Thrills for your buck | Photo courtesy of Canada's Wonderland

You bought your ticket. The scent of funnel cake makes you heady as you sprint past the cart to get in line for your favorite roller coaster. It’ll be at least 45 minutes before the carnie at the front tells you to secure all personal items and enjoy your ride.

Is it worth it? Yes, you’ve already made the calculation that a few minutes of mind-blasting speed are worth the wait. But how about the money? How much will that thrill cost you in terms of dollars and cents?

We answer that question here with Bankrate’s list of Best Roller Coasters in North America.

As fun as it would have been to ride the coasters in all of these theme parks, we tackled this ranking with data. We started with a list of theme parks with the most roller coasters from the Roller Coaster Database (rcdb.com) and pulled the top 12 in North America. From there we used each park’s admission price to calculate what a coaster fanatic would actually pay per ride.

Here, in ascending order, are the best roller coaster theme parks for your buck.


No. 10: Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts) | Photo courtesy of Six Flags New England

No. 10: Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts)

Number of roller coasters: 11

  • Headliners: Bizarro, Goliath, Batman The Ride
  • Cost per coaster: $5.45
  • Park admission: $59.99

No. 9: Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington, Texas) | Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Texas

No. 9: Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington, Texas)

Number of roller coasters: 12

  • Headliners: Titan, New Texas Giant,Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast
  • Cost per coaster: $5.42
  • Park admission: $64.99

No. 8: Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Illinois) | Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great America

No. 8: Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Illinois)

Number of roller coasters: 13

  • Headliners: Raging Bull, American Eagle,V2 Vertical Velocity
  • Cost per coaster: $5
  • Park admission: $64.99

No. 7: Hersheypark (Hershey, Pennsylvania) | Photo courtesy of Hersheypark

No. 7: Hersheypark (Hershey, Pennsylvania)

Number of roller coasters: 12

  • Headliners: Fahrenheit, Skyrush,Storm Runner
  • Cost per coaster: $5
  • Park admission: $59.95

No. 6: Kings Dominion (Doswell, Virginia) | Photo courtesy of Kings Dominion

No. 6: Kings Dominion (Doswell, Virginia)

Number of roller coasters: 13

  • Headliners: 305, Dominator,Volcano The Blast Coaster
  • Cost per coaster: $4.92
  • Park admission: $64

No. 5: Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina) | Photo courtesy of Carowinds

No. 5: Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Number of roller coasters: 13

  • Headliners: Intimidator, Nighthawk, Carolina Cobra
  • Cost per coaster: $4.46
  • Park admission: $57.99

No. 4 Kings Island (Kings Mills, Ohio) | Photo courtesy of Kings Island

No. 4 Kings Island (Kings Mills, Ohio)

Number of roller coasters: 14

  • Headliners: Diamondback, Banshee, Invertigo
  • Cost per coaster: $4.29
  • Park admission: $59.99

No. 3: Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio) | Photo courtesy of Cedar Point

No. 3: Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)

Number of roller coasters: 16

  • Headliners: Top Thrill Dragster, Magnum XL-200,Millennium Force
  • Cost per coaster: $3.75
  • Park admission: $59.99

No. 2: Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California) | Photo courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain

No. 2: Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California)

Number of roller coasters: 19

  • Headliners: Superman: Escape From Krypton, X2,Goliath
  • Cost per coaster: $3.68
  • Park admission: $69.99

No. 1: Canada's Wonderland (Ontario, Canada) | Photo courtesy of Canada's Wonderland

No. 1: Canada’s Wonderland (Ontario, Canada)

Number of roller coasters: 16

  • Headliners: Behemoth, Leviathan,The Bat
  • Cost per coaster: $3
  • Park admission: $47.99

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