The Best Dueling Roller CoastersDueling Dragons - Islands of Adventure
Dueling roller coasters were the next obvious evolution after the racing coasters of years past. Like racing coasters, duelers have two tracks. The major differenc
e is that on dueling coasters the tracks interact with one another. Exciting near misses and fly-bys are common on these roller coasters.

3 – Gwazi at Busch Gardens Africa (Tampa, FL)
Located at Busch Gardens Africa, Gwazi wasGwazi - Busch Gardens Africa - Reviews named after a mythological creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a lion. It features dueling tracks with 6 near misses. Unfortunately, Gwazi rarely duels anymore. When I visited the park in 2005, only the lion track was operating. Luckily, I was able to ride it back in 1999 when it opened and the dueling really added a lot to the experience. Gwazi Tiger has an element that gives riders a slalom sensation, while Gwazi Lion offers a number of spirals. Here’s a full POV video from Gwazi Tiger. Looks like Lion was M.I.A. on this day.

2 – Dueling Dragons at Island of Adventure (Orlando, FL)Dueling Dragons - Islands of Adventure - Reviews
Dueling Dragons takes the dueling idea to another level with inversions involved in the near misses. The Fire and Ice Dragons live in the back of Islands of Adventure. It features some of the best pre-ride theming I’ve ever seen. The castle that acts as the ride queue and station is amazing. I felt like I went back to the Middle Ages.

There are five duels on Dueling Dragons. At times the trains pass within only 18 inches of each other. (That must be why there’s a maximum height requirement.) Each track has its own unique layout, each with five inversions. You can see a drawing of the Dueling Dragons layout here. It’s not my favorite dueler. Because of the nature of the inverted trains, you don’t always realize when you do those near misses. Check out this heavily produced video and you’ll see what I mean.

1- Lightning Racer at Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)
Lightning Racer at Hersheypark is one of the best wooden coasters around. It’s ranked 5th on my top wooden roller coasters list and 10th on my overall top roller coasters list. It’s fast, fun, and mostLightning Racer - Hersheypark - Reviews importantly smooth. Riders choose between the lightning (red) and thunder (green) trains. Not only are there several fly-bys and near-misses, but as Lightning Racer’s name suggests, the trains race to a finish line. When it opened in 2000, it was the first racing and dueling roller coaster in the world. In my opinion, it’s reason enough to take a trip to Hersheypark. Here’s a shaky onride video from the lightning train.

Photo 4 courtesy of CoasterImage.com
Got a comment or question about this week’s T3 Thursday? Leave ’em below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

8 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Lightning Racer is your number 1 dueler, and number 5 woodie. Can you please produce review?

    Reply
  2. JaMeS

    Coaster Critic, can you review what you think of Dueling Dragons? ( and the lake that has almost no water in it? It is in the shape of a dragon!

    Reply
  3. Guilherme

    Good list, but I think mine would be different (I haven't ridden all of them, so It's just an hypothetical list) :

    -3:Batman & Robin: The Chiller

    -2:Battlestar Galactica

    -1:Dragon Challenge (not dueling anymore) 🙁

    Reply
  4. Will

    It’s so tragic that Gwazi is SBNO with the promise of never operating again, and Dueling Dragons was sent to the scrapyard recently. And I’m not to hopeful for the future of Lightning Racer, as it never has a line and is right next to the waterpark, so I could very easily see Hershey deciding that it isn’t worth having if they decide to do a waterpark expansion. I know their roller soaker land is beeing used for the next waterpark expansion, but that’s happening next year. As much as I don’t want it to be true, Lightning Racer is next if it doesn’t develop some popularity before Hershey decides to do another waterpark expansion. I’m glad I’ve ridden LR, and I’m glad I got the chance to ride DD, once with a duel at night because the crew could tell I was a passionate enthusiast so I got to duel Ice while riding Fire. And that was in July this year. I really wish they had gotten relocated, and I’m hoping the clone in storage at the B&M plant gets sent to some other park.

    Reply

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