Welcome to an Incrediblecoasters Top 10 List. When we list stuff, we actually explain why. Drop Towers. While they may technically fall into the Flat Ride category, they are a very special kind of flat ride. They come in quite a wide variety and they are nearly everywhere nowadays. Now while they aren't quite as commonplace as other flat rides, they are pretty damn common. I'd say that around 80% of all Amusement Parks have some variation of a drop tower. And for good reasons. THEY'RE FREAKING AWESOME!!!! =) If I had to pick my favorite flat rides, Drop Towers would have to be right up in the top. In fact, if you read my Top 10 Flat Rides List, you'll see this little gem of a quote. "(This list excludes Drop Towers, because if it didn't, they'd take up half of the list.)" That didn't seem fair considering how good drop towers are, they deserve some recognition. But rather than clutter up my Top 10 Flat Rides list with all these great drop towers, I decided to let the rest of the flat rides shine and compete there while I give the Drop Towers their own list to show off all of their glory. But what makes these rides so good? And how can one judge a type of ride where every single one of these rides has the exact same objective of dropping riders? Because freefall is one of the biggest thrill sensations. I can tell you this right now. The rush of pure freefall is one of the greatest feelings ever. That's why I love Drop Towers so much. It's also why I love activities such as Bungee Jumping, Skydiving, and Cliff Jumping so much. But Drop Towers are for everyone. For those who don't have the balls or money to bungee jump or skydive, and those who don't want to take the high risks of cliff jumping, there are Drop Towers to still give them that great freefall rush. And these are the elite drop towers. The ones that are above all the others. These are the wildest, craziest, fastest, zaniest, puke inducing Top 10 Flat Rides.
Oh, and if you're looking for the best freefall sensation ever, this beats the sh*t out of everything on this list.
Located at various different parks around the world, Intamin 2nd Generation Freefalls are one of the most common types of drop towers out there, only behind the S&S Drop Towers as the most popular drop tower ever. And I will admit that I prefer these drop towers to the S&S Drop Towers. The main reason being that these drop towers actually freefall whereas the S&S Drop Towers just launch you down. Its still fun and it gives you a good pop, but after that, you don't really feel accelleration. Here, you feel the accelleration. You really feel like you're falling. And most of these are of a fairly good height for a drop tower, so you're freefalling for a while. Then again, there are some exceptions, like Gardaland's puny drop tower. Ok, maybe I should've re-worded this to say the #10 spot goes to Intamin 2nd Generation Freefalls (of proper height). But most of these are great and let you freefall for a while before you hit the brakes. Be sure to check one out at whatever park is close to you.
Hollywood Tower @
Lago di Garda, Veneto, Italy
Located at Movieland Studios in Italy, Hollywood Tower is an Intamin 1st Generation Freefall tower, and man are these things crazy. First off, these rides, while at one point, were super common, have now become an incredibly rare ride. Seriously, they used to be everywhere. There even used to be one at my home park, Six Flags Magic Mountain. But unfortuently, these rides are disappearing and they're disappering FAST!!! Freefall has been gone from SFMM for about 6 years now and I miss it. Here's a raw footage video of the ride in memory of it. And yeah. Thats pretty much how Hollywood Tower is. Its sad that these rides are so rare nowadays as they truely are awesome. If it looks like its not quite as well made as the newer 2nd Generation Freefalls, its not. And thats what makes this ride so much fun. =) Plus that Ker-Chunk at the end that everyone else hates, is pretty fun. Its just a fun and sadly nowadays, rare ride. The only one left in the U.S is Demon Drop @ Dorney Park. There's obviously Hollywood Tower @ Movieland Studios, which I was fortunate enough to get out and ride in 2012, and a few others in Japan. And I think that's it. So if you have the oppertunity to ride one of these, TAKE IT!!!!! Who knows how long it'll be before these all go extinct.
Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany
Located at Heide Park in Germany, Scream is one of the newer Intamin Drop Towers. Its sort of like an Intamin 3rd Generation Drop Tower. Basically, its got circular seating, you go up and rotate up to the top, and then once you're at the top. Freefall. And yeah. Scream is a pretty damn big drop tower. I'm not sure of its exact height, but its got to be at least 200 ft. tall. Which is definetly higher than most of the Intamin 2nd Generation Freefalls. This one really focuses on the freefalling effect. You just fall down. You're falling and you're falling FAST!!!! And you just hit the brakes. Its pretty freaking insane. I mean, the 2nd Generation Freefalls are fun and all, but this thing is just great and falls so beautifully. Its kind of low on the list, but its still a great drop tower. Definetly make sure to check it out when at Heide Park. And Don't forget to scream on Scream. =) (Ok, I know. That joke was absolutely horrible).
Mystery Castle @
Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Oh Sh*t. How the f*ck am I supposed to talk about Mystery Castle without giving away all the secrets that make this ride so good? How am I gonna talk about this without spoilers? Hmm, just give me a second here. Hmm....Ok. I've got some stuff to say. Well, as you probably figured out by now, Mystery Castle is not your typical drop tower. This doesn't just take you up and drop you like most drop towers. There's a lot of funky sh*t that goes on inside that building, and while it isn't mindblowing, it will surprise you (provided you don't ruin it by googling it or watching a POV of it). All I can really say is this. Do NOT unbuckle the seatbelt until they officially tell you that the ride is over and turn on the lights. Just trust me on this. Mystery Castle. Go ride it and discover the mystery for yourself.
Drop Zone @
Kings Mills, Ohio, U.S.A
Located at Kings Island in Ohio, this Drop Zone is definetly one of the better ones. Most of the other Drop Zones at the former Paramount Parks are just your typical 2nd Generation Drop Tower. This one on the other hand, is another one of those Roto-Drops/3rd Generation Drop Towers. Yep, this is very similar to Scream @ Heide Park. Its got the circular seating, rotate up to the top, and then once you're at the top. Freefall. And yeah. Its a BIG drop tower. Its definetly bigger than Scream @ Heide Park, which is what gives it the advantage. I think I read that Drop Zone was about 255 ft. Yeah. That seemed about right cause I distinctly remember looking down at Son of Beast at the top, which was 200 ft, so it was definetly taller than 200 ft. And this may sound weird, but I like the view better. I know that the area of Ohio that Kings Island is in is bland and boring, so this may sound confusing. But aside from Heide Park not having a much better setting, I just like looking down on all of the coasters. I just find it cool. Oh, and I forgot to mention this when talking about Scream, but after it drops, you're definetly gonna feel the speed. A huge wave of wind just BLASTS you after it drops. This doesn't necesarrily make the actual ride itself better, but it is a ton of fun to get blown in line. Drop Zone. Its one of the star attractions of Kings Island, so definetly check it out. =)
Doctor Doom @
Universal Orlando Resort
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A
Located at Islands of Adventures, which is part of the Universal Orlando Resort, Doctor Doom is one of those rides where you first look at it, and don't think twice. I mean, it looks fun, but it doesn't really look like anything special. But thanks to a ton of theming and effort on behalf of Universal, they turned an ordinary Space Shot into a great ride. I mean, it'd still be a fun ride without its theming, but yeah. It'd just be an ordinary S&S Space Shot without it. The theme is basically that you have to ride Dr. Doom's Fear Fall because he needs your fear to power his empire, which is really cool and a lot of fun. The view you get from the tower is really good. You get a beautiful look at the Incredible Hulk, and the view of Orlando isn't bad. And even the ride itself is fairly good. This is definetly one of the better Space Shots. It doesn't run a weak and lame program like Maliboomer. But yeah. Good Program, Great View, Great Theme, Dr. Doom is a great ride. Definetly go give it a ride and donate some of your sweet sweet fear.
Tower of Terror @
Disneyland Resort & Disneyland Paris Resort
Anaheim, California, U.S.A & Marne-la-Vallée, Île-de-France, France
Located at the happiest place on earth as well as its identical French Twin at Disneyland Paris, Tower of Terror is one of the modern day staples of the Disneyland Resort and serves as one of the big thrill rides that Disney likes to offer. Now much like Mystery Castle, this isn't a proper drop tower per say, but its not a secret, so I'll just tell you everything. The ride is basically themed to a cursed elevator that is trapped in the Twilight Zone. Hey, I love the Twighlight Zone, I love Dinseyland, and I love Drop Towers, so as you can tell, this already has the right qualifications for pleasing me. But unlike most of the other drop towers on this list, the Tower of Terror isn't all about a single drop. Yeah. This ride is more than just one single drop. Its a BUNCH of drops. And that creates for LOTS and LOTS of AIRTIME!!!!! This ride practically masters the art of floater air. You are just out of your seat for at least half of the ride. You drop, you get airtime. You drop again and get more airtime. You rise up to the top like a Space Shot, see all of Disneyland and California Adventure (or Disneyland Paris, almost forgot about you French guys), and then you drop again, get some airtime, still up high, and drop back down before getting more fun drops. And plus, the whole story with the Twighlight Zone is great. If you are ever at Disneyland, this is a must. =)
Lex Luthor @
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Valencia, California, U.S.A
New for the 2012 season at Six Flags Magic Mountain and rising up at a whopping 415 ft tall, its not very surprising to see that Lex Luthor made it on this list. And yeah. Its a freaking great drop tower. And for several reasons. Obviously, its height plays a very big role in making it so good. I mean, this thing is over 400 ft tall!!! Its more than twice the size of most Drop Towers!!! And you get like 2-3 seconds of freefall. Now that may not sound like much, but by free-falling standards, thats a very long time. Now Lex Luthor normally, would've made it to like the #5 spot, behind Tower of Terror and around Drop Zone. But when you know the secret to making it even better, it rises up to #3. What makes it so good? Simple. The restraints. These things give you lots of freedom and allow you to look down and close your eyes, which makes the ride much better for several reasons. #1. Looking down, the wind is fitting you straight in the face, rather than just past you, which increases the sensation of speed. And #2. When you close your eyes, and just freefall, because the freefall is so long, it presses the "OH SH*T!!!!" button in your brain. I know to many of you, 2-3 seconds is not a long time, but yeah. It is in freefall mode. For instance, in cliff jumping, everything is by the millisecond. And jumping the 70 ftr takes about 1.75 seconds, which really gives you time to freak out. So when you have your eyes closed and are just falling for 3 seconds, my brain starts freaking out shouting "We should've landed by now!!!! We..." *brakes*. And I just love that freakout. Its one of the few rides thats able to push the "OH SH*T!!!!" button for me, though really, that button is reserved for cliff jumping.
High Fall @
Movie Park Germany
Bottrop, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
This may come as a surprise to you as some of you since we just came from Lex Luthor, which is the tallest drop tower in the world at 415 ft tall, and now we're to a drop tower about 1/4 of the size. What the hell it may seem. Why is a drop tower only 100 ft tall beating out the tallest drop tower in the world? Its simple. POSITION. The way that this drop tower is set up is just absolutely insane. Yeah. Its a stand up floorless drop tower that tilts. So it really feels like you're falling. If the Roto-Drops like Scream and Drop Zones are considered to be Intamin 3rd Generation Drop Towers, then this would be an Intamin 4th Generation Drop Tower. And you know how I said Lex Luthor pushes the "OH SH*T!!!" button when looking down and closing your eyes, this one pushes it just from the position it drops you in. And you don't get a choice. You just drop like that. And the fact that it gets this from such a lower height really means their methods are more intense. If they combinded the seating of High Fall with the height of Lex Luthor, it would totally be the greatest drop tower on the face of the earth. And no, it does not hurt your crotch. Though the landing is harsh, but that just adds more to the "OH SH*T!!!" factor. =)
Tower of Terror @
Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A
All right. You saw that Tower of Terror from both Disneyland and Disneyland Paris at the #4 spot on this list, so its really not that surprising that Tower of Terror from the Walt Disney World Resort take the #1 spot. And for good reasons. ITS PURE AWESOME!!! This is one of those examples of Disney rides at other parks where one version is much better than the other, and this is the ideal example. This is the best Tower of Terror for several reasons. Aside from all the stuff that made the other Tower of Terror so good, this one has lots of fun features such as random ride programs, so when you ride the ride, you never know what you're going to get. They have 4 official program. The normal CA one, the one that launches you like a Space Shot, and I forget the other two programs. And they just added so much more to this one. This one has all the cool stuff like the 5th Dimension, going foreword, and that trippy ending with everything in that eye. Its just great. Its a shame that none of the other Tower of Terrors got these cool effects thanks to budget cuts. I mean, I like the other Tower of Terrors and think they're great rides, but this is just FANTASTIC!!!! Definetly check it out when at the Walt Disney World Resort.
So now I'm sure you know what you're thinking. "Wow. That was the list. That is so wrong." Well no. This is just the current list. I haven't been on every drop tower in the world, so until I do, this list is innacurate for a world wide description. There are still many great drop towers out there for me to ride. And even when I do ride all of them, new ones will be built, so no list will ever last forever. But still, this list does pay tribute to 10 fantastic drop towers that everyone should try if they ever have the chance. And really, if you're super into freefalling, then cliff jumping is a sport for you. But if you don't wanna get into cliff jumping or other fun freefall sports, then these drop towers are for you. They really are awesome. =)