Twisting in the Wind: Great European Roller Coaster Videos

Europe, land of castles and culture. But sometimes you need more thrills than a trip to an art museum can give. Sometimes you just want to get the wind in your hair and scream. Here’s a guide to 15 of Europe’s top roller coasters that you’ll want to consult next time you need to let loose.

Alton Towers
Staffordshire, England

The first inverted roller coaster built outside the United States, Nemesis opened in 1994 in the Forbidden Valley area of the park.

As the story goes, an evil monster created a giant hole in the ground that riders swoop over and about this hole with the irate monster chained below. Red waterfalls dripping into pools of blood heighten the effects.

Alton Towers
Staffordshire, England

Oblivion was the world’s first vertical drop coaster, dropping riders straight down at a near 90 degree angle. Down 60 meters into a big, dark hole covered by steam, followed by a 180-degree turn back to the station. This coaster reaches speeds of more than 68 miles per hour and reaches 4.5 Gs.

Dragon Khan
Port Aventura
Tarragona, Spain

One of the world’s largest looping roller coasters, Dragon Khan for many years held the world record for inversions with eight. After boarding the ride, riders climb 148 feet to the top of the lift hill, before plummeting back to earth and going straight into a 118-foot vertical loop, followed by a diving loop, a zero-G roll, and a cobra roll. A smaller vertical loop and two interlocking corkscrews complete the ride, which hits speeds over 65 miles per hour.

Heide Park
Soltau, Germany

The tallest wooden roller coaster in Europe at 196 feet, the Colossos offers one of the smoothest rides of any wooden roller coaster thanks to the prefabricated track used to build it. Because the track is cut with a laser instead of by hand the pieces fit together better and provide a steel-smooth ride. Colossos reaches speeds of close to 74 niles per hour, making it the fastest wooden coaster in the world.

Oakwood Theme Park
Pembrokeshire, Wales

A twister-style coaster with with 3,000 feet of track, 11 crossovers and a scream-worthy stop from 28 mph, Megafobia features lots of airtime and a 55 foot drop as it reaches 2.75 Gs. Also likely the only coaster in the world with a herd of sheep living beneath it.

Oslo, Norway

Featuring a 105-foot drop and speeds near 60 miles per hour, this wooden coaster’s special feature is its second parabola-shaped drop which provides air time that seems to go on forever.


The world’s first and largest traveling inverted coaster, Eurostar moves from one fair to another around Germany. It takes 20 workers working around the clock eight days to disassemble and reassemble the coaster. The coaster has been moved 60 times since its 1995 debut.

After leaving the station, the coaster makes a wide U turn and ascends 99 feet before dropping at speeds of 50 miles per hour. After the drop, the ride navigates a large vertical loop followed by a 121-degree left turn that leads into a 0 G roll. Riders then make another left turn up into the first block brake then before going through through two back-to-back corkscrews, a second block break and a downward helix before returning to the station.

Big Dipper
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool, England

This 85-year-old wooden roller coaster features five large drops and lots of airtime. American teacher Richard Rodriguez made history here by spending 2,000 hours on the ride in June 2000. Rodriguez beat his own world record, set in 1998, of 1,013 hours on the ride.

The Big One
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool, England

The UK’s tallest coaster, at 235 feet, the Big One reaches speeds of 85 miles per hour and a max of 3.5 Gs. The initial drop is a corkscrewing 65-degree dive down an incredible 205 feet.

Drayton Manor
Staffordshire, England

The only stand-up rollercoaster in Europe and the only stand-up roller coaster with a zero-g roll in the world Shockwave features four inversions at 53 mph and 4 Gs. The coaster takes riders to a dizzy height of 120 fee and then swirls them through a series of loops, corkscrews and turns.

The Poseidon
Europa Park
Rust, Germany

Poseidon is where the log flume meets the roller coaster. When riders aren’t cruising through scenes taken from Greek mythology, they’re climbing 45 feet of track and being thrown into 110-degree turns.

Europa Park
Rust, Germany

Named after the Russian space station, this spinning coaster ride simulates a trip into space and reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The bright blue tracks wind through and around five enormous mirrored towers for more than four minutes during which the cars are turned 180 degrees about every four seconds. The ride ends with a series of tight spirals.

Walibi World
Biddinghuizen, Dronten, The Netherlands

This megacoaster is 150 feet high, has a first drop angle of 70 degrees and achieves speeds of 65 miles per hour.

The ride slowly winches up and then plummets almost vertically. It’s unique features is known as the Stengel Dive which begins at the top of the third hill when the track banks 90 degrees to the right, and then descends into the third drop as the banking levels out towards the bottom of the drop.

Expedition GeForce
Holiday Park
Hassloch, Germany

This coaster stands 17 stories tall and features a memorable first drop at a very steep 82 degree angle. Expedition GeForce carries 28 passengers over 4,000 feet of steel track at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. The course features seven periods of weightlessness.

Tonnerre de Zeus
Parc Asterix
Plailly, France

Tonnerre de Zeus, Europe’s third largest wooden roller coaster, was named the world’s top wooden roller coaster for three years in a row. The coaster has a 98-foot-tall lift hill and a first drop into a tunnel. The two-minute ride features many long sweeping bends and plenty of drops.

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