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.

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. Idk why everyone argues with it saying top thrill is better and kingda ka is a rip off from six flags. You act like the parks are the ones who built the rides. Both top thrill dragster and kingda ka are made by the same manufacturer called intamin, a German roller coaster engineering company. How can it be a rip off when they are basically copies. Alot of rollercoaster manufactures make copies of their ride. Some are exactly the same, some have extra tweaks. Now since kingda ka and top thrill are both copies made by the same company only kingda ka is taller faster and has an extra hill in it for air time, then kingda ka is the better of the two. If you don't believe any of these statements I made google it.

    • ya but that means six flags was jealous of cp beating them once again and went to intamin Ag again to help them beat their rivals…

  2. i think TTD gets the win! i think the shoulder bars on kingda ka make you feel to safe. the lap bar on TTD makes you feel on edge and it is just that much more of a thrill.

  3. i have to disagree with the theming statement. i honestly think Kingda Ka has better theming because SFGA built an entire new section of the park for it plus they planted a bunch of exotic plants which make it look nice. but i do think that TTD has a more exciting theme

    • Maybe if KK used better themed trains, like the ones used on Cheeta Hunt, it would seem better themed, but TTD's trains seem to make everyone overlook the Golden Kingdom.

  4. I feel that some clarification is necessary for the people that are claiming they feel unsafe with the lap restraints on TTD. This also needs to be accompanied by the story of how six flags insisted on the OTSR system on KK. After the installation of TTD at Cedar Point, Intamin was approached by Six Flags to build a sister coaster at Great Adventure, but they insisted on the OTSR system instead of the highly advanced lap bars that Intamin used on both Millenium Force and TTD. In order to aleviate their concerns, Intamin invited Six Flags officials to their engineering office in Glen Burnie Maryland for a demonstration. Intamin engineers strapped a six flags executive into a sample lap bar restraint seat, flipped him upside down, and held him there for over a minute. Despite this, Six Flags still insisted on going ahead with OTSRs (presumably for liability reasons). So remember, just because you feel like the lap restraints are less secure doesn't mean that they are. That feeling of insecurity only adds to the excitement of the experience. KK's differences are so small that the differences are almost imperceptible to the rider. KK is still hugely exciting but preference will still be Top Thrill Dragster.

  5. I have ridden both Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka several times. I enjoy them both and can't get enough of the rush. For the most part, I think they're the same. But if I have to choose:

    Kinda Ka has a more powerful acceleration on the launch. I give KK the edge here.

    I like the lap restraints on Top Thrill Dragster, especially going over the top and down. I love to lean forward out of the seat w/ arms up and feel the train spiral around me going straight down. I can't do that w/ the KK shoulder restraints.

    I LOVE them both, but overall I give the edge to the DRAGSTER.

  6. I've ridden both Kingda Ka and Top Thrill Dragster. Yeah they're the same thing basically, but I have to say Kingda Ka is better. On kingda ka when you go over the hill there's a incredible view, same with the Dragster, but I liked Kingda Ka's better. And when going down the hill on kingda ka, instead of going straight like the Dragster, you over this hill thing…. (fail?) and then it ends. That's the only reasons, until then, they're the same.

  7. I went to Cedar Point, and tried to ride TTD, but it kept breaking down. Finally, after the park closed, they sent everyone away. I was in the front of the line to ride next, and never got a chance. So annoying!

    When at SFGA, I went on KK a total of 4 times. It broke down once too, but I still got to ride.

    This may be just bad luck, that TTD was having more problems they day I went there. Both coasters have the same design. I'm not sure if the lap bar restraint makes a big difference or not. Didn't even cross my mind when I was waiting in line. TTD does have a more well-thought out theme to it, but drag cars aren't that original to make it that much better than KK. Although, I will say that the spectator area where people who are too afraid to ride TTD can watch others riding was a very nice touch.

    I don't think either coaster is likely that exciting. The only reason I went on KK four times is because there was literally NO line an hour before the park closed. Also, let's not dwell on who copied who, because the real innovation for this kind of ride was Superman at Magic Mountain back in 2000 where the magnetic propulsion launch was first used.

  8. Top thrill!!

  9. Top Thrill Dragster Is Better. I rode Kingda ka too. They are both great but Top Thrill Dragster Has better theming. It has the Launching Lights and the Engine Sound Affects. Kingda ka isnt that smooth. And the Airtime Hill sucks cause your slowing down while your going down it. You cant even notice the difference by going 8 Mph.. Faster. They height Is A lil Over 20 feet. You cant Even Tell.

  10. I think kingka da is better and here's why

    1. kingda ka has a stronger launch
    2. kingda ka is faster
    3.kingda ka is taller the top of the kingda ka you fall into your restraints which is really cool
    5. The hill at the end is amazing when you experience 0 g forces
    6. I think being free to move your upper body on the ttd isn't as big of a thrill as being able to come out of your seat (you can't on the ttd because of the lap bar).
    -Note- I've only rode the kingda ka

    • i think you would change your mind if you rode ttd.

  11. I havent been on kingda ka yet, but i think i would like ttd a lot better anyways. I dont think i would notice the height and speed difference, the view seems to be better on ttd and the restraits seem to be a bit more free and for those who think kingda ka isnt a copy……. IT IS!!!! Six Flags GA wasnt thinking about building a strata coaster until they found out cedar point was. They even used ttd's blueprints to build it. All six flags does is copy copy copy. BUTT, i would give it to six flags for having some great B&M coasters

  12. king da ka may be faster and taller, but, lemme just say top thrill dragster has better theme and the NO shoulder restraint. also king da ka breaks down much more.

    Overall, i thing top thrill dragster is the better coaster.

  13. Seriously, height and speed should not be reasons to vote for Kingda Ka. 8 mph faster, 36' higher, and just an 18' larger drop cannot be felt when going over 100 mph and higher than 400'. So, it is a bit odd to see a lot of people using those reasons when it really makes no sense on how that small measure would affect a ride.

    Plus, 36' is just 7.89% of TTD's height. Here are examples of nonsense statements:

    -Griffon is better because it is 5' taller than SkeiKra and nobody states that because it is nonsense.

    -Xcelerator is better than Storm Runner since it is taller and faster, even though Xcelerator is 55' taller than Storm Runner, Storm Runner has a 180' drop which is about the same as Xcelerator's. Plus, Storm Runner is just 7 mph slower than Xcelerator

    -Batman is better than Flight Deck (@ CGA) since it is 3' taller

    -[Insert SLC here] is better than Batman since it is 4' higher

    If you think a coaster slightly higher, the reasons above prove you wrong.

  14. The truth is i only rode top thrill dragster but king da ka looks higher than top thrill dragster so i thing king da ka

    • What a highly intelligent coaster expert you appear to be!

  15. Having been on both, I agree with the majority and perfer TTD.

    1. Its smoother

    2. I perfer its theme, the racing theme is awesome and its cars (used to) look fantastic.

    3. Its interegated into the park much better. TTD stands in the midway and guests can walk around the ride, while Kingda Ka is sort of tucked away in the corner.

  16. KK is so much better then TTD. If you ever go to CP you will never here "I wanna ride the worlds tallest coaster." Cedar point should have been smart and known someone would copy TTD. You should know that most of the coasters at SFGA are newer and better. The only good coaster at CP is most likely millenium force. Even though KK is better i think that CP should at A new amazing coaster like Hershey park with Skyrush. KK is better and it gets my vote by far

    • Only one good coaster at CP? You failed to include Magnum, Maverick, Raptor, and, oh yeah, TOP THRILL DRAGSTER!! One more thing, are you saying that Kingda Ka is so much better because of 36ft? Your verdict lacks evidence.

  17. Why are people fighting over this? They both are amazing coasters but I'm not saying one is better than another ( I have ridden both) but everybody is bashing on KK! The shoulder restraints are nothing! I barely noticed them! For theming I reallly like both of them. TTD's idea is much better than KK but I have to admit the area around KK compared to TTD, KK blows TTD out of the water with the surroundings with the plants all around you, and all of the things that make you feel like you in some forest or village. BUT TTD's Dragster theme is better. But I don't like fighting over this so for me I'm just going to drop it and enjoy the ride!

    • I also have to admit I do really like TTD's trains better but I was dissapointed when they took the engine,wheels and all those things off the back.

      • It resulted in a faster moving line, so I am glad that they were taken off.

  18. I've done both and don't honestly have an opinion one way or another. I LOVE both equally. I don't think there is enough room between these two to find a true winner because they are ALMOST identical rides. I feel like Top Thrill Dragster's placement in the park was the best because It really seems to be the Centerpiece of the Park. Plus getting to walk right under the various parts of it gets you even more excited as well as the train design to add to the theme. I love the dragster car theme. Kingda Ka had the basic car that six flags picked "off the shelf" but i did like the somewhat elaborate theme that is the whole path leading to the ride entrance, continued all the way through the line. It was kind of that peaceful nature theme before you get the extreme, heart pounding Launch on KK. The restraints to me don't make or break a ride. The airtime hill was a major plus for KK. I think the problem I have with KK is its placement in the park. Cedar Point has the massive TTD dominating the skyline right at the center but at Great Adventure KK is way off in the corner alone where it is almost forgotten (especially when it is non operational). I almost left the park without riding it purely because it was broken all morning and I forgot to look to see if it was open or not. It almost feels like you are launched far out of the park and fly back in within a matter of seconds. The trail with animals in "The Golden Kingdom" really kind of tucks it away a little to much, especially for such a masterpiece as KK.
    In the end you can't go wrong with either one.

  19. I have rode the TTD and the KK and I have to say that it was a thrilling experience!! I honestly think that the KK is just a remake so they could make the record of tallest ride in the World.I think just the lap bars are better so your more free and you can feel the wind better. Unless you’re a scardy-cat and have never even rode them and post appinions when you don’t know what your talking about, then you should like the lap belts better. The TTD has a theme of a racecar and the theme sentence “Race for the sky,” and the KK is just basically the same:/!! And seriously, ya’ll people are saying it’s better because it is taller and faster, well guess what??18 feet and like 8 mph doesn’t make a difference. The bunny-hop in the KK is just so lame,its just trying to slow you down.The TTD has a firm,bold stop like a race car and fits the theme. And all of the KK fans are trying to throw in the stuck at the top 3 times thing,well all the time on the KK it rolls down backwards and could seriously injure someone like with wiplash. I bet the KK has rolled backwards more than the TTD has gotten stuck. The theme with the blasting off with the red,yellow,and green lights on the TTD makes it look classy,and for scardy-cats, it warns you when your going to blast off and the theme with the colors and the cart that looks like a race car is finaminal.I think they are pretty awesome rides, but I honestly think the TTD is better(:

    RC lover<3

  20. people stop saying that ttd is better than ka and ka didnt copy ttd they were both made by the same creater ka is just probably a renew of ttd but if i were to say which one is better i would say ka because it doesnt who came first it matter's about the rides another thing cedar point owns six flags ka is better of the feeling that you get whan you ride it you get thrilled scared and mostly excited but ill admit that ttd has a better theme and a train you know ill say its a tie instead of saying ka is better


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