Ultimate Family Travel

Pack up the family because Travel Channel is counting down the best family adventures, from a $100 tangle with alligators to a $57,000 Titanic voyage.

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Thunder Dolphin

Thunder Dolphin

Not only does this coaster — located at Tokyo Dome City — have a wacky name, but it features some very bizarre elements, including an interesting “thread the needle” move at the top of a building and a pass through the center of a giant Ferris wheel. The coaster tours the shopping mall area and then twists and dives around the midway before heading back to the station. 960 1280

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images  

The Bullet

The Bullet

The Bullet at Selva Magica in Guadalajara, Mexico, is a shuttle loop folded in half to take up less space. This bizarre ride starts with a backward launch and hits speeds of over 50 mph, reaching the strongest G-forces in any vertical loop. There is almost no straight track in the entire ride — in fact, even the station is twisted! This coaster has traveled the world, having been in Germany, Austria, England and Florida, and has now found permanent residency in Mexico.  960 1280

Selvea Magica  

Gravity Max (The Tilt Coaster)

Gravity Max (The Tilt Coaster)

One of the wackiest roller coasters is located at Lihpao Land in Taiwan. The Gravity Max, also known as the Tilt Coaster, is the world’s first coaster to feature a true 90-degree drop and the world’s only tilt coaster. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Hundeprutterutchebane

Hundeprutterutchebane

When it comes to purely wacky coasters, this ride at Denmark's BonBon Land makes the top of the list. In English, Hundeprutterutchebane means “the dog fart coaster.” BonBon Land is a kid-friendly amusement park filled with fun, humorous rides. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Great Wall of China Toboggan Ride

Great Wall of China Toboggan Ride

Do you want to see the Great Wall by roller coaster? Well, you most certainly can! Ride enthusiasts can travel about an hour north of Beijing to Badaling, where they can board a (relatively slow) roller coaster that takes them to the top of the Great Wall. After visitors are done sightseeing, they can take another ride back down. This is the best way to see one of the great wonders of the world! 960 1280

Peter Charlesworth/LightRocket/Getty Images   

Driving Coaster: Vanish

Driving Coaster: Vanish

Located at Cosmoworld in Yokohama, Japan, Diving Coaster does just as its name implies. This coaster creates a splash as it dives underwater through a man-made lagoon. It's both visually awesome, and quite the fun ride! 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Ultra Twister

Ultra Twister

This bizarre ride was all the rage in Japan in the 1980s through 1990s. There was a similar coaster at the Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, but it was moved to the Six Flags' Astroworld in Houston. This unique "pipeline" coaster shuttles riders back and forth. It also features a near 90-degree drop and a series of "heart line twists." This one pictured is at Nagashima Spaland about 45 minutes from Nagoya by train. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Tranan

Tranan

Tranan is a one-of-a-kind "free fly" coaster located at Skara Sommerland in Sweden. It’s billed as family friendly, but it’s also a strange, thrill ride. The seats are aligned on the outside of the vehicle, providing riders with a 360-degree, swinging experience throughout the ride. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Euro Mir

Euro Mir

Euro Mir is by far one of my favorite wacky rides, and it's also completely awesome! The coaster, located at Europa Park in Rust, Germany, is a mix of a Russian-inspired techno dance party, a weird mirrored-tower structure and all on a turning roller coaster. There isn't really any way to fully describe it other than to ride it yourself. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Dauling Dragons

Dauling Dragons

Dauling Dragon in China is a wooden roller coaster with coasters on duel tracks racing simultaneously up a 90-degree incline. At the top of the incline where the coasters meet, it appears to look like riders in the train are close enough to reach over for a “high-5.” 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Maximum RPM

Maximum RPM

Myrtle Beach’s Hard Rock Park is closed, but it had one of the wackiest coasters. Maximum RPM was the only ride in the world to feature a Ferris-wheel-lift design. Is it unique and wacky? Oh, yeah! The ride was a lot of fun, and it was an efficient way for the park to save space. The coaster is still standing at the closed park, but hopefully it will find a new home someday. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Olympia Looping

Olympia Looping

This is quite possibly one of the most majestic looking roller coasters ever. Olympia Looping is a 5-loop steel roller coaster -- the world's biggest, "portable" roller coaster. It travels the German fair circuit and is one of the stand-out attractions at Munich’s Oktoberfest. This roller coaster is not to be missed. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

The Smiler

The Smiler

Alton Towers may take the prize for some of the wackiest build-up to a roller coaster debut ever. Park marketers shaved Smiler coaster logos into sheep and sold a mouth guard that could give you an instant, forced smile. So what's all the hype for? The world's only 14-loop roller coaster! It's a crazy concept, but you will be smiling at end your ride. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Outer Space Flying Car

Outer Space Flying Car

Yes, Outer Space Flying Car is the Chinese translation of this roller coaster’s real name! Located in Fisherman's Warf outside of Shanghai, this coaster features some bizarre and wacky roller coaster elements, including a vertical lift hill inside a metal tube and drop into a 360-degree—all at an insane coaster speed. The ride is so rough and brutal that the park requires riders to wear headgear. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Insane

Insane

Just as the ride's name suggests, this coaster’s design is insane. Located at Grona Lund in Stockholm, Sweden, Insane’s track is in the middle and seats on the side that freely spin and rotate based on the weight distribution of the riders. Prepare to spin out of control if the car is unbalanced. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

The Lost Coaster

The Lost Coaster

At Indiana Beach Amusement Resort in Monticello, IN, Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain will take riders on a strange wooden roller coaster journey they won't forget. The journey starts with a vertical lift up a hill system and enclosed in mine cars. Riders travel through the mountain making sharp turns and other off-track attractions including a bear. The park is located about 90 minutes from Indianapolis. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror

This coaster at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg, South Africa, is wacky and terrifying. Tower of Terror is built like an abandoned mine shaft. Riders plummet 164 feet down at a 90-degree angle. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Takabisha

Takabisha

Talk about strange and wacky -- just look at the angle of the decent on this roller coaster at Japan's Fuji-Q Highland! At 121-degree angle, this coasted is touted as the world's steepest coaster. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Wacky Worm

Wacky Worm

You just simply cannot talk about wacky coasters without mentioning the king of all of them, the Wacky Worm. This is one of the most popular family-friendly roller coasters found around the world. At the amusement park, the Wacky Worm is a great “starter” roller coaster for young riders. 960 1280

Robb Alvey  

Alpine Coaster

Alpine Coaster

Do you want to ride a roller coaster in the cold and snow? In Park City, UT, you can race along with skiers as you descend the side of Wasatch Mountain at Park City Mountain Resort. You’ll feel as though you’re flying on this toboggan-style coaster with 4,000 feet of curves, bends and loops. 960 1280

Yvette Cardozo/Photolibrary/Getty Images   

Veil of Dark

Veil of Dark

Located at Tokyo Joypolis in Japan, the Veil of Dark is an interactive video game and indoor roller coaster. Part of the ride allows passengers to shoot at screens in front of them, and then suddenly, they are launched into an indoor, looping roller coaster. It's a strange but very fun ride! 960 1280

Dunzl/ Ullstein Bild/Getty Images   

Aqualoop Waterslide

Aqualoop Waterslide

A wide shot of the Aqualoop Waterslide at Blue Bayou Waterpark in Baton Rouge, LA. 960 1280

  

Stukas Water Tower

Stukas Water Tower

A view from the top of the Stukas Water Tower at Canevaworld Resort in Verona, Italy. 960 1280

  

Calypso Waterpark

Calypso Waterpark

The Boomerango waterslide at Calypso Waterpark in Ontario, Canada. 960 1280

  

Taumata Racer

Taumata Racer

Bystanders watch people ride the Taumata Racer at Sea World’s Aquatica Waterpark in Orlando, FL. 960 1280

  

Siam Park

Siam Park

A waterpark enthusiast surfs giant waves in the wave pool at Siam Park in the Canary Islands. 960 1280

Picasa  

The Destroyer

The Destroyer

People slide down the Destroyer in Vail, CO. 960 1280

  

Jurahnimo Falls

Jurahnimo Falls

A wide shot of Jurahnimo Falls slide tower at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, NJ. 960 1280

  

Splish Splash

Splish Splash

Riders splash down into the Abyss landing pool at Splish Splash Waterpark in Calverton, NY. 960 1280

  

Water Country USA

Water Country USA

The view from the top of the Vanish Point slides at Water Country USA in Williamsburg, VA. 960 1280

  

Flowrider

Flowrider

The crew gets audio as bystanders watch and riders react to the Flowrider at the Wavehouse in San Diego, CA. 960 1280

  

Acroland

Acroland

A person flies off of Hot Jump at Acroland in Tignes, France. 960 1280

Picasa  

Slip 'n Soar

Slip 'n Soar

A point-of-view shot from the runway of a homemade slide at Slip 'n Soar in Augusta, GA. 960 1280

  

Rainforest Slide

Rainforest Slide

A rider slides down Rainforest Slide at Vandara Hot Springs & Adventure in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. 960 1280

  

Baldi Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs

Producer Jen Jordon and the crew film the riders launching down a slide at Baldi Hot Springs & Adventure in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. 960 1280

  

US National Whitewater Center

US National Whitewater Center

Kayakers partake in the whitewater rapids at US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. 960 1280

  

Medusa, Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City

Medusa, Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City

Like the New Texas Giant, Medusa is a hybrid roller coaster that was redesigned from its original all-wood structure to replace the tracks with steel I beams. The end result, once again, blew riders away. This time around, Medusa features an inverting first drop — a first for a ride of its kind — several moments of airtime and 3 inversions total. The roller coaster alone is worth the trip to Six Flags Mexico.     960 1280

Six Flags  

Maverick, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

Maverick, Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

While Maverick does not hold any records for the tallest or fastest ride in the world, it is a huge favorite among coaster enthusiasts. Its high speed, quick turns, airtime-filled layout, surprise tunnel launch and multiple inversions leave riders breathless when they hit the brake run! When visiting Cedar Point, a park filled with 16 different roller coasters, this is the 1 that I personally like to run to first. 960 1280

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio  

New Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

New Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

In 2011, Six Flags unveiled a project that would create a new category for roller coasters. Taking away the wood tracks of the classic Texas Giant and laying down a new steel design created a "hybrid" roller coaster that was the perfect mix of the 2 materials. While the ride still retains some of the classic elements of a wooden coaster, the new steel I-beam track allows for a much smoother ride, steeper drops and maneuvers not possible on wooden roller coasters before.     960 1280

Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images  

Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

Outlaw Run is considered the first successful wooden roller coaster to go upside down. While others have come before — and failed — Outlaw Run was the first one with both a phenomenal ride experience and a design that didn't push unrealistic boundaries of engineering. The joint effort between Silver Dollar City and Rocky Mountain Construction proved to be a huge win, as this ride immediately jumped to the top 10 of many coaster fans’ lists. 960 1280

Silver Dollar City  

Space Mountain, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Space Mountain, Walt Disney World, Orlando

Let's not forget about the classics — the roller coasters that many of us grew up on and are still favorites during adulthood. Do not underestimate Orlando's version of Space Mountain. While the top speed may only be just shy of 30 mph, this dark, indoor ride features some very tight turns and sudden drops, which produce surprises that can compete with larger thrill rides. But even still, this ride is all about family fun, so if you're a family that likes to scream together, Space Mountain is a great place for younger ones to start riding! 960 1280

Disney  

T Express - Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

T Express - Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

The owners of Everland wanted a roller coaster that would blow visitors away. They rode both Balder and El Toro, and asked the ride manufacturer Intamin to create a ride that was a combination of the two. That's exactly what they got -- a ride that starts out very similar to El Toro, and then transforms into a near copy of Balder! T Express is nearly 200 feet tall, with over 5,000 feet of track, and features a first drop at a 77-degree angle. It also has claimed the title of "No. 1 Wooden Coaster in the world" for several years.
960 1280

Seongbin Im  

El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

El Toro - Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

El Toro has ranked the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world several times. It's one of the tallest, fastest, steepest and most intense roller coasters anywhere. The 76-degree, 180-foot-first drop is breathtaking, and you’ll find it difficult to catch your breath through this 1:42-minute ride! The airtime encountered on El Toro is some of the most extreme. Not many roller coasters match what this ride can do. 960 1280

John Greim/ LightRocket/ Getty Images  

Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

Expedition GeForce - Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

Like Bizarro, Expedition GeForce has also claimed the coveted "No. 1 steel roller coaster" title several times. From the initial twisting 175-foot-first drop to rocketing through over 4,000 feet of airtime-filled track, Expedition GeForce tops many roller coaster enthusiasts "best of" lists. It's kind of out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Germany, but it's well worth traveling to. 960 1280

Holiday Park  

Balder - Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Balder - Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Balder, simply put, is an "airtime machine" -- a wooden roller coaster that turned the wooden roller coaster world on its side when it debuted. It featured the world’s steepest drop on a wooden roller coaster, 70 degrees at the time, and a track layout that literally left you flying out of your seat for the 2-minute duration of the ride. It's about as perfect as a wooden roller coaster can get! 960 1280

Liseberg  

Bizarro - Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Bizarro - Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Bizarro is Superman's alter-ego version of Superman, and this is his roller coaster! This steel "hyper coaster" has won the No. 1 steel coaster in the world award many times for its out-and-back combined with a twister design, airtime-filled bunny hops, and steep, sharp drops. It's easily one of the don't-miss roller coasters in the world. 960 1280

Six Flags  

Nemesis - Alton Towers, Stoke-On-Trent, England

Nemesis - Alton Towers, Stoke-On-Trent, England

Nemesis is a vicious monster! No, for real! This intense, inverted roller coaster is themed after a monster from another dimension that has been unearthed at Alton Towers. Because of local area height restrictions, the ride had to be built mostly underground and much of the area had to be blasted away to make room for the ride. Because of this, the coaster travels through trenches and ravines, over rivers of blood, and throughout the "Forbidden Valley" section of the park. It's truly a perfect combination of "thrills" and "theming," and should not be missed! 960 1280

Alton Towers Resort  

Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA

Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA

It doesn't get anymore old school than Phoenix! This traditional wooden roller coaster was originally built at Playland Park in San Antonio in 1948, and was relocated to Knoebels in 1985. One of the most classic wooden roller coasters with a "survival story," this roller coaster thrills riders of all ages. Phoenix is an airtime-filled machine; you find yourself floating out of your seat more than you're in it! 960 1280

Jeremy Thompson  

Goliath - Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Goliath - Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Goliath is not the tallest or fastest coaster in the world, but it packs some serious power behind its multiple airtime hills, sharp drops and intense helixes, and delivers one of the most airtime-filled rides that any roller coaster has to offer. It's located just about an hour outside of Amsterdam, and it's well worth the visit for any thrill-seeker. 960 1280

delawega  

iSpeed - Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Italy

iSpeed - Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Italy

Launching roller coasters started becoming all the rage about 10 years ago, and iSpeed is one of the best! Riders are launched from 0 to 62 mph in about 2 seconds, and then maneuver through a series of twists, turns and 2 inversions over more than 3,000 feet of track. It's one of the best roller coasters in all of Europe! 960 1280

Jeremy Thompson  

Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

Intimidator 305 - Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA

Intimidator 305 is a MASSIVE steel roller coaster -- 305 feet tall, over 5,000 feet of track and blazing speeds of 90 mph! It's one of the top 10 coasters in the world for biggest drop, height and speed! Extreme g-forces on this coaster may cause "gray out" sensations at the bottom of the first drop, where riders feel light-headed! It's one incredibly intense roller coaster -- which is why it's one of the best in the world. 960 1280

The Washington Post/ Getty Images  

Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan, Wuhan, China

Dauling Dragon - Happy Valley Wuhan, Wuhan, China

No, that's not a typo -- the name of the ride is "Dauling" Dragon! This one-of-a-kind double-tracked, racing wooden roller coaster features a "high-five" element where both tracks simultaneously speed through a 90-degree banked element, creating a visual where it looks like the riders in both trains could "high five" each other! While you're not close enough to actually touch, the element is insanely thrilling; it's about as close to another 65 mph moving roller coaster train you're ever going to get! 960 1280

milts via Wikimedia Commons  

Pyrenees - Parque Espana - Shima, Japan

Pyrenees - Parque Espana - Shima, Japan

Located just a couple hours outside of Nagoya sits one of the best roller coasters anywhere, at a park that isn't well known outside of central Japan. Pyrenees is an "inverted" steel roller coaster with some extreme g-forces, blazing fast speeds and some crazy inversions. I've been on quite a few inverted coasters in the world, but Pyrenees always comes close to the top of my list. Well worth the trek out to Parque Espana. 960 1280

Yanajin33  

Kawasemi - Tobu Zoo - Tokyo, Japan

Kawasemi - Tobu Zoo - Tokyo, Japan

Kawasemi is proof that a ride doesn't need to be the tallest or the fastest to be fantastic! At just about 100 feet tall, Kawasemi has some of the most extreme airtime of any roller coaster I've encountered! One of the best roller coasters in the world, and certainly the best coaster in all of Japan! 960 1280

momokkey  

Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa, FL

Kumba - Busch Gardens Tampa - Tampa, FL

No question that Kumba is one of the best "multi-looping" roller coasters in the world! The ride opened in 1993, and 20 years later is still thrilling millions of riders. Kumba takes you upside down 7 times through a series of dive loops, cobra rolls and interlocking corkscrews. You'll never know which way is up! 960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.  

Superman Escape - Warner Brothers Movie World - Queensland, Australia

Superman Escape - Warner Brothers Movie World - Queensland, Australia

Blasting at a speed of 0 to 62 mph in a mere 2 seconds, Superman Escape is one of the most thrilling "launched" coasters on the planet! The ride features not only a fast-paced roller coaster but a complete "dark ride" prior to the launch that takes riders through a metropolis to the scene of an incident that Superman helps you escape from! 960 1280

Paul Broben/ Getty Images  

Honorable Mention - Formula Rossa - Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

Honorable Mention - Formula Rossa - Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

While I don't feel Formula Rossa is in the "top 15" coasters in the world, you can't create a list like this without mentioning the world’s fastest roller coaster! Located in Abu Dhabi, Formula Rossa is built at Ferrari World, an entire theme park dedicated to the race cars of the same name. And Formula Rossa lives up to what you would expect from a park like this. Formula Rossa launches to speeds of 149 mph in 4 seconds -- you can feel every bit of that launch speed through your body! It's an amazing experience! 960 1280

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi  


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