Image from Cedar Point

Maybe you have never heard the term “giga coaster,” but you most likely have heard the names of a few of these famous amusement park rides. These special coasters, of which there are only six operational in the world, are truly built to thrill.   A “giga coaster” is a type of roller coaster that must be between 300 and 399 feet tall. These coasters are built specifically to maximize speed, height, and airtime. Giga coasters must also feature a closed-circuit track, meaning the trains end at the same place they began.

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MILLENNIUM FORCE

Millennium Force Giga Coaster

Image by Andrew Borgen from Flickr

Cedar Point Amusement Park made history in 2000 when it unveiled Millennium Force, the world’s first giga coaster. Millennium Force calls Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio home. This ferocious steel coaster overlooks Lake Erie and was the first roller coaster to feature a magnetic braking system.

PRICING TO RIDE A GIGA COASTER


Pricing is based on the cost of admission to the parks in which these coasters reside; typically, the price of a daily admission ticket grants the rider unlimited ride access for the day. Expect to pay about $40 – $60 for one-day admission. Deals on multi-day tickets are common.

HOW IT COMPARES

We picked a few similar giga coasters to see how they compare to Millennium Force.  

  • Steel Dragon 2000
  • Red Force
  • Fury 325

MILLENNIUM FORCE


  • LENGTH
  • DROP
  • SPEED
  • DURATION

The Millennium Force is 6,595 ft long.

STEEL DRAGON 2000


Steel Dragon 2000 is located in Nagashima Spa Land Amusement Park in Mie prefecture, Japan. It is the world’s second giga coaster, having opened just after Millennium Force in 2000. Since Japan is prone to earthquakes, the Steel Dragon 2000 was built with significantly more steel reinforcements than a typical coaster.

  • LENGTH
  • DROP
  • SPEED
  • DURATION

This giga coaster drops riders 306.8 ft.

RED FORCE


Red Force, located at the resort PortAventura World in Salou, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain, is the tallest giga coaster in Europe. It is also the fastest coaster in Europe, earning it its spot in the resort’s “Ferrari Land.” Though it offers a relatively short ride, the lightning-fast Red Force is a must-ride for thrill seekers.

  • LENGTH
  • DROP
  • SPEED
  • DURATION

This ride lasts only 39 seconds.

FURY 325


At over one mile in length, Fury 325 is North America’s longest steel coaster. It is located in Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. The coaster features a scream-worthy 81 degree drop.

  • LENGTH
  • DROP
  • SPEED
  • DURATION

At 3 minutes in duration, the Fury 325 is a relatively long-lasting ride.

CONCLUSION

Though it has been surpassed as the tallest and fastest giga coaster, Millennium Force will always hold its acclaimed spot as the world’s first ever giga coaster and is therefore definitely worth a visit. It boasts some impressive specs, and its bird’s-eye view of Lake Erie cannot be beat. For any roller coaster enthusiast, Millennium Force – along with the other coasters featured here – should be at the top of the list.

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