More debate about the best roller coasters in America
The LA Times has been polling publishers of theme park news websites (including me), to compile a list of the 10 best steel and 10 best wooden roller coasters in the United States.
I decided to give the Times my personal favorites, rather than the top ranked coasters on Theme Park Insider. (They gave me the option of either one.) Since we're about to have our own tournament for Best Roller Coaster, I didn't want to pre-empt that. FWIW, I ranked The Voyage at Holiday World as the top wooden coaster and Manta at SeaWorld Orlando as the best steel.
Here are the lists from the LAT panel:
1. Bizarro at Six Flags New England [Intamin Mega]
2. Millennium Force at Cedar Point [Intamin Giga]
3. Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega]
4. Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa [Bolliger & Mabillard Inverted]
5. Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega]
6. Incredible Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure [Bolliger & Mabillard Sitting]
7. Diamondback at Kings Island [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega]
8. Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg [Bolliger & Mabillard Dive]
9. Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega]
10. Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain [Bolliger & Mabillard Flying]
1. The Voyage at Holiday World [Gravity Group]
2. El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure [Intamin]
3. The Phoenix at Knoebels [Philadelphia Toboggan]
4. Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce [CCI]
5. Ravine Flyer II at Waldemeer [Gravity Group]
6. The Beast at Kings Island [Charlie Dinn]
7. The Raven at Holiday World [CCI]
8. GhostRider at Knott's Berry Farm [CCI]
9. Thunderhead at Dollywood [GCI]
10. Lightning Racer at Hersheypark [GCI]
Here's what stands out to me in reading these lists: Bolliger & Mabillard and Intamin are the best steel roller coaster builders in the world. And people love the Mega/Giga models, from either manufacturer. As for wooden coasters, The Gravity Group and GCI (which includes the remnants of the old CCI), are kings.
Can't say that I'd argue with any of those conclusions.... :-)
How could anyone consider Ghostrider #8 woody???? It's one of the roughest & unpleasant rides in California.
Let's just say that there are a lot of excellent coasters on those lists and we should not quibble over which one should be placed where!
I just wonder what is so big about Bizarro. I mean it now has awesome effects, theming, and audio, but people loved so much even before that. I don't understand how a coaster that is not the biggest, not the fastest, no inversions, etc. makes it at the tops of everyones list.
For me, a Mega coaster needs to be set in a superb environment to be a top-notch attraction. That's why I preferred Apollo's Chariot to Diamondback, for example. On Apollo's Chariot, you enjoy some great visuals of the James River, as well as a flight through woods and over water.
To not include Shivering Timbers at Michigan Adventure is a Bunch of BS
I'm lucky to have been on seven of the top ten steelies. I'd ride a B&M coaster anywhere, any time.
its all about B&M, Hulk is FIRE!!!! its gotten rougher over the years, but what coaster doesn't. I loves me some GOLIATH to. I would also vote for shiekra because it has the best ride element of any coaster, that first drop ruined me for all other coasters. MONTU is super overated, both dueling dragons are better!!
Have we considerd the cyclone coneyisland being in the top five wood coasters of all time. Eltoro is a great ride I have to agree. THe cyclone is the coaster that all coasters are desighned after. Also for the Metal rides Have we considerd Farenhight, and stormrunner. those are two very great smooth rides.
No Great America? Come on folks! There are many great roller coasters outside of FL, CA, and Ohio!
I fail.. I am 14, so all of these rollar coasters are vague to my brain. Picking Hulk
Hulk isn't even close to the best coaster at the Complex. Fire Dragon and Mummy are far superior!
I can agree with the ones out of the list I have ridden. Personally, I'd put Griffon higher up on the list, and the same with The Beast. I'm actually quite surprised not to see Kennywood's Thunderbolt on the list, since it's pretty much on every single one out there.
What?! No X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain?! I'm pretty shocked at that one. I'm sure the other coasters listed are pretty cool (I've personally never been out of Cali to visit any of the other parks mentioned...maybe someday!) but where's the X2 love? We all have to admit...while the original X ride was a piece of crap, Arrow Dynamics went out with a bang on the revamp!!
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