By Peter Jon Lindberg
March 27, 2009
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We're not talking about those quaint antiques your dad took you on—as your own kids might say, they're so last century. Today's coaster is a whole new beast. Sandusky, Ohio's Cedar Point (419/627-2350; www.cedarpoint.com) opened its 15th in May: the Wicked Twister sends riders spiraling up and down two 215-foot, corkscrew-shaped towers—each twisting a total of 450 degrees—backward and forward, five dizzying times in all. At Knott's Berry Farm in southern California (714/220-5200; www.knotts.com), a fifties-hot-rod—themed behemoth called the Xcelerator launches cars up a 205-foot hill—from 0 to 82 mph in only 2.3 seconds—then drops them back down at a gut-wrenching 90 degrees, leaving you too numb to remember the rest. —Peter Jon Lindberg