If you’re an adult looking for the most thrilling roller coasters in Pennsylvania and vicinity, you have quite a few choices. There are parks that feature twisting, spiraling coasters, some with family-friendly rides, best-of tracks and more.
Dorney ParkStinger: Riders find themselves dangling from the scorpion tail seated face to face with other riders before being lifted up a 138-foot lift hill and then released to soar at speeds reaching 55 mph through three inversions forward then backward.
Possessed: Thrill artists Intamin, AG of Switzerland have created 704 feet of twisted steel. The dueling towers of this U-shaped, suspended impulse coaster will possess riders when the linear induction motors send them rocketing from one tower to another.
Hydra the Revenge: Hydra is the first and only floorless roller coaster in Pennsylvania with a unique twist that flips riders upside-down as the train exits the station, then sends riders soaring through the sky along more than a half-mile of coiling steel roller coaster track.
Talon: Talon is the tallest and longest inverted roller coaster in the Northeast. A 135-foot hill sends riders through four inversions — a vertical loop, a zero-gravity roll, an Immelmann loop and a corkscrew.
Steel Force: Steel Force is the first roller coaster in the East to break the 200-foot barrier. With a 205-foot drop, two tunnels, steep banks and speeds reaching 75 mph, this mega-coaster is recognized as one of the world’s best steel roller coasters.
ThunderHawk: Originally named “The Coaster,” ThunderHawk debuted in Dorney Park in 1923. The wooden roller coaster was manufactured and installed by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. Four-person roller coaster cars take guests through zig-zagging turns and camelback hills on this new version of an old favorite.
Woodstock: Woodstock leads runaway train cars to safety three times over the miniature hills and turns on this little thrilling coaster.
HersheyParkComet: This wooden roller coaster features quick turns and drops.
Fahrenheit: Located adjacent to the Boardwalk, this hot new vertical lift inverted loop coaster ascends 121 feet before plummeting down a 97-degree negative drop, the second steepest in the United States.
Great Bear: This steel coaster carries riders below the track, not above it. The ride starts by lifting you 90 feet off the ground. It will then speed up to 61 mph as it rips down the tracks, through a loop then into what is called an immelman — a loop that turns you out at the top and then drops.
Lightning Racer: The first wooden racing/dueling coaster in the United States, Lightning Racer is a double-track wooden roller coaster with two staggered lifts approximately 90 feet for each lift.
Roller Soaker: This ride features water squirt guns, water sprayers and spurting geysers. Each rider will be able to actually dump up to 4 gallons of water on spectators below, whenever they choose, while the spectators can direct huge water sprayers toward the riders.
Sidewinder: This steel roller coaster completes its spectacular flight only to return to its starting point in a “boomerang” style.
Skyrush: This coaster is the newest, tallest and fastest roller coaster at Hersheypark. After climbing 200 feet into the air, riders will be pitched downhill at 75 mph toward four high-speed turns, five zero-G airtime hills and the highest drop in the park.
SooperdooperLooper: It’s the first looping roller coaster on the East Coast.
Storm Runner: This coaster will launch riders from zero to 72 mph in two seconds, 18 stories straight up then straight down, before flying through a 135-foot cobra loop, barrel rolls and a flying snake dive so fast.
Trailblazer: A fast-paced coaster fit for the entire family.
Wild Mouse: As it careens around corners, riders of the Wild Mouse have the illusion that they will fall off the edge of the track.
Wildcat: This wooden roller coaster sends people barreling over hills and bumps at speeds of 45 mph.
KennywoodPhantom’s Revenge: Phantom’s Revenge is one of the fastest roller coasters in the world. Unlike most coasters, the biggest drop on this ride is not the first but the second — a whopping 230 feet, reaching speeds of 85 mph.
The Exterminator: The Exterminator is a high-speed roller coaster in the dark where the individual cars spin as they travel the twisting track.
Racer: This beautiful John Miller classic is the only single-track racing coaster in the United States. It is designed with a reverse curve so riders begin on the right and finish on the left. Thus, from the lift hill on, the tracks remain side by side rather than separating in the middle of the ride allowing riders to experience the race throughout.
Thunderbolt: This ride was dubbed the Ultimate Roller Coaster and King of Coasters by The New York Times in 1974.
Jack Rabbit: The Jack Rabbit has been a Kennywood staple since 1921. Designed and built by John Miller on a natural ravine, the Jack Rabbit is known for its 70-foot, double-dip drop.
Sky Rocket: The launch takes riders from zero to 50 mph in less than three seconds before hitting a 95-foot vertical climb and plummeting 90 degrees down.
KnoebelsPhoenix: Built as the Rocket in San Antonio, the coaster was moved to Knoebels in 1985. The Phoenix has been included in Amusement Today’s list of top wooden coasters.
Twister: Based on the famous Mr. Twister from Denver, the ride was designed and built completely in-house. Twister has been thrilling riders since 1999.
Lakemont ParkLeap-the-Dips: The rough, rickety and rundown Leap-the-Dips at the 1894 park was a throwback to the golden age of coasters when thrills were raw and wild. The 110-year-old ride lacks seat belts, a lap bar and any mechanism to keep the car attached to the track
WaldameerRavine Flyer II: Ranked sixth best wooden coaster in the world, the steel support structure boasts a 120-foot first drop, more than 3,000 feet of track with speeds more than 60 mph, all combined with six tunnels and 165-foot arched bridge that sends riders soaring over a four-lane highway.
Steel Dragon: Steel Dragon’s free-spinning cars travel through steep valleys, high speed, high-banked turns and slalom courses resulting in an unpredictable experience.
The Comet: Built in 1951, the Comet is one of 16 ACE Coaster Classics in the world and features a 45-foot hill and 1,400 feet of winding through a grove of trees.