List of Biggest Drop Coaster Record Holders

What Coasters have held this record, even for a few weeks. Make corrections and additions please

Screamin' Eagle 1976 92 feet, 110 height

These two both opened 6/78.
Colussus 1978 115 feet, 125 height - if opened after Gemini, not a record holder
Gemini 1978 118 feet, 125. 3 height

The Beast 1979 141 feet, 110 height - still the longest wooden coaster

American Eagle 1981 147 feet, 127 height -still the biggest racing coaster

I get lost after that

Millenium Force 2000 300 feet, 310 height
Steel Dragon 2000 306.8 feet, 318.3 height

Dragster 2003 400 feet, 420 height
Kingda Ka 418 feet, 456 height

Gemini was first, with much fanfare. Just a few short weeks later came Colossus taking the wind out of everyone's sails up there on Lake Erie.

I also seem to recall CP billing Gemini as a wooden coaster and it wasn't until some enthusiasts showed up for an event of some kind that they were corrected.

slithernoggin's avatar

I remember there being a bit of a brouhaha when an enthusiast described Gemini to a member of the media as an overgrown mine train.

I'm fairly sure that for a couple of years Cedar Point described Gemini as the tallest coaster in the world on the day that it opened, or some similar bit of wording to let them call it the tallest coaster in the world.

Somewhere I still have a copy of the issue of CoasterWorld (the predecessor to ACE's RollerCoaster magazine) hailing American Eagle and the then-amazing height of 147 feet.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

rollergator's avatar

First coaster to reach 100 feet: Cyclone, 1925, Revere Beach, Massachusetts.

According to Robert Cartmell's The Incredible Scream Machine, the Blue Streak at Woodcliffe Pleasure Beach had a drop of 127' (some sources say 140') as it made use of the Hudson Valley terrain in Poughkeepsie, so it held the record from its opening in 1928 until the Beast opened.

The Blue Streak closed in 1941 so the pre-Beast coasters mentioned above would have had the biggest drops at the time they opened.

koolcat1101's avatar

I know that the order of the first hyper coasters is:

Magnum XL-200

Then, Steel Phantom

Next, Desperado

And after that is, The Big One

I don't know after that.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

You could probably just look at this list and with a few minutes and a little common sense cross-check dates and get a comprhensive chronological list of biggest drops in no time flat.

janfrederick's avatar

Ooh! Ooh! How about the list of the shortest drops in reverse chronological order. :)

Gonch, that sounds a little too much like actual work. :)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

Dragon Wagon. Done.

Dvergbanen begs to differ.

rollergator's avatar

D'oh. I guess the dental work today had me groggy, I was thinking about height. Drops are totally different, since many of the earlier coasters utilized terrain...

edited to add: Poler Coaster will certainly confuse this discussion... ;~)

Last edited by rollergator,
Vater's avatar

BogeyMon said:

Dvergbanen begs to differ.

Ah, SBF Visa Group. Why does no one talk about them? Clearly the most underrated manufacturer in all of coasterdom.

Was colossus never an overall record holder, just in the wooden category ? Rcdb lists height and drop bigger on Gemini.

IIRC, the Guinness books (which were more authoritative in olden times) listed Colossus and not Gemini as the tallest. But I don't have one handy to verify that. (If Cedar Point wanted the height record, couldn't they have dug a hole another 18" deep right under the peak of the lift hill?)

And FWIW, the rankings never counted the height of the spike on the Schwarzkopf shuttle loops, which generally are around 140'. Of course, the train doesn't reach the top of the spike. But if you're going to count Superman at Magic Mountain - and please, let's not reopen that discussion - then you ought to count the shuttle loops as well.

rcdb lists Revolution as having a height of 113'. I don't really know what that means, given a drop of only 80 feet or so and the terrain. Possibly the peak of the lift is 113' above the station?

Which just goes to show ya it's all quite arbitrary. Parks have listed padded, deceiving, or downright incorrect height statistics since the beginning of time.

Height may not be as honest or telling a measure as length of drop. Or maybe I should say biggest change in elevation.

Tommytheduck's avatar

I'm guessing Lil Shaver doesn't count then? (powered)

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