Top Thrill Dragster vs. Kingda Ka | Roller Coaster Showdown

Best Of Roller Coaster Showdowns

Kingda Ka - Six Flags Great Adventure - Roller CoasterTwin Peaks: Kingda Ka vs. Top Thrill Dragster
One of the most common comparisons in enthusiastland involves the two tallest and fastest roller coasters on Earth. It’s like Everest and K2. They are very similar strata coasters that launch riders from 0 to 100+ miles per hour in a matter of seconds. They both take riders over 400 feet into the air only to send them spiraling back down to Earth.

Since Six Flags Great Adventure’s Kingda Ka was built second, it bested Top Thrill Dragster’s 420′ peak by 36 feet and added a second 129′ hill. Thanks to a rainy day at Cedar Point, Top Thrill Dragster closed before I was able to ride it. So I really can’t give a clear cut winner from my ride experience. But I’ll compare and contrast what I’ve observed of the two rides.

Theming the Sky Scrapers
Kingda Ka’s Golden Kingdom is nice, but Top Thrill Dragster’s dragster-inspired trains, station, and observation area take the cake.
Edge: Top Thrill Dragster

A View from a Hill
On a clear day you can see New York City and Philadelphia from the top of Kingda Ka. TTD’s view of Lake Erie and Canada(!) is probably more memorable.
Edge: Top Thrill Dragster

Ride Experience
Again, the rides are pretty similar and I seriously doubt the additional 18 feet on Kingda Ka’s drop is perceptible. Ditto for the heights at about 42-stories and 45-stories and the speeds at 120 mph and 128 mph. Kingda Ka does boast that second hill which does offer some airtime in certain seats.
Edge: Kingda Ka

You decide! I’m sure some of my readers have ridden both Kingda Ka and Top Thrill Dragster. Which ride gave more airtime on the top hat, felt faster or smoother? Which did you just enjoy more? Leave a comment below.


  1. I do agree with you Matthew, Top Thrill Dragster is definitely more themed.

  2. Let me first say that i have ridden both and TTD is far better than KK. Here are my reasons

    1. Every time I ride Kingda Ka i feel as if i have just suffered a concussion, whereas TTD is so smooth you can actually enjoy the ride.

    2. TTD offers much more leg-room and even excluding the comfortable lap-bars the seats are better

    3. TTD actually tells you when you are going to launch and it is funny to listen to the loudspeaker saying "arms down!" even though i don't pay attention

    4. TTD has a better theme

    5. KK is pretty much a rip-off of TTD

    6. the front seat of TTD is MUCH better and even if you are not in the front you are still able to see nearly everything

    7. Six Flags' motto is "more flags more fun" which just goes to show that TTD is better because it has around twenty flags near the entrance. or perhaps that was Wicked Twister with the flags… either way TTD wins hands down, even though riding with hands up is better.

  3. Kingda Ka has been closed since mid-June, and is still closed because they are missing an important part. UGH.

  4. P.S.

    The airtime on kk at the top was wicked cool, at the top just before you drop your lifted out of your seat and then thrown down 46 stories (although it feels like a million) it is so fun. + i honestly don`t give a crap about the restraints as long as they`re comfortable and I don`t fall out of them (falling forward is fine/awsome) + the jugle arond the line really isnt that noticable and at the the be giening of the launch same thing but i don`t know if that was beacause i had my eyes closed.(its like a coaster in the dark)

  5. it IS a coaster in the dark if you have ur eyes closed dude.

  6. I vote top thrill dragster i don't know why though

  7. I have not been on KK but i have been on dragster. Let me start off by saying, this ride was amazing. It was the best ride i have been on in my life. The lap bar lets you feel free and safe at the same time. Also, the theme is amazing. And, you dont get bored when you stand in line (I only stood in line 30 minutes every time i went on, wich was 7 times) because the whole time you are standing there you watch the ride taking off and coming back. This ride is so smooth, and from what i have heard KK isnt. So all and all, i am planning on riding KK next week, but i dont think anything will ever beat TTD.

    PS. dragster was the original. KK is a copier, so its taller because it was made second. Its like a remake of a classic film: suckky.)

  8. Okay, i rode jocker`s jinx a couple of days ago and let me tell you it was awsome! you go usd 4 times whith nothing but a lapbar holding you down, the felling of freedom the lapbar gave you was increadible. although the affect may very on TTD, the odds look pretty good for it now and not so much for KK, but still there are are some differences that i need to discuss, for instance, top thrill has a diffrent cource of action and it may not have the same outcome. also, the type of lap bar may change the expeirience a bit, for instance the lb on joker`s J was large and comfortable, while the lb on superman:ros at SFA was small and uncomfortable during air time, the lb on bizaro after transformed was better than before it was tranfomed and that lap bar looks most like the one on TTDso for thoughs reasons, i`m not going to just spit out my awnser whithout thinking. And by the way, just beacause your eyes are closeddosent makit an in-the-dark coaster beacause on kingda ka you can teel wich exact part of the ride even if your eyes are closed.

  9. ccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Well I hear everyone talking about kk's otsr's and that doesnt sound like a thrill. I just road TTD yesterday for my fisrt time on vacation and the lap bas give you so much freedom its scary im only 13 so it was really neat. I have never ridden KK but the shoulder bars I like on all other coasters but TTD. Thats probably the reason why its called Top THRILL dragster.

  11. I never rode KK but my friends dad did, but he told me TTD was much better. He said he loves the view from the top of TTD and I do too and we both love the scenery on dragster especially with the grandstand area. He also told me that the second hill wasnt all that great he said he only got a split second of airtime if that. WE both live in York, Pa and we both agreed that we much rather drive 8 hours to ride TTD than 4 to ride KK.

    • I did the same thing. I live in Perkasie, PA. but I drove 8 Hours for my children to experience TTD over KK. See my post on psge 8.

  12. I Live in new york too and even if you'd much rather ride top thrill at cp you should still go to SFGA, there are more rides there than simply KK. theres also nitro el toro and the newley named bizzaro either way you should still go. and you cant give a clear awnser whithout riding both.

  13. I have ridden both and TTD wins by a lot. The lap bar makes the ride what it is, and kingda ka is actually sort of painful. I rode TTD 15 times while i was at cedar point, in front row 9 times (front row really makes a difference), but on Kingda Ka i only rode 6 times and it was a lot bumpier and the hill in the end i couldnt even feel until my 5th ride. TTD wins by A TON even though they are both amazing

  14. I am wanting to go ride these rides next year. Big road trip. I can't have much of an opinion on these, but I am happy that Six Flags did make a faster higher roller coaster for a few reasons. One good reason for me is that I have a six flags season pass, so I can go to that six flags for free. More importantly, it took the roller coaster title away from Cedar Point. Directly that does not look good for Cedar Point fans, but in the long run, it may bring more motivation for Cedar Point to do something even bigger and faster. Also, since Six Flags is a chain, it would be possible that they recreate KK at other parks which would give many other people (not in the northeast US) to ride this (basically the same) ride. As far as deciding which is better… Its probably about like Pepsi and Coke. Everyone seems to have their preference, but few people are nit-picky enough to really dislike one if they like the other.

  15. Okay, I've been on TTD 12 times, but I have not been on Kingda Ka. Let me first say that I've always been a Cedar Point fan, and I know a lot about Dragster. Personally, I think that it is better, even though I have not experienced KK. The theme, in my opinion, is a much better idea than Six Flag's attempt at a jungle theme. Dragster has had a much better reliability record than Kingda Ka, and it also has a better overall capacity in terms of riders per hour. As for safety issues, Intamin, the manufacturer of TTD, KK, Millennium Force, and other coasters began using OTSRs on all of their rides after accidents with Superman Ride of Steel at Six Flags. These accidents were determined to be due to ride operator error, putting the blame on Six Flags. The TTD accident with the launch cable was found to be Intamin's fault. The much more serious accident on KK, during which the brake fins shredded during a rollback, was found to be Six Flags' fault for failure to maintain the fins. If you ride Maverick, it also features the OTSRs. Personally, I believe that the lap bars provide a better ride experience. Overall, I think that Six Flags' rip-off of TTD was no match for the original, very first, stratacoaster.

    If you read all of that, I'm impressed.

  16. No offense Anonymous, but there are comments a LOT longer(bottom line)

  17. MarvelMaker, i think it was the top buacause it was struck by lightning, fyi.(i don`t usaly wtite like that, but it sounds nicer than “for your information”)

    • No, they were missing some of the rollback Brake fins. The park only stock a quarter of the total used on the ride, but nearly all of the brake fins were shredded.

      • and they owed Intamin AG money.

  18. If the coasters switched places, Kingda Ka would win. Just because of location. I haven't ridden either yet, but I so want to.

    • until you`ve ridden at least one, try not to givce an opinion, no offense.

  19. While Kingda Ka has a better layout, Top thrill Dragster has a much more efficient design. The lap Bar restraints on TTD are a nice touch. I did enjoy the hump on KK but it could of been better. The view of Cedar point from the top of TTD is better than KK view of the Parking lot, rather than the than SFGA. Overall I would give the edge to TTD but only by a hair.

    • The view is definitely nicer on TTD, but with KK, those cars in the parking lot waaaaaaaaaaay down there definitely give more perspective relative to height!

      • yeah, it`s prettey cool, imagine Kingda Ka whith an underground tunnle at the bottom of the drop.

      • No. not really. sure on KK you get a relative height perspective, but it is 50 feet higher, which barely makes a difference at 120+ miles an hour. on TTD you get a pretty good height perspective too you know.

  20. I'm not going to give my opinion on which is better because I haven't ridden either one but I'm going to Cedar Point in a few weeks where I can finally get to ride the TTD!!!!!

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