Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

What Is the World's Best Roller Coaster?

December 18, 2020, 5:42 PM · What is the world's best roller coaster? We asked Theme Park Insider's readers that question, and today we are announcing the 10 finalists that topped the vote in our recent survey of newsletter subscribers.

Starting today, you can vote for your favorite to win the overall title of Best Roller Coaster in our 20th annual Theme Park Insider Awards, which we will announce on January 1, 2021. Your choice are, in alphabetical order:

El Toro, Six Flags Great Adventure

Expedition Everest, Disney's Animal Kingdom

Fury 325, Carowinds

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Incredible Hulk Coaster, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure

Intimidator 305, Kings Dominion

Lightning Rod, Dollywood

Maverick, Cedar Point

Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point

Twisted Colossus, Six Flags Magic Mountain

Campaign in the comments, or just cast your vote right now:


Replies (18)

December 18, 2020 at 6:04 PM

Disappointed to not see Nitro on the list, but am glad people aren’t dismissing Everest because of disco yeti. EE for the win!

December 18, 2020 at 7:18 PM

This is SO hard. I voted for Hagrid’s because I experienced the most pure joy I’ve ever had on a coaster while riding it. But Everest is one of the best themed attractions I’ve ever seen. And all of the coasters at BG Tampa (well, except for Sheikra) are simply awesome... and I’ve never even experienced the iron giants so many folks on here rave about ... it’s nice to have such a wealth of selections in this
category.

December 18, 2020 at 8:13 PM

Rather than posting my personal top ten list, here's where all of these land in my personal rankings (out of 540 coasters ridden):

1. Lightning Rod
2. El Toro
3. Fury 325
6. Maverick
7. Intimidator 305
8. Twisted Colossus
12. Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
16. Steel Vengeance
67. Incredible Hulk
79. Expedition Everest

What are some top coasters of mine that didn't make this list? In no particular order, X2 (SFMM), Superman the Ride (SFNE), Outlaw Run (SDC), and Top Thrill Dragster (CP).

December 18, 2020 at 9:53 PM

Twisted Colossus for me! Such a smooth, comfy ride. Plus that airtime is insane.

December 19, 2020 at 1:49 AM

1. Twisted Timbers
2. Wicked Cyclone
3. Steel Vengeance
4. El Toro
5. Voyage

Coming from someone that has lived in Florida for the past 12 years and lived in Socal before that lol.

December 19, 2020 at 5:43 AM

Did any non-US coasters come close? I'd be curious to hear which (if any) almost made the cut.

December 19, 2020 at 8:20 AM

Im a little disappointed not to see Space Mountain (Disneyland’s version) on this list.

December 19, 2020 at 12:43 PM

I was planning to post a Top 50 roller coaster list on January 1, when I post the winners in each category. But I might expand that to 60, since 50-60 have a ton of non-US coasters. Pretty much all of the other coasters listed so far in the comments appear within the top 50.

(FWIW, four of the coasters I rated in the top 10 made the finalists. Eight of my top 20 are in the top 50.)

December 19, 2020 at 2:38 PM

It'll never win but I still think I305 is the best coaster in the world. There's just nothing else like it, it's a giga mixed with a blitz and it's my absolute favorite coaster. Hagrids gets a special mention though because that is marvel of engineering and theming and is just an absolute joy to ride every single time

December 20, 2020 at 5:33 PM

You are missing Millennium Force and Time Traveler from this list.

December 20, 2020 at 5:39 PM

Of these, I've only been on Hagrid's, Hulk, and Everest, but none were what I would consider best in the world (though Hagrid's does come close). With that in mind, I have heard almost universally great things about El Toro, so I will give our Jersey buddies a boost and vote for that.

December 20, 2020 at 8:10 PM

@James Trexan it's a phenomenal ride. It's the kind of coaster that you could be a total coaster newbie and still recognize that you just rode a world class coaster. It's near the top of my favorites list and would have gotten a hard look if my own favorite, Intimidator 305, wasn't an option. You're right about the ones you mentioned though. Hulk and Everest are wonderful fun but not world class (though Everest definitely is as an overall attraction), but I would very legitimately rank Hagrids amongst the best realized coasters in the world and easily the best "family" coaster of all time.

December 21, 2020 at 6:26 AM

After all these years, Maverick still has something extra special about it to me.

December 21, 2020 at 6:29 AM

Hagrids is a true leap forward in ride design and awesome fun. Best coaster in the world? Not really.

Hulk - also not the best coaster in the world, but arguably the best opening sequence of any coaster anywhere.

December 21, 2020 at 9:44 AM

@Chopper31 - I’m with you! It’s not the tallest, longest, or fastest, but Maverick just brings me pure joy every time I ride it. It’s #1 for me!

December 21, 2020 at 10:35 AM

@AJ I really like your idea so here are my rankings of the nominees. I have not ridden Time Traveler or Expedition Everest, or Steel Vengeance yet. I just moved to Orlando so EE will be as soon as Disney opens season passes up again.

2. Fury 325
3. El Toro
6. Maverick
7. Twisted Colossus
11. Hagrid's...
29. Incredible Hulk
31. Intimidator 305

I'm the weirdo that actually has Carowinds' Intimidator OVER KD's. Notable leave-outs for me are Mako, Melinnium Force, Taron, and New Texas Giant.

December 21, 2020 at 5:26 PM

Where these all land on my list, currently standing at 217 credits:

1. El Toro
2. Maverick
3. Fury 325
5. Intimidator 305
14. Twisted Colossus
28. Expedition Everest
34. Incredible Hulk
Have not ridden Steel Vengeance, Time Traveler, Hagrid's, or Lightning Rod

Thrilled to see four of my top 5 represented on the poll! Agreed on the shoutout above for I305, it gets hate because it doesn't focus on airtime but it is a breathtaking experience!

Notable misses for me include Phantom's Revenge, Storm Runner, and X2.

December 22, 2020 at 12:43 PM

I've been on all of these except for Twisted Colossus and Lightning Rod, sadly my two favorite are not on the list: Twisted Timbers and Wicked Cyclone. Steel Vengeance is amazing but the ride is so long that it is nauseating at least for me.

It's not really fair to put coasters like Everest/other Disney coasters and some Universal coasters that focus more on story than track layout, its like comparing apples to oranges, IMO that should be a separate poll.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Get News, Discounts