Do you remember your first roller coaster ride? Did you stop breathing for that second when you felt your stomach drop as you rode down the first steep hill?
Many people love the sound of coaster wheels on the track and the exhilarating thrill of record-setting speed and acrobatic maneuvers as you reach zero gravity. Others—not so much! STEMists, however, whether thrill-seekers or not, find delight in the engineering and design of the roller coaster.
Check out these “best of the best” roller coasters in the U.S.
Goliath, Six Flags Great America
Goliath, a wooden coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois breaks three world records—tallest, steepest and fastest. Coined by The Lumberyard Legend by USA Today , Goliath hits speeds up to 72 miles per hour and has a 180-foot, 85-degree drop. Coaster enthusiasts partial to wooden tracks will be surprised by the smooth ride Goliath delivers. And, this woody has three over-banked turns with two upside-down maneuvers, an inverted zero-gravity stall and a 180-degree zero-gravity roll to an inverted drop that will boggle your STEMist’s mind! (A Zero-G roll is an inversion where the center of gravity aligns with the rider’s heart line to stay in line with the center of the curve.)
Banshee, Kings Island
Banshee is the longest roller coaster in the U.S. with a track length of 4,124 feet. Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland, is home to the screaming steel coaster in which riders experience seven inversions during the two-minute, 30-second roller coaster thrill ride that hits 68 mph. Two vertical loops and a weightless zero-gravity roll are also featured of this coaster. Riders should consider riding Banshee at night for a unique experience that includes fog, lights and lots of banshee screaming. Kings Island boasts 15 roller coasters making it a coaster enthusiast’s dream park.
Steel Hawg, Indiana Beach
Steel Hawg holds the record for the steepest roller coaster in the U.S. with a 111-degree angle of descent. And, although its speed gets to a mere 41 mph, the wild-mouse like ride packs a punch. The 92-foot high Steel Hawg can be found at Indiana Beach in Monticello, Indiana.
Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure
Holding the record for tallest and fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka can be found at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Riders are launched from 0 -128 mph in 3.5 seconds at a 90-degree angle to reach the top of the 428 foot high track. Then, riders plummet in a 270-degree spiral. This heart-stopping thrill is over in 50.6 seconds—faster than a STEMist can explain G-force or inversion!
Not everyone can get to the parks mentioned above, but your STEMists don’t have to ride the coasters to experience the thrill. Purchase our “What Goes Up” roller-coaster themed box for your STEMists today!