Thrill rides for perfect summer vibes

Get ready to get your scream on with this drop-dead list


Shua Lee

Riding a roller coaster should be on everyone’s summer to-do list. Fortunately, there are several great ones in the Bay Area.

With less than a week left of the school year, many students are anticipating  the start of summer break.

But students can’t go on a vacation without an amusement park outing. As an amusement park connoisseur, here are my top 10 rides in the greater Bay Area. 

Double Shot, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The 125-foot drop tower  is the first stop you want to make during your visit. The drop brings up your adrenaline so that you can have all that energy for the rest of the park, especially the beach. In addition to that, once you get all the way to the top, practically the whole boardwalk is in view.

As a personal fan of drop towers, I think that they are the best ride of all time, as you can see from the ranking. But for anyone who’s not a fan, there is more coming your way.

Wonder Woman, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

I’ve only been on Wonder Woman once, but I sure do want to go on it again. I love Viking and spinning rides, so Wonder Woman was the best of both worlds. Usually on roller coasters, people want to sit in the very front or the very back because those are known to be the best spots. But on Wonder Woman, there is no bad place to sit. Every seat gets a chance to spin up into the peak and enjoy the ride.

Although it was my favorite ride when I visited Six Flags, I may have to warn anyone planning to go that there might be someone who doesn’t feel well but ended up going on the ride anyway. I warned you. 

Rail Blazer, California’s Great America

When this ride came out, I drove to Great America as fast as I could. The latest attraction at Great America, Rail Blazer, got onto my must-ride list pretty quickly.

The one seater, motorbike themed, roller coaster has the right amount of loops to get you slightly dizzy and has a close to 90-degree drop, which in my opinion is the best part. For people who like high drops, I’d definitely recommend the Rail Blazer. One con is the long lines due to the low seat capacity for each round, but it’s is well worth it.

Kong, Six Flags

Kong was the first roller coaster I rode during my trip to Discovery Kingdom. The entrance to the actual ride was slightly intimidating, which may have been due to the fact that it was my first roller coaster in two years, but still it was a very fun attraction.

Kong is a red colored, floorless ride that consists of a variety of turns, spins, and drops. Just like any other roller coaster, there is one big drop at the start and then it consists of smaller drops which catch you when you have your guard down. 

If you’re feeling scared during the ride, I’m sure the person next to you won’t mind if you hold their hand.

Joker, Six Flags

Joker was the most unexpected ride during my vacation to the park. The roller coaster was a wooden one, so my expectations were lowered because many such rides can’t do crazy turns and flips. But Joker surprisingly had twists and turns, plenty of them.

The two seater with a lap bar is the perfect ride to crash into the person next to you. Use this information wisely. Joker consists of one main drop with a few turn incorporated drops, so there’s nothing too frightening. The attraction is quite loud but it’s worth the risk of getting your ears slightly damaged. 

Boomerang, Six Flags

Boomerang was my first ever real roller coaster that didn’t involve manually spinning a teacup. The ride  goes forwards and backwards, with four drops in total. The feeling of not knowing what’s coming next when you go backwards is the most exciting part.

The reason I like Boomerang so much is because of the slight pause at the top before the ride lets go of the cart. Another point is how there’s not many people lined up for this ride, which I may take offense to because it’s an all time favorite, so you can get in line repeatedly without wasting so much time. 

Demon, Great America

The Demon is what I call a hidden gem. The roller coaster is set up on the side of the park and if you aren’t paying attention, you could miss it. Although the attraction is small, it’s very fast. I would definitely

recommend    the front seat for this ride to feel the cold air push back your skin.

Instead of drops there are twists and turns which may or may not get you a little dizzy. Demon gives you enough to feed the excitement but is way too short which makes you want to ride it over and over. Perhaps this is a marketing strategy. 

Medusa, Six Flags

One look at the Medusa ride, and it’s already intimidating. The biggest roller coaster at Discovery Kingdom may look daunting when you’re right in front of it, but once you get on it it’s one of the best at the park.

Medusa is over three minutes long and although that might seem like a long time for an amusement park ride, when the nervous feeling finally seeps in, it will only feel like a few seconds have gone by before the completion of the ride. Even though it’s the longest ride, it’s not the scariest but the drop portion was ever so slightly scary, even for me. 

Patriot, Great America

For a long time, Patriot was my favorite ride. Even though it came all the way down to number nine, I would still say that it’s on the must-ride list if you visit Great America.

This one has another almost 90-degree drop with crazy loops and turns. The attraction is floorless and can seat four people which is great because if you’re scared, there are two people to grab onto.

Flight Deck, Great America

The first non floor roller coaster I rode was the Flight Deck. The Air Force themed roller coaster is for some reason always the last ride of the day. The ride goes over a small lake (which I’m always afraid of losing my shoe in) and has one big drop with a few loops and turns.

It’s simple but after a long day of running around, a simple ride near the entrance right before you leave is perfect. 

Roller coasters may not be the best ride for you, but if that’s the case, your friends need a bag holder too.