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The thrill rides at Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay are hard to beat. From Thunder Run (a wooden-framed throwback coaster) to Storm Chaser (a cutting-edge ride with barrel rolls, twisted drops, corkscrews, and tip-out corners), there's something for thrill-lovers of every stripe. ADDRESS: 937 Phillips Lane (40209) / Image courtesy of Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay
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Some Of The Best Roller Coasters In The Midwest Are In Louisville

Roller coasters. There’s nothing on earth like ‘em.

The anticipation, the pause, the plunge… then everyone’s emptying out their lungs in an impromptu harmony of gleeful screams. It’s enough to make your hair stand up. It’s enough to put the pit of your stomach on the roof of your mouth. It’s enough to make you wait in hour-long lines just so you can enjoy those few blissful minutes of abandon.

But what if you didn’t have to? That is, what if you could enjoy world-class roller coasters (and thrill rides of every type!) without having to wait in hour-long lines?

That’s what many families are doing right now by going to Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay.

Yes, we’ve covered what’s new about the Louisville amusement park. But come with us as we take a deep-dive into the park’s deepest dives, the thrill rides that’ll leave you breathless.

WORLD-CLASS COASTERS

Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay’s first roller coaster, Thunder Run is a wooden-framed throwback. Those first moments when you’re being pulled chain link by chain link up the hill are equally stomach-wrenching and nostalgic, as are the 73-foot drop and the 70-degree bank turn that follow. This is a coaster for coaster lovers.

Follow that up with T3, a suspended looping coaster with five gravity-defying inversions. In fact, T3 was among the first batch of coasters to feature such inversions when it was opened in 1995. They include a rollover, a sidewinder, and a double in-line twist. (Hair ties are recommended.)

If you have the stomach for it, proceed to Lightning Run. Opened in 2014, this coaster features the most insane drop of the park. It’s 100 feet top to bottom; but more importantly, it’s inclined at 80 degrees. That’s basically just like falling straight to the ground. Wowza!

Lastly, check out the park’s newest ride, Storm Chaser. Featuring a cutting-edge design, Storm Chaser is the first coaster in America to feature a barrel roll drop from a 10-story lift hill. The bank angle off that drop is a heart-walloping 78 degrees, which is nearly perpendicular. Then you come to the stall dive, the tip-out corner, the airtime hills, the twisted drop, the corkscrew… it’s quite literally incomparable.

EVERYTHING ELSE

That’s not the least of Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay’s 70 thrill rides and attractions. There are loop rides, fear falls, pendulum drops, spinning wheels, and more.

Not into rides? Perhaps it’s just too hot for them. No worries, because the water-themed activities provide some thrills of their own. Check out the 12-story drop that is Deep Water Dive, America’s tallest body slide. Or Calypso Run, a covered slide that’ll have you guessing until the last drop. Or Deluge, a hydromagnetic rocketslide water coaster that propels riders through a topsy-turvy course.

There’s Forbidden Passage too. And Wave Runner. And Plummet Summit. Suffice it to say, if you want the ride experience while beating the heat, Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay has you covered.

It has the kids covered too, with a bevy of milder rides at King Louie’s Playland. Because not everyone is “this tall” yet, but that doesn’t mean he/she can’t have a great time.

So whether you’re a roller-coaster tycoon or a casual admirer of thrill rides, check out Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay. It’s just 90 minutes away, and it’s one of the best places to spend a weekend this summer.

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Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay is located at 937 Phillips Lane (40209).

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