Incredible Hulk Coaster - at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Top Thrill Dragster - at Cedar Point
Campaign for your favorite in the comments. Voting is open for 24 hours.
Tomorrow: We've got our first Disney vs. Universal contest of the second round, with Soarin' Over California vs. Terminator 2: 3D.
Look it up.
"The beginning of the Incredible Hulk is the best 6 seconds in theme park history."
And, TTD is actually one of the better themed coasters in Cedar Point. I was actually impressed with the amount of theming there (it was not my particular cup of tea, I am a Hulk fan from a long time back, but it is themed pretty heavily.)
I'm glad there are outstanding coasters like Hulk, dripping with theme and backstory. I'm also glad that there are thrill coasters like Top Thrill Dragster that are so intense that a backstory is not needed. If I can look around at the scenery, the coaster is not going fast enough.
A lot of people talk of Hulk's launch as the best...one called it the best few seconds in the industry, but I'll ask again. Which launch is really better? 0-120 in 4 seconds up a 420 ft vertical top hat, or 0-40 up a 110 foot 45 degree incline into a dive loop. The Hulk's launch is good, but it just doesn't stack up to the sheer, intense power and speed of Dragster. Also, what is all this talk of the Hulk's great theme? There isn't really much theme to it at all...certainly no more (maybe even...gasp...less?) than the drag strip theme that Dragster has.
That said, the only real thing that Hulk has over Dragster is the fact that it's a full circuit coaster with plenty of B&M goodness. The best few seconds in the industry aren't found on Hulk though, they are found on Dragster. Regardless it's still a one trick pony, and the title of best coaster can't go to one of those. For that reason alone, Hulk wins.
I love the Hulk and have never had the chance to ride TTD, thought it sounds incredible, especially in the scenario that James K. mentions, of getting part way up the launch and then rolling back. If that happened every time, it would be a heck of a thrill. But, riding it on a normal trajectory, it seems to come back to the "one trick pony" argument. The initial rush may be better, though it's hard to imagine a bigger rush than being in the very back row -- my favorite -- of Hulk and feeling that first "out of your seat" tummy curl shooting out of the tunnel.... In this battle, I think you have to look at the total experience from beginning to end. In that case, Hulk should win, no question.
As for the vote at hand, it's really apples and oranges. Despite being in atrocious condition last time I rode it, I have nothing but love for Hulk. B&M really nailed it with Hulk, perfectly timing each element for maximum enjoyment, with enough gas saved for after the MCBR to keep it ongoing (as opposed to the very similar Led Zeppelin/Time Machine coaster that pounded riders into submission only to crap out at the end). Top Thrill Dragster is certainly an experience, but it's ultimately not something I can really get that into. It was built to break records, not deliver full ride experiences. It was enjoyable in that "wow, that just happened" kind of way, but there are far more enjoyable rides at Cedar Point worth praising over the one trick pony that is Top Thrill Dragster.
I, too, rode Greezed (I believe that's the correct spelling :) Lightning in 2007 at KK, my only visit. I remember having a devil of a time finding the darn entrance. I wasn't aware it had previously been in Georgia.
Anyway, it was fun, but it was nothing like TTD. Not even close. 0 - 60 in like 6 seconds, I believe... so slow... =)
It does thin out the queue a little as well, if you say it loud enough.
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