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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: The Voyage vs. Montu

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Published: March 28, 2012 at 9:09 AM
It's time to select the second finalist for the title of Best Roller Coaster in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament.

Our top seed is no stranger to the tournament, being our defending Best Roller Coaster champion, Holiday World's The Voyage. But it's path to the final this year is blocked by our B&M Inverted Champion, Busch Gardens Tampa's Montu. Your vote will decide which coaster advances.

The Voyage - at Holiday World

The Voyage

Montu - at Busch Gardens Tampa

Montu

Voting is open for 24 hours. Please tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did, and if you'd like to drum up some more votes for your favorite, feel free to link to this post on Facebook and Twitter.


Wednesday evening: We'll get an early start on the last semifinal vote, so that we can have it wrapped up in time for Championship Friday. The last spot in the Best Themed Ride final will go to second-seed Haunted Mansion or third-seed Pirates of the Caribbean.

Readers' Opinions

From Stuart Henny on March 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM
I had to go with Montu, my favourite inverted coaster.
From Duncan Henny on March 28, 2012 at 9:31 AM
Snap i voted that too :)
From Tim Odom on March 28, 2012 at 10:04 AM
I have this need, this true unadulterated need, to ride Montu. Not once, or twice. But all the time. Does that make me weird?

Voted Montu. And you should too. Cause it's awesome.

From 137.200.0.106 on March 28, 2012 at 10:10 AM
My wife and I took a quick detour on our way to the Everglades, just to ride Montu, so you're not the only one with the need.
From 74.82.68.160 on March 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM
This has to be vote for some, as there's nothing from a disney park
From Mike Gallagher on March 28, 2012 at 10:18 AM
I liked both, although my (apparently in vain) vote for Voyage is based my only rides nearly 5 years ago. Reports I've read, here and elsewhere, make it seem the ride has changed in the intervening years..and NOT for the better.
From 96.31.207.42 on March 28, 2012 at 10:36 AM
I voted for the Voyage.
It gives you one heck of an addrinaline rush!.
From James Rao on March 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM
Montu is not even the best coaster at BGT, yet Voyage is considered by some to be the best wooden coaster on the planet. Me included. Go Voyage. It should and will win this vote.

And, Mike, Voyage is getting all kinds of off season love, plus new Timberliner trains... time for you to make a pit stop at Holiday World for some re-rides.

Meet you there?!?

From 184.57.225.25 on March 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM
I absolutely LOVE the Voyage roller coaster, however I love my B&M's more. I had to vote for Montu. The Batwing in the last row on the left side is the most awesome experience on a coaster!
From 66.38.94.43 on March 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM
I voted for the voyage. I rode it once and it was such a rush and thrill to ride. I thought I was going to come out of my seat after the first drop.
From Terry O'Neal on March 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Seeing as how I like Montu more than Apollo's Chariot, and the Chariot is just a taller, faster up and down out and back coaster than Voyage, I can't see how the Voyage wins these tournaments other than the fact that people love the little guy.
From Terry O'Neal on March 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Oops, forgot to finish the first thought before starting the second thought. First thought - why I voted for Montu. Second thought - why Voyage wins this event despite being smaller and slower.
From James Rao on March 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I like Apollo's Chariot, Terry, it is a nice ride. However, there is nothing nice about the Voyage, nor is there anything "little" about it. It is a beautiful collection of wood measuring 1.2 miles in length and if it is not the best wooden coaster in the world, it is definitely in the top two. Amazing and intense from start to finish, the Voyage is loaded with huge drops, spectacular 90-degree turns, pitch-black tunnels, and copious air time moments. While not painfully rough like many wooden coasters, it is a relentless beast that defeats many casual riders. If you are a coaster fan you owe it to yourself to ride The Voyage. It alone is worth the price of admission to Holiday World.
From Matt Bolick on March 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I had to go with Montu because:
1) It's one of the best inverted coasters anywhere.
2) It's the host for the awesome behind-the-scenes coaster tour at Busch Gardens.
3) I drink coffee out of my way cool Montu coffee mug every morning!
From Derek Potter on March 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Ridden both...not really that close at all. The Voyage is the winner here hands down. I'm sure that many BG fans who've never fathomed going to Santa Claus, Indiana and have never ridden the Voyage would agree with me if they had. Make the trip people...make the trip.
From AJ Hummel on March 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Voted for Voyage because even though it is very rough it is the only one of the pair I have actually been on, it is one of my top five wooden coasters, and I prefer it to every Inverted coaster I've been on.
From Mike Gallagher on March 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Sorry, Derek. It's Voyage. "Hands down" is simply not acceptable. UP all the way, baby!! :)
From Dave Stroem on March 28, 2012 at 1:08 PM
In the past Voyage was one of the most incredible coasters out there. The years and the PTC trains have not been kind to this ride. So I will have to vote Montu of these two.

I feel that there are better coasters even at BGT (Kumba)as well as at many other parks. Texas Giant comes to mind.

From James Rao on March 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM
The New Texas Giant is an outstanding coaster, one of my new favorites, but in no way does it match the intensity of the Voyage.

Again, check out the recent reports on the work being done to the Voyage this off-season. It is gonna be an even better experience in 2012 than it was when it first opened! I can't wait!

From 72.189.13.204 on March 28, 2012 at 2:02 PM
I voted Montu. In my opinion it is the superior coaster.

I've ridden the Voyage many times and have fond memories of being on the first train (charity auction) opening day with my wife and six year old son.

The Voyage has a lot of fun moments, but it is also so violent in places that it just doesn't make it enjoyable. I'm sure the S&M crowd love it for that reason.

Montu has an awesome ride experience with great themeing and wonderful elements throughout. Besides that it's just plain sexy.

From Dan Barnes on March 28, 2012 at 3:21 PM
Montu remains my #1 coaster. Rode it two weekends ago and it's just as good as ever. If you're a fan of B&M Inverteds, you'll love Montu. It's one of the best examples of the type, partly because they gave it enough room to do what it does.

Voyage doesn't do it for me. I don't get the love for it, for me it ranks near the bottom with Ghost Rider and Mean Streak.

From James Rao on March 28, 2012 at 4:50 PM
I think some folks are equating pain with intensity. Like many Dinn Corp woodies, Mean Streak hurts and provides little, if any thrill. The Voyage is an adventure in airtime and intensity, offering an unrelenting thrill from beginning to end. And while it is a "big boy" coaster it does not "hurt" you physically, instead it challenges your intestinal fortitude in ways about which most coasters can only dream.

I'll admit that unlike the pleasant experience offered by rides like Montu (and there are many rides like Montu), the Voyage is not for everyone. But for those who are willing to accept the challenge this monster ride has to offer, the greatness of the Voyage is undeniable. I can only hope the voting public will widen their Florida-centric eyes enough to give this masterpiece its due. Be bold. Be strong. Be right. Vote Voyage!

From 67.142.178.23 on March 28, 2012 at 5:42 PM
James, there's only one inverted coaster out there that has seven inversions, as far as I know. That makes it one of a kind.
From 166.147.126.183 on March 28, 2012 at 7:58 PM
My vote is Voyage! It is truly the best coaster!!!! It is amazing in the day but completely insane to ride at night!!
From James Rao on March 28, 2012 at 8:06 PM
Granted, most of the inverted coasters have 5 or 6 inversions, not the 7 of Montu, however my comment was in relation to the ride experience, not the layout. And every B&M invert, while fun, feels about the same as the next. Furthermore, I am not saying Montu is a bad ride, quite the contrary, I am simply saying it is not as good as The Voyage, which is one of the top rated coasters on the planet. Whichever coaster loses this vote should not feel any shame. It is a terrific battle between two great rides at two great parks...both coasters deserving all the props in the world for making it to this point in the tournament. I salute them both.
From Tim Odom on March 29, 2012 at 6:35 AM
While I have, quite honestly, never ridden The Voyage, I can say that Montu is a lot better than just another B&M invert. It is the best B&M invert, which in my eyes is the most fun variety of coaster. Woodies, for me, are just not fun, they tend to hurt. A lot. And just hearing that Mean Streak compares to The Voyage does not make me want to ride The Voyage. Sorry, I despise overly rough rides, they give me headaches that pretty much end my riding day.

Also, the 'all B&M inverts feel the same', I disagree. I have ridden 3 that I remember off the top of my head, and Montu is by far the best. It just rides better, the pacing on it is wonderful. They don't rush things too much.

One other thing, if the reason to not vote for Montu is 'it's not the best in it's park' allow me to ask a question. If Montu is not the best, which is? I have been on all of BGT's coasters aside from Cheetah Hunt, and none of them comes close to Montu. The next best in my opinion is SheiKra, and that is a one trick pony. Kumba is nice and fun, but honestly is no where close to Montu.

So, while I know Montu is going to lose, it is my opinion that Montu is far better, and far more underrated. Montu is one of my favorite rides anywhere, and my absolute favorite coaster. I would push for more votes, but I know the cause is lost. I am proud it got this far.

From James Rao on March 29, 2012 at 7:39 AM
Tim, I never stated Montu is a bad ride. It is a highly regarded masterpiece in its own right. Whether or not it is the best in its class is debatable, but its excellence is not. As for being the best ride in the park, the argument exists whether you agree or not. Kumba and Sheikra both get high marks from fans and the debate rages. I will say that the big problem with all inverted coasters is that unless you sit in the front row the experience is diminished. So, a front row ride on Montu may rank among the best experiences at BGT, but any other row probably ranks as a 7/10 (although I would offer the back row may have the worst view, but the best ride).

As for the Voyage, it is nothing like Mean Streak. The comparison is just wrong. Furthermore the only debate regarding the Voyage's greatness is whether it is the best or second best wooden coaster in the world (El Toro is the other contender). The world has acknowledged the masterful artistry of the Voyage and my only advice to those who doubt: go to Holiday World and experience this beast. Once you ride it you will KNOW that there is no shame in a great coaster like Montu losing to the singular experience offered by The Voyage.

Time for a TPI 2012 Meet in Santa Claus, Robert????

From Tim Odom on March 29, 2012 at 7:52 AM
To be honest, I have never ridden front row on Montu (last time I was there, I was next in line for the front, but a thunderstorm put an end to that.) I do agree that being in the front row helps for inverts, but I think that is true for all coasters. Having ridden in damn near every seat on Alpengeist (a closer coaster for me, so I have just ridden it more), I can say I find both front row and back row to have their own pluses and minuses.

I would love to go to Holiday World, but my budget is a bit limited at the moment (planning a Portal-based wedding takes time and money, but getting a fiance that wants to theme a wedding based on a game is a rarity, so I go with it.) And, while I doubt that The Voyage is as rough as Mean Streak, people saying it is not aging well makes me not exactly look forward to riding it. I generally just don't like woodies, mainly cause of the roughness. So it probably is not as awful as Mean Streak, even a little roughness can ruin a ride for me (for instance, I am not a fan of Maverick even though I know a lot of people are, and that's cause my 1 ride on it was rough as hell.)

All I know is, as I right this, I desperately need to ride a coaster. Or 20.

From James Rao on March 29, 2012 at 8:19 AM
Forget about the vote....Portal?! Nice. Will representatives from Valve be at the wedding?

Incidentally, when I first read your post my mind saw "Postal" instead of "Portal". Maybe the intensity of The Voyage has bounced my brain one too many times! =)

From Tim Odom on March 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM
Gonna invite Gabe Newell from Valve, doubt he will show up. But, we plan on having fun with it (she even suggested Still Alive as our first dance song, how could I possibly say no?) And, of course we won't have cake, as that is a lie. Instead, there will be cupcakes.

A Postal themed wedding would be odd... Though we almost did a Zelda theme, but that can come off way too cheesy.

Still, goooo Montu (even though it has lost...)

From James Rao on March 29, 2012 at 9:17 AM
Montu may have lost, Tim, but it sounds like with your future bride, you have a winner. Enjoy the wedding, and I will see you sometime on the top of the lift hill!!!
From Tim Odom on March 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM
Thanks man! Looking forward to that!
From Mike Gallagher on March 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM
James, I was curious. Have you been on El Toro? (the American one, of course)

The counts on which I'd rate Voyage better are length of ride and night rides. I swear my night rides on that baby felt like 10 minutes at 100mph!

I would like to get back to Santa Claus, because Toro has only solidified its standing with me in the years since my 50 Voyage rides in '07. I need to see if Voyage is truly as great as I remember it..same with Ravine Flyer II, the coaster that separates Toro and Voyage in my Top 3.

One week til my first Toro ride of 2012! (Can you tell I'm excited?)

From Mike Gallagher on March 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM
James, I was curious. Have you been on El Toro? (the American one, of course)

The counts on which I'd rate Voyage better are length of ride and night rides. I swear my night rides on that baby felt like 10 minutes at 100mph!

I would like to get back to Santa Claus, because Toro has only solidified its standing with me in the years since my 50 Voyage rides in '07. I need to see if Voyage is truly as great as I remember it..same with Ravine Flyer II, the coaster that separates Toro and Voyage in my Top 3.

One week til my first Toro ride of 2012! (Can you tell I'm excited?)

From James Rao on March 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM
You were curious enough to ask me twice, Mike!

Nope, I have not made it to NJ for Kingda Ka or El Toro. Which is odd, cause I used to go to Sea Isle City every summer to visit Vince's Sub Shop when Vince and Annette still ran the place, and when Wildwood Boardwalk (Morey's Piers) was the place to go, not Six Flags. El Toro was not even a glimmer in park planner's eyes...

But I digress. I have heard you speak of the greatness of El Toro many times which is why I allow that the Voyage may not be the best woodie out there - but in my experience nothing else comes close. I can't imagine El Toro is better, but it might be "as great".

Someday I will make it out there... but first I need to revisit Disneyland. The last time I rode the real Pirates of the Caribbean was in 1981. I gotta get back soon. I owe it to my kids at the very least!

From Mike Gallagher on March 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM
A double post? Now how in heck did THAT happen?

Oddly enough, James, I think I was to Sea Isle City once as a kid, and I don't believe I've ever been to the oceanside parks in Keansburg or Ocean City. I spent a lot of family vacations in Wildwood as a kid, as well as Seaside. Still make it to the latter at least once a summer, the former every 3-4 years.

I like the fact that unlike many would, you keep the possibility open that Toro COULD be as good as Voyage. Many people would not even consider that when their feelings for the ride they love are so strong. An open mind is a wonderful think to have and keep.

It IS much shorter.

From Dan Barnes on March 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM
For the record, I was not comparing Voyage to Mean Streak, just stating where I ranked it. And James, it's clear you really like Voyage. No surprise, a lot of people really like Voyage. I just happen to not be one of them.

As to intensity vs. pain, I agree they are not the same thing. However, Voyage WAS painful for me. Will new trains help? Probably. After all, new trains have made Gwazi rideable.

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