10 Roller Coasters That Left Us Speechless - Coaster101

10 Roller Coasters That Left Us Speechless

Some roller coasters are so intense, so incredible, so breathtaking, that when all is said and done and the train returns to the station — there are no words to describe what just happened. You’re stunned and speechless. A re-ride is a must to take it all in.

I recently polled our social media followers to see which coasters left them speechless. I gathered those responses and identified 10 coasters that were frequently cited as causing speachlessness.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but these 10 coasters leave many at a loss for words.

1. Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point

Built on the structure of Cedar Point’s former Mean Streak wooden coaster, Steel Vengeance redefined Rocky Mountain Construction’s (RMC) hybrid coaster model. It formed a new category of coaster — the hyper-hybrid — and shattered a slew of world records. The coaster is a force to be reckoned with and subjects riders to relentless speed, airtime, inversions and so much more.

Photo © Cedar Point

Read our initial reactions from Steel Vengeance’s media preview in 2018.

Steel Vengeance Stats

  • Opened: 2018
  • Make: Rocky Mountain Construction
  • Length: 5,740 feet
  • Height: 205 feet
  • Drop: 200 feet
  • Speed: 74 mph
  • Inversions: 4

2. VelociCoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

I consider my coaster career to be divided into two parts: pre-VelociCoaster and post-VelociCoaster. VelociCoaster’s layout is somewhat unconventional — its first half is relatively tame compared to the second, which is fueled by a 70-mph launch. The coaster packs pockets of airtime in places I never thought possible. The grand finale — a heartline roll (known as the “Mosasaurus Roll”) — sealed the “speechless” badge for many, myself included.

VelociCoaster Stats

  • Opened: 2021
  • Make: Intamin
  • Length: 4,700 feet
  • Height: 155 feet
  • Speed: 70 mph
  • Inversions: 4

Read our review of VelociCoaster from its opening season. And I enjoyed VelociCoaster so much last year that I wrote it a love letter.

3. Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point

Opening in 2003 as the tallest and fasted coaster on Earth, Top Thrill Dragster has become a bucket list item for coaster enthusiasts looking to break the 400-foot height barrier. Though it could be considered a “one-trick pony,” the 0-120 mph launch is enough to leave first-time riders with gaping mouths.

Note: Top Thrill Dragster has been closed since 2021, but as of this posting, the coaster is scheduled to reopen in 2024.

Top Thrill Dragster Stats

  • Opened: 2003
  • Make: Intamin
  • Length: 2,800 feet
  • Height: 420 feet
  • Drop: 400
  • Speed: 120 mph

4. Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa

Steel Vengeance walked so Iron Gwazi could run. What was once known simply as “Gwazi,” the troubled dueling wooden coaster was transformed into RMC’s wildest creation to date. With blistering speeds, lightning-fast transitions and two brain-scrambling inversions, Iron Gwazi proves that RMC knows no bounds.

© Busch Gardens Tampa

Iron Gwazi Stats

  • Opened: 2022
  • Make: Rocky Mountain Construction
  • Length: 4,075 feet
  • Height: 206 feet
  • Drop: 206 feet
  • Speed: 76 mph
  • Inversions: 2

Read our review of Iron Gwazi from its media preview last year.

5. Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion

How intense is Intimidator 305 (I305)? Following its first season, the 270-degree turn following the coaster’s 300-foot first drop was reprofiled due to the high positive G-forces it placed on riders, causing many to experience “grayout” or “blackout.” But by no means has this coaster been tamed. I305 still packs punch after punch, including a top speed of 90 mph and dizzyingly snappy transitions. As most of the coaster’s layout remains close to the ground following its 305-foot-tall peak, the coaster maintains much of its speed until the very end.

© Kings Dominion

Seen above is I305’s first drop and 270-degree turn before it was reprofiled during the 2010-2011 offseason.

Part of the reprofiled turn can be seen in the photo below:

I305 Stats

  • Opened: 2010
  • Make: Intamin
  • Length: 5,100 feet
  • Height: 305 feet
  • Drop: 300 feet
  • Speed: 90 mph

6. X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain

The world’s first 4th dimension coaster and Arrow Dynamics’ final coaster, X2 (formerly known as X) was a bittersweet moment in coaster history. While 4D coasters have become much more commonplace thanks to S&S Worldwide’s 4D Free-Spin model, few coasters come close to the insanity that is a ride on X2. Its 360-degree rotating seats flip riders head-over-heels as they navigate drops, turns and inversions inverted, on their backs or facing down.

X2 Stats

  • Opened: 2002
  • Make: Arrow Dynamics
  • Length: 3,610 feet
  • Height: 175 feet
  • Drop: 215 feet
  • Speed: 76 mph
  • Inversions: 2

7. Skyrush at Hersheypark

Skyrush may not be the tallest or fastest coaster on this list, but it was one of the few coasters to make me fear for my life thanks to its unique restraint system, open-air train design and the unprecedented intensity of its airtime. Like I305, much of Skyrush — another product of Intamin — remains close to the ground (or water, in this case), so very little of its momentum is lost.

Skyrush Stats

  • Opened: 2012
  • Make: Intamin
  • Length: 3,600 feet
  • Height: 200 feet
  • Speed: 75 mph

Read our review of Skyrush from a special preview event in 2012.

8. Fury 325 at Carowinds

Fury 325 may not have been Bolliger & Mabillard’s (B&M) first giga coaster — that title goes to Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland. However, it was the tallest giga coaster, standing at 325 feet. And with a top speed of 95 mph, it tied with Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Japan as the fastest coaster with a traditional lift hill. Little of Fury’s 6,602-foot-long layout is wasted. Every second of Fury 325 counts, especially following its 32-story drop. The coaster’s blistering-fast speed is enough to suck the wind out of you — talking may not be possible even if you have words to say.

Fury 325 Stats

  • Opened: 2006
  • Make: Bolliger & Mabillard
  • Length: 6,602 feet
  • Height: 325 feet
  • Drop: 320 feet
  • Speed: 95 mph

Read our review of Fury 325 from its media preview event in 2015.

9. Voyage at Holiday World

Riders on the Voyage experience 24.3 seconds of weightlessness over the course of the coaster’s 6,442 feet of track. Packed into its sprawling out-and-back layout are five underground tunnels, three 90-degree banked turns and one triple-down feature that is pure bliss. While some coasters of this length may fizzle in the second half, Voyage only gains energy as if it’s fueled by the screams of riders. The ride is ferocious. If you take no other piece of advice from this website, ride Voyage at night — it is worth the wait.

Voyage Stats

  • Opened: 2006
  • Make: Gravity Group
  • Length: 6,442 feet
  • Height: 159 feet
  • Drop: 154 feet
  • Speed: 67 mph

10. El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure

Though it is less than half the height of neighboring Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure, El Toro’s 181-foot-tall wooden structure and (then) record-breaking 76-degree drop are just as imposing. El Toro is one of only four of Intamin’s wooden coasters with prefabricated (or preassembled) track, and it is a shame that we don’t have more. Though its layout isn’t groundbreaking, its pacing is pure chaos from start to finish.

El Toro Six Flags Great Adventure

El Toro Stats

  • Opened: 2006
  • Length: 4,400 feet
  • Height: 181 feet
  • Drop: 176 feet
  • Speed: 76 mph

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive — what other coasters left you speechless? Let us know in the comments section below!


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1 Response

  1. Jim says:

    U have the right to your options but no way in heck iron gwazi should be that low should be easily 1 or 2 the fact is iron gwazi is better than steel vengeance

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