2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: The Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster
By far, the most popular roller coaster model among Theme Park Insider readers is the Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster. In fact, the reason why I implemented the rule for this year's Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament
that only one installation of any model would be included was because of the B&M Mega. Without that rule, five
of the top 10 coasters in the tournament would have been B&M Megas.
While I love the B&M Mega, too, a tournament that reduced to voting on which Mega was the best Mega just didn't seem that exciting to me. So I made the call, and today we reveal which of America's B&M Mega Coasters received the highest average rating from Theme Park Insider readers, and thus, a spot in this year's tournament.
First, though, let me note the irony that even though the B&M Mega is Theme Park Insider readers' favorite coaster model, the B&M Mega is not the top seed in the roller coaster bracket. That honor, obviously, was won by another manufacturer, which I will reveal on
Monday Friday. (Though, I suspect it should take you folks about 0.3 seconds to guess what it is.)
So... the second seed in the Best Roller Coaster bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament is...
Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, in Virginia.
Featuring a 210-foot initial drop over a pond, followed by a series of 100-foot-plus drops that yield superb airtime, not to mention excellent views of the James River region, Apollo's Chariot offers a smooth ride, blending high-speed thrills with outstanding visuals. The open car design on the B&M Mega enables those sweet views, and Busch Gardens made full use of that potential with an excellent site placement.
Of course, no discussion of Apollo's Chariot would be complete without its, uh, rather notorious 1999 opening ceremony (there's some good POV of the initial drop here, too):
Okay, maybe Fabio "lashed out" at the park, but by leading to him being whacked in the face, Apollo's Chariot immediately endeared itself to a generation of fans who couldn't stand the male super-model or at least the hype (at that time) surrounding him.
Other B&M Megas include Kings Island's Diamondback, Six Flags Over Georgia's Goliath, Six Flags Great Adventure's Nitro and Six Flags Great America's Raging Bull.
Uodate: Starting tomorrow: The number one seeds!
- Thursday: Best Movie or Animated Show
- Friday: Best Roller Coaster
- Monday: Best Live Show
- Tuesday: Best Themed Ride
And a week from Thursday, first-round voting begins!
Even though I've been on taller, faster, invesion-jammed thrill machines, Apollo's Chariot is easly still my favorite roller coaster. Maybe I'm just biased because this was my first B&M and Busch Gardens is my favorite park but everything about this ride just seems perfect. The surrounding scenery really does makes this ride extraordinary.
Just as fun riding it the 50th time as the first time. Smooth as a baby's bottom and great views all around. Enjoy listening to the noobs scream as you hit the first "drop" before actually hitting the real drop right afterwards. IMO, the front is much better than the back. It feels like the skin on your face is going to get peeled off.
I think that Raging Bull at SFGA was one of the first!
They really should offer an altered on-ride photo of passengers sitting next to Fabio as he gets goose-blasted.
Since I have not yet been on Apollo's Chariot, I am interested on how it compares to Diamondback, my favorite B&M coaster. Anyone got any feedback?
I agree with Anthony. The Bull is a favorite of mine, too. Luckily, I'll be riding Apollo's Chariot in June!
only been on goliath, but what a ride. Right up there with shiekra as my favorites. super fast, air time for days, everything thats good in the world.
and nuber 1 is...Millennium Force!!!
Kevin, I rode both in the space of a couple weeks last summer. Apollo's setting and visuals blow away Diamondback's. Diamondback is a touch taller, faster and longer, but Apollo seemed to me a more dynamic ride, in large part due to the setting.
Smoothest ride out there
I don't think B & M Mega coasters are as enduring as most of the other readers on this board.... but to each his own.
IMHO, the front row on Apollo's Chariot is the best ride in a park filled with
I used to think Apollo's Chariot was a great coaster. However, the last time I rode it...it was a ride of torture. I waited in the single rider line. It appeared that a previous rider got sick on the ride. The workers were busy washing down a row of seats about in the middle of the train. After the cleaning, they dispatched the empty coaster to possible dry it off. I observed them "clean" the same coaster 3 times and dispatch it 3 times. There was only 2 coasters running. It was off season.
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