The world's largest roller coasters in 2022

The world's largest roller coasters in 2022
Photo credit: Getty Images

For fans of rollercoasters, bigger certainly is better. As technology advances, so too does the need for some humans to push themselves to the limit seeking the ultimate thrill.

There are many attractions dating back hundreds of years which could claim the title of the world's first roller coaster, but one considered by many to be the first is 'the Promenades-Aériennes' or 'the Aerial Walk', which opened in 1817 in Paris.

Passengers would climb stairs to a height of 182m before sitting on a bench and riding back down to terra ferma at about 65km/h.

These days the majority of the world's largest roller coasters are located in the US, where theme park culture shows no signs of dying down.

So just how big do roller coasters get in today's world?

The top five tallest roller coasters in the world in 2022

1. Kingda Ka - 139m

Kingda Ka opened in 2005 and cost US$25 million to build. While the ride only lasts 28 seconds, it goes from 0 - 206km/h in just 3.5 of those.

JACKSON, UNITED STATES:  Riders are carried up the main tower of the "Kingda Ka" roller coaster ride 19 May, 2005, at Six Flags amusement park in Jackson, New Jersey. The roller coaster is billed as the tallest at 456 feet (139 meters) and fastest, 128 mph (205 kph) on Earth.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA  (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images

It's located at Six Flags Great Adventure in the state of New Jersey. 

The ride gets its name from a mythical Bengal tiger which was housed in the park's Temple of the Tiger attraction, which closed in 2010.

2. Top Thrill Dragster - 130m

The world's largest roller coasters in 2022
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Located in Cedar Point, Ohio, the Top Thrill Dragster ride lasts for 30 seconds and can apparently operate up to 1000 rides an hour.

It hits speeds of 190kph and has a drop of 120m.

3. Superman: Escape from Krypton - 126m

The world's largest roller coasters in 2022
Photo credit: Six Flags

This ride, which lasts  28 seconds, is located at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California and features a sheer vertical drop of 100m. It was going to be named Velocetron and themed after The Man of Steel - a popular Superman comic book line from 1986 - but designers instead went for Superman when the ride opened in 1997.

4. Red Force - 112m

Main attraction of the future Ferrari land, the new theme park, in construction at Tarragona, near PortAventura World Barcelona on August 21, 2016 in Tarragona, Spain. The Ferrari Land is planned to be inaugurated on April 7, 2017
 (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Ferrari Land

Some say there's something freudian about men and fast sports cars - the same could be said for this rather phallic looking roller coaster at Ferrari Land in Spain. Climaxing at 180km/h, it's the fastest and tallest ride in Europe. The Red Force can go from 0 - 180km/h in five seconds, which is almost the same as an actual modern Ferrari. 

5. Fury 325 - 99m

The newest roller coaster in the top five is located at Carowinds amusement park in North Carolina.

Photo credit: Carowinds

It reaches speeds of up to 153km/h. Costing US$30 million, the ride was partially funded by the Charlotte City Council as part of an economic growth strategy, with the roller coaster needing 15 full time staff and 270 seasonal workers.

In case you're wondering, the Corkscrew roller coaster at Auckland's Rainbows End is approximately 27m high.