Top 3 Extreme Airtime Roller Coasters

Top Three Roller Coaster Thursdays

Ever get lifted out of your seat on a roller coaster? This is a result of the negative g-forces that are experienced on roller coasters. It’s a large part of the perceived danger that makes roller coasters fun and thrilling. This Thursday I’m listing my Top 3 Airtime Roller Coasters.

Cyclops at Mt. Olympus
Wisconsin Dells, WI
You have to be 18 or older to ride in the back seat of the Cyclops at Mount Olympus. This must be because of the infamous drop towards the end of the ride. It’s innocent looking enough, but has been known to launch riders in the back seat. I’ve read accounts of riders landing in the lap of the rider next to them. (See Timberman’s review). These aren’t exaggerations. I experienced it myself last Summer. It was as scary as advertised launching me higher than the seat divider.

On re-rides I would stay away from the back seat, I enjoy a thrill as much as the next guy, but the airtime on the end of Cyclops coupled with the age of the ride takes this airtime past my comfort level. The subterranean monster known as Hades is also at Mt. Olympus, check out my full Hades roller coaster review.

Phoenix at Knoebels
Elysburg, PA
On Knoebels legendary Phoenix there’s no belt buckle and the lap bar is a good 4 to 6 inches from your legs. Why? You ask. To accentuate the coaster’s “nothing but airtime” layout. And by airtime I mean completely out of your seat at least 8 or 9 times. I guarantee you the screams you hear on the Phoenix’s trains on this seemingly tame coaster are genuine, as riders fear that on the next dip they may be catapulted from the train. Check out my full Phoenix review including an onride video.

El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure
El Toro Roller Coaster - Six Flags Great Adventure
Jackson, New Jersey
El Toro is an enigma. A wooden roller coaster with a smooth as glass ride and more airtime than most parks can offer on all of their roller coasters combined. The last drop, which is one of the smallest of the entire ride, offers the sickest airtime I’ve ever experienced. It’s so forceful that you feel if the restraints weren’t there you’d end up being flung into the tiger exhibit over in the Golden Kingdom section.

Luckily, riders are stapled into the seats by ride ops on El Toro. Hardcore enthusiasts hate being pressed into their seats, but on this ride I don’t blame Six Flags Great Adventure. If you want to experience airtime ride El Toro. Check out my full El Toro review.

Honorable Mentions – Superman Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England, Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Europe, and Voyage at Holiday World

What’s Your Take?
Do you have a favorite airtime roller coaster or moment of airtime? Leave a comment below. Image 1 courtesy of CoasterImage