A hypercoaster is any roller coaster with a height or drop measuring greater than 200 feet (61 m). The term was first coined by Arrow Dynamics and Cedar Point with the release of the world's first hypercoaster, the Magnum XL-200, in 1989. Other roller coaster manufacturers later developed their own models: Intamin officially call theirs "Mega Coasters", and Bolliger & Mabillard refer to theirs as "Hyper Coasters". Roller coasters that broke the 300-foot-barrier (91 m) became known as "giga coasters", while those that broke the 400-foot-barrier (120 m) became known as "strata coasters".
The world's first hypercoaster was Magnum XL-200 by Cedar Point, costing $8,000,000 USD. Cedar Point chose Arrow Dynamics to design and construct Magnum XL-200. Construction on the world's tallest and fastest complete circuit roller coaster (at that time) began in 1988. By May 6, 1989, Magnum XL-200 was ready for riders. Since its debut, Magnum XL-200 has served more than 36 million guests. Cedar Point's official blog states that after building the ride, "discussion was focused on just what a roller coaster such as Magnum should be called. After all, it had no loops like most of the other large steel coasters of the time and was so much bigger and faster than its non-looping brethren. After a couple of years, the name everyone agreed upon was hypercoaster."
Hypercoasters were originally built for speed and airtime, to counter the trend of constructing bigger and bigger looping coasters. To accomplish this the elements of a hypercoaster often include a large first drop, several additional drops of declining height, a large turn or helix and then many airtime-inducing hills. Hypercoasters are commonly designed with an out and back layout, although some hypercoasters, such as Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America, are built with a twisted design.
Hypercoasters dominate the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards. For 2006, Superman: Ride of Steel, now known as Superman the Ride (formerly Bizarro), located at Six Flags New England was ranked highest at #1. Several hypercoasters followed such as Magnum XL-200 (#3), Nitro (#4), Apollo's Chariot (#5). The hypercoasters make up the majority of the 2006 Top 10 Steel Coasters, filling 8/10 positions. By 2010, hypercoasters held all of the top 10 spots on Amusement Today's list of "Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" and 16 of the top 20.
Hypercoasters were first manufactured by Arrow Dynamics in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Since then, a number of companies, including Bolliger & Mabillard, Intamin, D. H. Morgan Manufacturing, Giovanola and others have designed and constructed hypercoasters.
Though hypercoasters are typically steel roller coasters, Son of Beast at Kings Island was the first and only wooden hypercoaster. Due to a number of issues, the ride was eventually demolished in 2012.
The following are a list of all hypercoasters sorted by opening date:
* Denotes a hypercoaster that is also a giga coaster (any full circuit coaster over 300 ft).
** Denotes a hypercoaster that is also a strata coaster (any full circuit coaster over 400 ft).
† Denotes a coaster that fits the broad but not the narrow definition of a hypercoaster.
The following are non-continuous circuit coasters that exceed 200 feet in height or drop, unlike coasters that conform to the hypercoaster "style." However, these shuttle roller coasters are not usually considered hypercoasters.
|Moonsault Scramble||Fuji-Q Highland||Meisho Amusement Machines||Defunct||June 24, 1983|
|Tower of Terror II||Dreamworld||Intamin||Operating||1997|
|Superman: Escape from Krypton||Six Flags Magic Mountain||Intamin||Operating||March 15, 1997|
|Unknown (formerly Batman & Robin: The Chiller)||Beto Carrero World||Premier Rides||In Storage||1998-2007|
|Mr. Freeze||Six Flags Over Texas||Premier Rides||Operating||April 1998|
|Mr. Freeze||Six Flags St. Louis||Premier Rides||Operating||April 1998|
|Speed – The Ride||Akita Plaza||Premier Rides||In Storage||April 28, 2000 - 2011|
|Wicked Twister||Cedar Point||Intamin||Operating||May 5, 2002|
|Big Air||E-DA Theme Park||Vekoma||Operating||December, 2010|
- "Hypercoasters". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "Millennium Force: The Hypercoaster Rules No More". Thrillride.com. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "CP Mobile". Cedarpoint.com. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
- "More Thoughts on Magnum". Cedarpoint.com. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "The List: 2006 Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2006. p. 26. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "The List: 2010 Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 11, 2010. p. 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "What's next for Son of Beast? Future of Kings Island roller coaster unclear". Cincinnati.com. 2011-04-23. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- "Son of Beast roller coaster to be removed to make room for future park expansion". Kings Island. July 27, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
- "Roller Coaster Database". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2011-05-12.