Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in

Theme Park Insider

Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Monday Top 10: The best coaster parks in North America

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: September 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Today we honor the impending close of another thrill-ride season here in North America by honoring the best roller coaster parks on the continent. Quantity of quality is what's important here — we are scoring parks on the number of highly-rated coasters they have, rather than simply giving credit for the total number of coasters. This helps parks a few really great coasters move up the list, while parks that just order a bunch of mediocre thrill rides don't get as much love from us. Let's get to our readers' collective picks for the Top 10 roller coaster parks in North America.

As always, we present our Top 10 lists on one page, instead of in one of those annoying multi-click slideshows. And we've got lots of on-ride video for you to enjoy, too. (If you like our list, please share it via the Facebook, Twitter, and G+ buttons below!)

10. SeaWorld Orlando: SeaWorld's only got a couple of coasters, but they're among our readers' favorites anywhere: Manta and Kraken.

9. Canada's Wonderland: The park offers one of the deepest collection of coasters on the planet, but two stand apart from the rest: Leviathan and Behemoth.

8. Hersheypark: Readers' picks for the top coasters here are Storm Runner, Lightning Racer, and Fahrenheit.

Storm Runner

7. Dollywood: Sure, the park's known for its world-class musical performances, but Wild Eagle, Thunderhead, and Mystery Mine put Dollywood on many fans' lists for top thrill rides, too.

6. Busch Gardens Tampa: Why wait around for Falcon's Fury when you've got Montu, Cheetah Hunt, and SheiKra waiting for you? ;^)

5. Kings Island: Kings Island won this year's Theme Park Insider Award for Best New Attraction for Banshee, while The Beast and Diamondback continue to win high ratings from readers, too.

Banshee

4. Cedar Point: We hope you enjoyed James Rao's trip reports from America's Roller Coast last week. His top coasters at the Point are our readers' top picks here, too: Millennium Force, Maverick, and Top Thrill Dragster.

3. Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Yes, you can have great thrills in a park with great theming, too. Especially when you have coasters such as Apollo's Chariot, Griffon, Alpengeist, and Loch Ness Monster.

2. Six Flags Great Adventure: The New Jersey parks wins readers' praise for El Toro, Nitro, Bizarro, and Kingda Ka.

1. Six Flags Magic Mountain: The Southern California park wins our top honor for the second time, with an awesome line-up topped by reader favorites X2, Apocalypse, Full Throttle, Tatsu, Goliath, and The Riddler's Revenge. Just wait until Twisted Colossus opens next year!

What's your favorite park for thrill rides?

Comments (12) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Food and Wine in a wheelchair? Here's how to navigate the Epcot festival

Daniel Etcheberry

By Daniel Etcheberry
Published: September 1, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I always attend Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival every year. I’m a foodie and a wine sipper, so this event is an annual pilgrimage for me. Also, as a wheelchair-bound person, I have had some practical issues that I had to solve during the years.

The main one is the fact that there are no tables; people eat and drink standing up, unless you are one of the few lucky ones who find an available bench. Even if I find one, it is not an ideal place to put the food and drinks; it’s uneven, and there are ducks and squirrels ready to snatch my food when I get distracted.

One year I decided to buy a tray. I bought a small fabric one at the French Pavilion’s store. It was not sturdy at the sides, so there was the risk of spilling the wine. Even worse, it was not big enough to put two meals at the same time. Rattan to the rescue!

I found on the Internet a tray made of rattan; that material is very sturdy indeed. I place it over my legs, and there is enough space for two meals and no risk of spilling the drinks. I feel sorry for the ducks and squirrels though.

Comments (2) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Week Ahead: Disney and Universal schedules for September 1-7, 2014

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 31, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Rao Family Visits the Roller Coast: Part 5

James Rao

By James Rao
Published: August 30, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Comments (17) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Rao Family Visits the Roller Coast: Part 4

James Rao

By James Rao
Published: August 29, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Comments (5) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Vote of the Week: How many theme parks did you visit this summer?

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 29, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Comments (21) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Rao Family Visits the Roller Coast: Part 3

James Rao

By James Rao
Published: August 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Comments (11) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Insider's Update: Look, up in the sky! It's the Disney drones!

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Comments (15) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Halloween News: How to visit Knott's Scary Farm, plus, Michael Myers is coming to Orlando

Jacob Sundstrom

By Jacob Sundstrom
Published: August 28, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Comments (5) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Steel re-tracks, Giant Loops, and a dark ride highlight Six Flags' 2015 new attractions announcement

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 28, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Comments (16) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Rao Family Visits the Roller Coast: Part 2

James Rao

By James Rao
Published: August 27, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Comments (6) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Beyond CaliFlorida: Previewing tomorrow's Six Flags announcements

Jeff Elliott

By Jeff Elliott
Published: August 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Comments (14) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Rao Family Visits the Roller Coast: Part 1

James Rao

By James Rao
Published: August 26, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Comments (12) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Disney's celebrating villains - but some wonder... who's the bad guy?

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Comments (18) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Get more from Theme Park Insider:


Planning a trip to Orlando?

Walt Disney World

Insider's Pick: Get all the best advice from ThemeParkInsider.com in one convenient book! Theme Park Insider Orlando 2014 offers you the insight, background, and how-to skills that will help you enjoy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando like, well, a theme park insider. Save yourself time and money by learning how to visit the Orlando-area theme parks the insiders' way.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks