Roller coasters date back to the 1800s, and in 1884, the first roller coaster to grace America was opened. Since then, a lot of technology has gone into making roller coasters a staple in nearly every amusement park. As a result, no cost has been spared, and parks are willing to spend millions of dollars. Among the most expensive roller coasters ever built, here are the top ten.
10. The Smiler at Alton Towers, UK- $22 Million
The Smiler was constructed for about $22 million. It became the world’s first 14-loop roller coaster and is among the most expensive. Although it is only 98 feet high and the track measures 3800 feet long, it still gives riders a thrill by going at a top speed of 52 mph through the 14 loops. You have to be at least 140 cm tall to ride the roller coaster.
9. Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion Park, Virginia – $25 Million
When Intimidator 305 debuted in 2010, it became only one of two giga-coasters in North America. According to Autoweek, at a maximum height of 305 feet and speed of 90 mph, Intimidator 305 became the tallest and fastest roller-coaster of its kind in the East Coast. For $25 million, the roller-coaster was the largest investment in the history of King Dominions Park, which already had 14 other rides.
8. Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Ohio – $25 Million
Millennium Force was unveiled in 2000, debuting as the fastest and tallest roller-coaster worldwide at the time. It became the first giga-coaster, meaning it was the first to top out at more than 300 feet tall. Allegedly, Cedar Point wanted to maintain its reputation for having the best roller coaster in the world; hence, a pitch was presented to the board of directors in Cleveland in 1998. Intamin won the bid due to its creative technology, and Millennium Force was trademarked in June 1999, when construction also began.
7. Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, Ohio – $25 Million
According to Tony Florida, Top Thrill Dragster ties with Millennium Force as the most expensive investment in Cedar Point history. It takes 3.8 seconds to get the roller coaster to reach the top speed of 120 mph, but the entire ride takes 17 seconds. You get to undergo a 90-degree decline from a height of 420 feet, but you will only be allowed on the roller coaster if you are between 132 cm and 198 cm tall.
6. Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park, New Jersey- $25 Million
When Kingda Ka was built in 2005, it became the tallest and fastest roller coaster worldwide until Formula Rossa ousted it in 2010 as the world’s fastest. It still is the tallest at 456 feet. It is 3,118 feet long with a drop of 418 feet at a maximum vertical angle of 90 degrees. Despite the ride only lasting 50.76 seconds, the rush lasts for much longer since it reaches a maximum speed of 120 mph.
5. Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland Park- $28 Million
According to Yahoo News, Leviathan is the fastest and tallest roller coaster in Canada, making it the pride of Wonderland, Canada’s biggest theme park. It took a year to plan and another year to build. The roller coaster cost $28 million to build, making it the most expensive in the park. Leviathan’s plans were provided by Bolliger & Mabillard, who had also designed Behemoth, another roller coaster in Wonderland. Leviathan has a top speed of 92 mph and goes up to a height of 306 feet in a ride that lasts only three minutes and 28 seconds.
4. Fury 325 at Carowinds, Charlotte -$30 Million
For three minutes and 25 seconds, you experience the exhilarating feeling of being in Fury 325, a roller coaster boasting a top speed of 95mph and a peak height of 325 feet. It cost approximately $30 million to build, a job handed over to Bolliger & Mabillard. It was billed to be the fastest and tallest Giga coaster worldwide, but overall, it became the fifth- tallest and sixth-fastest roller coaster.
3. Thunder Dolphin in Tokyo Dome City -$37 Million
If you happen to be in Japan, Tokyo Dome City should be top of the list of places to visit. Thunder Dolphin, which cost $37 million to build, is located here, and it has been described as the signature ride of Tokyo Dome City. It reaches a maximum speed of 80 mph, and the ride starts with an 80-degree decline that grants you a scenic view of Tokyo City. A ride on Thunder Dolphin costs 1,030 Japanese Yen, which equates to $7.90.
2. Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land Amusement Park, Japan- $52 Million
According to Voyapon, Steel Dragon 2000 may not be the most expensive roller coaster ever built, costing only $52 million, but it is the longest in the world, with the track running for over 8,000 feet. It is named Steel Dragon 2000 to pay tribute to the year of the Dragon 2000. This roller coaster is 318 feet high and boasts a speed of 95 mph. It only takes 4 minutes to ride the Steel Dragon 2000, enough time for an adrenaline rush that can be addictive. However, you must be between 140 cm and 185 cm tall to be allowed on the roller coaster.
1. Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida – $100 Million
In January 2022, Expedition Everest closed down for refurbishments that were supposed to run until mid-April 2022, but the refurbishment was extended until April 30, 2022. It took six years of extensive planning and research for the attraction to debut in 2006, and it is the most expensive roller coaster, costing $100,000,000. The track stretches to over 4,000 feet long. The maximum speed is 60mph, and the biggest drop is 80 feet.