The 5 Best First Drops in California

Sean: What makes the best first impression on a coaster, and what makes the best last impression? That’s what we’re looking at this month. Last month we discussed the 5 Best Finales on Coasters in California, this time we’re taking a look at the best first drops around the state! Sadly some of our favorite first drops in the state, such as Perilous Plunge and Deja Vu, are no longer around, we have gained some incredible new first drops in the past few years that have made the list. Let’s look at a nice variety of drops that we find to be 5 of the best first drops in California!

5.  Journey to Atlantis

Surprise! Journey to Atlantis made it to our list! Why, you ask? That is a good question. When we deeply started to think of the best first drops around the state, we realized many were the same, and without any real good hyper coasters or giga coasters, we quickly figured that maybe airtime is not all that makes a first drop great. Journey to Atlantis’ small vehicles, relatively steep drop, and water effects (as well as full on splashdown) makes for a unique drop that offers a pop of air, and finishes very refreshingly. Turns out that when there are a lot different elements to a first drop, including music and a splashdown, you really do have a solid first drop! And that people, is why we have Journey to Atlantis on the list.

4. Gold Striker

Gold Striker wasn’t always supposed to have the awesome first drop it has, but thanks to local office buildings just a few feet away from the ride’s first drop, a mine-shaft indoor first drop was perfect to keep the screams and noise from reaching hard working people in their offices! Besides the fact that the first drop is quite steep and has a great GCI feel to it, it also manages to offer a non-stop head chopper effect that intensifies this wooden coaster’s impressively long first drop. Airtime, darkness, and airtime along with classic GCI curves, Gold Striker is definitely provides a memorable first drop.

3. Joker

In the past 4 years or so many amazing new coasters have made it to the scene, including the above Gold Striker. Northern California welcomed another stellar coaster with an impressive first drop in 2016, with the RMC Hybrid, Joker. Joker’s unique in many ways thanks to the twisty layout of the original Roar, but it also features a fantastic quick first drop that is 78 degrees steep, and manages to also twist you to the right, vertically. Backseat rides on Joker are amazing for many reasons, the first drop being particularly awesome. The first drop perfectly encompasses what these RMC hybrid coasters are all about and it makes for Northern California’s newest, and bets first drop. (For now).

2. Twisted Colossus

It should be no surprise that a racing first drop (yup, when they ACTUALLY race) is on this list. But even individually the first drop is incredible. The 80 degree drop has a slight turn to it and offers some of the most intense airtime California has ever seen. It wasn’t ’til Twisted Colossus debuted in 2015 that Californians were ever exposed to this amount of airtime and ejector air, and there is no better representation of that than the ride’s first drop. Or the ride’s two first drops (both sides), depending on whether or not you consider both to be first drops. Add the racing element to this amazing airtime filled 116 feet tall drop, and you got yourself one heck of an amazing experience. 

1. X2

And here we are, at number one! The coaster that even terrifies coaster enthusiasts over and over. The world’s original multi-dimensional roller coaster with a 88.5 degree steep drop that flips riders a full 360 degree while racing down a 215 feet drop at 76 miles an hour.  There’s a moment of airtime, but it’s much more of a visually pleasing, and terrifying, experience. Riders look straight down as they plummet towards the brown SoCal landscape below before quickly flipping upside down. The drop on X2 is among the best drops anywhere in the world and made our list taking the #1 spot in California.


Thank you for checking out this list of 5! Let us know what your favorite first drop in California is below or on our Social Media platforms! Check out last week’s The 5 Best Coaster Finales in California!

Over the years we have launched a lot of ‘The 5’ lists, and we recommend you check some of them out, here! Stay tuned for more of these articles in the near future!

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3 Replies to “The 5 Best First Drops in California”

  1. Id he happy to join you guys for Deja Vu/Goliath’s first drop next time you’re at SFNE.. Yes, everyone hates the new trains.. Yes, we have two Vakoma Boomerang models right next to each other.. Still a fun ride though! =)

  2. If Perilous Plunge (in its original form) were still operational it would certainly make this list. The airtime was phenomenal! May you rest in peace my beloved Perilous Plunge…I miss you.

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