5 Best Roller Coaster Lift Hills in the United States

Coaster Round-Up

Expedition Everest Roller Coaster Lift Hill Entering The Mountains Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

One of the most essential, and unappreciated parts of any roller coaster in the world is the lift hill. For coasters, which almost all need massive heights to achieve their level of thrills, a lift hill is a necessary element to bring you as high as the coaster requires, but it's often a boring experience.

But not all roller coaster lift hills are a boring experience, and some can actually add to the overall experience of the entire ride. So here are five of the best roller coaster lift hills in the United States, judged based on setting, theming, and other factors.

5. Rip Ride Rockit (Universal Studios Orlando)

Rip Ride Rockit Non Inverted Loop Roller Coaster Universal Studios Orlando

Rip Ride Rockit is a largely unthemed roller coaster located at Universal Studios Orlando, and one of the best parts of this roller coaster is the vertical lift hill. This part of the ride features the start of your custom musical choice that will play on the ride as well as some great light theming around the ride vehicle.

The ride vehicles are also perfectly built for this type of lift hill, providing enough support for you to just lie back and enjoy the lift before the ride intensity begins with the first ride. On top of this there is special lighting on the ride vehicles to look at assuming you are not in the front row.

4. Space Mountain (Disneyland/Magic Kingdom)

Both versions of Space Mountain have incredible lift hills that are amazingly themed and perfectly fit to the theme of the ride.

Starting with the original Walt Disney World version, it takes you into a wonderfully themed spaceship with two parallel tracks and a view of the Peoplemover before entering the blackness of the rest of the ride. It is a great experience that perfectly fits the ride.

The Disneyland version then provides an entirely different experience, leaving a spaceship on the first lift hill before traveling through a warp tunnel between the two lift hills. The final lift hill then features screens that help transition you into space as you look ahead to a galaxy. All during this is a musical score that perfectly fits the ride and makes what should be a boring and slow section of the ride filled with slow anticipation and suspense.

3. X2 (Six Flags Magic Mountain)

X2 is a ride unlike almost any other, and its lift hill is a special experience that is just as unique as the rest of the ride. It brings you up the hill backwards, leaving you purposefully unprepared for the first drop and making it all the more thrilling, with the heightened level of suspense given by the backwards direction.

It also provides an amazing view of the rest of Six Flags Magic Mountain, leaving you almost entirely unprepared for what comes next as it can distract you from the ride you are about to experience.

2. Superman The Ride (Six Flags New England)

Superman The Ride Station Roller Coaster Six Flags New England

Superman The Ride may appear at first glance to have a largely standard lift hill, and initially it did, apart from an amazing view of the Connecticut River which practically the entire roller coaster runs parallel to. But relatively recent improvements have drastically improved this section of the ride.

As you climb, you are treated to the iconic John Williams Superman theme blaring on speakers, which creates an energy around the lift hill that builds anticipation for the final drop, especially as it increases speed. This soundtrack can even be heard from the surrounding area, making it a part of the coaster and drawing people to the ride

1. Expedition Everest (Disney's Animal Kingdom)

Expedition Everest is one of the best modern Disney roller coasters and one of the best parts of this attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom is its lift hill. While only lightly themed it is an essential part of the ride's storyline.

As you climb the hill you are treated to a variety of ambiance sounds that build anticipation for the ride you are about to experience. You also pass through a temple hinting at the mythological forces you will face on the ride, starting the storyline before you even enter the mountain itself.