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 dont get why everyone says ttd is better, i mean its a fasterand taller ride…. nothing left to say

  2. Dragster all the way! The restraints on the dragster make is so much more open and fun! And the KK is slightly more rough than the Dragster.

  3. I have been on both… I like both of them the same even though I live only an hour away form Cedar Point. Top Thrill Dragster has a better theme and has just a lapbar. BUT on the other hand, Kingda Ka is taller and faster and when you see it in person OMFG it is towering over you compared to Top Thrill Dragster. TTD is still really tall but Kingda Ka it just has a mysterious feel to it. That's the way I always felt. Kingda Ka also has a second hill at the end so each one has something the other lacks so they're both just as good in their own way…

  4. Per me vince il Kingda Ka, anche se non l'ho mai provato;)

  5. I have read pretty much all of the comments and come to the conclusion that TTD is better. I have not ridden KK however, so I will not decide what my opinion is.
    Some of you said that you don't like TTD b/c it has rollbacks, however, most of us dream of having those!
    TTD's logo and themeing are more creative, and the ride design is the original.
    The veiw from TTD is better and the lap bars are perfect (for me anyways, I'm small (no offense to the slightly overweight people)).
    Anyway, I think that the difference in height and speed KK vs. TTD, there isn't that much difference. They're both built by the same designer, so why not ask the designer's favorite of the too?

  6. Nitro wins in my opinion is way better an more intense than AC i kept flying out of my seat the whole ride on Nitro on AC i didnt as much. I sat in the last seat on both coasters an when you go over the first drop hands down Nitro has the best first drop then AC I had butterflies in my stomach on Nitro on AC i didnt . the best time to ride Nitro is at nighttime its pitch black its adds the thrill to the ride.

  7. King da ka is better when its a the top 456 feet you come out of your seat when you drop Top thrill dragster you don't have no air time.

  8. TTD cause it was built first and you only have a lap bar opposed to the sholder thingies

  9. I thing kk is betterbecause it looks cooler in my opinion

  10. Can’t remember whether I commented on this before, but having ridden both, I give a slight edge to Kingda Ka. True, the theming on Dragster is far superior to that on KK, but both the extra hill and the restraints are why I prefer the latter. With the harnesses on KK, I can ride in comfort, whereas the lap bars on TTD leave my arms completely free and on each ride I have gotten my elbows banged up. Also, KK is not only smoother but faster.

  11. I have not rode either one of these, but, by doing a lot of research on both, I have come to the conclusion that Kinda Ka is the best. It has a higher altitude, it has an extra hill, and even though it doesn’t have a view of a lake, Canada, and other things, it makes up for missing that with it’s high speeds and twists down the hills. It was very close to me, having not rode either one.

  12. Comment

  13. Ok I’m tired of people ripping on KA because it has over the shoulder restraints. I am a platform ride op on king da ka at six flags great adventure and the reason ka has otsr is that it is ILLEGAL to have t bar restraints over rides of 300 feet in the state of New Jersey if it was legal I’m sure six flags would of put in restraints like ttd.


  14. TTD is much better because of the lap bars instead of shoulder harbesses.

    • And, because if the increaced speeds on kingda ka, i found the expereance to be way more rough.

  15. Ive ridden both numerous times. Cedar Point is my home park so maybe im biased on this but TTD is better. The theme is so much better than KK. Also, i noticed a slight delay in KK launch. It was as if the catch car was not properly engaged in the train. I gotta say though, KK has trims at the top of the hill on the descending side which provided a little bit of hang time which was sweet! But the fact that TTD has a better theme and lap bar restraints makes it better IMO.

  16. I love both rides. Although, Top Thrill Dragster wins my vote! Nothing is better with the sound of “dragsters” going off, rolling back a little bit, and watching the go “yellow, yellow, yellow, green” then rushing down the track (with only a seat belt and lap bar) going 120 mph in 3.8 seconds, and getting to the top, looking down over the Millennium Force and Lake Erie!

  17. I have ridden both and TTD is better

  18. Ok, the theme of TTD and the view from the apex of Canada is better then KIngda Ka. However, that zero G camel hump in Kingda Ka sways my vote there. TTD just left me wanting more. Both can have roll backs which is plus when they happen. And in the que lines, seeing the signs of “this ride my not make it over the first try” is a bit pants soiling to a newbie. Sorry Sandusky, no hard feelings.


  20. I’ve been on both KK and TTD! The view on top of TTD is just Amazing! You can see Canada, Port Clinton, Kelly’s Island, Put-in Bay and Pelee Island. The view from KK, not so great. Theme is way better on TTD. Ride stats go to KK.

    A ride better than both of these is Millennium Force.

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