Arts & Culture

Thrill Rides

A roundup of some of the newest, and scariest, amusement park rides in the region.


coaster graphicCocoa
water ride graphicColossal
drop ride graphicZumanjaro:
Drop of Doom
PARK Hershey Park

Hershey, PA

Busch Gardens

Williamsburg, VA

Six Flags Great Adventure

Jackson, NJ

TYPE Steel roller coaster Group waterpark ride Drop Ride
HEIGHT Riders must be at least 48 inches tall or accompanied by an adult Riders must be at least 48 inches tall Riders must be at least 48 inches tall



New for 2014, the Cocoa Cruiser isn’t the most dangerous ride out there, but the helix-shaped machine is a great entrée for younger riders to experience the thrill of a roller coaster for the first time. The Colossal Curl is part of Water County USA and is the only slide of its kind in the country. Four riders sit on cloverleaf-shaped rafts, which first go down a funnel feature, through colorful tubes, then slide into a nearly vertical wave wall. Zumanjaro is the world’s tallest drop ride, hoisting riders 415 feet into the air (higher than the Statue of Liberty), pausing, and then sending them plunging downward at 90 miles per hour.
RIDE coaster graphicVolcano: The
Blast Coaster
coaster graphicRagin’
PARK Kings Dominion
Doswell, VA
Jolly Roger Amusement Park
Ocean City, MD
Six Flags America
Upper Marlboro, MD
TYPE Inverted roller coaster Waterslide Steel coaster with independently spinning cars
HEIGHT Riders must be at least 54 inches tall Riders must be at least 47 inches tall and weigh between 80-290 pounds. Riders must be at least 48 inches tall with adult or 54 inches tall to ride solo
This classic ride, which got updates and higher rider capacity this year, essentially shoots its passengers straight out of a volcano, while they are inverted, at 155 feet in the air. The AquaLoop shoots swimmers (only in their bathing suits) down a tube at 37 miles per hour, and it’s a ride you can’t find anywhere else on the East Coast. The Travel Channel named it one of the top three summer thrill rides. Like a combination of teacups and a coaster, the Ragin’ Cajun allows four riders to spin each car independently through a 1,378-foot track and down a 43-foot hill.