Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day with Our Top 20 Coasters

August 15, 2020, 4:54 PM · It's National Roller Coaster Day this weekend.

And it's a bittersweet one in 2020, since we'll likely get no announcements of new coasters for the new year on Sunday, as the industry cancels or delays new attractions as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In fact, many of the world's top roller coasters won't even be open due to Covid-19 keeping many theme parks closed for now.

But let's try to focus on what is open, rather than what's not. In the spirit of whatever celebration we can summon this year, here are the top 20 roller coasters in the world that are open this season, as rated by Theme Park Insider readers. And we've created a playlist with official POV videos from some of these coasters, so any fan can enjoy them today — even if you're staying safer at home right now.

  1. Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
  2. Maverick, Cedar Point
  3. Lightning Rod, Dollywood
  4. Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal's Islands of Adventure
  5. Manta, SeaWorld Orlando
  6. Iron Rattler, Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  7. Thunderbird, Holiday World
  8. Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City
  9. Nitro, Six Flags Great Adventure
  10. Montu, Busch Gardens Tampa
  11. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure
  12. Phoenix, Knoebels
  13. Millennium Force, Cedar Point
  14. Mystic Timbers, Kings Island
  15. Blue Fire, Europa Park
  16. Time Traveler, Silver Dollar City
  17. Twisted Cyclone, Six Flags Over Georgia
  18. De Vliegende Hollander, Efteling
  19. Mako, SeaWorld Orlando
  20. Diamondback, Kings Island

For the current complete list of readers' top coasters, please visit our Ranking the World's Best Roller Coasters page.

Replies (10)

August 16, 2020 at 12:38 AM

Good rankings, a shame I haven't been on scores of these but I believe my body may be at an age/condition I can't enjoy them as much as I used to.

Man,still remember the thrill back in 1992 when Batman the Ride opened at Six Flags Great America, the first of its kind and still one of the best. Plus the Beast still a classic.

August 16, 2020 at 2:53 AM

Shout out for the Great Scenic Railway at Luna Park in Melbourne (my town). Oldest continually running roller coaster in the world (and 2nd oldest coaster). Not as thrilling as any on this list, but a great old ride.

August 16, 2020 at 10:21 AM

How do Nitro and Kingda Ka(!) make a top 20 list which El Toro does not?

August 16, 2020 at 11:53 AM

I should note that vote levels are down this year due to parks being closed and not so many people visiting. We expire votes after a couple of years, so if people don't replace those with fresh votes, the overall vote levels fall and rankings can get wonky. So go rate attractions, please!

August 16, 2020 at 12:18 PM

Man, this list makes me depressed. Only 4 coaster listed in top 5 in CA? I understand there is usually a height restriction on how high Ca coasters can go, but this just shows how far magic mountain has fallen off. Tatsu is a great coaster but man does it need a paint job the last time I visited there.

August 16, 2020 at 2:39 PM

Having ridden 16/20 on that list, there's some pretty good picks on there. However, I do wish voting on this site was a bit stronger to improve the quality of the results and that all parks with notable coasters (say a ride in the Golden Ticket Awards) appeared on this site's park rankings page with current attraction line-ups. I don't expect every little park to be included, but I've noticed several major parks I've visited (especially Six Flags parks) either aren't listed or are very out of date.

Anyway, as (probably) one of the most well-traveled regular members of this site (at least within the US), here's my personal top 20 as it stands now:

1. Lightning Rod - Dollywood
2. El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure
3. Wicked Cyclone - Six Flags New England
4. Fury 325 - Carowinds
5. Maverick - Cedar Point
6. Voyage - Holiday World
7. Intimidator 305 - Kings Island
8. Twisted Colossus - Six Flags Magic Mountain
9. Tatsu - Six Flags Magic Mountain
10. Superman the Ride - Six Flags New England
11. Outlaw Run - Silver Dollar City
12. X2 - Six Flags Magic Mountain
13. Top Thrill Dragster - Cedar Point
14. Boulder Dash - Lake Compounce
15. Nitro - Six Flags Great Adventure
16. Steel Vengeance - Cedar Point
17. Iron Rattler - Six Flags Fiesta Texas
18. Millennium Force - Cedar Point
19. Goliath - Six Flags Over Georgia
20. Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort

Happy Roller Coaster Day, and hopefully we can all get back to riding them soon.

August 16, 2020 at 3:19 PM

AJ I've yet to ride Twisted Colossus but I know a few folks who seems to complain that the second time going up the hill kills the momentum of the ride. Magic Mountain was my go to park growing up to get my thrills and for years was considered coaster heaven but to me they really seems to have fallen off.

I've always been asking where is my gaga/hyper coaster? Where is my dive coaster? I enjoy X2 but the last time I rode it seemed very rough for me. I know you mention something in the past that maybe the high cost of those other coaster type is preventing them of building one,but the last few coasters they have built have not really impressed me.

As much as I enjoyed viper and ninja in the past, I feel it's time for those rides to go and start to bring back unique coasters that made them popular two decades ago. Hey Magic Mountian can we at least get tatsu a paint job and looking good.

August 17, 2020 at 8:21 AM

I echo the sentiments of others who found that El Toro is conspicuously missing. Indeed, as Joseph M said, how can Nitro & Kingda Ka make a top 20 list while El Toro does not? Kingda Ka is an adrenaline rush but is it a great coaster? I don't think so. At least Iron Rattler made the list, and that is gratifying.

August 17, 2020 at 2:31 PM

This list is absolutely mental (Manta? Really?!), but to each their own. My top 20 is decidedly different but I'm a glutton for intensity lol

August 18, 2020 at 11:39 AM

I think this list is pretty telling of the current climate with many coasters that have been closed or limited in hours not showing up anywhere here. No I-305, no Tatsu (or any other SFMM coasters), no Fury 325, and nothing from BGW. For me, my personal top 20 list would be...

Alpengeist - BGW
I-305 - KD
El Toro - SFGAdv
Fury 325 - Carrowinds
Tatsu - SFMM
Steel Vengeance - CP
Montu - BGT
Maverick - CP
Manta - SW
Twisted Timbers - KD
Gatekeeper - CP
Phantom's Revenge - Kennywood
Twisted Colossus - SFMM
Leviathan - Canada's Wonderland
Banshee - Kings Island
Goliath - SFGA
Phoenix - Knoebels
Incredible Hulk - IOA
Steel Curtain - Kennywood
Apollo's Chariot - BGW

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