Imagine this, you are strapped onto a roller coaster heading slowly towards the apex of the track. Your hands start to perspire and your heart is beating out of your chest. The chatter from the crowd that was overwhelming before the roller coaster pulled away from the station, is now replaced with the sounds of the flapping wind and toiling chains. You’re now approaching the highest point of the climb, just before the roller coaster lunges forward.
Depending on whether you’re a dare devil who lives for heart-stopping thrills or someone coerced onto the ride, You’re either thinking, “Yes, this is the moment I’ve been living for” or “Why am I doing this again?” Here is a list of the scariest roller coaster rides in Asia you’ll either want to try out or avoid. Thrill seekers living in Singapore will be glad to know that the troubled Battlestar Galactica, which is reopening with a new design in early 2015, made it to the list.
1. Steel Dragon 2000
Where: Nagashima Spa Land, Mie Prefecture, Japan
How scary: A painfully slow climb to a heart-stopping drop known in roller coaster speak as the ‘cedar point’ at 306-foot drop (93.3 metres), the Steel Dragon 2000 is the world’s longest roller coaster ride that stretches 8,133 feet. Once you are strapped on, you will be hostage to the “Dragon” for the next 4 minutes.
2. Gravity Max
Where: Lihpao Land, Taichung, Taiwan
How scary: The world’s first roller coaster to feature a 90-degree tilt drop. Basically a segment of the track holding onto the riders is rotated until it is perpendicular to the ground. It then snaps onto another section of the track before sending the carriages downwards at an insane 90-degree plunge.
3. Formula Rossa
Where: Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
How scary: In trying to recreate the sensation of racing in a formula one car, Abu Dhabi had built the world’s fastest roller coaster ride that propels you to a speed of 240km/h. Formula Rossa reaches a speed of 100 km/h from standstill in 2 seconds where you will be able to experience 1.7 G-force. All riders are required to don protective glasses similar to those worn by skydivers to prevent getting hit by dust and insects due to the speed.
4. Battlestar Galactica
Where: Universal Studios, Singapore
How scary: Called a dueling roller coaster, this unique ride themed after a hit TV show Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios Singapore features 2 tracks; an inverted roller coaster track in blue that leaves your legs dangling and a conventional roller coaster track in red. At 42.5 metres, it is the world’s tallest pair of dueling coaster. The ride is designed with several near collisions just inches apart when the two tracks meet.
Where: Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida Yamanashi, Japan
How scary: The Dodonpa made its debut on 2001 and till today still holds the record for fastest acceleration. The Dodonpa reaches its maximum speed of 172 km/h in 1.8 seconds giving riders a 2.7 G-force experience. That means a whopping 2.7 times faster than free falling due to gravity. Just for comparison, astronauts experience only 3 G-force during lift-off. You may be glad to know that the ride is set against the beautiful backdrop of Mount Fuji. Though we doubt you will be looking at it much.
6. Hair Raiser
Where: Ocean Park, Hong Kong
How scary: Suspended above the South China Sea, the Hair Raiser is a floorless roller coaster built on the edge of a cliff and is the fastest roller coaster in Hong Kong. Other than reaching a maximum speed of 88 km/h, the ride also boasts amazing views of Hong Kong.
Where: Everland, Seoul, South Korea
How scary: T-Express currently holds the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster title. It is the first and the only one of its kind in Asia and features several high-speed turns and airtime hills (when you rise out of your seat during the ride). It is ranked as the world’s best wood-tracked roller coasters in 2008 and 2010 by Mitch Hawker’s roller coaster poll.
If that is not enough for you thrill-seekers, this recently released video of the world’s tallest roller coaster, Skyplex made our stomachs turn just watching it. Currently under-construction in Orlando, this 570ft high mammoth is expected to be ready in 2015.