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Weekly Top 10: The World's Best Drop Rides

January 12, 2015, 11:43 AM · Drop rides not only provide thrills for theme park fans, they're often the most easily identified landmarks in the park, standing hundreds of feet above other attractions. The combination of thrills and prominence place them among the more popular attractions in their parks, often with long mid-day waits. But what are the best theme park drop rides in the world?

We've selected this week's Top 10 list from your ratings, submitted on Theme Park Insider's park guide pages. Any Theme Park Insider reader (including you!) can submit ratings for the rides, shows, restaurants, and hotels we've listed on the site. And if you register (it's free and only takes a moment), you can submit a written review of these locations, too. The more readers who rate, the better ratings we can offer to everyone looking for help in planning their next theme park vacation. So, please, go rate some rides!

So here are our Top 10 theme park drop rides, with selected comments from participating Theme Park Insider readers.

10. Power Tower
Cedar Point

Power Tower at Cedar Point

"Power Tower is one of the best thrill rides on the planet. It can provide you with the thrill of plummeting down 240 feet or shooting you up 240 feet. (The Green one shoots you down. The Red one shoots you up.)"

9. Superman: Tower of Power
Six Flags St. Louis

Superman: Tower of Power

"Superman provides a great view of the mountains before you drop which is an extra bonus."

8. Supreme Scream
Knott's Berry Farm

Supreme Scream

A trio of 312-foot Turbo Drop towers, with 254-foot drops with a top falling speed of 45 miles per hour.

7. Drop Tower
Kings Dominion

Drop Tower

Still one of the larger freefall rides in North America — a 305-foot drop tower that provides a 272-foot descent at 72 mph.

6. Acrophobia
Six Flags Over Georgia

Acrophobia

An Intamin Gyro Drop tower where guests ride up the tower slowly while spinning and then are forced to look down as the seats tilt out at the summit.

5. Zumanjaro Drop of Doom
Six Flags Great Adventure

Now the world's tallest drop ride, these three towers are attached to the Kingda Ka track, offering two rides on the same support structure.

4. Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom
Six Flags Magic Mountain

Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Six Flags' original drop-ride-on-a-coaster-tower, Lex Luthor delivers a 85-mph, 400-foot drop. "At first the height of the drop may come off as intimidating. But let me say the view from the top is amazing! And the drop is even better; especially with my hands up!"

3. Falcon's Fury
Busch Gardens Tampa

Falcon's Fury

The world's tallest free-standing drop ride, Busch Gardens' newest attraction sends riders face-first down its 335-foot tower. "I had high expectations going into this ride but it still managed to blow me away!"

2. Tower of Terror
Tokyo DisneySea

Tower of Terror

With a different theme, preshow, and ride sequence than the Disney's original Tower of Terror in Florida, we're counting this as a separate attraction for this Top 10, so our usual "no clones" rule doesn't apply. While fans enjoy the multiple drop sequence here (pretty much the same as in California and Paris), the real attraction is the set-up, with what might be the greatest theme park preshow in the world.

1. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney's Hollywood Studios

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

"This Disney World icon is one of the best rides in Orlando. The theming is truly immersive and the story from the queue, to the cast members, and on to the ride itself is imperative to the ride's success and done right. A fun ride and the drops are just way cool. Even the view from the top, though quick, is spectacular. A true classic, and a definite must see."

What is your favorite theme park drop ride?

Replies (20)

January 12, 2015 at 12:01 PM · Mystery Castle at Phantasialand is really, especially with the fantastic theming.
January 12, 2015 at 12:08 PM · Tower of Terror is a fantastic attraction. Honestly, it takes the idea of a drop tower and makes it so much more. Even the version in California without the 5th Dimension is still amazing, because the Tower of Terror flat out rocks in any form. It is immersive, exciting, and, imho, it is the drop tower that made all other drop towers obsolete.
January 12, 2015 at 12:45 PM · I have rode the majority of these drop towers on the list. Just last week, I got to ride Falcon's Fury for the first time. I had average expectations going into the ride. We waited an hour to ride, but was blown away by how awesome this drop tower was. I can't wait to get another ride on it in the near future.
January 12, 2015 at 12:56 PM · I agree with James except I think that 5th dimension in Florida makes that one supreme. I rode the Florida one back in 97-98, somewhere in there, when it was brand new and then about 10 years later I rode DCA version and was disappointed it didn't move horizontal.
January 12, 2015 at 1:04 PM · I haven't ridden a lot of these yet (sadly, I still need to ride Superman in St. Louis), but I have to agree with the top choice. I've ridden both Towers at DCA and Florida, and the original is still the king. The extra move through the 5th Dimension is still my favorite part of the ride.
January 12, 2015 at 1:44 PM · Clearly this site does not attract a lot of readers that are experienced in riding drop towers.

Falcon's Fury, while new, is one of the most disappointing drop towers ever. The seated drop towers offer a much better freefall experience.

Oddly absent from this list is Drop Tower at Kings Island, which is the better of the similar one that's listed at Kings Dominion. Also, missing is the much superior Superman: Tower of Power at Six Flags Over Texas which combines the Space Shot experience with the Turbo Drop experience into one ride. The combo ride blows away the Turbo Drop only experience on Supreme Scream at Knott's Berry Farm. Cedar Point's Power Tower should also not outrank Supreme Scream.

And finally there isn't an S&S Tower out there that is better than any of the Intamin products. Even a 120-foot Intamin freefall blows away the 300+ foot S&S Towers.

January 12, 2015 at 2:27 PM · Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios is one of the greatest rides/attractions. Disney's Tower of Terror rides should be in their own category. Those others don't even compare.
January 12, 2015 at 2:45 PM · Do any other towers other than Power Tower at Cedar Point give you a choice of being shot up or shot down? It really is a totally different experience, and the view from the top of Power Tower while waiting to be shot down is breathtaking- as is the plummet from the top!
January 12, 2015 at 3:08 PM · I have been on 1,3,4. I can't decide which one is better. They are all great for different reasons.
January 12, 2015 at 3:14 PM · I personally can't stand drop rides, but I do like space shot rides so Power Tower is one of my favorite rides at CP. But the DHS Tower of Terror blows all space shot rides away. Like David, I was disappointed by the DCA version after having ridden the DHS version first.
January 12, 2015 at 4:09 PM · Tower of Terror is the only drop ride that I can handle. By being fully enclosed, I feel safer than the other rides. An added plus is the special effects and the attempt at a story. Anyways, DHS' version is much better than the rest. DCA's is a pale imitation if it can be called that. Such a disappointment.
January 12, 2015 at 5:07 PM · I've only been on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at DCA, and even though it's reportedly not as good as the original it's still my favorite drop tower. Unlike most of them, the ride is actually a complete experience and not just a single drop. Of the unthemed variety, Lex Luthor wins simply due to the sheer height and tower sway if Superman is running.

James, I have seen a choice offered on three other towers in addition to Power Tower: Dominator at Dorney Park, Sasquatch at Great Escape, and Rocket at Lagoon. I have also found a couple parks (Six Flags New England and Marineland Theme Park) that have a combo tower where the ride starts with a launch, bounces a couple times, then stops midway and slowly climbs to the top before performing a traditional Turbo Drop cycle. Of the S&S towers, these are my favorite because you get both experiences in one.

January 12, 2015 at 5:46 PM · The DCA Tower of Terror is good enough, and quite frankly still one of the best drop attractions in the world, but the rest pale in comparison to the DHS version.

I think it shows that special effects does not automatically make a ride great. DCA's problem is that it gives away the surprise a bit early to make it more "drop-y". The DHS version actually has the elevator car crawl out of the shaft (into the drop shaft). This usually scares the crap out of new riders, not expecting.

January 12, 2015 at 7:14 PM · I’m surprised that Dreamworld’s Giant Drop in Australia didn’t make the list. That’s one amazing drop ride. I’d rate it #6 on this list.
January 12, 2015 at 8:35 PM · I'm kind of ashamed of this, as I can ride any coaster anywhere, but I can't handle drop rides. My fear of falling is more than I can stand. The only drop ride on this list I have enjoyed is The Disney World version of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I only decided to ride it because I wanted to experience the theme and effects, and without being in the open air for the climb, I can handle it just fine. Any other drop ride seems to cause a panic attack in me that is NOT pleasurable. It's torture. It feels like "practice suicide" instead of a ride to me. However, I do like Tower of Terror. I wish I could somehow conquer this feeling, but I can't.
January 13, 2015 at 1:58 AM · No mention of The Big Drop at Dreamworld, Australia?
January 13, 2015 at 2:37 AM · What James Rao said. That's all! :-)
January 13, 2015 at 5:04 AM · I second "Mystery Castle" at Phantasialand in Germany... it's pretty amazing!
You should have a look at it!
January 13, 2015 at 8:42 AM · I'm hearing some demand for Phantasialand on the site. Can someone email me a list of the attractions at the park so I can paste them into the system? That way you'll be able to rate them and we can get them on some of these lists. themeparkinsider@gmail.com. Thanks!
January 13, 2015 at 3:16 PM · I am at Tokyo Disneyland right now and rode Tower of Terror 4 times yesterday. The theming is quite different from the Orlando version as detailed by Robert in his DLT report. 10 out of 10 on the theming, but I don't think the drops are as severe as in the DHS version and there is what seems like a 10 minute OSHA safety brief before each ride. : (
Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Sort of...
Robert, I was as shocked as you during the pre-show the first time through. The next 3 times I got as close to the idol as it is possible to get and discovered the "trick". Do you want to know? Pretty simple and obvious when you work it out, but brilliantly done.

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