What wood coaster was the worst ever?

July 14, 2019, 8:42 AM

What wood coaster was the worst ever and why and how it make you feel? What wood coaster was the shakiest, roughest, most painful to the body and overall felt like a car accident and going over large potholes constantly?

Replies (13)

July 14, 2019, 6:51 PM

The first couple of times I rode the wooden coasters at Blackpool, they were great. But I gotta say when I went last October... I dunno if it was the end of the season and they were due their annual maintenance or simply rose-tinted glasses, but damn both the big dipper and the grand national shook more than an Elvis impersonator on one of those sleazy vibrating beds...

July 15, 2019, 2:02 AM

Depending upon how you define worst, I've got a few different answers to this one...

If you're talking about the least exciting, then excluding junior woodies that award would go to Grizzly at California's Great America. It's not overly rough, but runs so slowly that the trains barely complete the circuit and the ride is completely devoid of airtime or thrills.

If you're talking about the roughest and most uncomfortable, that title goes to Wilde Beast at Canada's Wonderland. While the ride layout is okay, the coaster felt like it was bouncing along the track rather than rolling and I was too preoccupied bracing to get any enjoyment out of it. With some trackwork, this one would probably be a decent ride, but based on how it was running when I rode it several years ago I don't have any intention of riding again to find out.

For a true worst, I'd probably say the defunct Psyclone at Six Flags Magic Mountain. That ride had some of both coasters listed above...a boring layout with only one or two exciting moments, and trains that shook you non-stop as they ran through the course. Rolling Thunder at Six Flags Great Adventure was almost as bad, though I'd put that one a tiny bit higher due to the racing aspect.

July 15, 2019, 9:13 AM

Hercules at Dorney Park was easily the worst wooden coaster I've ever ridden. The Boss at SFSL is probably the worst wooden coaster I've ridden that is still in operation.

Edited: July 15, 2019, 11:22 PM

Cyclone at SFNE was terribly rough when I rode it in 2005, I went back to SFNE a few years later and didn't ride it so i'm not sure if that was a consistent thing or not. I didn't mind Mean Streak so much the first time I rode it but the next year rode it again and words can't describe how terribly rough it was. For both of those rides I couldn't even sit in the seat, halfway through the ride I had to take my butt off the seat and prop on my elbows or I felt like I wasn't going to make it. Ironically after the RMC treatment both are easily in my top 10 now.

Hades was my #1 coaster when it first opened but a few years later went to the bottom of the list. By the time 2008 rolled around all of the coasters at Mt Olympus became terribly rough and I never bothered to go there again, so I haven't ridden the "new" Hades and don't have any desire to.

SOB scared the sh*t out of me just looking at it, I was mentally prepared for the worst. I didn't think was that bad though...it certainly wasn't good...but I didn't think it was nearly as bad as Cyclone/Mean Streak/Hades. I've never had any major issues with the Boss either but I haven't ridden it in a decade. The one thing I remember most about Boss is the insanely long queue path, I think between BTR and the Boss that park is going for some kind of record for long queue paths.

The two at Canada's Wonderland were terrible as well, I don't remember much about them other than hating them (though once again not as bad as those three).

Also I feel like I need to point out that even though I love GCI, Wildcat at Hersheypark and Gwazi at BGT were both terribly rough. Obviously Gwazi is gone and I don't ride Wildcat anymore and I don't know if they've done any work to do it to make it smoother, but they did a ton of work on Gwazi right before it closed including new MF trains and it was still extremely rough and Wildcat even with the MF trains was still extremely rough (I don't think I ever rode it with the PTC's).

July 16, 2019, 9:07 AM

I definitely wasn't a fan of Mean Streak. It was rough and, frankly, boring. But, for my money (or the opposite of that?), the worst are anything at Mt. Olympus. I was pretty excited to experience Hades 360 (my first wooden coaster inversion), even though I could have personally funded a chiropractor after riding the first time. The "update" didn't touch most of the coaster, so it was just as rough, if not rougher, than the first time I rode years earlier. This time it had a smooth, 5-second respite as we cruised through the corkscrew, then we were slammed right back into the terrible original ride. This is after the fact that, on the train before ours, one car's lap bars popped up right before dispatch, the high school kid operating it shrugged his shoulders, gave a thumbs up, and the train left the station with those two guests screaming. The only reason we still rode was because we were young, stupid, and had spent money to get into the park already. Never again!

July 16, 2019, 2:08 PM

The Mean Streak was awesome when it first opened, as are most woodies. Even Gwazi was bearable, but they all show their age as time goes by (as we all do ... LOL) and it's not surprising the worst rides are all the older ones.

I suppose when I was younger they didn't seem half as bad as they do now, and I think with each one I go on, that particular one becomes the worst one I've ever ridden .. :)

Point in case .... Great American Scream Machine at SFOG.

I'm at the point now where I seriously have to consider if it's worth the risk to go on these rides, just for me to say, yes I've ridden it. The comments above re. the Canada's Wonderland woodies really does make me feel that next year I need to just look at them, and move on. Plenty more rides to enjoy, and not worry before I get on them if I'll be able to walk off or if they'll be carrying me off on a stretcher !?!?

Now, I can't wait to get back on Mystic Timbers next year, but my days on The Beast are done.

July 16, 2019, 7:01 PM

Son of Beast- it actually left me with bleeding knuckles. It was the only coaster of any kind that I knew half-way through the ride that I would never ride it again.

July 21, 2019, 12:04 AM

AJ nailed my least favorite.

Psyclone was boring and horribly rough.

Grizzly is ok since the re-track. It's just extremely boring. Used to be pretty rough on the first drop, but nothing like Psyclone.

Edited: July 23, 2019, 11:21 PM

Thunderhead at Dollywood. It was so violent and rough that I felt like I was going to fly out of my seat mid-ride. I know many love this ride, so maybe I just had a bad day on it.

I also remember thinking that the coasters at Mt Olympus were pretty brutal aside from Hades 360.

July 28, 2019, 1:35 PM

I have to second Makoriders nomination of Great American Scream Machine at my home park of SFOG. Even my 10 year old grandson won't ride it anymore. FWIW, he will ride just about everything else. Prior to last season, it was an OK ride if you picked a "middle row" seat near the front. i.e. each car had 3 rows and the "middle" row kept you off the wheel seat. But SFOG took the old trains from Cyclone last year and relocated them to GASM. Twisted Cyclone is now an awesomely smooth and fun RMC, while GASM has become pretty awful (IMHO). "Addition by subtraction" is pretty much the norm at my home park. Whenever we get new rides, it usually results in the loss of an existing one... One way or another.

During a recent visit to Carowinds, locals advised us to avoid Hurler because it was "rough". I agreed to do one ride with the grandson just to get him the credit. Turned out it was a walk in the park compared to GASM. Just some side-to-side shaking but nothing like the jackhammer effect I prefer to avoid.

September 10, 2019, 5:16 PM

As a new member of SFOG, I have been going a lot lately. Scream Machine is noticeably much rougher than it was the first time we went this year, back in May. I was suffering from a sore back last weekend and it was was almost unbearable. They need to do some work on it for sure.

September 11, 2019, 10:37 AM

I'd have to agree with A.J. about Wilde Beast being among the worst in terms of roughness. In fact both woodies at Canada's Wonderland are deplorably rough. It's been about 5 years since I last rode Mighty Canadian Minebuster; I was spared the inconvenience of having to ride it when I went to Canada's Wonderland at the end of May because when I got to it, a train was stuck on the lift hill and I certainly wasn't going to go back to seek it out later. Wilde Beast, alas, was operating and I decided to ride it just to see whether my unfavorable impression would change. Well, it did not; this coast is just as dreadful as ever.

It always surprises me when people cite Mean Streak, Gwazi & Wildcat as especially rough. I thought that Mean Streak was more boring than rough and didn't find either Gwazi or Wildcat to be inordinately rough. Evidently a lot of people like Wildcat, as every time I go to Hershey there is an extended wait for it, whereas there is hardly ever a wait for Lightning Racer, a vastly superior coaster.

The worst wooden coaster in terms of its impact on me is Boulder Dash, on which I sustained rib fractures. Nevertheless, I still regard it as one of the best coasters ever built. It simply necessitates taking precautionary measures which I did not take.

Edited: September 11, 2019, 1:29 PM

Goatdaddy... Appreciate your input about Scream Machine at SFOG. We have been passholders for the past 6 years. You are 100% right about that coaster. Neither I, nor my 10 year grandson will ride it now (and he will ride just about anything).

But I hope you can still enjoy other things that SFOG has to offer.

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