If you figured that Six Flags (NYSE:PKS) was going to cower sheepishly after a rough season at the turnstiles, awaiting a lifeline from Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) pinup Bill Gates, you were banking on the wrong bespectacled savior.

The creepy yet nimble Mr. Six is doing that happy dance again -- this time as the regional amusement park operator unveils the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster. The record-breaking Kingda Ka in the chain's Great Adventure thrill park in New Jersey will catapult enthusiasts next season up a steep 456 foot-high hill at speeds that will peak at 128 miles per hour. That's enough to dethrone the current record holder, thrilling riders nearly 500 miles west at Cedar Fair's (NYSE:FUN) signature Cedar Point resort.

It may seem odd to see a pair of regional amusement park operators trying to outdo one another in the thrills department. By definition, the bulk of their traffic comes from the local community, within a 50 to 100 mile radius of the park.

Meanwhile, the national theme parks -- the ones that are open all year long and often have lavish marketing and attraction budgets, like Disney (NYSE:DIS) and General Electric's (NYSE:GE) Universal -- couldn't care less about how small their coasters are. Universal's latest entry was a mummy-themed indoor coaster that rolled out on both coasts with great effects but relatively modest hills. Disney's next roller coaster will open at Florida's Animal Kingdom, yet with a drop height of only 80 feet, it will be less than a fifth the height of Kingda Ka.

But that's the point. The theme parks are catering to entire families, so they would rather earmark their budgets for intricate detailing and critical story elements than blow it all on scream-inducing steel and sky-high top-hat supports.

So Mr. Six can dance the off-season away knowing that the new coaster records may hold for awhile. Then again, folks were saying the same thing when Cedar Point unveiled Top Thrill Dragster last summer.

Are you brave enough to give Kingda Ka a shot next year? What is the most terrifying coaster that you have ever ridden? Do you prefer wood, steel or the bench by the exit? All this and more -- in the Roller Coaster Loving Fools discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz did manage to go on some fascinating coasters this summer -- including Dragster at Cedar Point and X at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. He was born in New Jersey, so there's a good chance he may go home next summer. He owns shares of Disney as well as units in Cedar Fair.