The Best Roller Coaster in America

Memorial Day is just around the corner, so thoughts inevitably turn to . . . roller coasters. As of this month, the baddest one in the world is in Sandusky, Ohio. According to Popular Mechanics magazine, the new Valravn ride at the Cedar Point amusement park is the “tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in the world.” It also has the longest drop for a dive coaster.

So what is a dive coaster? It’s one where the train you’re sitting in — in this case, a cluster of 24 seats in three rows of eight — hits the highest crest on the ride and just dangles there a bit before plummeting toward the ground. Valravn’s dangle lasts for four seconds, which must seem a lot longer when you’re up there waiting for the bottom to drop out. “After the lull, the car releases into a free fall,” the magazine writes, “a 214-foot straight drop that brings the speed up to 75 miles an hour.”

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Valravn also offers a 270-degree roll, some loops and plenty of twists that are especially tight because the train is more compact (“kind of like making a right turn in a car instead of a bus”) than others. The ride lasts for 2 minutes and 43 stomach-churning seconds. As the magazine suggests: “Save the corn dog for after the ride.”

Popular Mechanics has posted a video that will give you a sense of what it’s like to teeter at the top of ride before the drop. A virtual video from Cedar Point is even more exciting.




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