Are We There Yet? – Extreme Amusement Parks

You might want to hold off eating until dinner at these daredevil destinations.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

I wouldn't call myself much of a thrill-seeker, and I find that as I get older I'm less and less inclined to try something risky (maybe because I'm getting wiser and wiser?!). I used to love trying the latest stomach-dropping ride at the amusements parks, and now I find myself sticking to ferris wheels and carousels.

However, if you do love adventure, the newest waterslide to debut at Wilderness at the Smokies Resort is the Wild Vortex, which features a trap door launching pad and a gravity-powered loop-the-loop experience at 2.5 g (g-force). Standing 66 feet tall, the slide is the only near-vertical, translucent, looping waterslide in the Southeast. Riders of the Wild Vortex will enter the capsule at the top of the ride, standing vertically over a trap door. Once the trap door is released, the rider accelerates into a 39-foot vertical free fall drop generating maximum g-force (2.5 g in less than two seconds) before reaching the inclined loop element. The entire ride is over within seven seconds.

Some of the other more extreme rides out there include:

Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. It's the tallest steel roller coaster in the world and the fastest in North America, zooming from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds and catapulting you 45 stories into the sky.

Superman: Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio is a floorless coaster known for having the tallest vertical loop at 145 feet tall.

The Millenium Force at Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio is so gigantic it is also known as a giga-coaster. It's a 310-foot, 93 mph record-breaking monster with an 80-degree drop to start the coaster ride of your life.

Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at