Article updated on 08/16/2022
Today marks National Roller Coaster Day in the US and thrill seekers throughout the country will be getting strapped in to their favorite theme park rides to celebrate.
Guinness World Records has been documenting roller coaster records for decades, from the tallest and fastest to the most expensive – so to mark the special occasion we’ve created a list of the most jaw-dropping, scream-inducing roller coaster achievements to date.
1. Oldest person to ride a non-inversion roller coaster
Proving you’re never too old to set a world record, great-granddad Jack Reynolds from Chesterfield, UK attempted this Guinness World Records title on his 105th birthday in April to raise money for a local air ambulance charity.
Jack’s roller coaster of choice was the Twistosaurus in Flamingo Land, Malton, and he sat alongside his 56-year-old daughter Jayne, Good Morning Britain’s Kay Rickitt and Dr Hilary Jones.
“It were okay. I’m going for another ride in a minute!” Jack said after the attempt.
2. Tallest vertical drop amusement ride
The Giant Drop at Dreamworld, in Queensland, Australia drops from a height of 119 m (390 ft), giving riders five seconds of free fall time before being brought to a halt by electromagnetic brakes. The ride, which is as tall as a 30-storey building, opened on 26 December 1998 and cost AU$12 million (£4.5 million or US7.4 million).
3. Longest marathon on a roller coaster
In 2007 school teacher and roller coaster superfan Richard Rodriguez (USA) rode the Pepsi Max Big One and Big Dipper roller coasters at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, UK for 405 hr 40 min from 27 July to 13 August. Richard ate, drank, and slept on the coaster and donated funds raised through the record attempt to diabetes research.
4. Most track inversions in a roller coaster
The 16-passenger roller coaster was reported to have cost £18 million (US $27,612,500) to complete and took 3,000 hours to construct. Riders whirl through the 14 inversions at speeds of up to 85 km/h (52.82 mph), with the highest drop reaching 30 m (98.43 ft). In total, the ride lasts 165 seconds as riders travel along a 1,170 m (3,839 ft) track. The Smiler can be found in the X-Sector area of Alton Towers Resort.
5. Tallest indoor roller coaster
The tallest indoor roller coaster is 56.736 meters and was achieved by Doha Oasis Quest (Qatar), in Doha, Qatar, on 18 October 2021. Quest Park features a mix of media-controlled simulators, attractions that are family-friendly, virtual reality experiences, a blend of adrenaline rushing heavy thrill rides.
6. Highest average age for a roller coaster
A group of 32 riders with an average age of 75.25 years were passengers on the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire, UK, on 24 September 2003.
7. Most naked riders on a theme park ride
It is British Naturism (UK) that achieved the record title for the most naked riders on a theme park ride with 195 naked riders. This record attempt took place on a theme park roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Lancashire, UK) on the Grand National roller coaster. After the sun went down at the amusement park, the large group easily beat the previous record of 102, which was set on Adventure Island's Green Scream ride in Southend in 2010.
8. Most capital cities named in one minute whilst on a rollercoaster
The most capital cities named whilst on a rollercoaster in one minute is 38, achieved by James "Diags" Bennewith (UK) at Thorpe Park, Surrey, UK, on 6 May 2021. The record attempt was carried out on Colossus, a ten-loop rollercoaster at Thorpe Park, and filmed for the reality TV show, The Only Way Is Essex.
9. Most costumed riders on a theme park ride
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom (USA) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA, achieved the most costumed riders on a theme park ride on 18 August 2011. To achieve the record, multiple trains of the 'Steel Force' roller coaster were loaded with 36 passengers and dispatched consecutively. Two criteria had to be met in order for zombies to be counted in the record: their face make-up had to include at least three colors and they had to wear themed clothing like torn shirts, pants, or dresses.
10. Most roller coasters ridden in 24 hours
The greatest number of different roller-coasters ridden in one 24-hour period is 74. On 9 Aug 2001, Philip A Guarno, Adam Spivak, John R Kirkwood and Aaron Monroe Rye (all USA) rode cars in 10 parks in four US states, using helicopters to travel between them.