What is a Giga Coaster?


With all of the buzz around Fury 325, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the World’s Tallest and Fastest Giga Coaster. Many have asked exactly what the “giga” refers to.

What is a giga coaster?

A giga coaster is a roller coaster that’s between 300 and 399 feet tall and completes a full circuit. The first giga coaster was Millennium Force which opened at Cedar Point in 2000. Today, there are five in operation around the World, with another one planned for 2016 (Ferrari Land, Spain).

Below is a list of the giga coasters that are currently operating:

RankNameAgeTheme ParkLocationYear Opened
1stJack Rabbit97 YearsKennywoodWest Mifflin, PA1920
2ndJack Rabbit97 YearsSeabreezeRochester, NY1920
2ndRoller Coaster96 YearsLagoonFarmington, UT1920
3rdThunderbolt96 YearsKennywoodWest Mifflin, PA1921
4thGiant Dipper93 YearsSanta Cruz Beach BoardwalkSanta Cruz, CA1924
5thThunderhawk93 YearsDorney ParkAllentown, PA1924
6thGiant Dipper93 YearsBelmont ParkSan Diego, CA1924
7thRacer90 YearsKennywoodWest Mifflin, PA1927
8thWildcat90 YearsLake CompounceBristol, CT1927
10thCyclone90 YearsLuna ParkBrooklyn, NY1927

Ride Experience: Giga Coasters are Tall and Fast!

Intimidator 305 at Kings DominionGiga coasters are incredibly tall and fast roller coasters. They’re skyscraper-like lift hills help them generate intense speeds of 90 mph or more. Instead of using loops to turn riders upside-down, they use all that speed to thrill riders by climbing large hills and then diving back to the ground. Some also provide high-speed twists and turns.

Kings Dominion’s Intimidator 305 focuses most of its insane course on heavily banked track and twisted transitions from side-to-side. Fury 325 has a mix of twist, turns, and a few hills.

Currently, all giga coasters are steel roller coasters. In terms of height and speed, they are only surpassed by strata coasters that use powerful launch systems to rocket higher than 400 feet tall.

To give you an idea of what giga coasters are like, here’s video of Fury 325 at Carowinds:

For a POV video and more, see my full review of Fury 325.

To learn more about other roller coasters terms and see lists of record holders my Coasterology posts.

What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden a giga coaster? Leave a comment below. Image courtesy of CoasterImage.

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


  1. Actually, by the strictest defintion, a launched coaster between 300-399 feet tall cannot be considered a giga coaster. Otherwise, Tower of Tower Dreamworld would be the tallest and fastest giga coaster. The same applies with Xcelerator and why it’s not true hyper coaster.

  2. A sucker for long drops, I enjoy giga coasters more than most. I’ve ridden four of the five and rank them as follows: 1) Fury 325; 2) Leviathan; 3) Intimidator 305; and 4) Millennium Force. Fury 325 gets the top spot due to the intensity and insane speed, although Leviathan isn’t far behind. I liked I-305 more than MF because of the numerous twists in the track, giving the feeling of being snapped back and forth, which made for a novel ride experience. And although I’ve always preferred Intamin rides to B&M, for this group B&M comes out ahead. B/c I prefer the cable lifts on Intamin to chain lifts, I was afraid that the ascent to the top on the two B&M models would be agonizingly slow but in fact it’s surprisingly fast.

  3. Ethan that coaster doesn’t complete a full circuit

    • Thanks Alex. It’s right there in the definition, but I guess he missed it.

  4. The Fury’s drop is ETERNAL lol…. The drop is a little too long but that’s just me because I’m sure most people enjoyed it… By the time you’re halfway through the coaster, you’ve already forgotten how intense the drop is because the speed and adrenaline gets to you. It’s so fun and it sucks that I could only ride it once because of the length of the line. Best coaster I’ve ever ridden

  5. Hi, I live in Kitchener Ontario and we visit Wonderland many times a year. We’ve ridden Leviathan so many times. That first drop is unbelievable and the camel humps are huge too. I almost chickened out the first time but so glad I didn’t. Best ride ever!

  6. I think I will like all of them. However I will like Fur325 much much much much much much better than all of them except for Steel Dragon 2000.
    As they say in Japan こんにちは


  7. I have rode the fury 325 – 21 times so far this year and want more. i have season passes so i know i will be riding it more, my goal is to ride it 50 times this year.


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