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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Best of the rest of the Intamin coasters?

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Published: February 8, 2012 at 9:25 AM
Today in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament we're voting on roller coasters from the Swiss amusement manufacturer Intamin. Now, Intamin has so many highly-rated versions of its Accelerator coaster that we split those into their own category - and Top Thrill Dragster was your winner there. Today, we're voting on the best of the rest of Intamin's collection.

Here are the top five non-Accelerator Intamin coasters in the Theme Park Insider reader ratings. Pick your favorite, and campaign in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter. Voting is open for 24 hours.

Bizarro - at Six Flags New England

Bizarro

Cheetah Hunt - at Busch Gardens Tampa (listing page includes on-ride video)

Cheetah Hunt

Maverick - at Cedar Point (listing page includes on-ride video)

Maverick

Millennium Force - at Cedar Point (listing page includes on-ride video)

Millennium Force

Volcano: The Blast Coaster - at Kings Dominion

Volcano: The Blast Coaster


Tomorrow: We'll vote on what we're calling "illusion" shows, that is, theme park live shows where what you see on stage is not always what it seems.

Readers' Opinions

From Tim Odom on February 8, 2012 at 9:32 AM
Hmmm, this one is an odd vote for me... Bizarro is my 'home' coaster, about 2 hours away and DAMN good. But the rest are very, very, very good too. Oddly, the one coaster from one of my favorite parks, Cheetah Hunt, I have yet to ride.

But, I know what will win here. And it should. But, while I certainly do not disagree with MF winning, I will vote for the underdog, and give my vote to Bizarro.

From Justin M on February 8, 2012 at 9:55 AM
You say these are the top five non-Accelerator Intamin coasters in the Theme Park Insider reader ratings. Is'nt Cheetah Hunt considered a launch/accelerator coaster since it has 3 launch points?
From Robert Niles on February 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM
It's not formally an accelerator, which are those big top hat things, to be as simplistic as possible. I thought it stuck out too much in that category, and was a better fit in here.

That said, I'm surprised not to see much early love for Maverick. I was skeptical of that coaster, but after one ride a couple summers ago, it became my favorite ride at Cedar Point and one of my favorite coasters anywhere. Great visuals, fun angles and a fake ending. What's not to love?

From Adam Swaisland on February 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM
@Justin Maverick has launch points as well. What Robert is getting at is that with the launch coasters he is referring to the car gets launched at a ridiculous speed and goes up and comes down where as these are more traditional coasters with minor launches well in the case of Cheetah Hunt and Maverick anyway.
From Mike Gallagher on February 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM
Well, as I said yesterday, I'd be P.O'd if my favorite steelie was not part of this vote. So, I'm officially P.O'd.

I've never been on Cheetah Hunt, but it seems relatively tame, with nice theming (hey, it's Busch!)

Not a huge fan of Maverick, but I do like Volcano.

After one ride on Superman at SFNE, it became my favorite steelie. However, on my subsequent ride on Bizarro, it didn't feel like the same ride. It wouldn't even make my Top Forty now. It left me feeling like "What the heck became of this ride?) I would rank its Maryland cousin WAY higher..that's my 2nd current favorite steel.

I had no choice but to vote Millennium Force. It's a wonderful ride, especially in the front (and I'm most assuredly NOT normally a front seat kinda guy.

But as I implied at the top, my favorite Intamin steel is nowhere to be found. Intimidator 305 may not be as popular on the site, and may be too intense for some. But I absolutely love it, and am looking forward to April when we'll be re-united once again.

From Tim Odom on February 8, 2012 at 11:04 AM
I will agree with the above, no Intimidator 305 is quite surprising. Maybe it's from negative reviews of the trim brake version, I don't know. All I know is I went on the re-done 305 with my fiance last summer, and we loved it. But I know she is a Maverick girl. If Intimidator was in there instead of Bizarro, this would be a tough, tough call.
From Dominick D on February 8, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I voted for Millennium (Falcon) Force. Also on Friday, Star Tours 2 better win, OR ELSE!!!!
From Caroline Davis on February 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Volcano is a launch coaster as well, technically.

I can't believe Intimidator 305 isn't on here. Went on it last June and it blew my mind.

How can Bizarro be last? Isn't it supposed to be the best steel coaster in the world? I've never been on it unfortunately.

From Mike Gallagher on February 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Tim, I've never rode I-305 with the first-drop trims. And I'm thankful for that.
From Tim Odom on February 8, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Bizarro is last because of a simple reason: No one rides it. Oh, when you go to the park, it has a long line. But, let's face it, Six Flags New England is not a destination park like Cedar Point is. Basically it comes down to the same thing that probably doomed Journey to the Center of the Earth, if people don't experience it they won't vote for it.

That, plus Cedar Point just brings out the votes. Always will.

And Mike - I never rode it with the trims either, the only time I got to ride I-305 was with the redesigned hill. I loved it, as did my fiance.

From 153.9.81.234 on February 8, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I went with Millenium force. I haven't been to cedar point since maverick was built, and cheetah hunt is just not that much fun. Every acceleration run is immediately followed with a big hill so you slow right back down. It only feels fast when you go past the waterfall that used to be part of Rhino Rally. A beautifully themed coaster, but if there's a line to be had in that park, i'm going to be waiting on Montu instead.
From Mike Gallagher on February 8, 2012 at 1:03 PM
I rode in it's original form in April 2010, and the redesigned form in April and September of 2011.
From Todd Houts on February 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM
So far I've only ridden I-305 during the first year after it was destroyed. (Errr, I mean the trim was placed on the first descent.) It absolutely wrecked the experience - to begin freefall and then feel yourself literally jerked slower and slower. I don't know if I'll make it this year or not but I do owe it another try - but until then, my ranking would have been based on my experience. I loved S:ROS at SFNE before it was Bizarro. I've not ridden since the change but I would imagine it would still rank as the best coaster in the Northeast in my book and possibly my second favorite steel coaster. I still don't get the appeal of Maverick and I rode it repeatedly during ERT one night the opening year. Volcano is a great coaster but the extremely low ride capacity just kills it for me. (That and the inside of the volcano looking like - well unfinished - or - who cares about keeping up the theme.) Cheetah Hunt is nice - but not a top-ten one for me. That leaves MF - which I never grow tired up. The elevator lift; the smooth as butter ride; the lack of let up until the gentle magnetic brakes at the end - it shall remain the pinnacle of Intamin's designs for me for a long time - perhaps forever.
From Robert Niles on February 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM
I305 is interesting. The initial votes had it among the top coasters in the country. Then, with the trims installed, its rating plunged. With further changes last summer, the rating's been coming back up. But it hasn't recovered enough to get back in the top five.
From James Rao on February 8, 2012 at 4:33 PM
It came down to Volcano vs. Bizarro for me. Both are thrilling, decently decorated coasters that are also a ton of fun. Of these two rides, Bizarro will get my vote. It may not be the best coaster on the planet, but it is certainly in the discussion.

What hurts Volcano is two fold: 1) there is a complete lack of theme inside the volcano (in fact it appears to be a maintanence storage area cause you can see tools and ladders laying around), and 2) Volcano breaks down ALL THE TIME. I would love to see a company who cares about narrative and maintanence build a new Volcano somewhere else, but unless that happens, it is just a matter of time before this very unique and fun coaster is shut down for good.

As for I305 I rode it with trims on and was very disappointed. This year I will probably hit BGW during my annual Virginia trip (Verbolten) but I will make it back to KD in 2013 and give the beleaguered beast another try.

From 173.72.180.120 on February 8, 2012 at 8:17 PM
Intimidator 305?
From AJ Hummel on February 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Let's see:

Bizarro is my favorite steel coaster
Maverick is my second favorite steel coaster
Millennium Force is in my top ten
Volcano, The Blast Coaster is in my top twenty
I haven't been on Cheetah Hunt yet, but I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Honestly, there isn't a bad choice in this round. All of them are excellent (and for those asking, all of these are better than Intimidator 305, even without the trims). I'm a little surprised Bizarro is in last place and Cheetah Hunt in first, but I'm also guessing more voters have ridden Cheetah Hunt than the other four.

Intamin AG seems to build the best steel coasters, at least most of the time. The only downside to their attractions (other than the above-average downtime and restrictive seats) is that when they do fail, they tend to fail pretty badly.

From N B on February 9, 2012 at 6:39 AM
The only coaster I have ridden out the entries is Cheetah Hunt. It was definitely not worth the wait (IMO).
From Mike Gallagher on February 9, 2012 at 7:05 AM
AJ, you're of course entitled to your opinion of I-305. But I think the reason Cheetah Hunt is leading is not because more people have ridden it. I believe it's due to the somewhat Florida-centric nature of this site, and the fact there's been more written written about it on the site recently because it was new this past year. I seriously doubt more people have ridden it than MF, Volcano or Bizarro (probably even Maverick,) considering those rides have been around a bit longer.
From Tim Odom on February 9, 2012 at 7:57 AM
I am kinda shocked Cheetah Hunt won this over MF. Now, I have not ridden Cheetah Hunt yet, but I love MF so much, and in general, Cedar Point gets votes just for being Cedar Point. Not saying Cheetah is any better (or worse) than MF, just surprised the vote went that way.

My bet is that Cedar Point did not 'get out the vote' like they have in the past (remember past tournies where votes with CP rides would have insane vote totals) and, due to that and the pro-Florida nature of visitors here, Cheetah Hunt won.

From Derek Potter on February 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Kind of strange that two of the highest rated Cedar Point coasters that have gone deep into every tournament lost here to a Florida coaster that just doesn't look as interesting. Sure it's probably fun to ride, but it's not the winner here. Unfortunately I can't give a completely experienced opinion because I've never ridden Cheetah Hunt, but I have ridden Millennium Force and Maverick several times. The Cheetah Hunt POV doesn't convince me that it's a better ride. It looks more to me like a longer version of Stunt Track, formerly known as Italian Job at Kings Island and Kings Dominion.

I'll chalk it up to voter demographic. Unless more coaster fans and/or those up north show up to bat for what are usually the best coasters in the category anyway, rides like Cheetah Hunt and the rest of the Busch Gardens collection usually get the win by default. We've all seen what happens when the Cedar Point rides are truly represented by their fans.

I305's initial design made it a coaster lover's dream come true. When it came to the masses though, it was a little too intense in the spot after the first drop. The trim brakes totally defeat the purpose of a 300 foot drop. Had they gone for a track reprofile after the first drop instead, the ride would be a lot more popular.

From Tim Odom on February 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM
That's the thing with I305, they did go with the reprofile for this past season (no trims on the drop) and it rides like a more vicious MF, but past votes hurt it.
From James Rao on February 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Wow... kinda surprised Millennium Farce bowed out so early. Kinda like the Saints falling to the Seahawks in the playoffs last year. Splitting the vote between two Cedar Point favorites probably did not help.

Regardless, you all need to get out and ride Bizarro... it is an outstanding coaster and definitely does NOT deserve to come in last.

From Brad Schuster on February 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM
Wow is cheetah hunt that good? Watched the on ride POV and it does look awesome, but I have been on Maverick and Mforce and it would take ALOT to convince me that this is better. Mforce is the best coaster I have ever been on by far and Maverick is a close second. One thing I will say from watching cheetah hunt, the track layout looks awesome and very spread out with alot of speed and airtime. Hope I can ride it someday.
From 75.89.232.60 on February 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM
Maybe Cheetah Hunt won because it is the most different from the other nominees, it has themeing, and it appeals to a larger audience than just to the people who are primarely obsessed with how high, fast, or "scary" a coaster is.
From steve lee on February 9, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Wow, I'm surprised by the results here. I thought Cheetah Hunt was just dreadful, tied with the-ride-formerly-known-as-Cheetah-Chase for the title of worst coaster in the park. Yes, Gwazi is better (with the Millennium Flyer trains, of course). Yes, Scorpion is better (though I admit that I have a thing for Schwarzkopfs).

Cheetah Hunt...just bored me. The accelerations are nice, but if you don't do anything after you speed up, what's the point? The most exciting moments are when you're shot to the top of that tall structure (I have no clue what you'd call those elements), but once you're up there you just lackadaisically go around it (losing speed) before the inevitable drop. The last section, bounding left and right as you head back towards the station, should be exciting but it just comes off as annoying.

I am in no way an Intamin fanboy, but 3 of the 5 here easily beat Cheetah Hunt (the exception for me is Volcano. Great first half with a very underwhelming second half). Hopefully this surprise victory will be quickly corrected in the next round.

From 153.9.168.87 on February 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I can't believe cheetah hunt won. It's fun, but it's not better than some of the others. (like MF or volcano.)

It just feels slow most of the time. The first two acceleration runs are immediately following by steep hills so you accelerate, then lose all your speed. It only feels fast when you blow by the waterfall that used to be part of rhino rally. (Which is now really lame and short without the back half of its ride.)

I do love the view from cheetah hunt. when it does the figure 8 up high, you have a great view and the way the skyride goes through the track is really cool. It's a great themed ride, but not very thrilling as a coaster.

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