The saying goes that numbers don’t lie, but they don’t always tell the whole truth. Although a towering giant of a coaster can deliver an unforgettable ride experience, sometimes big things come in small packages.That’s exactly what we’re looking at today. Height is just a number, a ride should speak for itself, and that’s exactly what these five coasters under the height of a hundred feet do.
5. The Revenge of the Mummy
Universal Studios Hollywood is currently home to only two roller coasters, one of which opened in 2004, that being Revenge of the Mummy. At a maximum height of only 44 feet, this launch coaster certainly delivers more than that number leads on. The chilling and well themed dark ride section is a good start, and the 40 mile per hour launch really gets things going. The hills and turns in the pitch black aside, both forwards and backwards make this indoor coaster a winner, and the turn table finish only adds to the whole experience. Overall, it may not have the most complex layout, but the bursts of theming as well as the unpredictability that comes with a dark coaster earned Revenge of the Mummy a spot on our list.
4. Space Mountain
If there was ever a household coaster name it would be Space Mountain. The many iterations across the Disney globe certainly help with the fame associated with each ride, but Space Mountain at Disneyland is one of the more well known, and for good reason. Much like our previous choice, the layout of this coaster takes place entirely in the dark aside from the projection of stars and asteroids to immerse riders in their journey through space. Space Mountain may not be tall, but its 3,459 ft length and almost three minute duration help make this ride such an experience. The layout is well done for an indoor coaster, and although the ride tops out at only 32 miles per hour, the use of darkness, well placed fans, and a fast paced soundtrack help make Space Mountain a coaster that lives up to its fame.
3. The Matterhorn Bobsleds
The Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first coaster to use tubular steel track, and it changed the game all those years ago in 1959. Somehow, 57 years later, it is arguably still the best coaster at Disneyland. The mountain itself may look massive, and it is despite some use of forced perspective. It’s 147 ft tall, making it the tallest structure in the park. The coaster however is only 80 ft, but boy are those 80 ft put to good use. This ride has a little bit of everything. The pitch dark lift hill, the animatronic yetis, the twisting turning layout, the views, it also blends so well. Some may complain it’s rough, but there are coasters a whole place value younger that are twice as bad. The Matterhorn Bobsleds was revolutionary at the time, and still holds up as an excellent ride experience today, thus its place at number three.
Six Flags Magic Mountain has one of the most impressive skylines there is, there are so many massive structures, it’s easy to forget about one of the park’s funnest coasters, Ninja. At 60 feet, Ninja certainly doesn’t dominate any airspace, but it does feature a layout that is so masterfully integrated into the surrounding terrain, you’ll forget all about it. As one of the few Arrow Suspended Coasters in the world, and one of the better, the cars swing back and forth, through the trees an over the water. The ride is not only scenic, but thrilling in its layout, with some excellent turns and reverse banking, as well as some near misses with the surrounding shrubbery. It may not be the most insane coaster at Magic Mountain, but it is one of the most beautiful and fun, and we love it.
1. Giant Dipper
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is one of the best seaside parks in the world, located next to beautiful strip of California coast. The staple of the park, the flagship attraction is none other than The Giant Dipper. It was built back in 1924, making it the oldest coaster in the state, and thus sports what now seem like unimpressive numbers. 70 feet tall, top speed of 50 miles per hour, a length of 2640 ft, and a simple double out and back layout, what could this coaster offer? The Giant Dipper, from its stunning pre-lift start to the last hill into the brakes is a masterfully paced and forced ride. It features some of the most airtime of any coaster in the state, and the minimal restraints only accentuate the awesome sensation. The hardly banked turnarounds contrast with this, providing some insane laterals, and as a 91 year old coaster, it is still of the smoother wooden coasters in the state. The location only solidifies this rides greatness, and personality. In addition, the forces, location and history behind the ride secures it our number one spot.
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