With the June 2012 unveiling of two, new, steel roller coasters, Hershey Park’s “Skyrush” and Six Flags America’s “Apocalypse”, I have roller coasters on my mind. Of course both steel roller coasters opened up after considerable hype. Hype, which I might add, caused a spirited debate among roller coaster fans as to what steel roller coasters reign supreme. Understandably, people’s lists varied greatly because we all have our favorites. For me, I love a steel roller coaster with a lot of speed. With that said, I thought that I would see how well “The Apocalypse” and “The Skyrush” stand up to a few of my speedy favorites. Here’s what I found out and my picks for America’s top five:
New Roller Coasters on the Block
Six Flag America’s “Apocalypse” is a stand-up roller coaster that is 10 stories high and has a track that is 2,900 feet long. Its top speed is 55 miles per hour and it was built by Bollinger & Mabillard. Hershey Park’s “Skyrush” is a mega-hyper roller coaster that is 200 feet tall, has winged seats and a track that is roughly 3,600 feet long. Its top speed is 75 miles per hour and it was manufactured by Intamin AG. I have to admit, the idea of winged seats terrifies me. Therefore, that’s a plus in the new kid’s favor. Nonetheless, when it comes to speed, the newbies have nothing to brag about. They are sadly outclassed by the veteran roller coasters that I have come to love.
How the Veteran Roller Coasters Compare
The king of speed in my book is Six Flag Great Adventure’s “Kingda Ka” roller coaster. Manufactured by Intamin as well, its top speed is a mind numbing, 128 miles per hour. The “Kingda Ka” is also a breath-catching 456 feet tall, sports a track length of 3,118 feet and has a drop height of 418 feet. To my knowledge, there is only one roller coaster in the world that is faster than the “Kingda Ka” and it is located in Abu Dhabi at Ferrari World. The roller coaster is called the “Formula Rossa” and its top speed is 150 miles per hour. Personally, I have never been on the “Formula Rossa” but I hear that it is an absolutely amazing ride.
Other notable roller coasters in America that surpass the newbies’ top speeds are the “Top Thrill Dragster”, “Superman: Escape from Krypton” and “Millennium Force.” The Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, is home to two of the three mentioned; the “Top Thrill Dragster” and the “Millennium Force.” The “Top Thrill Dragster” has a top speed of 120 miles per hour, stands 420 feet tall and has a drop height of 400 feet. The “Millennium Force’s” top speed is 93 miles per hour. It stands 310 feet tall and has a drop height of 300 feet. It also features a track that is 6,595 feet long. The “Superman: Escape from Krypton” is located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. It is 415 feet tall, boasts a track length of 1,315 feet and a drop height of 328 feet. Its top speed is 100 miles per hour and it was also manufactured by Intamin.
My Top 5 Steel Roller Coaster Picks
Based on my steel roller coaster riding experience and the numbers, my top five picks are the “Kingda Ka”, “Top Thrill Dragster”, “Superman: Escape from Krypton”, “Millennium Force” and Kings Dominion’s “Intimidator 305.” The “Intimidator 305” roller coaster is 305 feet tall, goes 90 miles per hour and has a drop height of 300 feet.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys summer sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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