11 Thrill Rides In Arkansas That Even The Craziest Daredevil May Avoid

Some of us thrill-park visitors are braver than others. There are some roller coasters and water slides that would turn away even the hardiest of constitutions. Arkansas is home to more than a few thrill rides that only the strong will survive.

1. The Arkansas Twister: This classic out-and-back coaster at Magic Springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas heads out of the station to carry you to the top of its lift hill after which it releases to a 92-foot drop catapulting riders through an up-and-down journey across 3,500 feet of track at top speeds of 50 mph.

Magic Springs purchased the ride in 1991 and it was transported to the park from Florida in 40 semi-trailers. It opened in 1992 with the first ride on May 30. Since that time, multiple generations of Arkansans have shrieked and screamed up and down its track.

2. Pipeline: One or two people visiting Wild River Country in North Little Rock, Arkansas can ride on this roller coaster-style ride that slides you through 500 feet of twists and turns.

A personal annual favorite at WRC, the Pipeline is a great first-time water slide ride for younger and more inexperienced thrill riders.

3. The Accelerator: This Wild River Country ride will put you over the edge with its extremely high vertical speed.

Ride rule: The smallest person must ride in front on The Accelerator.

4. The Gauntlet: It takes nerves of steel to endure this Magic Springs coaster, a 110-foot drop into a whirling dervish of five inverted loops and mind-blowing bends. Riders feel strong side-to-side, up-and-down, and front-to-back forces traveling 2,200 feet of steel coaster insanity all while suspended under the coaster’s tracks at speeds up to 50 mph.

The name, “Gauntlet,” was chosen by Becky Branch of Jacksonville who participated in a widespread radio event to name the new attraction at the end of 2003.

5. The Hawk: Swoop, soar and dive at Magic Springs at heights up to 50 feet. The thrills keep coming as repetitive swings hurtle downward with a boom that rotates 360-degrees both clockwise and counter-clockwise at speeds up to 13 rpm.

Thrillseekers often report the ride purposefully and momentarily pausing at moments where riders are completely upside down in the sky.
6. Vertigo: This high thrill experience at Wild River Country launches the rider from a tunnel into a large bowl where you’ll orbit around before free falling into the splash pool below.

Ride rule: All passengers must be 48 inches or taller to ride.

7. Big Bad John: A favorite coaster among families visiting Magic Springs, three lift hills propel the journey on this runaway mine train adventure across 3,500 feet of track twisting and turning through some of the park’s most beautiful scenery.

At three minutes in duration, this coaster is the park’s longest ride, reaching heights of 50 feet and a speed of 30 mph in a screeching tunnel finale plunging riders into darkness before returning back to the station.

8. Dr. Dean’s Rocket Machine: This rocket machine-themed thrill ride at Magic Springs propels riders into “orbit” and hits its peak at 85 feet into the sky.

Dr. Dean’s Rocket Machine is a ride designed specifically for the park and was installed in 2001. Ride rule: riders must be at a height of at least 52”.

9. Wild Thang: Riders at Magic Springs will pair up on this ride, a wild, dizzying 60-foot rise and descent, forward and backward, up and down adventure.

Daredevils can look forward to two motor-driven rotations and the third to be gravity driven on this ride.

10. X-Coaster: This coaster stands proudly as the “Granddaddy of them all” at Magic Springs and beckons across the Ouachita Mountains into the hearts of adrenaline junkies coming from miles around to experience the first coaster of its kind in the United States. The X-Coaster makes it possible to experience inversion without the constraint of a shoulder harness.

The most talked about highlight of this ride is the thrillingly slow quarter-loop backwards that leaves riders dangling high above the park for a heart-pounding moment before they are sent on a 360-degree corkscrew roll, followed by a plummeting drop at more than 65 mph.

11. SkyShark: On this bungee/gliding-based ride at Magic Springs, riders are hoisted to the top of a 115-foot steel arch before plummeting in a free fall back to earth at speeds up to 50mph. Bundle into the harness with a friend or two (or three) and enjoy the thrill!

Ride rule: There is a 42″ height restriction for this ride and an additional fee required per number of riders.

Wild River Country has three more thrill water rides coming this season, so if you’re from Arkansas or planning to travel Arkansas this year, be sure to check out its great theme parks! For those still building up the courage to even attempt these rides…believe me, you are understood!