2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Best B&M Mega Coaster?

January 11, 2012, 8:36 AM · Okay, roller coaster fans, it's time to get started on your bracket in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Best Attraction Tournament. Our first vote in that bracket is for the Best Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster.

Based on the Theme Park Insider reader ratings, B&M Megas have been TPI readers' favorite model of coaster for years. The first B&M Mega, Apollo's Chariot, debuted at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 1999. Since then, B&M Megas have earned a reputation as some of the world's smoothest, swiftest coasters around. And while the B&M Mega offers no inversions, you'll enjoy airtime like you wouldn't believe.

These are the top five B&M Megas, according to your ratings. Voting will be open for 24 hours. If you're unsure about your vote, click through to the attraction listings for reader reviews, or check out the comments. If you are sure, campaign away in the comments, or round up more votes for your favorite on Facebook and Twitter.

Apollo's Chariot - at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Apollo's Chariot

Diamondback - at Kings Island


Goliath - at Six Flags Over Georgia


Intimidator - at Carowinds


Raging Bull - at Six Flags Great America

Raging Bull

Tomorrow: We vote for the world's best indoor boat ride.

Replies (20)

January 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Apollo' Chariot is an awesome coaster in America's most beautiful theme park. Fantastic airtime and just soooooo smooth. Even my girlfriend, who is often intimidated by most coasters, loves Apollo's Chariot. I've ridden coasters for many a year and this is one of my all time favorites. Plus, its in the wonderfully Italian themed area of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Ride, sights, & theme rates an A+++.
January 11, 2012 at 9:12 AM · I'm really surprised Nitro at SF Great Adventure didn't make the cut. It's extremely popular at one of the busiest Six Flags parks and is routinely ranked in the top 10 coasters.

Anyway, I voted Apollo's Chariot. It's been my favorite roller coaster since I first rode it and I absolutely love the setting of the ride.

January 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM · I hope that voters remember that today's vote is about the experience of the coaster and not the theme. Or the "theme" of the park it is in. With that said, I think that Raging Bull will be the Dark Horse of the tourney today. If you have never ridden this ride you are truly missing out on a gem.

This is one of the smoothest and more unique coasters I have ever ridden on. I look forward to at least 2 rides on it each time I visit Six Flags Great America. I say only 2 because there are so many good rides at SFGA.

January 11, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Having been on none of these, I guess I can't vote. I could watch some YouTube vids, but that isn't the same.

Anyone want to buy my vote?

January 11, 2012 at 10:39 AM · It's nice to say I've been on all of these, although I've had only two rides each on Raging Bull and Goliath. Obviously, they're popular with TPI folks, but I was very underwhelmed by both..especially RB, after reading so much great stuff about it.

Apollo's Chariot is a nice ride with nice scenery, nice hills, nice colors, nice feel. So it's just too darn nice. Little too mild for this rider.

Like many B&M hypers, even my top two here, Diamondback and Intimidator, run out of gas about 2/3 of the way through. I liked both of these rides a lot, but my vote goes to Intimidator based on the twist at the base of the first drop.

I've stated this before..I don't get deep into technical aspects of coasters and why I like one more than another. It's a feel, it's a vibe. I ride what I like and like what I ride. I don't analyze it. That's for people way smarter than me.

All this being said, I have to echo Mr. Kirby above. NITRO belongs here, it's the best B&M hyper I've been on. It does NOT run out of gas..the final bunny hills are SO much fun.
Nitro may only be my fourth-ranked steel, but I love it to death.

January 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM · I didn't vote for nuthin' :P. I will however, be voting for POTC tomorrow, and Mr. Rao is gonna be just like TH; refreshing the page until it appears XD.
January 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Why don't you worry about tomorrow, TOMORROW, Dom?
January 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM · I'm also surprised NITRO is not listed. I prefer it to this group.
January 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM · I've ridden these all but Intimadator (but will next June during CoasterCon XXXV) and my vote went to Goliath. Yes, my vote surprises even me. But when I finally had the opportunity to ride Goliath I thought I knew what to expect based on B&M's other megas. Boy was I wrong. There are many similarities in all these coasters and most are more or less and out and back with hill after hill, Raging Bull being the major exception since it has a rather twisted layout. But Goliath (and Apollo's Chariot) throws in a helix for the main turnaround plus due to space it is in more of a U shape then out and back. It makes for great airtime plus that g-force filled helix plus lots of extra banked turns. Additional it is unique in that its location actual brings it out of the front of park over the entrance road and where every guest walking from the main parking lot finds themselves under this roaring beast while they are watched from above. It completely transformed the look of the second original Six Flags park in a good way, while keeping the tree-lined charm of the majority of the park.
January 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM · I'm really surprised Nitro didn't make the cut since almost everyone I've talked to said that was the best (well, everyone who hasn't been on Behemoth). I've been on Apollo's Chariot and Intimidator out of these five, and I think it will come down to preference on this one. I voted for Intimidator because I prefer longer sustained airtime to the shorter, more abrupt air offered on Apollo (which I'm guessing more people prefer).
January 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Hey, the limit for each vote was five, and in this category Behemoth was sixth and Nitro seventh according to the average reader ratings. The margin was close, though! This was the tightest category from first through last of any in the tournament.
January 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Ok first of all, this was the first major hard vote for me in this entire tournament. I LOVE B&M hypers. They are my favorite style of rollercoaster. Trying to pick my favorite is like me trying to pick my favorite kid (if I had kids haha). So I weeded out the flaws (which was REALLY HARD) in each of the coasters. Personally, I was never that crazy about the new staggered trains that came out later in the B&M Hyper history. Ive always loved the four across, just to see the faces of friends and family (and sometimes strangers) reactions. So that tossed out diamondback and Intimindator (Even though they are still great rides, they both feel like they just pack the same punch that B&M always has with nothing special to bring to the table). Then I went with, well how is the transitions of the other three. Even though Raging Bull is my home park coaster (I live just an hour away from Six Flags Great America), I will have to keep it in 3rd place in this competition due the whole "hyper twister" thing never really took off and in fact it seems to slow down the ride in some spots. So this brings me down to Apollos Chairiots and Goliath. AC is GREAT when it comes to taking advantage of the terrain and packs an amazing punch. plus, it does win for color selection imo. Goliath it just fun the minute you leave the station. The way it goes out in front of the park, and just never seems to stop. Both rides have AMAZING air time. The ONLY reason Goliath triumphs in front of apollo is because of the turn around. Apollo seems to be a little lackluster when it comes to the turnaround while Goliath just shows its strength through its turn around. Again both are great and both deserves to win. It is amazing to me how Appolo is still one of the best while it was the first one built.
January 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Sadly I have not ridden Diamondback or Intimidator yet (I did ride Intimidator 305 which suffered from antisappointment and design flaws - at least when I visited), but from what I have seen and read Apollo's Chariot is still deity among savages. Combine its smooth, thrilling ride with the beauty of the park at which it resides, and it becomes a no-brainer (just ask Fabio - his no-brainer was pummeled on this masterpiece!).

As for tomorrow's vote, Dom, POTC (Disneyland version) should pillage the competition without any extra help from me.

January 11, 2012 at 3:04 PM · I, for one, am glad to see that Nitro didn't make it to the top 5. Nitro was (still is for some) a fun ride, but it pulls too many G's in the spiral right before returning to the station. I rode it many times for the flying sensation it gave, but I nearly blacked out during the spiral on a few separate occasions, and was forced to stop riding.

Apollo's Chariot is a fantastic coaster, but I voted for Diamondback. I rode it 50-75 times the year it opened.

January 11, 2012 at 3:05 PM · Go Goliath! Does This sway any votes?
January 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Apollo's Chariot for me. I love the scenery from the ride and it's just silky smooth.

Second would have been intimidator. I went to their coaster stock event last year and rode it 20 times or so back to back after the park closed. What a rush.

January 11, 2012 at 6:02 PM · I'll be honest. I don't like B&M Megas. Most of them I just find boring because they focus too much on airtime. That's why I voted for Raging Bull. It's different from the others.
January 11, 2012 at 6:59 PM · Still have to go with Diamondback. I've never really ridden a bad B&M, but the front seat ride on Diamondback is one of the best thrill ride experiences in the world. For those who haven't ridden, you really haven't ridden this ride until you've been in the front.

The train is little more than a floor on wheels, the high seats make it impossible to touch the floor, and the restraint is unobtrusive. It achieves one of the ultimate sensations, which is truly feeling like there is no train at all. It's one of the few coasters in the world that really makes you feel as if you are genuinely flying through the air. Apollo is a good ride, but IMHO, it lost it's title when Diamondback opened.

January 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM · I was not really knowledgeable about Raging Bull until this discussion (and so I just watched the POV on youtube)..... but from what I see it does seem to be the most interesting of the group. It stands out.... it could use some trees or something around it like Apollos Chariot..... but I think it's cool that the layout is different and less predictable than some of the others.
January 14, 2012 at 8:51 AM · i am very late, but I am sad to see Raging Bull come in last. Seriously people, you are missing a good ride!

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