What’s Your Most Memorable Night Ride on a Roller Coaster?

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Led Zeppelin - Hard Rock Park - via CoasterImage
Riding roller coasters at night can make for a very different experience. If you typically leave amusement parks before it gets dark or just haven’t found yourself on a roller coaster at night then I suggest you make an effort to make sure you ride your park’s best coaster after dark. I had what I’d consider an all-time top two or three coaster experience during a night ride on the Kings Island’s Beast.

After hearing, “Enjoy your 4 minute and 50 second ride” we were off. The train took a smooth right turn out of the station and we approached the lift hill. As always, the lift hill built the anticipation of the drop to come, but on this particular ride there was an additional treat.

A large pink moon hung over the dark wilderness that lightly illuminated the forest below. Riders were awe-stricken by the beautiful sight and now we were about to be treated to an unforgettable night ride on the Beast…. At night the barely visible trees were accented with fireflies. This was one of the most remarkable sights I’ve ever experienced on a roller coaster. The cool air in the woods was a welcomed relief from the humid stickiness of the packed station.

Beast at Kings Island Review -August 2007

Speeding through the wilderness that night on the last train was something I’ll never forget. More recently, I was treated to an incredible view of the Smoky Mountains at dusk from the top of Dollywood’s Wild Eagle. The rest of the ride was enhanced a bit by darkness as well. As fall approaches, it’ll start getting dark earlier so now’s the time to visit your local park and get a night ride in before the season’s over.

What are some of your favorite night rides on roller coasters? Leave a comment below. Awesome image of Led Zeppelin – The Ride courtesy of CoasterImage


  1. Carowind’s Intimidator at night turned out to be a pretty nice ride at night, but now I wish I had ridden Afterburn at night instead. Only because of Afterburn’s tight inversions and underground batwing.

  2. Volcano at Kings Dominion. Coming out the top of the “volcano” at night is really dramatic–especially wihen the cool fall air hits you–and the lights in the park look especially great from up there when there is smoke from the Halloween festivities hanging in the air.

    • I agree, and both of Volcanos launches are way better in the dark…
      I hope those coming changes to Volcano are for real and not just rumors…

  3. When I rode The Intimidator 305 at night! I actually fully blacked out for a couple of seconds and it was awesome! Not to mention I could see almost everything in the park! And I couldnt see the track (even after riding it twice) I still didnt know what to expect in the dark! It was awesome! Another good one is when we went on the Apollos Chariot at night RIGHT when the fireworks started at Busch Gardens! It was most excellent!

  4. I have to agree. My favorite night ride of all time is The Beast at King's Island. I feel that there is no comparison

  5. All three Holiday World woodies are insane at night. Boulder Dash is also remarkable. Another one I'll throw out there is Ravine Flyer II.

  6. Definitely my first and only night ride on Millennium Force. I honestly felt very disoriented in a good way, had no idea what was going on, and just had to hang on with some impressive g-forces seemingly all over the place.

  7. Magnum or Raptor with lightning in the backround and a stop about half up the lift. Ahhh the memories…

  8. Tatsu at night really is crazy and if you could only ride it once you should do it at night.

  9. 3 B&M's at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

    Tremors at Silverwood

    Magic Mountain – everything

    Ravine Flyer with the sun setting into Lake Erie

    Cedar Point's Intamins

    One ride better during the day than night — Wild Eagle. The view of the Smoky Mountains is a key part of the ride and is lost at night. Also the coaster photo system has multiple places where powerful strobe lights flash at you, not just once (it's overkill).

  10. Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure. The experience it gives at night is the reason it is my all time favorite roller coaster. Once you crest the lift, there are no more lights until you hit the break run (much like Beast). You can't see anything which really adds to an already thrilling ride. It is my most memorable moment on a roller coaster. Also, Kingda Ka at night is pretty awesome. While the height is no longer important, the speed is enhanced. It's an amazing experience.

  11. My best night ride experience was on T2 at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. I know it's not the best or the most thrilling ride, but it was so much fun at night!

  12. The Beast @ kings island

  13. My favorite would be either the Big Bad Wolf or The Raven at Holiday world. Going through the bavarian village at night was just so much fun and I will forever remember that ride. Sitting in the last seat on the Raven at night was amazing, it felt like the train was coming off the track especially on the first drop when the train was pulled over it. And going through the woods like that was just amazing.

  14. Millennium Force with all the lake erie gnats

  15. The Beast is "NA" (Never Again [AWFUL!}). However, three coasters bring on fond memories of incredible night rides. Volcano: Shot in out and back into total darkness multiple times. Wonderful! Apollo's Chariot (moonless night, too) felt like I was a bat out hell flying high through the woods. Most recently, Skyrush. The Stengel Dive actually made my hands briefly grab for whatever I could find. That's NEVER happened before. An actual moment of fear on a coaster was a first and beautiful thing to experience. That was the biggest adrenaline/endorphin rush ever.

    • I meant Nitro, not Apollo's Chariot.

  16. I rode the beast on a foggy night… it was AMAZING.

  17. Nitro at night had to be the best night ride i’ve had. That hammerhead turn, and the helix were super intense. Farenheit at Hershey was not far behind though. The first 2 inversions were amazing, and the air-time hump at the end of the ride was a pleasant surprise. all in all, Nitro, with its combo of speed, airtime, and other elements was my best night-ride

  18. My best at night has to be the phantoms revenge at kennywood. It looks you will fall into a bottomless pit of wood 3 times.

  19. SFMM’s Colossus-it was my first time at the park and one of my first “big thrill rides” that forever got me hooked. My now deceased grandpa was the only one willing to go on it with me and fortunately there was hardly any line at all.

  20. Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce. Dark and very fun!

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