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Dropzone Number 3 scariest ride


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Scariest Theme Park Rides

By TERRY WARD

Like skyscrapers vying for height superlatives, roller coasters at theme parks around the world are constantly battling it out when it comes to just how high they can go.

Of course, the glory with scream machines comes in the heart-stopping plunge back to earth, and the goal is single fold: to freak the living daylights out of anyone up to the adrenaline challenge.

But when it comes to picking the scariest theme park rides on the planet, it turns out that height isn’t everything.

Add to the equation speeds that outpace the Autobahn, corkscrew turns that could disorient a figure skater and stomach-lurching weightlessness and you’ve got the makings for some seriously frightening fun.

We’ve searched high and low to come up with a smorgasbord of seven of the scariest rides around - just try not to lose your lunch.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster -- Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida

We’d give away half the fun if we told you about the terrifying start to this killer coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Suffice to say that your heart and your throat will be getting intimately acquainted thanks to g-forces that pull the same energy as a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter attack jet. Weightless rolls and a 60 mph plunge add to the fear factor, but the scariest seconds for the uninitiated definitely come at the start of this big green monster.

Top Thrill Dragster -- Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

An Ohio theme park laid claim to the fastest and highest roller coaster title in 2003 with the opening of this 42-story screamer. And while the superlatives have since been topped, it doesn’t make a ride on Top Thrill Dragster any easier to swallow. Riders sweat their fears into a frenzy while waiting in line. And the screams resonate throughout the park as the coaster gets off to a bloodcurdling start – shooting straight up the 420 feet high track and topping off at speeds of 120 mph in four seconds. The fact that the bars only go across your lap instead of enclosing your chest makes the experience all the more electrifying.

Drop Zone -- Paramount Kings Island in Kings Island, Ohio

It’s hard to say whether the scariest part is in the dreadful anticipation on the ride up or the death-defying drop itself during this free-fall freaker near Cincinnati. Considered one of the best tower rides in the world, Drop Zone is also the tallest, lifting riders 26 stories to 315 feet before cutting the chord (not literally, don’t worry. The park goers strolling below look like mere ants as you plunge toward them at upwards of 60 mph.

Kingda Ka -- Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey

Honors for the tallest and fastest roller coaster on Earth go to this gut-wrenching ride in New Jersey that opened in 2005. It’s 50 seconds of sheer terror as you soar to record heights of 456 feet, only to plunge straight down like an inverted firecracker in a 270-degree spiral. The hydraulic launch system catapults the cars to top speeds of 128 mph in just 3.5 seconds, and there’s a stretch near the end that renders you weightless. Frightful fun, indeed.

Tower of Terror -- Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in Australia

For serious thrill seekers, it’s worth the trip Down Under just to jangle the nerves on the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest thrill ride. From a dizzying height of 38 stories, riders plummet at 100 miles per hour during a zero gravity free fall like no other. Geek fact: considered among the most technologically advanced of theme park rides, the tower uses magnetic energy to propel the ride up the horizontal track, and 2,200,000 watts of power – enough energy to supply a small town – is employed to reach the insane speeds of the descent. The whole experience – up and down, down, down – is over in just 40 seconds, but the buildup makes it feel far longer.

Colossus -- Thorpe Park in Surrey, England

Rolling from loop to loop, it’s hard to tell whether you’re right side up or upside down during this top ride located across the pond in England. Complete with a 90-foot loop and back-to-back corkscrews, Colossus pours on the exhilaration and gives the feeling of never letting up. New in 2002, it was the world’s first coaster to bring 10 looping inversions to the plate - snag a seat in the front for the most intense experience.

Superman Ride of Steel -- Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts

Airtime addicts can’t get enough of this Massachusetts hyper coaster with some of the scariest drops on record. You’ll go faster than a speeding bullet on the mile-long steel track that doesn’t let up on the thrills until the screeching finish. The top drop plunges 221 feet into a tunnel that is completely disorienting, and there’s literally never a spare moment during the 2 minute 35 second ride to catch your breath. Beware of the camel back hills that will put your heart squarely back in your stomach just when you think you’re going to get a break.

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So I've never been to Cedar Point and I'm making my first trip on Monday. I must admit that I cringe at the thought of riding TTD and this just confirms it all. haha

ive rode TTD, its a pretty good ride, and trust me its worth the multi hour wait.

=]

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I will also be at CP on Monday. GOTTA LOVE THE MAXX PASS!!!! That being said, CP is my home park. CP is absolutely DEAD weekdays before Memorial Day. I would get there at 6Pm when they closed at 8, and get like 12 coaster rides in! You might have small lines during the day, but it will clear out at 5-6 PM.

As far as Dragster being scarier than Ka, Dragster only has a lap bar, where Ka has Over the Shoulder restraints. Dragster would be nowhere near as exciting with shoulder restraints. Want proof? Flight of Fear.

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I will also be at CP on Monday. GOTTA LOVE THE MAXX PASS!!!! That being said, CP is my home park. CP is absolutely DEAD weekdays before Memorial Day. I would get there at 6Pm when they closed at 8, and get like 12 coaster rides in! You might have small lines during the day, but it will clear out at 5-6 PM.

As far as Dragster being scarier than Ka, Dragster only has a lap bar, where Ka has Over the Shoulder restraints. Dragster would be nowhere near as exciting with shoulder restraints. Want proof? Flight of Fear.

I take it you haven't ridden Kingda Ka. Know that Maverick will have virtually the same restraints as Kingda Ka. Kingda Ka is a lot more, shall we say, vigorous than Top Thrill Dragster, especially in the back seats of each car. Its launch also seems much more intense.

That being said, Top Thrill Dragster is an incredible ride that must be experienced to be believed. Especially in the front seat.

As for the poster who remarked about Kingda Ka's big hill...be aware that many of us think it contributes about as much to that ride as the so called airtime hill contributes to Son of Beast...which is to say, nothing at all but slowing down the ride as it ends.

Skyhawk? Put that down in my book as a lot of fun! I like it a lot and can see one being very popular at Kings Island.

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So I've never been to Cedar Point and I'm making my first trip on Monday.

Be sure to bring warm clothes. Even though the high is supposed to be 65, the lake temperature is about 55. If you get a breeze off the lake, it will be a little chilly.

Also, park in the back of the park. There is a entrance near Magnum (Resort entrance, Soak City etc.) Which is real close to TTD and is also the closest entrance to Maverick.

Have a great trip!

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Really to be honest I don't see what is so great about Maverick. I have been on Top Thrill Dragster and it scares me alot more than dropzone for some reason. I haven't been on Kingda Ka though so I can't really compare.

Cedar Point is a great park for roller coasters but they really don't offer much besides that.

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How can you not be excited about Maverick???? It is going to be the best new ride in Ohio since Millennium Force.

And as for Skyhawk, it is so much fun. Everything about The Point is awesome.

Uh...don't you mean since X-Flight? X-Flight opened after Millennium Force...I, for one, think it is far superior to Millennium Force. Then again, I also happen to think Fairly Odd Coaster is superior to Millennium Force. No joke.

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