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A professional rollercoaster tester names the ten best rides around the world

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Gary Ogden
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A professional rollercoaster tester names her top ten rides around the world 1

Think of your dream job. What is it? Cheese taster? Beer brewer? Hollywood actor? Online journalist at ShortList.com? Cat? There are endless ridiculous jobs out there, jobs that will actually pay you money to do ludicrous things, and of those jobs, perhaps the greatest of them all is: rollercoaster tester.

Strapping yourself into a big coaster and zooming around a track (you don’t even need to queue, neither) and then getting paid for it. Getting real, actual money to go on a theme park ride, what a jip.

One such jammy so-and-so who’s somehow managed to nab this position is Jordan Middleton, who is the resident rollercoaster tester at Thorpe Park. She says:

“Rollercoasters first became my obsession from the age of about 14, so this is a dream opportunity for me.

“I remember being taken to Adventure Island in Southend when I was really little and we also holidayed in Florida regularly, so I was fortunate enough to experience all of the theme parks there.

“But in my mid-to-late-teens I joined a website called Coaster Force where you had to tick off rides all around the world – and I like a challenge.

“I do my best to get to as many theme parks as I can.”

So she knows her runaway trains, basically, which is why you should probably listen when she tells you her list of the top ten rollercoasters in the world. She’s travelled far and wide, ridden them all and she’s whittled down the list to a succinct ten. Here it is:

1. USA – Sky Rush at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania

“My number one ride.”

2. Germany – Taron at Phantasialand, Cologne

“Really intense and so fast. Changes direction, tries to kick you out of your seat. It’s a double launch too.”

3. USA – El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey

“What we would call an ‘airtime-machine’ – you’re never once in your seat the entire way around.”

4. UK - Stealth at Thorpe Park Resort

“The launch! Mind-blowing and not topped anywhere in the world.”

5. Sweden – Helix at Liseberg Park, Gothenburg

“Amazing, really good night riding in the middle of the city, feels like your hurtling towards buildings.”

6. USA - Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta, San Antonio, Texas

“Completely wild – really unusual but brilliant mix of forces, speed and airtime all set with a dramatic backdrop.”

7. Spain – Shambhala at Port Aventura in Salou, near Barcelona

“Liked this one.”

8. USA – The Voyage at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

“Proper old-school wooden coaster. Relentless and just keeps going on and on (in a good way!).”

9. Japan – Do Dodonpa at Fuji Q Park, Tokyo

“At the base of Mount Fuji and great fun.”

10. Oz-Iris at Park Asterix in Paris

“Really fun inversions, lots of weightless moments.”

If you watched all those videos then you’ve essentially been to a theme park today - that’s fun isn’t it? An office-based theme park, without any of the queuing, the fun I send your way, eh?

P.S. I am not responsible for that sick.

(Image: Aaron Burden)

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the screaming thing though. @garyblogden

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