The Top Seven First Drops
When I was writing my post about my single favorite ride on a coaster I got to thinking about how great that ride’s first drop was. I also thought about what other first drops had taken my breath away. Here’s a list of my top seven favorite first drops.
#7: Fahrenheit at Hersheypark
Fahrenheit’s first drop happens to be the steepest on this list at ninety-seven degrees. A vertical climb takes us up to the top of the ride’s one hundred twenty-one foot lift. The drop provides surprising amounts of airtime. This first drop helped Fahrenheit to become my favorite coaster at Hersheypark.
#6: Maverick at Cedar Point
Maverick’s drop is unique in that the trains are launched into it. The 105 foot lift hill is more like a launch, it uses LSMs to boost the trains to the top. Once there, the coaster drops riders down at ninety-five degrees. The rest of the ride is pretty intense too.
#5: SheiKra at Busch Garden’s Tampa
For some reason, SheiKra’s drop seemed more intense than Griffon’s, even though Griffon is a bit taller. The thing that makes this drop so great is that there is a brake at the top that slowly tilts riders out over the edge of the two hundred foot drop. Ah yes, did I mention that it is floorless?
#4: X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain
By far the most unique coaster on this list, X2 is a 4th Dimension Coaster. This means that the seats can freely rotate three hundred and sixty degrees forward and backward. Imagine that plus a 215 foot vertical drop and you’ve got X2. At the top the seats rotate so that riders are facing straight down before the track even starts falling. Then the riders are flipped upside-down for the actual free fall.
#3: Skyrush at Hersheypark
The newest addition to this list, Skyrush opened in 2012. Despite having painful restraints, the ride’s first drop is excellent. The ride uses a cable lift to pull the trains to the top, they reach the two hundred foot apex in less than ten seconds. The first drop is at eighty-five degrees. The airtime is excellent all over the train.
#2: El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure
As the coaster that inspired this list, El Toro should be placed near the top. In fact, it almost was number 1. The trains are so long that the back seats are yanked down the one hundred seventy-six foot drop. The airtime here is simply the strongest that I’ve ever felt.
#1: Millennium Force at Cedar Point
The tallest coaster on this list, Millennium Force deserves the #1 spot. The drop is taken at eighty degrees, that isn’t that steep compared to some of the other rides on the list so why is it the best? First, it is on the shores of Lake Erie so it’s very picturesque and you feel like you’re about to fall into the water. Second, it has two full seconds of weightlessness, that’s about the longest that I’ve ever felt on a coaster. Finally, it is three hundred feet from top to bottom. Overall it is the best.
So pretty much my top three coasters have cable lift hills. There really need to be more rides with this feature since it is fast and quiet.
What do you think? Which coasters do you think have the best first drops? Please comment. Thanks for reading!