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We don’t know how you’ve spent your summer this year in the blazing sunshine, but we had a great day out at Alton Towers last week. They have just recently opened a new rollercoaster by the name of ‘Wicker Man’ and this got me to thinking about just how much engineering went into the project, especially when it is first wooden rollercoaster to be built in the UK in over 20 years and the first to incorporate fire. Whilst this is not a record in itself per se, it did make me wonder what other rollercoasters hold records and after a bit of research, we found them!
World’s Longest Rollercoaster
Steel Dragon 2000 – 8,133ft
Steel Dragon 2000 is a steel giga roller coaster located at Nagashima Spaland in Kuwana, Mie, Japan. It became the tallest and fastest full-circuit roller coaster in the world when it opened on 1 August 2000, surpassing Millennium Force at Cedar Point which opened three months earlier. It was the tallest roller coaster to use a traditional lift hill before the opening of Fury 325 in 2015. Because of its length, two chains are used. In the middle of the lift hill, the ride switches chains.
World’s Tallest Rollercoaster & World’s Longest Rollercoaster Drop
Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure, NJ – 456ft & 418ft respectively
Kingda Ka is a steel launched roller coaster located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, USA. When it opened on 21 May 2005, it reached a height of 456 feet and speed of 128 mph. While it remains the tallest, it is now the second fastest roller coaster having been surpassed by Formula Rossa at Ferrari World.
World’s Fastest Rollercoaster
Formula Rossa, UAE – 149.1mph
Formula Rossa is an Intamin launched roller coaster located at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster in the world at 149.1 mph. Riders are required to wear protective glasses due to the high speeds and occurrence of sand storms in Abu Dhabi. Because of problems with the wheels and the high amount of friction, trim brakes were added to the first hill in order to reduce the overall speed of the ride.
During construction, the roller coaster was marketed as emulating "the thrilling sensation of being in a Ferrari F1 car".
Rollercoaster with the Most Inversions
The Smiler, Alton Towers, UK – 14 inversions
The Smiler is a steel roller coaster located at Alton Towers, opened in May 2013. The ride is manufactured by Gerstlauer and is an Infinity Coaster roller coaster. The ride is positioned where the Black Hole was formerly located, opposite Oblivion. The ride is the first roller coaster with 14 inversions. Due to "teething" problems, the coaster did not open on the planned date of May 23. The ride opened on 31 May 2013.
Plans were submitted for SW7 in late December 2011. Documents were later revealed showing that it was a custom Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster. Planning permission was granted on 15 March 2012, despite opposition from both Alton and Farley Parish councils.
The ride was codenamed SW7. This stands for Secret Weapon 7. This name was used for Thirteen (SW6), Air (SW5), Oblivion (SW4) and Nemesis (SW3). It was subsequently used again for Wicker Man (SW8) in 2018.
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