Theme Park of the Day: Islands of Adventure

New coasters in 2012... How do you think they turned out?

My opinion on the coasters added this year. To me, 2012 was a little more on the disappointing side. 2013 seems pretty good from the official announcements and the rumors I've heard. Anyway, I'm sticking to 2012 for this one.

From Bradley Keith
Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM
2012 was not the year I thought it would be, and so far, 2013 looks much better. Anyway...

X-Flight: X-Flight is alright. I'd say it is the worse wing coaster out there, but none of them are bad. They didn't have the space to do much, and what they came up with? Better than Iron Wolf, I suppose. I have yet to ride X-Flight, but it's not on my coaster wish list, that's for sure.

Leviathan: I'd say Leviathan was suppose to top all the new coasters this year, but it's maybe near the middle. I don't understand why they put it at a park with a hyper, because besides the height and speed, not much is different at all. It's not unique other than the first drop and speed, but it's not bad because of this, and I found Leviathan fun, but it really shouldn't be at CW. Overall: 7/10

Verbolten: Certainly not the best one this year. It is too short, and there is way too much in the building. Big Bad Wolf was better, but they removed it not because it was bad, but because it was getting to cost too much. I wanted to see something that'd replace BBW and Drachen Fire. It sure did, but only landwise. I wasn't expecting a whole lot here, but it's not horrible. Overall: 6.5/10

Wild Eagle: The course seems a bit on the short side, but Wild Eagle delivered pretty well. Dollywood didn't really need another inversion coaster, but the wing rider without inversions is like "Dragon Challenge" without the duel. Wait... Overall: 8/10

Skyrush: Skyrush certainly impressed me. At first it seemed a little weak, but a ride on it, especially on the side, changed any negative thought of mine. The first drop is great. Overall: 7/10

Manta: I would have rather seen an original name, but sometimes I think I care about that stuff too much. Manta is great for all the restrictions they had, and it makes me want to go to SWSD. A coaster is what they needed, and a coaster is what they got. Overall: 8.5/10

Apocalypse: About as good as a 21 year old stander with new paint and a new home can get. No B&M coaster needs to be torn down obviously, but relocating it? Is it really worth it? Overall: 5/10

Wodan, The Swarm, and Shambhala: 3 great european coasters. No problem with any of them. Wodan: 8/10, Swarm: 8/10, Shambhala: 9/10

Goliath: Another Goliath? And they didn't even paint it. Lame. Overall: 5/10

Stinger: Same reaction as Goliath, but it got new paint and a new name. Still, it's just an inverted boomerang. Overall: 4.5/10

Superman: Ultimate Flight: S:UF is good for the space, but the rest seems just okay. I hope Knott's doesn't get one of these. This is another, "Well, it's cool, but let's just keep it Six Flags." Overall: 5.5/10

What is your opinion? The only ones I've been on are Leviathan, Verbolten, and Skyrush, so you can probabuly prove me wrong on some of these.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM
I think it's awfully silly to give ratings to rides you haven't been on. You "rated" 13 coasters and you've been on three of them. 'Nuff said.

From Karly Tenney
Posted August 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Wild eagle was great but I do agree the track is short. I think the hulk, sheikra and Montu are much better. I cannot rate any of the others cause I have not been on them.

From AJ Hummel
Posted August 29, 2012 at 7:39 AM
I've only been on two new for 2012 coasters.

Leviathan: This was great. A good mix of speed an airtime, an excellent first drop, and an uninterrupted ride from start to finish. It does end abruptly, but I don't think the ride feels too short. It's also not the most extreme or forceful, so if you want ejector airtime and blackouts this isn't the ride for you, but if you just want a fun ride this will do it. Out of all 16 coasters at Canda's Wonderland, it was my favorite and is one of my top ten steel coasters.

Manta: I don't know how to rank this ride. It is the best family coaster I've been on and it is an excellent ride, especially for its size, but the ride is just too small to compare to larger coasters. I have a feeling this will revive interest in SeaWorld San Diego since the park hasn't really done anything major in a while.

As far as other coasters go...

Verbolten: This looks like an excellent family coaster, but at the same time it appears a little too gimmicky. I haven't been on the ride so I could be absolutely wrong, but I've got a feeling this wouldn't be getting nearly as much hype if it wasn't for the drop track.

The three Wing Coasters: I haven't been on any of them, but both US versions look good. Wild Eagle looks like the best of the three, and X-Flight appears to be the most intense. Swarm, on the other hand, looks like is probably somewhat disappointing as it appears slow and has a relatively uninteresting layout.

Wodan Timbur Coaster: Looks like another winner for GCI. I can't wait to see what CGA's 2013 coaster will be like (the announcement is tomorrow).

Skyrush: I've heard this ride is great, and I definitely believe it when people say this is the best new for 2012 coaster. However, I don't think it would be my type of ride simply because I'm not a fan of super intensity rides (most people love Intimidator 305, but I wouldn't go out of my way to ride it).

Relocations: A lot of enthusiasts look down on relocations, but I see them as a good way to add a new coaster (for that market) at a cheap price. I don't know about Apocalypse, but I never heard great things about Iron Wolf. I did enjoy Deja Vu when it was at SFMM, and based on my experience at SFNE last year Goliath is probably the second or third best coaster in the park. The same goes for Stinger: I enjoyed it as Invertigo at CGA, and I'm sure that Dorney Park's guests are enjoying it (although I haven't been to Dorney Park so I'm not sure where it would place in their lineup).

Superman Ultimate Flight: I'll be riding this next year, but from what I've heard it has been a great addition to the park. The ride certainly looks like the most bizarre coaster of 2012 and I'm sure it gives a fun (although very short) ride.

I think that's most of the majors for 2012.

From Bradley Keith
Posted August 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM
Suppose rating wasn't the right word... More like from what I've seen. Basically the point of this was to see what some of you thought of the ones I've not been on. I said what I thought from what I've seen. I've been on a few of them, which gives me the right to rate them, but the ones I've not? I have listed my opinion from the POV, etc. I could easily be wrong as for the ones I have yet to go on, but that's good. I love being surprised on rides. And AJ, suppose you can't go wrong with Leviathan, and it is really fun. But now there's not really a big purpose for Behemoth. That'd be a relocation I'd be very impressed with. That's a joke! Sometimes I get in "trouble" with those. No need to write a book about how that'd be ridiculious and how I know nothing about coasters.:) Behemoth plays second fiddle and out of, what, 17? That's not too bad. I am fine with relocations but the ones this year weren't too good.

From Joey Till
Posted August 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM
Why are you rating coasters you did not ride?? X-Flight is a GREAT addition to SFGAm. Six Flags did a good job with it as the mist, water effects, and key whole are very eye appealing. The ride runs great and is probrally second in the park.
I think from looking, this year was better than 2011. IMO

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:31 PM
X-Flight was the BEST COASTER IN THE PARK!!!!! Rode it yesterday. It was really smooth and cool. The key hole corkscrew was probably the craziest thing ever. You were upside down for a good second.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 29, 2012 at 6:22 AM
The only ones I've been on are Stinger and ThighCrush. The former is your standard inverted boomerang, no better or worse than others. I enjoyed my first ride in the "front" seat, facing the sky on the lift hill. Other rides on different seats were what I expect from boomers..head-bangy, rough, and a waste of time. Fortunately, I've not had to wait for it. ThighCrush has the potential to be a great ride. I understand the restraints may have already been modified. It certainly has the speed, hills, and potential airtime to appeal to me.

From Russell Meyer
Posted August 29, 2012 at 7:10 AM
I think Skyrush will ultimately be the cream of the crop. Once Intamin gets the restaint system fixed, the coaster will vault up the rankings. It is by far the best hypercoaster layout that has been created since Nitro.

People are selling Verbolten a little short. It's not meant to be a "scream machine." It's a "family" coaster, and it has some relatively intense sections. The course through the building is as good as Revenge of the Mummy, and while the drop is not as good as advertised, it's still something you're not going to find on any other US coaster right now.

The 2 US wing coaster are both solid installations. However, with any B&M design, the first couple are rarely up to the potential of the style. The real question is if Gatekeeper will be the pinacle of the wing coaster or just a stepping stone to an even better design. It took B&M 3 years before they really hit with a flyer, and Tatsu and Manta are now two of the best coasters in the world, regardless of type. I think the wing coaster may just be a natural progression to a rebirth of the 4D coaster, just like loopers like Hulk and Kumba did for the floorless coaster, and Skeikra paved the way for Griffon and it's own floorless upgrade.

Leviathon is a waste of steel. It doesn't take advantage of its height with a layout truncated by at least 2,000 feet. I'm disappointed that B&M would play along with Cedar Fair on that coaster, but I guess they still got paid, which is all that really matters in this business.

From Dan Barnes
Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Russell is right, people are expecting Verbolten to be much bigger than it claims to be. It's very well done for what it is. Adrenaline junkies certainly wanted another intense speed machine but the height requirement would have been higher and the park needed an entry-level coaster with a lower height requirement. Verbolten fits that pretty well. Even though the height requirement is the same as Nessie, a lot of younger riders are intimidated by the fact that Nessie has loops.

The only other new installation I've ridden this year is ThighCrush. I couldn't pay attention to the ride because it was trying to break my legs. So like its predecessor I305, I'm going to skip it until SkyRush 2.0

From Bradley Keith
Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:19 PM
Verboten did fill some gaps. BGW lacked a family oriented coaster. Maybe it falls in that category. And let me explain myself again... I'm not Robb Alvey so though it may shock you I wrote about ones I haven't ridden... It was my opinion from what I've seen, like POVs and such. The point of this was to see what people who have ridden it thought. I shouldn't just list them so I said my opinion. Even if I had not ridden them. Like I said I love being pleasantly surprised on rides. But X Flight doesn't really top the list. I didn't call it a wacky worm or something. I think I deserve a public apology like Tim...

Just kidding, that'd be crazy! :)

From Ryan Spann
Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM
I just had to give my opinion, even thought I've only been on Verbolten.

I really enjoyed Verbolten! To be honest when I talked to others about the ride, the drop was something that surprised us. It wasn't the focal point of the coaster, but overall the ride is great for families and thrill seekers alike. I'm glad that they took at least some thought with this coaster after it's sister coaster Cheetah Hunt, (which looks much more intense). My girlfriend and I rode this ride multiple times during our visit and it became our new park favorite. 8.5/10

The Wing coasters: I have a soft spot for DollyWood so Wild Eagle naturally appeals to me (1st or tied for it). X-Flight is pretty big and looks pretty good. I guess it's the best they could do with the space. Even though this and X-Flight are near identical, The Merlin Group crushes Six Flags in the theming department.

Manta: Looks like an amazing family experience especially with the confines of what they could do. I'd love to get a ride on it.

SkyRush: Looks to be coaster greatness! Whether my body would fully survive is another story.

The Megas/Hypers Worldwide: Leviathan looks big and fast but after the drop I lose all interest. Shambala, the same thing I guess, but PortAvenutra didn't have a hyper so it's okay.

I can't remember any others at the moment.... or some of them really weren't on my radar. But the Euro Coasters are usually a great ride.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM
Can I ask why X Flight is automatically the worst Wing coaster out there and you haven't ridden?

SFGA has been lucky to have something new for the past five years. I'd say X Flight is a hit!

From Bradley Keith
Posted August 31, 2012 at 1:26 PM
Yeah. Verbolten wasn't bad. Just not what it could have been if that makes since.

Anthony, X Flight is the least impressive. Worse might not be the best word. They are all great, but compared to Raptor, Wild Eagle, and the Swarm, it ranks behind them. Now that I know what a wing coaster feels like (in general), I look at the others and it simply isn't the best. Wild Eagle and X Flight are not similar at all, but I know what riding a wing coaster feels like. Because of this, I feel totally within my legal rights to say it is the fourth best wing coaster in the world. Great America needed something new and something major. That is what they got. All the wing coasters are impressive, but my opinion is X Flight being fourth. That is mine, and you have yours. Man, this post is like politics! Rough... :)

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 31, 2012 at 1:59 PM
Bradley, why would you list Raptor with the wing coasters? Other than the fact it's named after a type of bird, wings don't even enter the picture.

From Ryan Spann
Posted August 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM
When I placed X-Flight in fourth place, worst wasn't the term I was implying. No, I have not ridden a Wing Rider yet sadly, but just looking at all of them tells me which is more appealing. Raptor looks like a great ride as well, but let's stick to 2012 coasters.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted September 1, 2012 at 7:56 AM
I still say X-Flight is amazing.

From Joey Till
Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:45 PM
Bradley, I think you would be pleasantly suprised by X-Flight. The Tower and mist effect really make you feel like you want to duck and lift up your legs. Im very satisfied by the ride, and if you would try it, I know you probrally would too.

From Bradley Keith
Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:17 PM
I probabuly would be. X-Flight is a great looking ride, and just what Great America needed. I said it maybe was the lowest rated wing coaster out of the 4, but that doesn't make it bad at all. No winger needs to have lowest rated next to it, so maybe I didn't use the right words there.

From Caroline Davis
Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:51 PM
Just an FYI, I think Bradley was talking about Raptor at Gardaland in Italy, which was the first wing coaster to be built.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted September 5, 2012 at 2:58 AM
That makes sense, Caroline. That's obviously why *I* didn't realize that possibility. If so, Bradley, I apologize for my comment.

From Bradley Keith
Posted September 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM
I didn't even see the comment. Can't blame someone for not knowing about a coaster in Italy.
Thanks, Caroline, for bailing me out there.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Get News, Discounts