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Shambhala © Marcel Ringhoff
© Marcel Ringhoff

Monday, February 17, 2014 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.

Europe's tallest roller coasters

There are currently more than 700 roller coasters in Europe – and there are more and more every year. Besides inversions, hair-raising launches or breath-taking speeds, most visitors agree that the height makes the ride more terrifying and thrilling. For that reason, we would like to present to you in brief Europe's tallest roller coasters ...

Thorpe Park © Thorpe Park
© Thorpe Park
Stealth (Thorpe Park)
Number 5: Stunt Fall (Parque Warner, Spain)

Spanish people usually tend to be more afraid of roller coasters – number 5 goes to the surrounding of Madrid, only the operators might know why this of all places. Both towers of "Stunt Fall” stand 58 metres tall, and are thus the park's eye-catcher. One of the most striking features is the vertical spike backwards, so that riders virtuelly only feel protected by the belts while their feet are dangling in the air. The Vekoma coaster's following inversions at speeds of over 100 kilometres per hour can almost be considered relaxing in comparison.

Number 4: Stealth (Thorpe Park, England)

The magical 60 metres are beaten by Number 4: Since 2006, "Stealth” at Britain's Thorpe Park has been offering gut-wrenching views from a heigth of 62.5 metres, whereas there is not much time to enjoy the sight, for its trains are launched from 0 to almost 130 kilometres per hour in under 2 seconds. This coaster is calculated the same way as Werner Stengel's "iSpeed”, but its noble colouring of white and dark grey set itself visually apart from the rest – particularly when the deep red trains thunder through the coaster's Top Hat.

The Big One (Pleasure Beach Blackpool)
Number 3: The Big One (Pleasure Beach Blackpool, England)

This roller coaster, truly a giant by European standards, had been the continent's tallest roller coaster for a long time. The thrill monster, which towers 65 metres, has been spreading fear and fright among visitors to Pleasure Beach Blackpool since 1994. The Arrow Dynamics ride not only scores with its height, but also with its track length of nearly 1.700 metres at a top speed of nearly 120 kilometres per hour – this results in an almost three minute ride on "the big old lady”. Unfortunately, 'she' is a bit bumpy and rough, so it is not that much fun despite of the enormous height.

Number 2: Silver Star (Europa-Park, Germany)

The silver medal in the contest for Europe's tallest coasters happens to go to "Silver Star” located at Europa-Park in Germany. It was actually holding the record until 2012. This Bolliger & Mabillard ride measures more than 70 metres in height. It stands out for its incredibly smooth ride experience. The stylishly designed Silver Arrow trains thunder through the course that excludes inversions, but includes awesome g-forces. Gernerally spoken, "Silver Star” is a family coaster – merely the enormous height ensures a thrill-packed ride.

Shambhala © Marcel Ringhoff
© Marcel Ringhoff
Shambhala (PortAventura)
Number 1: Shambhala (PortAventura, Spain)

And the winner is – "Shambhala”. This giant rises 76 metres into the sky above the Spanish amusement park PortAventura. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, just like "Silver Star”, the hypercoaster is named after a mythical kingdom. With a speed of up to 134 kilometres per hour and a 78 metre drop "Shambhala” holds another two European records. The ride provides lots of airtime, but the splashdown is also a prime feature.

© parkscout/MV/AF


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