Readers' Opinions

From Nigel Smith on November 4, 2009 at 7:24 PM
My gut feeling tells me it's going to be a Tony Hawke Big Spin (THBS) coaster clone, considering the area they've indicated it will go (next to terminator).

THBS makes sense for them - they don't have a spinning coaster in their lineup, costs less to design/theme/build (being that they have it in a number of their other parks already), and is a popular attraction at their other parks (from what I have seen).

UPDATE: If it's not a THBS then maybe this track sighting could have something to do with it. http://www.screamscape.com/html/industry_news.htm#Mack

From James Rao on November 4, 2009 at 6:39 PM
Since we are not talking junior coasters here and since Six Flags is not going to include Disney style immersion like Expedition Everest or Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, I would look beyond Vekoma for something a little more thrilling.

The best family coaster I have ever ridden is Powder Keg at Silver Dollar City. The ride was originally constructed as Buzz Saw Falls by Premier Rides, but Herschend worked with S&S Power to radically redesign the experience. A zero to 50 mph launch element was added as were some very exciting 90 degree twists and turns, yet the designers maintained a family-friendly 42" height requirement. Thrilling for all ages, Powder Keg is one of my top ten coasters of all time, and is suitable for thrill seekers of almost all (reasonable) ages. I would love to see more amusement companies add original family coasters like Powder Keg into the mix.

From Rhys Evans on November 4, 2009 at 7:43 PM
Though I THOROUGHLY enjoyed "PowderKeg," I must question my esteemed colleague Mr. Rao's categorization of it as a "family coaster." (I just took a moment to read about it on the park-specific page for Silver Dollar City, which James also authored). PowderKeg was great, but I don't consider it to be a family coaster; I think the 0-50 mph launch in 2.whatever seconds should knock it out of the "family" category. James, you weren't, I wonder, thinking about "Thunderation" when you wrote that, were you? That's a family coaster (for those who haven't been to SDC, Thunderation is more along the lines of Big Thunder Mountain)...
From 166.204.135.194 on November 4, 2009 at 7:57 PM
I would not consider Powder Keg a family coaster eithor (although I would agree it is a very unique coaster). A family coaster would be something I think someone who is a senior in great health could still ride without possibly coming off with broken bones or a heart attack. It's a ride that a 5 year old kid can ride with his parents. Basically a great example of a family coaster would probably be Big Thunder Mountain. It seems like if Six Flags or Cedar Fair do family coasters, they don't always do them very well. It's almost like riding a fair ride sometimes. You usually get the wild mouse or mine train. I actually like a lot of the mine train rides, but once you have one in a park it seems to stay there for years without ever changing up hardly. If your park only has one or two coasters for the whole family and the coaster stays the same pretty much for 10 years or more at a time, then maybe you might see how it could get old for people after a while.
From James Rao on November 4, 2009 at 8:14 PM
My 5 year old daughter rides and loves Powder Keg. Its 42" height requirement makes it accessible to almost anyone in the family (Space Mountain has a 44" height requirement, as does Expedition Everest - both considered family-friendly coasters).

And yes, Powder Keg is quite thrilling. I didn't say it was a kiddie coaster. ;)

From Robert Niles on November 4, 2009 at 8:20 PM
I would love to see Vekoma do a larger model of its Junior Coaster, a step up from the Flying Unicorn/Woodstock Express model. That model was my daughter's favorite coaster for many years (she's moved on to B&M Mega Coasters now, though she loves Loch Ness Monster best overall, for its setting).

I think a longer, slightly taller version of Vekoma Junior, in the right setting, could serve as an engaging family coaster.

From James Rao on November 4, 2009 at 8:43 PM
My daughter loved the Flying Unicorn as well when we went to IOA in 2007. It was going to be my first choice for this thread, but I consider it more of a kiddie coaster, not really geared towards the whole family (you gotta make teenagers happy too!). A longer, taller, faster version would suffice, I agree. SDC's Thunderation (mentioned by a previous poster) would be more along those lines.

As for Grandpa Fred, Anonymous Poster 166.204.135.194, I would venture to state that there are very few coasters of any sort that he should be riding - period! Although I would have more trust in Powder Keg's smoothness over a junior coaster's cramped seats and herky-jerky turns any day.

From James Rao on November 4, 2009 at 8:54 PM
One other note: I love Disney so much it hurts, but Big Thunder Mountain would be an extremely lame coaster if not for the incredible scenery and immersion Disney added to complete the package. Since Six Flags is not going to do anything even close to that level of theming, I would not want their family coaster to be quite so lame.
From Nick Markham on November 4, 2009 at 8:54 PM
I think they should get exactly what my home park Lagoon is recieving next year... a Mack YoungSTAR. There are none in the U.S., they are the largest kiddie coaster out there, and the provide a nice level of thrill.
From Mostly Anonymous on November 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM
For me, an ideal "family" roller coaster would be something I can enjoy riding with my 4-year old. (He's been crazy about roller coasters since he was two.)

So I want it to be fast and twisting, but with no really big drops, and a height limit no more than 40". I don't want it to have any dark tunnels, but well-lit tunnels are fine, and any kind of scenery would be great.

Since this won't be a "kiddie" coaster, it needs to be a fairly long ride. Aim for between 2-3 minutes in duration. Multiple lift hills are okay.

And if you really want to put some effort into your engineering - plan to advise parents to always seat kids on one specific side of the train. Then make sure that on all the steep turns, the forces make the kid squish the parent, not the other way around.

From Derek Potter on November 5, 2009 at 6:42 PM
One manufacturer that hasn't made much of an appearance in major US parks is Maurer Sohne. Aside from Rip Ride Rockit and a couple of small parks, there aren't that many in the country. I could see the Maurer Sohne spinning coaster at Magic Mountain. It can have a small enough footprint. Though it would be a bit of a push to classify it a family coaster, it would probably be considered one in the eyes of Magic Mountain.
From Mateo sams on November 6, 2009 at 11:52 PM
I'm hoping for a wild mouse, kind of like muholand madness or Wild Cat, if that isnt the case then probrobly a spinning coaster, or then again, maybe something like goldrusher or ninja...