1. Yamanashi, Japan
Located at the foot of Mount Fuji, the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park gives visitors a spectacular view of the snow-capped peak – or, at least, it would if they weren’t all hurtling past on vom-inducing rides.
The latest addition to the park is the world’s steepest rollercoaster, Takabisha, which opened in July. A 121-degree freefall is so steep the track has to bend inwards once the car goes over the top, rather than pushing thrillseekers straight outwards. The drop is a formidable 141ft high. (Until Takabisha, Yorkshire was the proud home of the world’s steepest ride, with Mumbo Jumbo at Flamingoland.)
Worst of all – or best, depending on how nuts you are – the drop comes midway through, so you’ll spend the first half of the ride worrying about what lies ahead.
At nearly two miles long, there are seven tummy-flipping twists along the way, just in case you’re not finding yourself entertained. However, the nosedive down the tortuous incline is the point at which you will experience weightlessness. That’s meant to be fun.Costing around £23m to build, there is one saving grace – the whole thing lasts only 112 seconds.
Fuji-Q also has a “fourth-dimension rollercoaster”, where the seats rotate 360 degrees forward and backward as you rip along the track.
Thrillseekers should also try out the Haunted Hospital, one of the largest haunted walkthroughs in the world. It takes a good 45 minutes to stroll around this attraction – provided you don’t chicken out and quit. You’ll be supplied with a small torch
as you’re plunged into darkness before actors chase you down corridors and leap out from the shadows.
Once you’re done making yourself sick in the park, spend some time exploring rural Yamanashi, often overlooked by tourists. Just hours from Tokyo by bus, it will make a welcome break from the crowds of the capital. We recommend you hike, camp and fish around the Fuji Five Lakes Region to relax after your Fuji-Q ordeal.
2. Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi likes to do things bigger and better – it was the setting for the enormous disaster that was Sex And The City 2 – so it’s no surprise it boasts the world’s fastest rollercoaster.
Formula Rossa at the Ferrari World theme park is so fast you have to wear protective goggles while being catapulted along. The Grand Prix-themed ride accelerates up to 149mph. Afterward, slow down and visit the massive Sheikh Zayed mosque.
3. Salou, Spain
Not satisfied with being the fastest rollercoaster in Europe, the Furius Baco straps its passengers in on either side of the track, exposing them to the elements on three sides rather than one. (Bring a hairbrush if you’re picky about your appearance.)
After your rollercoaster fun at Port Aventura, enjoy the Salou Promenade and the beautiful beaches that make this the tourist capital of Catalonia’s Costa Dorada.
4. Hassloch, Germany
A 184ft drop makes Expedition GeForce one of the steepest rollercoasters in Europe, generating a G-Force of 4.5 – the same face-smushing force exerted by the speed of Formula Rossa.
At Holiday Park, this is another coaster with a view, whizzing passengers over picturesque lakes and forests. Its location in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany’s largest wine-producing region, means there’ll be no shortage of drinks to help you steel your nerves.
5. Massachusetts, US
The US is home to all manner of monster rides, but we’ve picked the Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England so you can enjoy an enriching holiday once your legs have turned back from jelly.
A horrific 208ft drop is the ‘highlight’ of this rollercoaster – you will feel sick just watching it on YouTube. Escape to Cape Cod to relax afterward – check out the whale watching – or take on the big city and bright lights of Boston.