For the thrill-seekers among us, the average roller coaster won't do. Some demand to have their wits scared out of them. These insane amusement park rides are designed for those brave few.
Tower of Terror — Disney World, FL
We know. "A thrilling ride at Disney, the place where teacups spin round in circles?" But anyone who's taken a plunge at the Tower of Terror will tell you this is not for the faint of heart. The Tower of Terror can be found in both Florida and Tokyo Disney amusement parks. Elevator doors open, you see some ghosts, and then you plummet to another floor.
Formula Rossa — Abu Dhabi
This roller coaster is so fast that you’re required to wear goggles. We think that's all that needs to be said about the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World amusement park in Abu Dhabi, the fastest coaster in the world. It launches passengers from 0 to 149 miles per hour in under five seconds. Good luck trying to move your head with 4.8Gs of force pushing you back into your seat.
The Tehran Neck Cracker — Iran
In Tehran’s Eram Park, there’s a roller coaster aptly named The Tehran Neck Cracker. It’s claim to fame: it has the tightest loop of any roller coaster in the world. While “smallest loop” might not be something a park would brag about, it’s actually quite insane. The loop is so tight that it feels like your head stays in the same spot while your body rotates around it. It could be a cheap alternative to a chiropractor or, maybe, send you to one.
Ferris Wheel of Misfortune — Nepal
The name pretty much says it all. Take a normal Ferris wheel, hook it up to a gas-powered motor and hit the throttle. Instead of a leisurely ride through the air, you’re rocketed around at frightening speeds. No selfies at the top of this Ferris wheel.
Kingda Ka — New Jersey, U.S.A.
Kingda Ka is the tallest roller coaster in the world and the fastest in North America. Start your journey by being launched up a 90-degree incline at 128 miles per hour. While it might sound like that much speed is excessive, you’ll need it to make it up the 456-foot hill. Enjoy your time at the top because what goes up must come down.
The Smiler— United Kingdom
If motion sickness is a problem, this ride isn’t for you. The Smiler at Alton Towers amusement park in the United Kingdom holds the record for the most inversions on any roller coaster. You might forget which way is up once you finish. In total, there are 14 loops over almost 4,000 feet of track.
Stratosphere — Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
Insanity and X-Scream are two insane rides that are on — not in — a Las Vegas hotel and casino. Head to the top of the 866-foot Stratosphere building and take your pick of thrills.
Strap into Insanity and hold on tight as the ride spins you around using its giant mechanical arm to dangle you hundreds of feet above the ground over the edge of the building. Not good enough? Try X-Scream, a teeter-totter 800 feet above the ground. The car looks like a roller coaster, but the track comes to an abrupt stop 27-feet off the side of the building, leaving you dangling high above the Las Vegas Strip for a few seconds before pulling you back to safety.