2012 Best Attraction Tournament: More Bolliger & Mabillard coasters
Published: February 14, 2012 at 8:45 AM
Thanks to everyone who has been following the first round of the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament
. Today's we're welcoming the final contestant into the best roller coaster bracket of the tournament. This spot will go to the "best of the rest" Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters, selected from the top five rated coasters that weren't part of the previous Mega, Inverted and Flying categories.
Voting is open for 24 hours.
Dominator - at Kings Dominion [with video]
Griffon - at Busch Gardens Williamsburg [with video]
Incredible Hulk Coaster - at Universal's Islands of Adventure
The Riddler's Revenge - at Six Flags Magic Mountain
SheiKra - at Busch Gardens Tampa
Tomorrow: We vote for the world's best motion-base ride, with a stellar line-up that includes Spider-Man, Transformers and Dinosaur.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM
My vote goes for The Incredible Hulk. I've been riding coasters for more years than I wish to divulge, but The Hulk still actually puts a little fear in my heart when I ride it. Th only other coaster that does that is the vastly underrated Phantom's Revenge in Kennywood. I rode Dominator & it was just OK. Griffon disappointed me. I heard all these great things about it and when I got off the ride my reaction was, "is that it". Maybe I expected too much.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 9:35 AM
I've been on all except Riddlers Revenge. I only had a couple rides on Hulk, but it didn't live up to the hype. I rode Sheikra before Griffon, and enjoyed the Tampa version more than its Williamsburg cousin. That leaves me voting for Dominator, one of my favorite steel coasters. I enjoyed it both at Geauga Lake and its present home. I like its placement in the park, and the forces in the back seat are tremendous. It's the first ride I hit when I visit KD, as I will in April.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM
I had to vote for the Hulk. I know some people are down on the second half, but it deserves my vote for the launch alone, which is the best I've ever ridden.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Hulk baby! Then again, I'm just a big comic book fan. Also, Spiderman better win tomorrow, but with recent failures like Soarin and Posideon winning, Spidey might have some trouble.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM
Mike: What was Dominator named when it was at Geauga Lake? I didn't realize it was there before the shutdown. I always enjoyed the Wolf's Bobs(I think that was what it was called)at Geauga Lake.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM
I was called Raging Wolf Bobs technically, When Dominator left Geauga Lake it was Dominator when the park was six flags though it was called Batman: Knight Flight
Published: February 14, 2012 at 10:10 AM
@Rob: Dominator was last called Dominator at Geauga Lake. When it was Six Flags Ohio, then Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, it was Batman Knight Flight. (You could still see the Batman logo - painted over - at GL.)
Dominator got my vote, but more for its GL installation. I had the pleasure of riding it there 1 month to the day prior to the park closing for good. (Of course, the public, including me, didn't know the park was closing.) And I pretty much had the park to myself (hmmm, wonder why it closed...) - allowing me to ride Dominator - often alone - something like 9 times that morning. It certainly had a nicer location at GL right next to the lake, rather than the parking lot view it now has. (And I have ridden it at KD too.) As to the others, I find Sheikra and Griffon overrated and was fairly disappointed when I finally got to ride The Incredible Hulk. Riddler's Revenge is certainly my favorite stand up coaster, but stand up has never had a special place in my heart.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Rob, others above have answered accurately the question you posed to me. But as an interesting side note, I was at Geauga the day Raging Wolf Bobs breathed its last. I had two excellent rides in the morning with no sign of trouble. Then I found out about the derailment/accident while I was on the Dipper. Ironically, I was planning..after that ride..to head back over to RWB for some more rides.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Thank you gentlemen for the Dominator info. I rode it when it was Batman at Geauga. An interesting aside...I had taken my 14 yr. old nephew to the park. They even had the campy Bat Man show next to the ride. My nephew was terrified of coasters. Never had been on one. I kind of forced him to ride, told him he would have to walk home to the Pittsburgh suburbs if he wouldn't ride. He reluctantly rode it. We got off, he had a big smile on his face, and said "let's get on again". We rode all the coasters that day & now he just loves coasters. A perfect example of unfounded fears. Best to try something, you never know till you try.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Not that it has anything to do with the vote, but I'm with Todd. I consider Chang/Green Lantern my "favorite" stand-up, but that really ain't saying much..I just dislike stand-ups in general.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Rob, I did something eerily similar to MY nephew. The ride in question was the Great American Scream Machine at Great Adventure. The particulars vary, but the general situation was the same, minus the "you'll have to walk home" part.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM
When IOA first opened, Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas wrote "the beginning of the Incredible Hulk is the best five seconds in theme park history."
I could not agree more.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I've been on Dominator, Griffon, and Riddler's Revenge. All three are very good rides, and are my favorite of the type. I voted for Griffon simply because it is the most unique of the three (there are more Stand-Ups and Floorless coasters than Diving Machines).
Published: February 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM
the incredible hulk gets my vote here not only a great coaster i love the sound of it as you approach after you enter the park
Published: February 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Just wanted to give a shout-out to Riddlers Revenge. The California attractions tend not to get the love the east coast rides get around here, so even though many readers might not have experienced it, RR is a fun, fun ride.
Provided that the gentlemen, uh, take a moment to properly "adjust" when boarding, of course. (If not, this ride can be, uh, less than comfortable.)
The stand-up coaster sensation provides a unique experience, well-realized on B&M's typically excellent blend of loops, dips and turns. This is one of my favorite coasters - I don't know if it's among the top eight in the industry, but it's well worth a visit and a ride if you're in Southern California.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM
TH, isn't getting on JC the best 5 seconds?
Published: February 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Went with the Hulk mainly because of the launch. Many say the second half is boring but I still find it exciting enough.
Of the others, I've only ridden Griffon and was underwhelmed: I thought the view of the river from the top of the first hill was the best part of the ride. The drops, despite being ninety degrees, did not compare to those on Apollo's Chariot.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Tough vote for me. Since I have not ridden Riddler's Revenge, that one is out (and, to be honest, even if I had ridden it, I hate stand-up coasters, I find them uncomfortable.) Having both SheiKra and Griffon here makes me compare the two, and while I like the theming on SheiKra better (especially the second drop into the tunnel), I think Griffon is a better ride overall.
So, that leaves me with 3. Dominator was good, but, to be honest, it was maybe my 3rd or 4th favorite in King's Dominion. Hulk has one of the best starts I have ever seen, but the second half of it is rather blah. Griffon is amazingly smooth and fun, but short. Griffon is not quite a one trick pony, but damn close.
With all that said, I think Hulk is better. Maybe we judge the second half harshly due to the pure excellence of the first half.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 1:40 PM
In a sense, all of these coasters are one-trick-ponies, except Dominator, which has a variety of coaster elements all in one smooth, compact circuit. However, the overall result seems to be less than the sum of its parts, making for a bit of a disjointed experience. Furthermore, the total lack of theme in this "parking lot" coaster is another drawback. Incidentally, I rate Dominator as the third best coaster at King's Dominion after Volcano (#1) and I305 (#2).
SheiKra and Griffon are definitely one-trickers, but the trick is outstanding. They are the kind of coaster you love to tell folks about when you get home. "Man, the car just HANGS there for what seems like forever, then wooosh...straight down!!!!"
The Riddler's Revenge: No one really likes stand up coasters/ball-crushers anymore... their time came and went years ago.
DA HULK: Yes, it is true: it's all about that first ten seconds. "Everything looks good..I think this time it's going to work!" Klaxons blaring, a malfunction, and Dr. Banner screams, "No! No!! Nooooo!!!" - the last "NO!" synchronized with a 0 to 40 launch up a 110 foot "Gamma Tube". Then a zero-g roll, a 105 foot drop, a cobra roll, a vertical loop, and finally a tunnel of mist. The rest of the ride is "meh", but that amazing first ten seconds gets my vote today.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM
I've probably ridden the Hulk more than 250 times since we moved to Orlando. It's still the best launch of any coaster I've ever experienced, but the whole ride and theming are pretty cool. It's on my top three list.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 2:08 PM
Ditto to Mr. Rao's comments. I wanted badly to vote for Sheikra, but ultimately the ride is just too short.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM
I do not know some of the coasters here. But if the one to beat is Hulk, although I agrre the launch is nice, it does not stand in front of SHEIKRA. Some of my reasons:
1) The heigth and the view
2) Smooth ride
3) Car design, with higher back seats
4) And most important: The suspense of the stop before free fall...
Published: February 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM
I'm sad...you didn't include Superman: Krypton Coaster at SFFTx. It's actually my fave B&M. I voted for Riddler's b/c it's the only one of those listed I've actually ridden.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM
Dom asks: "TH, isn't getting on JC the best 5 seconds?"
I Respond: Actually, I was quoting Mike Thomas -- a journalist who I can safely assume has never felt the thrill of exploring the world's rivers of adventure.
Published: February 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM
Aren't Griffon and Shekera (or whatever they call it) basically the same coaster?
Published: February 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM
I also have to go with the Hulk. I remember riding it for the first time and being blown away. And all the rides since that time have been equally as great.... especially anytime that I can snag the very last seat -- the g-force back there is awesome :-) The only other coaster in this class that I've ridden is SheiKra and I remember having a very "that's it????!!!!" moment at the end of it. I wanted to love it, but there just wasn't that much to it. (I went on to re-ride Kumba and Montu that same day and realized they were vastly superior....) And, based on the comments above, I'm guessing that Griffon is very much the same. Hulk all the way!!
Published: February 15, 2012 at 2:32 AM
Any one who thinks Riddler's Revenge is a "ballcrusher" just hasn't learned how to position themselves correctly on it. I voted for RR as I've had many great (and safe)rides on it.
And yeah, it is the only one of the five I've ridden. Which doesn't make it not a great ride!
Published: February 15, 2012 at 4:30 AM
Sounds like a detriment to me, Mark, as one should not have to stop and consider how to position the "family jewels" before enjoying a coaster.
Published: February 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM
@James - For me, Dominator was close to the Backlot Stunt Coaster (which I enjoyed more than I thought I would, to be honest.) The thing that hurts Dominator for me is the complete and utter lack of theming. I mean, Griffon has little theme around it, but it ain't over a parking lot.
And I am with you on the 'jewel' issue on stand-ups. I like to be able to get on a ride and enjoy it without worrying if I will be able to walk correctly after. It's the same thing with a coaster that hurts my head (aka Mean Streak at CP), if I have to worry about a migraine after, I kinda don't like the ride.
Published: February 15, 2012 at 7:45 AM
I have a quick question are Kumba at BG Tampa and Riddlers Revenge the same coaster? With the obvious exception of the stand up cars on Riddlers Revenge?
Published: February 15, 2012 at 8:31 PM
@Tim I think we are on the same page. Here is my breakdown of all the KD coasters, circa 2010:
Volcano - near perfect mix of thrills and fun
Intimidator 305 - at the time, the trims killed it
Dominator - not as good as it should be, but good
Back Lot Stunt Coaster - surprisingly good
Grizzly - still solid after all these years
Avalanche - good family fun
Anaconda - the MCBR is devastating
Rebel Yell - showing some age
Flight of Fear - very disappointing
Shockwave - ball crusher!
Hurler - all Dinn Corp woodies need a Texas Giant redo
Ricochet - why?
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