Ask any stranger on the street if they enjoy rollercoaster rides and you’d probably be met with a spectrum of reactions, ranging from wide-eyed trepidation to unrestrained glee. Love them or hate them, one can’t deny the fact that rollercoasters are modern engineering marvels that seemingly defy the limits of gravity.
If hurtling through the air at breakneck speeds, experiencing negative G-forces or 90-degree vertical drops is your idea of fun (all while being strapped in the safety of a seat or harness, of course), these four rides are an absolute must on your bucket list.
Taiwan: Screaming Condor
Don’t be fooled by Leofoo Village Theme Park’s innocent exterior. Beneath its cheery façade lies a behemoth of a ride – the Screaming Condor.
The only U-shaped suspension roller coaster in Asia boasts a 90-degree drop, coupled with a 360-degree spiral whirl. Feel your legs dangle as you are launched 56-metres into the air at a breakneck speed of 105km/h. The thrill doesn’t end there – the inverted shuttle coaster sends you reversing down the track before you’re greeted by the twist at the other end of the track. Fun fact: This ride was featured on the popular Korean variety show “Running Man”.
Location: Leofoo Village Theme Park, Hsinchu County, Taiwan
How to get there:
You may take Bus 1840 from Taoyuan International Airport to Songshan Airport. The bus ride takes approximately 50 minutes and costs around NTD 140 (~ SGD 6.30). After that, you have to transfer to the E-Go Bus at Songshan Airport to get to the theme park. The journey takes around 1.5 hours and costs around NTD 123 (~SGD 5.50).
There are multiple flights daily on various airlines from Changi Airport to Taipei. Search for the best fares and book your tickets now!
A Guinness World Record holder for being the steepest roller coaster in the world with a 121-degree drop angle, Japan’s Takabisha (which translates to “dominant” in English) is a ride with attitude and altitude. Housed in Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park, Takabisha is the ride responsible for the ear-splitting screams you’ll hear while you’re in the park.
After you’re strapped in, get ready for seven stomach-churning twists over three-kilometres of track before the ride painstakingly pushes you up to the summit. Do admire the panoramic view of Mt. Fuji for those precious few seconds while you’re at the top, before the ride sends you plummeting 43 metres to the bottom.
Location: Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
How to get there:
You may choose to purchase the Toku-Q Pack by Fuji-Q Highland. The package includes an admission pass and a bus ticket for the round-trip Express Bus from Shinjuku Station. Alternatively, you may take the Chuo Highway Bus Fujigoko Line from Shinjuku Station (South Exit). The bus ride takes approximately 100 minutes.
There are several airlines flying daily from Changi Airport to Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda. Search for the best fares and book your tickets now!
South Korea: T-Express
Before the advent of steel roller coasters, wooden roller coasters ruled the roost in amusement parks. As the title-holder of the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster, Everland’s T-Express is a monster of a ride not to be missed.
As the T-Express is built on a hill, it takes significant advantage of its terrain to give riders a hair-raising experience (literally). Be prepared for eye-watering speeds of 104km/h coupled with sharp turns and significant amounts of “air time” (where you’ll momentarily rise up off your seat during the ride).
Location: Everland, Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
How to get there:
The fastest and most value-for-money way to Everland is the shuttle bus package offered by various bus operators in Seoul. Typically, the package includes a one-day admission ticket and round-trip shuttle bus tickets from several subway stations in Seoul.
There are many airlines with multiple daily flights from Changi Airport to Seoul. Search for the lowest airfares and book your tickets now!
USA: The Joker 4D Free Fly Coaster
If there is a country that is home to some of the world’s tallest, longest or fastest rollercoasters, the USA would be a clear winner. It’s no secret that the USA is home to hundreds of such exhilarating rides, but The Joker 4D Free Fly Coaster in Six Flags Great America in Illinois is the ride for the ultimate adrenaline junkie.
Built in 2016 and named after the arch-nemesis of comic superhero Batman, the ride shares the same level of intensity and insanity as its namesake. Featuring free spinning cars that flip 360-degrees forward and backward throughout the ride, riders ascend 37 metres towards the sky, before a dizzying 90-degree fall into the first of two raven drops.
Wondering what’s the hype? The ride’s unique “winged” seat design suspends riders on the side of the track – so all you see while tumbling through the air is the sky and the ground.
Tip: As the park’s operating hours are subject to change, be sure to check the park operating schedule before visiting.
Location: Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois, USA
How to get there:
Located midway between Milwaukee and Chicago, the best way to get to the theme park is by renting a car. You may also consider taking the express bus service offered by Pace Suburban Bus to Six Flags.
There are many airlines that fly from Changi Airport to Chicago, mostly with one stop. Search for the best airfare deals and book your tickets now!
As rollercoaster rides get increasingly sophisticated and gravity-defying these days, these four rides have been safely tried and tested, and should definitely be experienced at least once!