Is Railblazer one of the best new coasters of 2018?

June 15, 2018, 8:59 PM · Railblazer is now running at California's Great America in Santa Clara — the first west coast installation of Rocky Mountain Construction's new single-rail Raptor track. (Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas was the first installation, earlier this spring.)

Our invitation to the media day must have gotten lost in the mail, so I can't review this one yet, but CGA has posted an official POV video so we at least can enjoy it online.

Railblazer's trains feature a unique single-file layout on that one rail. Having nothing on either side of you as you ride seems like it would really amplify the lateral forces on the coaster, since you're on the exposed edge either way here. There's a couple of nifty headchopper moments on Railblazer, too, further emphasizing a feeling of exposure, in all directions. While I regret not being able to go to the media day, Railblazer piques my curiosity enough to make me plan a trip up north sometime this summer for a ride.

This spring has brought some great new coasters for fans here in the United States. So far, I have had the privilege to ride Cedar Point's Steel Vengeance as well as Knott's Berry Farm's HangTime and SeaWorld San Diego's Electric Eel. In addition, Russell Meyer rode Kings Dominion's Twisted Timbers and James Rao covered Silver Dollar City's Time Traveler for us here on Theme Park Insider.

But before I give my opinion on these new coasters, I would love to hear from you. Based on what you've heard and the on-ride videos we've brought you (follow the links in the paragraph above), as well as anything you've had the opportunity to ride so far, what do you think is the class of this year's new coasters?

Replies (10)

June 16, 2018 at 8:06 AM

Can you add Twisted Cyclone to the poll?

June 16, 2018 at 10:03 AM

If ever I get the chance to go on Railblazer at California's Great America in Santa Clara, I would all of a sudden be referencing and bursting out Runnin' Down A Dream by Tom Petty while on it.

June 16, 2018 at 2:16 PM

My daughter was at Great America earlier this week -- she says it's only open to season passholders right now, and since her friends aren't, she didn't try it.

I'm so disappointed in her priorities!! :-)

June 16, 2018 at 2:59 PM

So far, I've ridden three new for 2018 coasters, with plans to get to two more (three if SFDK's Harley Quinn is counted) in the next few months, and I've already got tentative plans to hit all of the other majors (except Darien Lake's Tantrum) in 2019. Judging based on current experience, POVs, and reviews, I'm thinking this is likely the order most will wind up placing them in:

1. Steel Vengeance: Almost every review declares this one of the best rides ever built (I'll get to find out for myself in just over a week), so of course it's at the top.
2. Twisted Timbers: This ride really impressed me, and I'm on the fence whether I prefer it or Twisted Colossus (I think the latter probably wins by a hair due to the dueling).
3. Railblazer/Wonder Woman: I'll be heading up to ride Railblazer at the tail end of summer, but from what I've heard it is an insane ride that might be just a tad too short.
4. Twisted Cyclone (surprisingly absent in the poll): Won't be riding this until next year, but most are saying it's a solid middle-tier RMC.
5. HangTime: Probably the best non-RMC of 2018, it's a very fun and unique coaster that has a really nice layout but is just a tad too short.
6. Time Traveler: Another I'll be getting to in 2019, the concept is definitely novel here, and while the ride looks pretty fun it also doesn't wow me the way those above it do.
7. Electric Eel: At the bottom because it's just a stock coaster that delivers a fun ride but isn't really travel-worthy on its own given what else is in the area.

June 16, 2018 at 3:32 PM

Totally forgot about Twisted Cyclone since we're not on their media list and no one did a trip report on it. Sorry about that. (I can't add an option to a poll once people have voted in it, FYI.)

June 16, 2018 at 5:22 PM

i have to say, i just rode electric eel yesterday, and it definitely is better than hangtime (i'll have a full review up later today)

June 17, 2018 at 11:05 PM

ATL native and SFOG pass holder. Twisted Cyclone is a great ride. I’ve only been on a handful of RMCs (Twisted Colossus and Lightning Rod), but this has become my favorite ride at SFOG hands down. I enjoyed the original cyclone replica, but twisted is beyond smooth as expected. With a long list of pros, I’d say my only con is the duration. The original featured three in/outs and this one is only two. I wouldn’t travel just from far just to ride it, but definitely a welcomed edition to the park.

June 18, 2018 at 10:44 AM

Can't vote until after I've had an opportunity to ride Steel Vengeance, which I hope will be within the next month. It's looking like no. 1 but if the restraints prove too painful that will knock it down a notch. I've ridden only 2 of these although by the end of the season I will have ridden 4 and thus far, unlike AJ, I'm putting Time Traveler at no. 2. I don't expect that to change. I found this coaster so utterly unique, original and enjoyable that it would take a lot to top it. Twisted Timbers was much, much better than I had anticipated so we shall see how it stacks up against Wonder Woman, which I probably won't ride until the fall b/c San Antonio is just too hot at this time of year.

June 18, 2018 at 10:16 PM

One of these days I'll spot you at one of these openings and say hi,Robert. It's a lot of fun, great flow, and those pops of air that seems to be a RMC hallmark. Won't take long for the waits to build.

June 19, 2018 at 6:49 PM

I have a coaster fan friend who was able to ride Railblazer as a season pass holder. He said the seat restraint/position (apparently making you sit with legs open) was a bit painful - but the ride itself far exceeded expectations.

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