Top 10 Most Expensive Roller Coasters
The first roller coaster, which was just a gravity-fed carriage in the center of a park, appeared in Paris in 1817. However, roller coasters have gotten significantly more sophisticated and expensive to construct since then. But which roller coaster is the most costly ever built? We listed top 10 most expensive roller coasters in the world!
Expedition Everest, situated in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park, is the most costly roller coaster ever constructed, according to Guinness World Records. This roller coaster cost around $100 million to construct in 2006, which equates to approximately $142.6 million now.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, make your way to one of these iconic roller coasters!
Here is the list of the top 10 most expensive roller coasters in the world (all values adjusted for inflation to US dollars in 2022):
Expedition Everest – $142.6 Million
Steel Dragon 2000 – $86.8 Million
Thunder Dolphin – $57.8 Million
Millennium Force – $41.7 Million
Top Thrill Dragster – $39 Million
Kingda Ka – $36.8 Million
Leviathan – $35 Million
Intimidator 305 – $32.9 Million
The Smiler – $25 Million
Storm Coaster – $16.3 Million
1. Expedition Everest - $142.6 Million
Expedition Everest, a yeti-themed rollercoaster in Orlando’s Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park, is the most costly roller coaster ever constructed.
This roller coaster cost about $100 million to build in 2006. When adjusted for inflation, it equates to nearly $142.6 million today. Nonetheless, this is significantly less than the expense of constructing the world’s most costly NFL stadiums!
Fortunately, this ride is still available to the public. It’s also one of Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions, with slightly more than 2,000 riders every day.
Those who have rode on this coaster may understand why it is the most costly roller coaster in the world. If you’ve never been on Expedition, you may be wondering, “Why did this roller coaster cost so much to build?”
2. Steel Dragon 2000 - $86.8 Million
Nagashima Spa Land is a park in Japan that has one of the most expensive roller coasters in the world. It’s called the Steel Dragon 2000.
As the name of the ride suggests, it first opened in 2000, more than 20 years ago. It was the longest roller coaster in the world when it was finished, and it still is. It is also Japan’s tallest roller coaster.
This record-breaking ride didn’t come cheap, though. It cost about $52 million to build. Taking inflation into account, it is likely that this same roller coaster would cost about $86.8 million to build today.
Still, even though the Steel Dragon 200 is the second most expensive roller coaster ever built, it is not nearly as expensive as the most expensive pearls in the world.
3. Thunder Dolphin - $57.8 Million
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has a lot to see and do, including Tokyo Dome City Attractions. Thunder Dolphin, the second-tallest roller coaster in Japan, is in this amusement park.
This roller coaster was finished in 2003. Its name comes from the way it moves, which makes it look like a dolphin swimming between buildings and other rides. But this coaster’s tallest point is only 260 feet, which isn’t nearly as high as how much it cost to build.
It cost $37 million to build this roller coaster. Taking inflation into account, that’s about $57.8 million today.
But Thunder Dolphin is not Japan’s tallest or longest roller coaster. So, why did building it cost so much?
4. Millennium Force - $41.7 Million
The Millennium Force roller coaster at Cedar Point has a 300-foot drop that has enough G-Force to temporarily knock riders out. Most roller coasters can’t be said to be like that.
This roller coaster opened in 2000 and cost $25 million to build. That amount of money would be worth a whopping $41.7 million today. Because of this, it is the most expensive ride at Cedar Park.
5. Top Thrill Dragster- $39 Million
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Sandusky, Ohio? Many people think of the sights and sounds of Cedar Point, the most popular amusement park in the state.
This park is full of exciting rides, tasty snacks, and things to do that you’ll never forget. It also has two of the most expensive roller coasters in the world.
Top Thrill Dragster, which cost $25 million to build in 2003, is the cheaper of the two. Taking inflation into account, that amount would be worth about $39 million today.
6. Kingda Ka - $36.8 Million
#6 on our Top 10 Most Expensive Roller Coasters in the World! With a top speed of 128 miles per hour, Kingda Ka is the fastest roller coaster in the United States. It’s also one of the most expensive things ever built. When it was built in 2005, it cost a whopping $25 million.
That’s about $36.8 million in today’s money. Still, it’s not hard to see why this roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure cost so much.
7. Leviathan - $35 Million
In 2012, it cost $28 million to build this huge roller coaster in Canada, which is about $35 million today. But the people who own Canada’s Wonderland, an amusement park in Ontario, probably don’t mind how expensive it was to build.
The Leviathan is, after all, Canada’s fastest roller coaster. With a top speed of 92 miles per hour, it’s not the world’s fastest coaster, but the fact that it’s known as Canada’s fastest coaster brings in millions of park visitors every year.
So, the money made from park tickets has probably covered the cost of building this crazy fast ride in the first place. This makes the Leviathan a good investment.
8. Intimidator 305 - $32.9 Million
This roller coaster has a bright red track and a lift hill that is 305 feet tall. But they’re not nearly as scary as the $25 million it cost to build in the first place.
The Intimidator 305, which opened in 2010, is one of the newest roller coasters on this list. But with an adjusted price of $32.9 million, it’s not the least expensive example.
In fact, the owners of Kings Dominion spent the most money on this roller coaster.
9. The Smiler - $25 Million
Alton Towers is the most-visited amusement park in the UK (though Thorpe Park is a close second). This park has more than 40 rides, including The Smiler, which is one of the most expensive roller coasters in the world.
This steel roller coaster is not the tallest, fastest, or longest in the UK, but it is the most expensive. It cost about £18 million to build in 2013.
That would be about £20.4 million or $25 million in today’s money. But why is this ride so expensive if it’s not breaking any records? Well, it turns out that this roller coaster holds a world record!
10. Storm Coaster - $16.3 Million
The Storm Coaster is one of the most exciting roller coasters at Sea World, which isn’t saying much. This roller coaster is one of the most exciting (and expensive) rides in the park. It is on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
After all, the Storm Coaster is more than just drops and twists that make your stomach hurt. It also has some interesting water features that make it a memorable place to splash around. But the cost of building this roller coaster went up because of these unique parts.
The Storm Coaster was built in 2013 and cost about 20 million Australian dollars (AUD). Taking inflation into account, that would be about AUD 23 million, which is about USD 16.3 million now.