You might not be missing rollercoasters that much at the moment but – even if your kids are more cute carousel than crazy white knuckler – theme parks are great fun and we could all do with some fun just now. So here are a few of the best rollercoaster POV rides around, tried, tested and as close to the real thing as possible, until the real things are possible again. Buckle up …..
SheiKra is the floorless dive rollercoaster which starts off slow, so you think ‘what’s all the fuss about?’. Then it hurls you down 200 feet at a 90° angle with nothing but clear air for company – that’s the floorless bit. If you’re tempted to dare it in real life some time, it’s one of many extreme rides at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.
Expedition Everest isn’t as heart-in-the-mouth as some, but the brave types who review rollercoasters so parents don’t have to, say it’s one of the best ‘experience’ white-knucklers that Disney’s ever designed. Spoiler alert: the ‘what now?’ moment really works, even on the virtual ride. In real life it’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Think Hagrid does Fast and Furious with a bit of good old fashioned Ghost Train action in the mix. This isn’t one for loops and dives but it’s incredibly fast, gravity defying and the scenery’s sensational – no swooping over deserted car parks and half-built attractions for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando.
Top Thrill Dragster
Top Thrill Dragster is 420 feet high and goes from zero to 120mph in 3.8 seconds. They keep you waiting a bit at the start to build anticipation (or lull you into a false sense of calm) but once this takes off it’s unbelievably fast, twisty, turny and terrifyingly tall. When rides are open again this monster’s at Cedar Point in Ohio.
All the best rollercoasters are big on loops and Kumba is vast on them. Don’t be deceived by the sunshine yellow cars and bright turquoise tracks, this isn’t even close to cute. But if you like speed and sickening spins, it has all that and more. Kumba’s another one of the legendary rides at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
Real rollercoaster obsessives will tell you steel and wood are essential for a truly authentic thrill. El Toro looks vintage but wins on ridiculously terrifying hills and drops, reaches speeds of 70mph and seems to go on forever. Experts say it’s by far the scariest ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, and the competition’s stiff.