Top 50 BEST Theme Park Attractions – 2021 Edition

Before We Begin – A Note from the Editor

Limitless Park was created for one reason (and it’s a total cliche): to share my love of theme parks with the world. There are countless attractions and roller coasters out there, and I’ll be lucky if I get to experience a small portion of them in my lifetime. That said, it’s my goal to experience as many as possible, and share my thoughts and feelings about them along the way. The other writers at Limitless Park feel the exact same way, and the seven of us have experienced at least 500 different rides and attractions over the years. It’s about time we came up with our Top 50, which is comprised of our absolute favorite roller coasters, dark rides, simulators and more. Since this list was created by seven different people, you can bet that we had our fair share of roadblocks and arguments about where to place different rides. However, we’re satisfied with how unique and heartfelt the final product is.

2021 marks the five year anniversary of Limitless Park. I honestly didn’t see myself working on it for this long, but I’ve loved every minute of it and am so thankful for the wonderful experience that it’s been. A huge thanks goes out to anyone who’s ever read an article, like an Instagram post or watched a vlog. An even bigger thanks goes out to the correspondents; Brandon, Andrew, Drake, Kyle, Aidan and Soren. Limitless Park wouldn’t be half of what it is today if I didn’t have you guys to help me out, and I’m so thankful for everything that you guys have contributed!

I hope you enjoy our Top 50 BEST theme park attractions list, and I can’t wait to continue sharing more theme park content with you throughout 2021!

— Andrew Krivsky, Creator and Editor of Limitless Park

50. Full Throttle – Six Flags Magic Mountain (2013)

Written by Soren Miller

Starting the top 50 list is Full Throttle. It’s hard to miss this great coaster when you enter Six Flags Magic Mountain. The ride is like no other, from the backwards elements to the double track. The coaster starts with a launch into a 160 ft. tall vertical loop with insane hang-time. Next, you go through a couple turns and dive into a tunnel. This is followed by a slow launch backwards into the dive, just to pick up a little bit of momentum. Finally, you launch into a top hat that rides on the opposite side of the track from the vertical loop. This ride would be higher on this list if it wasn’t for the restraints. They can be very uncomfortable, especially when you get stapled. Other than that, this coaster is a must while at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

49. Goliath – Six Flags Great America (2014)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

Just cracking our list at the 49th spot is Goliath, the RMC creation at Six Flags Great America. As of writing this, Goliath is the only RMC that I’ve ridden. That said, I now see why everyone is so crazy about them. The drop and stall on Goliath are some of the most insane elements you’ll find on any coaster, and they are guaranteed take your breath away. However, Goliath is also a very short experience which keeps it from being higher on this list.

48. Dinosaur – Disney’s Animal Kingdom (1998)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

Regardless of what anyone says, Dinosaur is one of the most underrated rides at Walt Disney World. It’s got great animatronics, a great ride vehicle and is a blast to ride. Though, what really sets it apart is the iconic pre-show (found in the video below) featuring the one and only Dr. Seeker, who is a self-proclaimed “heck of a paleontologist.” His lines are incredibly memorable and he’s one of the best attraction hosts you’ll find at the resort. It’s easily a must do in the Animal Kingdom.

47. Xcelerator – Knott’s Berry Farm (2002)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

Intamin Accelerator coasters are known to have a fantastic launch, and Xcelerator is no exception. The coaster accelerates (get it) out of the station at a blistering speed of 82 mph in 2.3 seconds, which is sure to catch unprepared riders off-guard. The park makes it a little easier to brace for the impending launch with a stoplight countdown in the station, and that definitely builds anticipation and excitement. Although the rest of the layout is mostly just a couple overbanked turns (and an airtime-filled top-hat), the incredible launch earns Xcelerator a place on this list. 

46. Studio Tram Tour – Universal Studios Hollywood (1964)

Written by Kyle Jackson

The Backlot Tram Tour at Universal Hollywood is a very interesting ride. This experience takes you backstage around the property where you get to see many different pieces of movie making history, such as sound stages and movie props. The tour is very informational for the most part, but starts to get exciting as you progress through the various scenes. This is especially the case when you get to see live examples of practical effects used in movies. Overall, the Backlot Tram Tour is one of the best and most memorable rides at Universal Hollywood.

45. Jungle Cruise – Magic Kingdom (1971)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

Next we have an all time classic at Magic Kingdom: Jungle Cruise. This ride can be one of the most entertaining and enjoyable experiences in all of the Magic Kingdom. This ride takes you through the Amazon river where you encounter different animals, characters, and much more. This ride is great, the only downside being your experience can depend on the skipper you get. I find this ride to be consistently one of the best in Magic Kingdom and look forward to it anytime I’m in the park.

44. Twisted Cyclone – Six Flags Over Georgia (2018)

Written by Kyle Jackson

Twisted Cyclone was my first time on one of RMC’s creations, so I was going in with very high expectations. After my first ride on it I instantly fell in love and wanted to re-ride for the rest of the day. Between the violent pops of ejector airtime, the ridiculously fast pacing, the fun and unique inversions, and the massive wave turn, Twisted Cyclone never disappointed me. Even though Twisted Cyclone is on the smaller end of the RMC coasters, it is still one amazing ride.

43. Cheetah Hunt – Busch Gardens Tampa (2011)

Written by Drake Miller

Cheetah Hunt is an impressive Intamin triple launch coaster. With a total length of 4,400 feet, this coaster is the longest at Busch Gardens Tampa. Cheetah Hunt features a unique figure-8 element 102 feet above the ground in addition to lots of environmental contact. The back half of the coaster uses the landscape to carve out many twists and turns through caves, trees, and more. The three launches are not the most forceful, but they do add to the experience by maintaining speed throughout the ride. With the final touch of a consistently smooth layout, Cheetah Hunt has the capabilities to rank among our top 50 rides!

42. Space Mountain: Mission 2 – Disneyland Paris (1995)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

What if Disney took the “Space Mountain” concept and added the layout of an extreme coaster found at a Six Flags park? Well, that would be Space Mountain: Mission 2 at Disneyland Paris. Want an intense launch? Check. Want multiple inversions? Check. Want the same Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain overlay that they’ve done on the other Space Mountain rides? Okay, maybe we could do without that, but the Star Wars soundtrack and projections are much more enjoyable on Mission 2’s more extreme and complex layout. 

41. Ghost Rider – Knott’s Berry Farm (1998)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

While not the star of the park as a whole, it’s easy to argue that Ghost Rider is the flagship coaster of Knott’s Berry Farm. The 23-year-old wooden coaster thrives in the nonstop nature of its layout. No particular elements stand out, as the coaster consists of the usual drops, airtime hills, head-choppers, and banked turns, but the back-to-back layout of an airtime hill followed by another airtime hill, followed by a swift banked turn showcases this coaster’s best attributes. The “nonstop nature” allows Ghost Rider to really live up to its name and general mythology surrounding the ride.

40. Alpengeist – Busch Gardens Williamsburg (1997)

Written by Drake Miller

Alpengeist is one of the more interesting coasters in the Busch Gardens Williamsburg lineup. This coaster has arguably the most distinctive layout of any B&M invert in the world! Beginning with the massive 195 ft. climb to the first drop, Alpengeist ranks as one of the world’s tallest inverted coasters. The 170 ft. first drop leads into a small valley where the train then takes riders through several inversions, tunnels and close-contact points with the ground. Although this coaster lacks the same level of pace and intensity as other inverts such as Afterburn or Montu, it makes up for it with its amazing first drop, massive elements, and surrounding environment. One additional bonus is that Alpengeist falls into the same relative location as Griffon and the Loch Ness Monster, which makes for some pretty awesome pictures!

39. New Texas Giant – Six Flags Over Texas (2011)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

In a world where everyone’s favorite Rocky Mountain Construction roller coaster tends to be one that opened in the last couple years, it’s hard to believe that the original (which opened in 2011) would be anything to write home about. Luckily, it is. New Texas Giant still packs a huge punch with its massive wave turns and tremendous amount of airtime. While the ride admittedly lacks the excitement of having inversions, it makes up for it with gigantic hills, rapid turns and one of the best drops on a roller coaster. At ten years old, the first RMC is still the most respectable ride at Over Texas.  

38. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Universal’s Islands of Adventure (2010)

Written by Kyle Jackson

As you turn the corner into Hogsmeade Village in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you’re presented with an impressive looking Hogwarts castle with a very cool ride hidden inside. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a very unique ride where you ride on a moving arm through various scenes from the stories of Harry Potter. Between the very detailed queue and ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and is a very cool and thrilling experience. 

37. Afterburn – Carowinds (1999)

Written by Drake Miller

Afterburn sets the bar high over many inverted coasters. This coaster excels in delivering a near perfect balance of intensity and pace. Compared to other B&M inverts, Afterburn maintains the level of excitement by including several elements that all deliver the perfect amount of G-force and disorientation. A max speed of 62 mph is above average for B&M inverts and plays an important role in its fame. Many of the elements (such as the immelmann loop) are actual maneuvers used by fighter pilots, which gives rise to the coaster’s theme.

36. Manta – SeaWorld Orlando (2009)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

Right after you enter the park you can see the signature water element of our number 36 ride. I’m talking about Manta, it’s a huge and intense flying coaster at Seaworld Orlando. Manta has solid theming and an even better ride experience. This is a crazy intense coaster, mostly due to the first element being a pretzel loop. This element sends you on your back upside down and has crazy forces, the rest of the ride has more inversions and the signature turn over the water near the end which doesn’t disappoint. Overall the ride is one of the best of its kind and deserves its spot on our list.

35. Pirates of the Caribbean – Disneyland (1967)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

Some fans say that the original version of any Disney attraction is always the best. Although this sentiment is wrong in many situations, it seems hard to deny the idea when talking about the traditional boat ride versions of Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride begins with the bayou scene that is visible from the Blue Bayou restaurant. This first scene is very indicative of the attraction to come. It consists of a simple but inherently endearing effect that allows fireflies to fly around the bayou. For the most part, this illustrates the fantastic vibe that flows throughout most of the attraction. Although the feeling garnered from the ride is simple and endearing, most scenes after the bayou are grand in scale and ambitious in detail. The firefly effect perfectly illustrates that many pieces from the original attraction have aged fairly well as far as looks and effects. Many of the original animatronics have been touched up, but even if they haven’t been completely updated, they still look fantastic. The additions to this attraction are also quite well done and at the very least don’t detract from the attraction. The addition of Jack Sparrow, Red the Pirate and the transforming pirate have all been particularly fun. The soundtrack for this attraction is also fantastic and will leave you singing the main theme for days. 

34. Storm Runner – Hersheypark (2004)

Written by Soren Miller

Storm Runner is definitely one of the most unique coasters in the world. It sits in the shadows of Hersheypark, but this coaster is very underrated. It starts off by launching at 72 mph into a half top-hat. Next, the train goes through what is almost like the first half of a dive loop, then slips out of it with a weird turn. Then comes two barrel rolls followed by the second half of a dive loop. Then, a couple odd turns later, you hit the brake run. This coaster may lay low with Skyrush at the same park, but it sure packs a huge punch. A shocking experience will make you want to keep on going back.

33. Renegade – Valleyfair (2007)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

Said to be the star attraction of Valleyfair, it’s easy to see why the GCI wooden coaster is so loved. The most exhilarating part of this coaster has got to be the speed that is maintained throughout the entire experience. The speed is accompanied by amazing airtime hills and many winding curves and drops. Night rides on this coaster may not be as amazing as those of the Beast or Voyage, but they are certainly an amazing experience nonetheless. Renegade is much more than the sum of its stats and any ride on it will prove that. 

32. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (2019)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

Smuggler’s Run is one of the most interactive attractions in the world and a truly innovative ride. This immersive simulator will have you manning a position on the Millennium Falcon traveling through the galaxy like in Star Wars. You can either pilot the ship, be a gunner or an engineer. Each having specific jobs to complete the mission. The ride is absolutely amazing, but the experience can be affected by what position you get and your party size. Even with some factors you may not be able to control, this ride will always be something you have to do at Hollywood Studios.

31. Wicked Cyclone – Six Flags New England (2015)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

As one of the many Rocky Mountain Construction hybrid coasters to make this list (spoiler, it’s not the last), Wicked Cyclone is a great example of how not all RMC’s have to be huge, larger-than-life coasters to be amazing. The ride stands at a measly 109 feet and only reaches a top speed of 55 mph. However, it makes up for it by keeping very low to the ground and featuring some of the best airtime on any roller coaster. The double-down element in the middle of the ride is one of the most insane hills ever created, and the bunny hills towards the end of the ride will eject riders out of their seat. As if that wasn’t enough, Wicked Cyclone also boasts three inversions (two zero-G rolls and a zero-G stall). The final zero-G roll is so close to the ground that it seems like it’s possible to reach out and touch it–which is an exciting and terrifying experience. 

30. Expedition Everest – Disney’s Animal Kingdom (2006)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

One of the best themed rides of all time, Expedition Everest cracks the 30th spot on our list. Everyone knows about the real Mount Everest, and this ride recreates it with a 199 ft. tall mountain resembling it. The coaster begins with a rise to the top, which gives the front row rider a great view of Disney property before sending them flying backwards to weave in and out of the mountain. You also encounter the yeti that lives in the forbidden mountain multiple times. The actual coaster may not be stunning on its own, but the theming can’t be ignored. This ride is a one of a kind and a must do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

29. Orion – Kings Island (2020)

Written by Drake Miller

The world’s newest giga coaster has plenty to offer. Orion exceeded my initial expectations with a great layout, quality theming and how re-rideable it is. Although the layout has many similarities to Diamondback, this coaster offers a more fast-paced experience. The train propels riders through the elements at much higher speeds and includes more ejector airtime. Kings Island and B&M did a fantastic job with the coaster’s environment by including a storyline and detailed walkthroughs in the queue. The distinct experiences in the front, back and middle rows makes this coaster extremely re-rideable and more exciting each time. Orion serves as a great addition to the already fantastic coaster lineup at Kings Island. It certainly compares to the other four giga coasters in North America, and is a must for coaster enthusiasts.

28. Big Thunder Mountain – Disneyland Paris (1992)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

To say this Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the best of them all is an understatement. Big Thunder at any Disney park is beautiful to look at, but Disneyland Paris’s version is particularly breathtaking. The island location is fantastic and allows for more impressive segments than any other BTM. The beginning segment is largely the same as any other, but in this version, the cavern scene takes your mine train under the river and over to the island. From now until the segment in which you are transported back to the island, the coaster is generally the same as any of its predecessors. But, the inclusion of some water spray effects, the dynamite tunnel and a scene of a small mining settlement help elevate this coaster above its counterparts. Although, the most important segment of this Big Thunder happens during the transition under the river and back to the loading station. It lasts only 20 seconds, but this transition is extremely intense in comparison to the other Big Thunder Mountains and shows that it truly deserves the title of “the wildest ride in the wilderness.”

27. Beast – Kings Island (1979)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

Most theme park junkies don’t tend to get scared of roller coasters. However, the Beast is usually an exception to that rule. This massive, 7,000+ foot long wooden coaster seems harmless at first, but a night-ride will leave riders disoriented and shaking with fear and excitement. The first half of the Beast is pretty standard, with many dips and turns through a secluded forest. The ride really ramps up once it hits the second lift hill, which is followed by one of the strangest drops ever on a roller coaster. The shallow decline and weird slant on this drop build anticipation as the ride quickly picks up speed. Once it reaches the bottom, riders are hurled into a giant enclosed helix. It genuinely feels like the coaster is going to derail and fly through the wall…which is more exciting than it sounds.

26. Skyrush – Hersheypark (2012)

Written by Kyle Jackson

Skyrush tends to get a lot of hate for having horrible restraints. While I do agree that the restraints aren’t the best, they definitely don’t ruin the ride. From start to finish, Skyrush is packed with speed, airtime, and heavy positive forces. The ride starts with a very rare cable lift hill that launches you over the crest of the first dop. From there the ride is just nonstop, vaulting you into every twist, turn, and hill. In all, Skyrush is a top tier coaster and an absolute must ride if you ever find yourself at Hersheypark. 

25. Iron Rattler – Six Flags Fiesta Texas (2013)

Written by Soren Miller

Iron Rattler is the number one reason to go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. This coaster has one of the best views on any coaster, a quarry wall that you get to climb to the top of. The coaster starts by going up the lift hill right next to the quarry wall. Then there’s the 171 ft. twisted drop, which is the best drop I have ever ridden. The ride heads into a high speed turn, up through a wave turn, then dip back down again. Then you head into a zero-G roll, which puts you on top of the quarry wall. When atop the quarry wall, the speed might not be there, but the elements definitely make up for it. You go through an abundance of ejector hills, wave turns and zero g rolls, then eventually head into a drop that gives people major ejector airtime. The coaster ends by heading through a tunnel and into the final break run. Iron Rattler is one of the best RMC’s out there and definitely a must for enthusiasts.  

24. Top Thrill Dragster – Cedar Point (2003)

Written by Drake Miller

Top Thrill Dragster is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The combination of theming and suspense makes the launch on this coaster arguably one of the best in the world. Top Thrill Dragster has a perfect station soundtrack and launch audio to make the experience as realistic as possible. The stadium seating outside of the launch track is a perfect addition to the theming, which allows others to watch the initial reactions of brave challengers! If you are lucky enough to observe (or maybe even experience) a rollback, it takes the fear and excitement to a whole new level. A front row ride on this coaster is truly like no other, and provides a completely different experience than any other row. To make the experience even better, the restraints are very comfortable, which gives this coaster a big advantage over Kingda Ka. If you choose to ride Top Thrill Dragster, prepare for the most thrilling 17 seconds of your life!

23. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout – Disney’s California Adventure (2017)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

Tower of Terror is Disney’s attempt to make the scariest drop tower ever. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is Disney’s attempt to make the most fun drop tower ever. From the constantly bobbing elevator car to the rotating soundtrack of 1970s hits, it’s safe to say the company succeeded. The ride is also just as thrilling as its predecessor, if not more so, and there are plenty of moments where one can’t help but laugh out loud at how outrageously funny the Guardians of the Galaxy are. The best laugh comes from when the ride reaches the top of the tower. The doors overlooking the park open and Rocket exclaims, “ Disneyland? That’s thematically inconsistent!” Ladies and gentlemen, fourth wall breaking at it’s finest. 

22. Kumba – Busch Gardens Tampa (1993)

Written by Kyle Jackson

Kumba is a fun and intense ride overall. Whenever I go to Busch Gardens Tampa, I always make sure to get a few rides on it. Kumba is located in the back area of the park and doesn’t get a lot of attention, which in turn leads to the coaster having a very short line all the time. The first few elements before the mid course break run are jaw-dropping and get me close to graying out almost every time I ride. In the end, the ride is a very fast-paced, intense and smooth experience that is definitely worth getting on if you’re at Busch Gardens Tampa!

21. Haunted Mansion – Magic Kingdom (1971)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

No list of top attractions would be complete without the 1969 classic, The Haunted Mansion. When it comes to immersive attractions, the Haunted Mansion still does the best job at truly taking you to another world. The Mansion is light on actual scares but seething with atmosphere. This includes the music, the sounds, the animatronics and of course the fantastic voiceover work by the late, great Paul Frees. The Haunted Mansion earns this spot with due to the fact that everything that made it great years ago still makes it great now. I was on it with a friend last year who had never been on it, and he was even impressed by it with no nostalgia. That cemented The Haunted Mansion’s spot on this list. 

20. Radiator Springs Racers – Disney’s California Adventure (2012)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

Although warranted by attraction type, the idea that Radiator Springs Racers is just Test Track with the Cars IP overlay is ridiculous. The energy this slot car attraction gives off is, understandably, the same as the Cars movies: fast-paced fun. The dark ride scenes are the most impressive, as the character animatronics are huge and brimming with life through the animated eyes. The scenes in the dark ride segments go by really quickly, but each one is still very well done and visually stunning through the use of various lighting, painting and projection effects. The rockwork of the mountains surrounding the attraction is also fantastic because of each element’s intricate nature. The race segment caps off the ride with what would be expected from a slot car attraction, but in an elevated fashion by there being another ride vehicle with other guests racing you. 

19. Mako – SeaWorld Orlando (2016)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

The B&M hyper coaster “Mako” may not have the craziest stats, but it is an extremely fun ride nonetheless. Like almost any other B&M hyper, Mako is butter smooth with absolutely no roughness and packed with an absolutely insane amount of floater airtime. Right after the 200 ft. tall drop you make a banked left hand turn into a massive airtime hill that gives 5 seconds of floater airtime. It’s an insane element almost like being in space for a few seconds. The rest of the ride is no different, and many more floater hills follow until you bank over the water into the final brake run. This ride is packed from start to finish with airtime no matter what row you sit in and is a great ride that deserves its spot on the list.

18. Cannibal – Lagoon (2015)

Written by Drake Miller

Cannibal boasts the title of the steepest roller coaster on my credit list, and it also happens to be one of the most unique. The replacement of a traditional lift hill with the enclosed elevator lift adds a sense of fear to the intimidating 116° first drop. Additionally, the signature “Lagoon Roll” ranks as one of the best parts of the coaster’s layout. Although the theming is a little bit unclear, it creates a proper fit for the coaster’s environment. Another interesting fact about Cannibal is that Lagoon manufactured the coaster themselves, and the layout proves to be consistently smooth. Each of the three inversions offers a distinct experience and leaves riders disoriented. A trip to Lagoon is certainly worth it for this unique, rare credit!

17. Mystic Timbers – Kings Island (2017)

Written by Soren Miller

Mystic Timbers is an absolutely insane coaster. The airtime on the ride is some of the best ejector airtime ever. From the twisted drop to what seems like a million small ejector hills, it seems as if this coaster never slows down. The only downside is that it should be longer, because it is so exhilarating that nobody wants to get off of it. The shed is a little over-hyped, but it doesn’t take away from this incredible ride. The theme is pretty unique, and the shed really helps with it. If you are ever at Kings Island, this is the ride you need to go to first, last, and all throughout the day.

16. Montu – Busch Gardens Tampa (1996)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

Montu is a massive inverted coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa that stands at 151 feet tall. Montu is a phenomenal coaster with great pacing, tons of g-forces, and a fantastic layout. The layout never really slows down at any point, even though it feels like it goes through an intense inversion every second. The best part of the ride is definitely the Batwing half way through the ride and is one of the most intense elements I’ve ever experienced. Even with the great pacing and packed layout Montu still doesn’t feel like a short ride and is an all around great coaster. It’s definitely the best ride at Busch Gardens Tampa.

15. Twisted Colossus – Six Flags Magic Mountain (2015)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

Twisted Colossus has been plagued by issues throughout its existence (it doesn’t always duel like it should), but when those issues aren’t there it is one of the most fun coaster experiences out there. When the trains on this coaster duel, it’s an exhilarating experience. Most elements on the coaster are interesting enough when the trains aren’t dueling, but when they are, elements, such as the “high-five”, thrive. The diametrically opposed pairings of the top gun stall and zero-g stalls with their respective airtime hills are particularly fantastic ideas to be incorporated in a renovation of a traditional dueling wooden coaster. The bunny hops at the beginning of the ride highlight the simple feelings of fun that the coaster, overall, thrives at creating. 

14. Millennium Force – Cedar Point (2000)

Written by Soren Miller

This coaster does not deserve all the hate it gets. Millennium Force is the original giga coaster and is still one of the best coasters in the world after 20 years of operation. The ride is still very smooth and probably the most re-rideable coaster ever built. The 310 ft. tall coaster sits right on the edge of Lake Erie with a gorgeous view at the top. If the sky is clear enough, you can see Canada from the top. This ride still has one of the best drops I’ve ever experienced. It is full of overbanked turns that get smaller and more intense as they go on. I still don’t really understand the term “Millennium Forceless” because that first overbanked turn is very forceful. This is one of the most iconic coasters in the world and a must-do if you are at Cedar Point.

13. Splash Mountain – Magic Kingdom (1992)

Written by Aidan Brandenburg

At number 13 on our list we have one of the greatest water rides of all time, Splash Mountain. Suspense starts building as you walk through Frontierland and come across the huge mountain. You’ll see people plunging down the face of it. On the outside it may look like just another log flume, but you’d be mistaken. Splash mountain is over 10 minutes long and full of great theming and singing animatronic animals. You travel through different areas like the laughing place with small drops in between until you get to the large drop and finish out the ride after. Though it’s re-theme to Princess and the Frog will surely be incredible, Splash Mountain is a Disney classic that is always a must do at Magic Kingdom.

12. Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – Universal’s Islands of Adventure (1999)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

Spiderman is the quintessential Universal attraction in my opinion. It has everything you would expect from Universal. It has thrills, jokes, it’s a motion simulator, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Don’t think this is anything less than one of the greatest attractions of all time though. While it mainly relies on screens, this is arguably the best screen based ride of all time. They even developed special algorithms to counteract any warping that can occur while moving. The whole time you’re going to be immersed in the world of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. Although it’s not the best attraction at Universal Orlando, it’s my personal favorite.

11. El Toro – Six Flags Great Adventure (2006)

Written by Kyle Jackson

El Toro is the king of ejector airtime. From start to finish you’re out of your seat more than you’re sitting down. El Toro is one of the first coasters you see as you walk into the Golden Kingdom section of the park and it makes its presence known. As you’re walking near El Toro you will here a very distinct sound caused by the up-stop wheels struggling to keep the train in the track that’s commonly called it’s “farting” noise. As gross as that may be, it shows just how intense the ride can get when it goes over the airtime hills. This Intamin prefabricated wooden coaster is truly a gem that makes Six Flags Great Adventure very unique. 

10. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – Universal’s Island’s of Adventure (2019)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

Despite having an annoyingly long name, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the best ride that Universal Creative has ever done. It tells a story better than any other coaster that I’ve ridden. It brings the thrill that you expect from an Intamin multi-launch, paired with some great sets and animatronics that are a real breath of fresh air at a resort that relies so heavily on screens. I truly can’t think of another attraction that provides anything close to the same experience as Hagrid’s right now.

9. Maverick – Cedar Point (2007)

Written by Soren Miller

This insane Intamin blitz coaster definitely deserves a spot in the top ten. It may seem like a small family coaster at first glance, but you have that wrong. After the 90 ft. 95 degree drop, you are flung back and forth with “blitzing cuts” and some insane airtime. Then when you pull into a building, you may think the ride is over, but think again. You are shot out of the tunnel at 70 mph and take a sharp left out of the tunnel. You then do a couple of inverted turns before the almost three minute ride ends. This ride is so intense, they even had to take out a heartline roll before it opened because it was so forceful. Definitely don’t want to miss this small ride that packs a huge punch. 

8. Intimidator 305 – Kings Dominion (2010)

Written by Drake Miller

If you are looking for intensity, high speeds and lots of g-forces, then Intimidator 305 is the coaster for you. Aside from the massive 305 ft tall drop and a seemingly consistent speed of 90 mph, this coaster sends riders into a disorienting adventure of high speed twists and lateral g-forces. I have been fortunate to ride five of the world’s six giga coasters, and I can safely say that this coaster packs the most punch out of any of them into its three minute journey. Another great bonus of this coaster is the reasonable amount of airtime that is distributed perfectly throughout the ride. As a final touch, the theming is spot-on, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s audio track at the start of the ride ensures that every rider gets their adrenaline pumping. On my bucket list of coasters to re-ride, this coaster is near the top!

7. Voyage – Holiday World (2006)

Written by Kyle Jackson

Nearing the end of the top 10 is Voyage at Holiday World. Voyage is one heck of a wooden coaster that truly deserves all of the hype it gets. The pacing of the Voyage is relentless. Just as you think you’re going to slow down, you dip down into a tunnel and pick up a ridiculous amount of speed in just a few seconds. Voyage is also one of the longest wooden roller coasters in the world, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the expansive layout.

6. Indiana Jones Adventure – Disneyland (1995)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

With all the advanced simulators and trackless dark rides in the world, sometimes the more “traditional” takes on dark rides can be overshadowed. Indiana Jones is one of those rides, but it still gets talked about as if it was built only a couple years ago. There’s a good reason for this, since the ride is truly spectacular on all levels. The theming and set design for Indy is impeccable, and there’s so much to look at in every scene. The actual building the ride is housed in feels absolutely massive when inside, and it allows for some very fun interaction between ride vehicles (seeing another jeep cross the unstable drawbridge when riders first enter the temple is extremely nerve racking). The way that each scene follows the next genuinely feels like pages to an adventure novel. One moment passengers are encountering giant snakes, the next they’re flying through a corridor dodging blow darts. Of course, the ride finishes with an epic climax of narrowly avoiding the iconic giant boulder from the movies. Although it doesn’t go as far as to make you feel like the main character in the story (Indy still shows up many times throughout the ride,) it is definitely immersive enough to make you feel like a strong supporting character.  

5. Tower of Terror – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (1994)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of those attractions that you simply have to do if you’re a theme park enthusiast. A drop tower is something you can find at pretty much any park in America, but none are quite like Tower. Your experience begins as soon as you pull up to the park and begin walking in. The Tower of Terror beckons you in, and your curiosity demands that you must find out what lies within its walls. What does lie within is one of the best themed environments you’ll find anywhere. The lobby is perfectly crafted to make you feel like you’re within a world where time has stopped, a world that time has forgotten, all making you feel uneasy. It has one of the best pre shows of all time that brings you into the Twilight Zone. When you finally board the elevator, the build up is masterfully concluded with some great show scenes. They are almost guaranteed to frighten anyone who hasn’t ridden it before. However, I feel that the actual drop portion gets forgotten when most people talk about the Tower of Terror. It’s really good! While most drop towers are just one big drop, Tower has a randomized sequence that will have you out of your seat and plummeting back down. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror the truly the definition of greatness.

4. Fury 325 – Carowinds (2015)

Written by Andrew Krivsky

When it debuted in 2015, Fury built upon every other Giga coaster that existed at the time to create a near-masterpiece. The best part of the ride isn’t any specific element, but instead the wind that you feel in your face while on-board the coaster. At a top speed of 95 mph, the coaster hurls riders through plenty of intense turnarounds and never lets up. While it’s not the most forceful ride in the world, it does have its moments; particularly at the bottom of the first drop. This part gets so intense that it has been known to cause riders to grey-out occasionally, which is definitely a thrilling experience that doesn’t happen on every coaster. There is also a gigantic helix towards the end of the ride that features one of the best near-miss elements ever: a giant support beam that looks like you can reach out and touch it. Finally, the crown jewel of this coaster is the fact that it crosses back and forth over the North Carolina/South Carolina border. It might sound pretty insignificant, but there’s something truly special about flying across the state line at blistering speeds.

3. Avatar Flight of Passage – Disney’s Animal Kingdom (2017)

Written by Brandon Krivsky

To say that this simulator attraction changed the game when it opened in May of 2017 would be a severe understatement. As stated, Flight of Passage is a 3D flying simulator-based attraction that opened along with the rest of Pandora – the World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, beginning a new chapter for the Disney theme parks. This chapter has emphasized immersively themed lands with equally immersive attractions. Flight of Passage feels like a culmination of all of the ideas put forward by other simulator-based attractions: incorporating the large, breathtaking moments from rides like Soarin’, the action of attractions like Star. Tours, and the fun of exploring an iconic world like in The Simpsons Ride. From the ironically hilarious lines in the preshow, such as “and uh.. fly” to the breathtaking moments such as the bioluminescent cave and ocean scenes to the somewhat cheesy, but always enjoyable 4D effects such as the smells and water sprays, it’d be hard to find someone that disagrees that the attraction is one of the most awe-inspiring attractions Disney Imagineering have ever created. 

2. Steel Vengeance – Cedar Point (2018)

Written by Soren Miller

The hype is absolutely real. A top attractions list cannot be complete without Steel Vengeance. This monster of a ride never calms itself. It weaves through itself and feels like it never ends. Usually, the first half of a coaster is the most intense/enjoyable part of a coaster, but not in this case. The first half is filled with very gradual hills and inversions with lots of airtime, and the second half is very compact and intense. I rode this opening year and my expectations were high, very high, and RMC completely blew it out of the water. I really don’t know how Cedar Point, or any Park, can top this incredible coaster.

1. Rise of the Resistance – Disney’s Hollywood Studios (2019)

Written by Andrew Brandenburg

I mean did you expect anything else? Pretty much everyone who has had the opportunity to get on Rise of the Resistance (which has not been the easiest thing to do) says the same thing: it’s amazing. While I’m not sure that it’s everyone’s personal favorite, I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it. Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, Rise of the Resistance is an attraction you need to do. It goes beyond what a ride can be, it feels more like you are going on your very own adventure in the Star Wars universe. That reason, more than anything else, is what puts it at the number one spot on this list. It is important to note that it is technically marvelous as well. I’ve ridden 5 times now and I’ve yet to figure out exactly how every effect works. I’m impressed by all of them every time. It combines screens, animatronics, massive sets and great cast members to truly bring the Star Wars Universe to life. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. May the Force be with you.

. . . . .

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Andrew Krivsky’s Instagram (Editor): @krivsky.ac

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