Vote of the week: What is your favorite roller coaster element?
Published: September 12, 2008 at 11:46 AM
Yeah, I know the site's name is Theme Park
Insider, and we talk about a wide variety of topics here, from dark rides to live shows, and table service restaurants to readers' favorite junk food. But this week, I'm saying to heck with the theme stuff and turning the vote over to our hard-core roller coaster fans.
So what is your favorite roller coaster element? Sure, some chickens shut their eyes as soon as the brakes release in the station and can't tell one element from the rest. These are the folks who think that "Cobra Rolls" are a type of sushi.
This week's vote, alas, is not for them. It's for you readers, with better inner ear function than mine, who treasure every moment, every twist and every element on a roller coaster's track. Pick your favorite, from the classes of elements below, and tell us why you picked what you did, in the comments.
Here are the options, with short, simplistic explanations for those who want them. Note that I've combined several similar elements into single options. Some are the result of different manufacturers using different names for what are essentially the same thing, others are combined because the elements are similar enough that I felt like I would be splitting hairs keeping them separate.Batwing/Boomerang/Cobra Roll - A double inversion, with one facing the other, returning you in the direction from where you came.
Corkscrew/Heartline Roll - Any twisting inversion around an imaginary axis. The broader ones are corkscrews, the really narrow ones heartline rolls.
Drops - Straight-ahead, high-speed drops down a hill. No inversions or twists involved.
Dive Loop/Immelmann - Half a vertical loop leading into, or out of, a twisting curve.
Helix - A turn of more than 360 degrees, usually in a horizontal plane.
High-Speed Launch - In lieu of a traditional lift chain, the use of a magnetic or hydraulic to propel a coaster instantly from a standing start to full speed.
Interlocking Corkscrews - Two corkscrew elements, with one going through the other's axis.
Interlocking Loops - Two vertical loops, with one going through the middle of the other.
Spinning Cars/Seats - Adds additional motion beyond just riding along the roller coaster track.
Top Hat - You launch up, crest a narrow hill, then drop back down. A la Top Thrill Dragster.
Traditional Vertical Loop - Just what the names says. The train flips through a straight-ahead, upside-down loop.