Aug. 16 marks a day of exhilaration and innovation as roller coaster fans celebrate their favorite heart-pounding rides. Today is National Roller Coaster Day. It’s a day to not only enjoy the thrills of the roller coasters, but also remember the pioneering spirit of Granville T. Woods.
Woods is a Black inventor whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of amusement parks and roller coasters. A genius entrepreneur, he held over 60 patents for various electrical and mechanical devices. His remarkable ingenuity extended to roller coaster technology, where he played an essential role in enhancing the safety and mechanics of these thrilling attractions.
His inventive spirit lives on in the awe-inspiring feats of engineering and imagination that define these remarkable rides. In celebration of National Rollercoaster Day, Travel Noire compiled the top seven roller coasters from around the world.
Fury 325 – Carowinds, USA
Dominating the skyline, Fury 325 lives up to its name by propelling riders at a speed of 95 mph. As one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters globally, it’s a heart-pounding journey that combines breathtaking drops with intense airtime.
Steel Vengeance – Cedar Point, USA
This hybrid roller coaster boasts the world’s first “hyper-hybrid” design. It delivers an adrenaline rush through its relentless inversions and steep drops. Steel Vengeance is a record-breaker in height, speed and the number of inversions, reaching up to 74 mph.
Shambhala – PortAventura Park, Spain
Inspired by the serene land of Shangri-La, Shambhala offers a harmonious balance of serene vistas and exhilarating thrills. The roller coaster’s smooth, sweeping elements make it a must-ride for fans of both excitement and scenic beauty. It reaches speeds of up to 83 mph.
Taiga – Linnanmäki, Finland
Fusing cutting-edge technology with natural elegance, Taiga’s twists and inversions promise a roller coaster experience that’s as smooth as it is exciting. Its unique elements, including a heartline roll and a high-speed launch, set it apart, with speeds reaching up to 52 mph.
The Smiler – Alton Towers, UK
With a jaw-dropping 14 inversions, The Smiler guarantees an intense and immersive experience. The ride’s intricate layout challenges the limits of design and engineering. It creates a mesmerizing ride for thrill-seekers, reaching speeds of up to 52 mph.
Hakugei – Nagashima Spa Land, Japan
Carved out of a wooden structure, Hakugei blends the classic charm of a wooden coaster with modern technology. Its twists, turns, and inversions offer a thrilling ride that pays homage to coaster traditions. This roller coaster can reach speeds of up to 63 mph.
Helix – Liseberg, Sweden
Helix marries speed with artistry, delivering an exhilarating experience through a series of corkscrews, inversions and high-speed turns. Its unique double launch system adds an extra layer of excitement, reaching speeds of up to 62 mph.