Kingda Ka is located in Jackson, New Jersey, at Six Flags Great Adventure. It is an Intamin launch coaster and happens to be the tallest coaster in the world, and fastest in North America. The coaster accelerates to its top speed in 3.5 seconds, and by the end of the runway, riders' cheeks flap from the rush of wind. The structure towers over the park at 456 feet, and can be seen from miles outside the park.
A hiss is heard as the rollback safety brakes lower, and a click as the catch car latches onto the train. Tension builds. The whole train sits silent as we wait for that launch. Tension builds. Fingernails dig into skin as hands clasp the grab handles. Tension builds. Riders' heads are plastered against the headrest, anticipating the launch. Tension builds. All we can do is wait, tension building , almost reaching a climax that will be a sudden release of nervous energy, when we blast down the track.
Seat belts unlatch and restraints rise. All of the people who took on Kingda Ka, the journey, a journey through coasters, step onto solid ground and walk to the exit. I walk up to the ride photo booth and search for my on-ride photo. My hair is whipped back, and a smile spans across my face. This is the greatest coaster I have ever been on.
Height: 456 feet
Length: 3,118 feet
Top Speed: 128 mph
Drop: 418 feet
My Thoughts: The best part of Kingda Ka is the launch - the smooth acceleration that sets the adrenaline rush in motion. After that, the train steers itself up the massive structure, and being at the top shortly after, looking down on the coaster world from Kingda Ka is a treat. Sometimes at the top, the coaster fails to crest the tower and plummets back down, backwards. This event is called a rollback and it is extremely rare. I have never had the honor of experiencing a rollback, but if one did occur it would be nice, because I would be treated with a second launch. If the train crests the top, which it normally is supposed to do, a 270 degree twist hits the train while it is zipping down. A final hill comes and a tease of airtime is present at the top. The deceleration is smooth, as the train comes back from the journey. The ride is located in the heavily themed Golden Kingdom section of the park. The Golden Kingdom area has an African feel, and it looks better than Disney's Animal Kingdom in my opinion. This coaster provides the best adrenaline rush I have ever experienced, and once I walk out of the exit, I want to get back in line to experience the coaster again. Kingda Ka translates in English to "king of coasters", and if you ask me, it's worthy of the name.