Looking for things to do, Orange County visitors? If you’re the sort of person who loves an adrenaline rush, you’ll be thrilled to know that some of the more terrifying roller coasters in the country are waiting for you in Southern California. Read on, as we run down some of our absolute favorites.
Knott’s Berry Farm is a place where you’re likely to get a big hug from Peppermint Patty or Woodstock, and that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but the real reason to spend an afternoon at Knott’s is for the coasters. The Silver Bullet is the place to start. It’s an inverted steel coaster in the Ghost Town section, boasting a top speed of 55 mph. Reaching a height of 146 feet at the apex, it features a cobra roll, a zero-gravity roll, and two corkscrews. If you can’t find it, try following the blood-curdling screams.
Sticking with Knott’s, next up is the Ghostrider, the longest wooden coaster on the West Coast. During a heart-stopping three minute ride, it hits a top speed of 56 mph and has a maximum height of 118 feet. Manufactured by the now-defunct Custom Coasters International, it has a 450-degree downward helix and a 108-foot drop. Part of the fun is waiting in the eerie mining tunnel for the trains to arrive, as you can hear the shrieks of those who got on ahead of you echoing through the dim confines.
Next, we’re heading to Disneyland in Anaheim. Mickey and Company have some coasters to compete with Knott’s, and we especially like the Matterhorn Bobsleds. These are a pair of intertwined coasters, the first tubular steel continuous track coasters in the world. Modeled after the Matterhorn, a favorite of daring mountain climbers, the maximum speed is only 27 mph, but the sheer size and ambition of this coaster is part of its appeal. After being refurbished in 2015, some of the features now include updated animatronics and special effects.
Our last entry to the coaster canon is Space Mountain, an indoor, space-themed coaster at Disneyland. This is a classic, dating back to 1977, and it’s one of the original coasters built by the Walt Disney Company. It has undergone several upgrades, and while it may not be the fastest or most terrifying coaster in the O.C., no trip to Disneyland would be complete without riding at least once. It’s a part of coaster history, one of the originals that started it all.
That’s it for now, daredevils and thrill-seekers. Your screams are music to our ears, so happy riding.