Our Top 10 roller coasters

15th August 2019 7 min read
Our top 10 roller coasters of all time

Although – as she admitted in our post about things we just don’t get about theme parks – Charlotte is more of a dark ride fan, we couldn’t let National Rollercoaster Day go by without sharing an updated list of our top 10 roller coasters.

Admittedly, we haven’t been to a ton of parks, and this list is sure to change after our visit to Phantasialand in September (hello Taron) but we thought it would be fun to share our faves. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a few new ones to add to your bucket list.

Carl’s top 10 roller coasters

10. The Swarm – Thorpe Park, UK

A B&M steel Wing Coaster, The Swarm is truly unique in the UK, and its brilliant theming makes it a stand out for me. The coaster itself is great too, the little twist as you go into the first drop is one of my true highlights.

9. SheiKra – Busch Gardens Tampa, Florida

Another B&M gem, this dive coaster is basically Oblivions bigger and better cousin. I love a dive coaster and this one is a heck of a lot of fun. SheiKra has come down my list of top 10 roller coasters after re-riding some of the other ones mentioned later, and I suspect it will disappear from it all together in the near future. Regardless, it’s a great coaster with tonnes of height and speed.

8. The Smiler – Alton Towers, UK

I’ve mentioned my love for this Gerstlauer beauty many times before and I don’t care what anyone says about how rough it is, I love this ride. For me it’s a beautiful clusterfuck of metal and that’s why it’s on my list.

7. Revenge of the Mummy – Universal Studios, Florida

I love The Mummy. I love coasters & dark rides. I love Brendon Fraser. I was always going to have this indoor coaster on my list of top 10 roller coasters, wasn’t I? That aside, the way Universal combines dark ride elements and impressive theming with thrills and fire on this one is what makes it my number seven.

6. Hyperspace Mountain – Disneyland Park, Paris

After riding this for the first time since I was a child in 2019, I was reminded of just how good this Vekoma launched coaster is. It’s so much better than its Orlando counterpart and even the Star Wars overlay can’t ruin this.

5. Montu – Busch Gardens Tampa, Florida

I adore Nemesis at Alton Towers but this fellow B&M invert totally smashed the shit out of it. Now every time I ride Nemi, I’m always left wanting more.

4. Mako – Seaworld Orlando, Florida

A very fast and slick ride and the first B&M hypercoaster that either of us have ever ridden. The minimal restraints are what make this ride so so good, they leave you feeling incredibly free and that airtime is exhilarating.

3. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – Universal Studios, Florida

Although I had to check RCDB to see if this one is classed as a coaster, I was pleased to find out it is. Although it might not be the most thrilling layout, the theming is immense and provides a truly unique experience. There’s just something special about old Voldy trying to kill you.

2. Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Florida

The first Walt Disney World ride on my list of top 10 roller coasters, and what an entrance it is! This remains the most expensive roller coaster to ever be built in the world and it’s so easy to see why. During my first ever ride I whooped and clapped at the end – it was so worth looking like a douche!

1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster – Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida

Another B&M – I think there might be a trend here – I adore every single bit of The Hulk and it’s really going to take some beating. Although, I reckon Taron might give it a run for its money. The Incredible Hulk Coaster has everything, speed, airtime, loops, theming; it all comes together to create a truly unique coaster experience. A more than deserved winner of my top 10 roller coasters.

Charl’s top 10 roller coasters

10. Velocity, Flamingo Land, UK

I’m starting strong with a coaster that is likely to get me mocked by most real roller coaster fans. You see, this Vekoma booster bike, is not regarded as an amazing coaster, but I absolutely loved it. Does it have the best layout in the world? No. But my god is it fun! Rushing around that track in a unique position never fails to make me smile, and that’s why it’s on my list.

9. Cobra’s Curse, Busch Gardens Tampa, Orlando

You might notice a theme with my top 10 roller coasters, they aren’t all the biggest thrills. I’m much more interested in theming and fun than riding the biggest and baddest coasters. That’s why Cobra’s Curse, a Mack spinning coaster, is one of my faves. It might be aimed at families but it has thrills AND theming with an awesome pre-show and fantastic on-bard audio – what’s not to love?

8. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland Park, Paris

I’ve ridden both the Paris and Orlando versions of Big Thunder and the Paris one takes the top spot every day of the week. I absolutely LOVE it. Experiencing this thing barrelling through the mountains is amazing. It’s situated on an island which makes it pretty unique and the effects that were added in 2016 make it an even more exciting experience. A must ride for any visit to Disneyland Paris.

7. Icon, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK

I wrote a full review of Icon just after it opened so you can take a read if you’re interested to hear more about the ride. It’s not the best coaster in the country, but it’s pretty bloody good in my opinion. Although the launches lack punch, I love the trains and restraint system, as well as the fantastic air time hills. Also, it’s so smooth compared to everything else in Pleasure Beach that I just can’t help but love it.

6. Stealth, Thorpe Park, UK

From this point on there’s a few rides in my top 10 list of roller coasters that actually scare the shit out of me. If you asked me if I wanted to ride Stealth – a launch coaster that travels 80mph up a 205ft top hat – tomorrow, I’d probably say no because the launch absolutely terrifies me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love it, it’s fabulous. I was just shaking all the way up to the station.

5. Mako, Seaworld Orlando, Florida

Like Carl it’s the freedom of this coaster that gets the thumbs up from me! Up until this point, I’d never ridden anything this big that only had lap bars and when the train set off on the track, I genuinely thought it wasn’t locked right. The whole thing petrified me, and I didn’t want to go back for a second go right away, but I can’t deny that this is a serious coaster that’s well worth a trip to Seaworld for.

4. SheiKra, Busch Gardens Tampa, Florida

Another coaster that scared the bejeezus out of me, this thing is tall and definitely takes your stomach with it. Although I didn’t really notice it on-ride, I also love the splash down bit, it looks stunning when you’re sat watching the coaster go by.

3. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – Universal Studios, Florida

It would have been criminal for me not to have had a Harry Potter ride in here. Although I’m sure Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure will pip this to the post, I can’t begin to explain the tingles I felt the first time I rode this. For me it’s a near perfect ride, and it’s how Universal use screens to their best effect. The coaster element is pretty fun – the track tilt at the beginning is particularly inspired – but this one is all in the theming for me.

2. Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Florida

This thing is just a master piece from start to finish, it genuinely blows me away every time I ride it. For a ‘family’ coaster it has some great forces and the theming gets me all heart eyed. Not just my favourite roller coaster in Walt Disney World, but my favourite ride period. The only improvement I’d make is to fix the Yeti! I can only imagine how good it is when it’s working properly.

1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster – Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida

So yeah, mine and Carl’s top three are the same! I deliberated long and hard about this one, because I do think I’ve been on better coasters than Hulk. But have I been on any more fun? Nah. The theming, the launch, the invasions, man, it’s all just bloody fantastic. I have the BEST memories of riding this with my family when I was younger too, which makes the whole thing even better. Absolutely the best of the top 10 roller coasters I’ve ever been on.

So that’s it. Happy roller coaster day, and share your favourite coasters with us in the comments!

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A thirty-something married couple from the UK.

Walk in the Parks is a millennial travel and lifestyle blog about theme parks, tourist attractions and Disney. Created to share our adventures and help other thirty-somethings add thrill and magic to their holidays.

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