If there’s anything the USA does, it’s things bigger and better. From the huge skyscrapers of New York City to the huge burgers of the Hard Rock Café, size really does matter. So when it comes to roller coasters even the most hardened thrill-seeker is in for a treat.
Across the country millions of holidaymakers enjoy America’s real favourite playgrounds every year, from the resort hub of Florida to the coastal towns which locals flock to every summer. At alpharooms.com we love a log flume or two, and these five parks most certainly get our arms in the air and screaming at the very top of our voices…
Luna Park, New York
Just an hour outside of New York City on the subway, Coney Island is your traditional US seaside town. A boardwalk lines the seafront, ice cream and hot dog stalls serve the hungry tourists, and a theme park keeps just about everyone entertained.
Aside from Atlantic City, Coney Island is by far the most renowned, and at the very heart of the neighbourhood is Lunar Park. There’s a real air of nostalgia about the park, with the Coney Island Cyclone having been in operation since 1927.
However, there are plenty of new rides at Luna Park too with the Thunderbolt, named after an original Coney Island coaster, rising 125 ft before a vertical drop back down. For anyone visiting New York, it’s well worth the trip across, and you should especially combine that with a Coney Island hot dog.
Universal Studios, Florida
For 25 years, Universal Studios, Orlando has been one of the busiest theme parks in the country and is the second largest in Greater Orlando after Walt Disney World.
It’s reinvented itself numerous times over the years, paying homage to some of the fine pictures Universal have produced with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter the latest lands to experience. Opening in 2014 it has five rides from standard roller coaster style to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey inside a replica Hogwarts, which is a motion-based dark ride.
Back in the world of the muggles and the rest of the park Islands of Adventure has some of the best rides in the state, all carrying a theme including King Kong, Spider-Man, and Jurassic Park.
Walt Disney World, Florida
A Disney World holiday is a dream come true for every child, in fact most adults too, and whilst a roller-coaster enthusiast may not be won over by the likes of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck parading around the park, their jaw will drop once the rides come into view.
The resort welcomes over 50 million visitors every year and covers an incredible 43 square miles. Across that there are four theme parks, with dozens of rides. Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom is one of the highlights and takes you through in pitch black. It goes left when you think you’re heading right and every drop is unexpected. We wish you a good luck with this one…
Cedar Point Amusement Park, Ohio
Around 1,000 miles north in Ohio lies the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point. Like Lunar Park, the theme park is on the coast, in a sense anyway, with it just off the boardwalk of Lake Erie.
Opening in 1870, it’s the second oldest in the USA and is the only park in the world with four roller coasters which climb taller than 200 ft. The Top Thrill Dragster at the resort rises 420 ft and was at one point the tallest in the world, dropping 400 ft at an incredible 120 mph.
This year will see it open another major ride open in Valravn, a dive coaster which is being touted as the tallest, longest, and fastest of its kind in the world. It’ll be worth visiting for this alone!
Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey
Just an hour’s drive from Atlantic City is Six Flags Great Adventure, a place which brings an entirely take on the great Batman vs Superman debate. With rides paying homage to both, you can decide the real winner between the superheroes, while a number of other superheroes also get themselves a ride.
After combining the Great Adventure Park with the Wild Safari animal park in 2012, it became the largest theme park on the planet and will see it expanding further with the arrival of The Joker ride, lifting you 120 ft in the air before free-falling back down in what is expected to be one of the most intense roller coasters in the world. We find the Joker name entirely appropriate, as we’re not sure if we’ll be laughing or crying after this one!