKings Island98 ft53 mph
Gold StrikerCalifornia’s Great America103.3 ft53.7 mph
Jack RabbitKennywood70 ft45 mph
CycloneLuna Park85 ft60 mph
Shivering Timbers Michigan’s Adventure110 ft57 mph
ThunderboltKennywood90 ft55 mph
LegendHoliday World113 ft59 mph
Lightning RacerHersheypark90 ft51 mph
Flying TurnsKnoebels Amusement Resort50 ft24 mph
ProwlerWorlds of Fun85.9 ft51.2 mph
CometSix Flags Great Escape87 ft55 mph
RavenHoliday World85 ft50 mph
TwisterKnoebels Amusement Resort89.6 ft51 mph
Giant DipperSanta Cruz Beach Boardwalk65 ft55 mph
Boardwalk BulletKemah Boardwalk92 ft51 mph
GoliathSix Flags Great America180 ft72 mph

Phoenix

Phoenix
  • Earliest Operation Date: June 15, 1985 
  • Park: Knoebels Amusement Resort
  • Location: Elysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 40°52′42″N 76°30′23″W
  • Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters 
  • Designer: Herbert Paul Schmeck
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Cost: $1.5 Million
  • Height: 78 ft 
  • Drop: 72 ft
  • Length: 3,200 ft
  • Speed: 45 mph

The Phoenix offers a unique experience that starts off with a sharp turn and then engulfs the riders in darkness before thrilling them with speed, a pause, and then a free fall.

The entire ride lasts 2 minutes and packs in a punch that has most passengers coming back for seconds. It has ranked #1 consistently in visitor-voted contests and has received critical acclaim in the last decade.

If you are a rollercoaster enthusiast visiting the Knoebels Amusement Resort, you must take a ride aboard the Phoenix.

  • The ride lasts a total of 2 minutes. 
  • Phoenix ranked #1 in the NAPHA Members Survey for the Favorite Wood Roller Coaster category for ten consecutive years.
  • From 1947 to 1980, Phoenix was known as The Rocket
  • Because of its historical importance, Phoenix has received the Coaster Landmark designation by American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE).

The Voyage

The Voyage
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 6, 2006 
  • Park: Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
  • Location: Santa Claus, Indiana
  • Coordinates: 38.1213°N 86.9115°W
  • Manufacturer: The Gravity Group 
  • Designer: Mike Graham, Korey Kiepert, Larry Bill, Chad Miller, and Will Koch
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $6.5 million
  • Height: 163 ft  
  • Drop: 154 ft
  • Length: 6,442 ft
  • Speed: 67 mph

The Voyage has a long track, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the ride with its thrilling twists and turns. Initially, there is a long upward incline, after which you get one of the steepest drops, followed by a series of tight turns and multiple wooden tunnels.

It is an intense ride and is often considered the standard setter among wooden rollercoasters. The aesthetic appeal of long wooden tracks and the design brilliance that allows it to retain its speed are all worthy of praise, which The Voyage gets plenty of.

  • The Voyage has been a top 5 wooden rollercoaster in the Golden Ticket Awards for 17 consecutive years. 
  • It is ranked #1 for its airtime, which is 24.3 seconds (the highest among wooden roller coasters).
  • It has the most underground tunnels for a wooden rollercoaster (5 total).

El Toro

El Toro
  • Earliest Operation Date: June 11, 2006 
  • Park: Six Flags Great Adventure (Plaza del Carnaval)
  • Location: Jackson Township, New Jersey
  • Coordinates: 40°8′19.90″N 74°26′4.67″W
  • Manufacturer: Intamin 
  • Designer: Werner Stengel
  • Capacity: 36 riders per train
  • Cost: $28 million
  • Height: 181 ft 
  • Drop: 176 ft
  • Length: 4,400 ft
  • Speed: 70 mph

El Toro’s characteristic feature is its rapid angle shifts, which tilt the train left and right in short succession. The track has an incline and a plateau at the start, which makes it easy for riders to forget how high they’ve been pulled before the initial drop.

  • El Toro has been a top 10 wooden rollercoaster at the Golden Ticket Awards for 16 consecutive years. 
  • El Toro is Spanish for The Bull and is likely a reference to the bumpiness of a rodeo bull ride.
  • The coaster has a maximum vertical angle of 76°

Thunderhead

Thunderhead
  • Earliest Operation Date: April 3, 2004 
  • Park: Dollywood
  • Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • Coordinates: 35°47′48″N 83°31′55″W
  • Manufacturer: Great Coasters International 
  • Designer: Mike Boodley
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $7 million
  • Height: 100.4 ft 
  • Drop: 100 ft
  • Length: 3,230 ft
  • Speed: 53.7 mph

Thunderhead is a 2.5-minute ride with plenty of long, semi-vertical drops. The train is tilted during much of Thunderhead’s latter half. It offers a decent mix of ride longevity and intensity. Riders often rave about its airtime and smoothness, so if you are all about those, then you must have Thunderhead on your checklist.

  • Thunderhead has a hundred-feet drop 
  • 2 million screws were used in its construction
  • Thunderhead has a maximum vertical angle of 60°

Boulder Dash

Boulder Dash
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 21, 2000 
  • Park: Lake Compounce
  • Location: Bristol, Connecticut
  • Coordinates: 41.639187°N 72.924540°W
  • Manufacturer: Custom Coasters International 
  • Designer: Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $6 million
  • Height: 110 ft 
  • Drop: 115 ft
  • Length: 4,725 ft
  • Speed: 60 mph

With lush green surroundings and a mellow start, Boulder Dash lulls you into a false sense of security, bordering on disappointment. And that’s what makes what comes next so fresh and exciting. 

There’s sudden acceleration 30 seconds into the ride. Most of the thrill comes from speed, and the track doesn’t feature steep angles, tight bends, or gimmicky inversion. The ride is a classic, and you can enjoy it with your family.

  • Boulder Dash is twice as long as most wooden rollercoaster tracks in the US. 
  • The ride has been a top-ten position holder in the Golden Ticket Awards for 21 consecutive years.

Beast

Beast
  • Earliest Operation Date: April 13, 1979 
  • Park: Kings Island
  • Location: Mason, Ohio
  • Coordinates: 39.3402°N 84.2660°W
  • Manufacturer: Kings Island 
  • Designer: Al Collins and Jeff Gramke
  • Capacity: 36 riders per train
  • Cost: $3.2 million
  • Height: 110 ft 
  • Drop: 141 ft
  • Length: 7,361 ft
  • Speed: 64.78 mph

The Beast’s duration is almost twice the national average for wooden rollercoasters. You have 4 minutes and 10 seconds (sometimes 5 minutes) to enjoy the ride. You’ll love the train’s smooth movement, the prolonged first drop, and the suspended tunnels through which you’ll zip at over 60 mph.

  • The Beast is a world record holder for track length (7,361 ft) 
  • It is also among the tallest wooden rollercoasters (one of two).
  • The Beast has been among the top 10 favorite wooden rollercoasters at the Golden Ticket Awards for 22 consecutive years.

Outlaw Run

Outlaw Run
  • Earliest Operation Date: March 13, 2013 
  • Park: Silver Dollar City
  • Location: Branson, Missouri
  • Coordinates: 36°40′05″N 93°20′24″W
  • Manufacturer: Rocky Mountain Construction 
  • Designer: Alan Schilke
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $10 million
  • Height: 107 ft 
  • Drop: 162 ft
  • Length: 2,937 ft
  • Speed: 68 mph

Outlaw Run has been operational for nearly a decade, which makes it relatively recent compared to some of the older wooden coasters. Its somewhat modern design is its advantage. 

Unlike many wooden coasters made in (or before) the 90s, Outlaw Run has a plateau before its steepest drop. Riders enjoy the above view before they’re thrown into a metaphorical blender with plenty of twists and three memorable inversions.

  • The Beast has been among the top 10 wooden rollercoasters at the Golden Ticket Awards ever since its launch. 
  • The rollercoaster has given over 54 million rides to date.
  • It is among the top 5 fastest wooden rollercoasters in the world.

GhostRider

GhostRider
  • Earliest Operation Date: December 8, 1998 
  • Park: Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Location: Buena Park, California
  • Coordinates: 33°50′31″N 117°59′55″W
  • Manufacturer: Custom Coasters International 
  • Designer: Robin Hall
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $24 million
  • Height: 118 ft
  • Drop: 108 ft
  • Length: 4,533 ft
  • Speed: 56 mph

You’ll love the Ghostrider at Knott’s Berry Farm if you like the “classic-ness” of wooden coasters. This one isn’t the fastest or the bendiest, yet it consistently ranks among the top favorites of wooden rollercoaster enthusiasts simply because of the authenticity of the experience it offers. 

Nothing about this ride feels artificial or gimmicky. It’s just a long, tall rollercoaster that gives you exactly the experience you expect from one built in the 90s.

  • It cost $24 million to construct the GhostRider 
  • It was constructed using 50,000 lb of nails
  • The ride lasts 2 minutes and 40 seconds

Ravine Flyer 2

Ravine Flyer 2
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 17, 2008 
  • Park: Waldameer
  • Location: Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 42.109256°N 80.157041°W
  • Manufacturer: The Gravity Group  
  • Designer: The Gravity Group 
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $6 million
  • Height: 85 ft 
  • Drop: 120 ft
  • Length: 2,900 ft
  • Speed: 60 mph

One thing you’ll notice when riding Ravine Flyer 2 is its staggering 120 ft drop. Its steep inclines are the source of much of the thrill it offers in the 1.5 minutes that it lasts. The coaster is a hybrid one, as its wood tracks are supported by a steel frame. So, you get the speed and stability of a metal coaster with the old-timey vibe of wooden tracks.

  • Ravine Flyer II has three drops 
  • The coaster has an average of one airtime hill every 10 seconds. 

Mystic Timbers

Mystic Timbers
  • Earliest Operation Date: April 13, 2017 
  • Park: Kings Island
  • Location: Mason, Ohio
  • Coordinates: 39.3412°N 84.2686°W
  • Manufacturer: Great Coasters International 
  • Designer: Skyline Design
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $15 million
  • Height: 109 ft 
  • Drop: 98 ft
  • Length: 3,265 ft
  • Speed: 53 mph

Mystic Timbers is an award-winning rollercoaster with an uberarch for a lift hill and some serious air time. The coaster is over 3000 feet long and upholds its lumberyard and woodworking themes throughout the course of the ride. Even the queue area and the station have woodworking-inspired motifs. So, if you love timber, you’ll definitely love Mystic Timbers.

  • It cost $15 million to construct Mystic Timbers  
  • Mystic Timbers is one of the longest wooden rollercoasters in the world

Gold Striker

Gold Striker
  • Earliest Operation Date: April 30, 2013 
  • Park: California’s Great America
  • Location: Santa Clara, California 
  • Coordinates: 37°23′48.26″N 121°58′29.76″W
  • Manufacturer: Great Coasters International 
  • Designer: Jeff Pike
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Cost: $10 million
  • Height: 108.2 ft 
  • Drop: 103.3 ft
  • Length: 3,197 ft
  • Speed: 53.7 mph

Gold Striker is one of the tallest and fastest wooden rollercoasters in California. From its 3000 ft+ track length to a steep drop into the longest covered descent, so much about this coaster is perfect. Unfortunately, there are frequent shutdowns at the park where it is located, which lowers this coaster’s ranking.

  • With a track height of 103.3 ft, Gold Striker is the tallest wooden coaster in Northern California.
  • The coaster has a G-force of 4.2 g

Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit
  • Earliest Operation Date: June 18, 1920 
  • Park: Kennywood
  • Location: West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 40°23′12″N 79°51′46″W
  • Manufacturer: Harry C. Baker 
  • Designer: John A. Miller
  • Capacity: 18 riders per train 
  • Cost: $50,000
  • Height: 40 ft 
  • Drop: 70 ft
  • Length: 2,132 ft
  • Speed: 45 mph

This rollercoaster is reminiscent of old steam engine trains. It starts off like a sightseeing tour, moving at a steady pace across a scenic route. But before you know it, you’re past the lift hill heading for the double dip, which gives you an “out of control” feeling only a classic wooden rollercoaster can give.

The Jack Rabbit isn’t particularly tall or speedy, but it has a special place in many people’s hearts because it has been around since the 1920s. This ride is as classic as a wooden rollercoaster can get.

  • It cost $50,000 to make the Jack Rabbit back in 1920. That’s $766,865 in today’s money. 
  • This rollercoaster is half as tall as most wooden rollercoasters in America.

Cyclone

Cyclone
  • Earliest Operation Date: June 26, 1927 
  • Park: Luna Park
  • Location: Coney Island, Brooklyn
  • Coordinates: 40°34′27″N 73°58′40″W
  • Manufacturer: Baker/Keenan 
  • Designer: Vernon Keenan
  • Capacity: 24 seats per train
  • Cost: $175,000
  • Height: 85 ft 
  • Drop: 85 ft
  • Length: 2,640 ft
  • Speed: 60 mph

The Cyclone is a thrilling ride with a looping track that you’ll zip across once the slow incline lulls you into a false sense of security. For over 90 years, the Cyclone has been a must-ride for Coney Island visitors. 

Many residents consider it a part of their teenhood and ride it on occasion out of pure nostalgia. On paper, the Cyclone doesn’t out-speed or out-drop most wooden coasters in the state. But its scenic location, tight loop-de-loop, and historical significance make it stand out.

  • The Cyclone is listed in the US National Register of Historic Places 
  • The ride lasts 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Shivering Timbers

Shivering TImbers
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 23, 1998 
  • Park: Michigan’s Adventure
  • Location: Muskegon County, Michigan
  • Coordinates: 43°20′32″N 86°16′34″W
  • Manufacturer: Custom Coasters International 
  • Designer: Shivering Timbers
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $4.5 million
  • Height: 122 ft 
  • Drop: 110 ft
  • Length: 5,383 ft
  • Speed: 57 mph

Shivering Timbers is a ride you’ll enjoy the most from the backseat, where you’ll feel weightless. With multiple airtime hills and a super steady track, the ride gives you a classic wooden coaster experience. And it lasts a while. 

Shivering Timbers has an out-and-back layout with a track length of over 5000 feet. It’s a must-visit for anyone who likes long-lasting, straightforward rollercoaster rides.

  • Shivering Timbers is the longest rollercoaster in Michigan. 
  • The ride has a 53.3° maximum vertical angle.

Thunderbolt

  • Earliest Operation Date: 1968 
  • Park: Kennywood
  • Location: West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 40°23′20″N 79°51′54″W
  • Manufacturer: National Amusement Device Company 
  • Designer: Andy Vettel and John A. Miller
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Height: 70 ft 
  • Drop: 90 ft
  • Length: 3,250 ft
  • Speed: 55 mph

An exciting thing about riding the Thunderbolt is that the track layout repeatedly tricks you into forgetting how high above you are, making the drop much more exciting. The highest you’ll be on this ride is roughly 70ft, which might not sound like a lot if you’re a rollercoaster regular. 

But even the most seasoned hobbyists who have kept a straight face through 100-feet drops end up screaming as they zip down the final drop of this ride.

  • The ride was initially named The Pippin (1924 to 1967) 
  • It lasts 1 minute and 45 seconds on average.

Legend

Legend
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 6, 2000 
  • Park: Holiday World
  • Location: Santa Claus, Indiana
  • Coordinates: 38.1202°N 86.9140°W
  • Manufacturer: Custom Coasters International 
  • Designer: Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Cost: $3 million
  • Height: 99 ft 
  • Drop: 113 ft
  • Length: 4,042 ft
  • Speed: 59 mph

Of the wooden coaster triad at Holiday World, this ride is the best at maintaining a consistent speed. Whether you’re a newbie to the coaster game or a seasoned wooden rollercoaster veteran, you’ll like Legend. It has something for everyone. 

Freshers love its 4000 ft+ length, while diehard coasterheads appreciate its legendary lateral (at the Spiral Out in the second half of the ride).

  • The ride is located in the Halloween section of the park. 
  • It maintains great speed throughout the experience, which lasts 2 minutes.
  • The most acclaimed feature of this ride is the double helix, a.k.a. ‘Spiral Out’ towards the end.

Lightning Racer

Lightning Racer
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 13, 2000 
  • Park: Hersheypark
  • Location: Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 40.292884°N 76.653171°W
  • Manufacturer: Great Coasters International 
  • Designer: Mike Boodley
  • Capacity: 24 passengers per train
  • Cost: $12.5 million
  • Height: 92 ft 
  • Drop: 90 ft
  • Length: 3,393 ft
  • Speed: 51 mph

This racing coaster is a Hershey Park favorite. It has two sides, with one train on the lightning side and the other on the thunder side. Both coasters race against each other in a neck-to-neck dash, adding a layer of competitive fun to an already thrilling ride. You can split sides with your friends or all hop on one train and compete with total strangers.

  • Lightning racer is a racing coaster with red (Lightning) and green (Thunder) trains that duel across a 3,393 ft track. 
  • The ride lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds and has a maximum off-ground angle of 45°.

Flying Turns

Flying Turns
  • Earliest Operation Date: October 4, 2013 
  • Park: Knoebels Amusement Resort
  • Location: Elysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 40.878387°N 76.505095°W
  • Manufacturer: Knoebels Amusement Resort 
  • Designer: John Fetterman
  • Capacity: 6 riders per train
  • Height: 50 ft 
  • Length: 1,300 ft
  • Speed: 24 mph

This ride is more fun than exciting. It is more of a nostalgic experience than an extreme one. Still, coaster heads like it despite it having half the speed of an average wooden rollercoaster. And a part of that is the ‘realness’ of the experience it offers. Even if it doesn’t have extreme drops or unmatched speed, it makes up for those factors with the genuine ‘out of control’ feeling it inspires. It is basically a steering-free bobsled, and there aren’t many of those in wood.

  • As a bobsled rollercoaster, Flying Turns doesn’t have a lift-hill or a drop. 
  • While most bobsleds have been reworked with smooth steel for higher speed, this one is made of wood like the original bobsleds of the 1920s.

Prowler

Prowler
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 2, 2009 
  • Park: Worlds of Fun
  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Coordinates: 39.174400°N 94.483691°W
  • Manufacturer: Great Coasters International 
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Cost: $8 million
  • Height: 102.3 ft 
  • Drop: 85.9 ft
  • Length: 3,074 ft
  • Speed: 51.2 mph

Starting off with a spiral drop, this rollercoaster sets the pace for the rest of its duration. Continuing the momentum, it offers more airtime than you would expect from a 2.25-minute ride. Its drop measurement isn’t exceptional on paper, but its momentum-compounding design makes the most of a mere 86-foot lift.

  • Prowler is a terrain-exploring coaster. 
  • It mimics the perspective of a high-speed jungle cat zipping across a terrain.

Comet

Comet
  • Earliest Operation Date: June 25, 1994 
  • Park: Six Flags Great Escape
  • Location: Queensbury, New York
  • Coordinates: 43°21′4.91″N 73°41′6.23″W
  • Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters 
  • Designer: Herbert Paul Schmeck
  • Capacity: 24 passengers per train
  • Height: 95 ft 
  • Drop: 87 ft
  • Length: 4,197 ft
  • Speed: 55 mph

Coasterheads rave about Comet because of its history, which dates back to the 90s when it was informally dubbed the best rollercoaster in the world. Wooden coaster lovers have a special appreciation for the old-world charm of wooden tracks. And this rollercoaster has that charm down to a tee. Even those who have been on faster rides consider this one more thrilling.

  • The ride was initially named The Crystal Beach Cyclone and was located at Crystal Beach (1948-1994)  
  • It was rebuilt from the same parts and relocated to Six Flags Great Escape and Hurricane Harbor in 1994. There, it was rebranded as The Comet.

Raven

Raven
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 6, 1995 
  • Park: Holiday World
  • Location: Santa Claus, Indiana 
  • Coordinates: 38.1194°N 86.9152°W
  • Manufacturer: Custom Coasters International 
  • Designer: Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Cost: $2 million
  • Height: 110 ft 
  • Drop: 85 ft  
  • Length: 2,800 ft
  • Speed: 50 mph

The Raven has average stats yet makes it into the top wooden rollercoaster list simply because of where it is built. The large trees around the track create an eery look fit for the Halloween section of the park where it is located. If you want to ride this rollercoaster, make sure it’s at night!

  • A portion of the Raven runs through the woods, making it a night-time favorite. 
  • The ride is named after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name.

Twister

Twister
  • Earliest Operation Date: July 24, 1999
  • Park: Knoebels Amusement Resort 
  • Location: Elysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Coordinates: 40.877058°N 76.504094°W
  • Manufacturer: Knoebels Amusement Resort 
  • Designer: John Fetterman
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Cost: $3 million
  • Height: 101.5 ft 
  • Drop: 89.6 ft
  • Length: 3,900 ft
  • Speed: 51 mph

The Twister at Knoebels is a thrilling ride with consistently high speed throughout its duration. It is pleasantly rough and noisy, which is exactly what you want from a wooden rollercoaster. Evenings during the summer are the best time to take a ride aboard the Twister.

  • The Twister was opened to the public in 1999, but it was based on a design from the 60s (Mister Twister). 
  • It maintains roughly 50mph speed throughout the ride.

Giant Dipper

Giant Dipper
  • Earliest Operation Date: May 17, 1924 
  • Park: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  • Location: Santa Cruz, California
  • Coordinates: 36°57′53″N 122°00′55″W
  • Manufacturer: Arthur Looff 
  • Designer: Frank Prior and Frederick Church
  • Capacity: 24 rides per train
  • Cost: $50,000
  • Height: 70 ft 
  • Drop: 65 ft
  • Length: 2,640 ft
  • Speed: 55 mph

The Giant Dipper is not your run-of-the-mill rollercoaster. It offers a unique experience made memorable by small details like a train whistle at the beginning and big design specs like an enormous tunnel. But for coasterheads, what’s more compelling than any design aspect or detail is The Giant Dipper’s historic significance. It is one of the oldest operational rollercoasters in the world.

  • The Giant Dipper has received over 60 million visitors. 
  • This rollercoaster was constructed in 1924 with a budget of $50,000.
  • The initial infrastructure for this ride was put in place in 47 days only.

Boardwalk Bullet

Boardwalk Bullet
  • Earliest Operation Date: August 31, 2007 
  • Park: Kemah Boardwalk
  • Location: Kemah, Texas
  • Coordinates: 29.546254°N 95.017261°W
  • Manufacturer: Martin & Vleminckx 
  • Designer: The Gravity Group
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train 
  • Cost: $3.044 million
  • Height: 96 ft 
  • Drop: 92 ft
  • Length: 3,236 ft
  • Speed: 51 mph

This rollercoaster is called the bullet because of its speed. It is packed full of thrills with the only calm moment being just before the first drop. And if you want to make the experience even more exciting, you can take your ride at night.

  • The Boardwalk Bullet is Greater Houston’s only wooden rollercoaster. 
  • Despite covering a 3,326 ft track, the ride lasts 1 minute and 45 seconds only.

Goliath

Goliath
  • Earliest Operation Date: June 18, 2014 
  • Park: Six Flags Great America
  • Location: Gurnee, Illinois
  • Coordinates: 42.366111°N 87.931111°W
  • Manufacturer: Rocky Mountain Construction 
  • Designer: Alan Schilke
  • Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Height: 165 ft 
  • Drop: 180 ft
  • Length: 3,100 ft
  • Speed: 72 mph

With 72 mph speed and a 180 ft drop, this rollercoaster lives up to its biblical name. Goliath starts off with a drop that feels like a nosedive and generates enough force during the descent to zip you through two inversions in quick succession. Within a minute, you’re at the end of the track, wanting to give Goliath another go.

  • Goliath holds the record for the biggest drop among wooden rollercoasters 
  • It also holds the record for the fastest wooden rollercoaster in the world

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