One of the best personality tests for a random stranger is whether or not they enjoy roller coasters. It happens to say a lot about your personality, they aren’t of great risk (most have stellar safety records) and they just provide an insane amount of entertainment. The experience itself is like any great plot, you build up waiting in line, getting ready, ascending the hill, and then you hit your peak and ride down, off the momentum of a greak peak’s energy (sometimes an extra boost) and you finish it all leaving quite satisfied. A great amusement park can hold up a vacation, the best ones come with spectacular Roller Coasters and we’re here to rate the Best Coasters …
A little known fact about me is that I love roller coasters.Â There isn’t any coaster I’ll shy away from but in particular I like a good wooden roller coaster.Â With that said, my top 3 roller coasters are obviously exclusive to woodies.
3. Thunder Run (Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom)- It’s been years since I rode this out and back coaster, but its the roller coaster of my childhood so the memories hold strong.Â This wooden coaster has a great combination of hills and banked turns to leave any coaster enthusiast wanting more.Â It has a nice rattle and shake to it (once a little too much), so you know its a wooden coaster.Â While the initial drop is exhilirating, its the series of humpbacks towards the end of the ride that seals the deal.Â Thunder Run also is the symbolic transition from old to new (or I guess now OLDER to OLD) at Kentucky Kingdom.Â Taking the walkway beneath the ride takes you to the contemporary steel coasters: the stand-up Batman (it was Chang back in my day) and T2 (I’m not sure what Six Flags renamed this one), and they are simply not as good as a classic woodie.
2. The Beast (King’s Island)- Just about everything that needs to be said about this coaster is in the name.Â The Beast is still the world’s longest wooden roller coaster- it covers 35 acres.Â There are many things that set The Beast apart from your run-of-the-mill wooden coaster but nothing comes close to topping the counter-clockwise helix after the second chain lift.Â The Beast gets going immediately as the first drop sends the riders through a tunnel and a quick second hill and drop that results in airtime.Â (Dishonorable Mention: Son of Beast- This is one of those times when a sequel would have been best left alone.Â Way too bumpy, jerky and fast.Â Most definitely not worth the wait.)
1. The Voyage (Holiday World)- There’s nothing like the first ride on a roller coaster.Â The unknown of whats to come only enhances the experience.Â My first ride of The Voyage was so awesome, that I rode it 6 more times consecutively.Â It hadn’t been operating early in the day so when it finally opened there were very few people in the distant area of the park The Voyage is located.Â After an initial lift of 163 feet, The Voyage has enough energy for three drops of over 100 feet without the need for another lift.Â Those three monstrous drops help create over 20 seconds of airtime which is a record.Â In three separate rankings, The Voyage ranks as the #1 wooden coaster.Â (Honorable Mention: The Raven and The Legend two other woodies at Holiday World.)
Honorable Mention (non-wooden)
- Flight of Fear (King’s Island)- In nearly complete darkness the unkown factor plays a huge role in this exciting ride which starts with you being slungshot out of the start.
- Vampire (Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom)- An homage to a ride no longer with us due to a string of problems it incurred, specifically getting stuck in the loopÂ (or so the story went- apparently its been recommissioned at Six Flags New England), its your traditional boomerang with three inversions.Â In other words, it does the track forward and then in reverse.Â Short but sweet.
Remember that movie Fear? It had an amazing roller coaster scene, that’s pretty much the basis for my roller coaster selections – well actually not really at all. I just wanted to bring up one of the most infamous roller coaster scenes ever.
3. Batman: The Ride (Six Flags Great America) – Alright this ride was re-produced at many many Six Flags across all of the US but the first one happened in Illinois. This was also the first steel inverted roller coaster – you know the kind where your feet dangle. It was also new around the time little Keith grew tall enough for the big time rides, so naturally this was one of his first. the ride is spectacular and its one thing to be upside down, its another to have it where you see your feet above your head. I have great memories, sure its quick and its modern and it occasionally kills people who sneak into the restricted area. But the other great thing that BATMAN did was that it introduced the concept of staging a ride in the line. They had music playing and part of the waiting was inside (out of the sun and cooler), and they made you feel like you were in a small subsection of the park – kind of like a Disney ride BUT with a cool Gotham City theme.
This post is courtesy of my iPhone while I’m starting the line for The Dark Knight – oh wait I don’t have an iPhone because while I am a nerd, I’m not the kind of nerd who waits in lines for things.
2. The Beast (King’s Island) – Well this is the top wooden roller coaster I’ve ever been on. Besides a top notch logo, it is insanely long, and just when you think you’re done with it, you gear up for stage too. Part of the appeal in any great roller coaster is the uncertainty. When you get on any of these modern mega-coasters, you have a harness over your chest, in addition to a lap bar. There is no way that you’re being separated from the car. Sure you may be going over a mile up, but you’re coming right back down super quick and you barely rise out of your seat. (You’ll notice this as a theme in my choices) On the Beast there is a lap bar and a seat belt, you move side to side and there is an honest risk the car could break down for any multitude of reasons.
I also remember reading RL Stine’s “The Beast” before I was tall enough to get on this ride. During my childhood they had “The Beastie” as well, which was great when you’re super young. It has since been re-branded. Side note, Best Goosebumps?
1. Magnum XL-200 (Cedar Point, OH) – This was already mentioned in our Staycation post – but I can’t pretend like its not my favorite. During my first ride it was the highest roller coaster in the world and it was just insane. You had a perfect view of Lake Eerie on the long ride up and all the sudden – ITS ON! Much like the Beast – all you get is a lap bar and a seat belt. If you’re smart you leave a few inches when they come by to check your bar and then on that first hill you’re all the way out of your seat with your arms up. Sure it lacks the appeal of a wooden coster, you don’t have a headache after riding it and there aren’t any bumps to help you reach orgasm – but wow its a great ride to me.
I won’t be mentioning any water rides here – they’re not roller coaster and they get your socks wet and then your socks stay wet all damn day and it fucking sucks.
I like creativity and originality and its hard to find. Most of these referenced are not the first of their kind just the best one I remember of a particular genre.
Mantis – Cedar Point – Stand Up variety – kind of rides up on you like a bicycle seat but still amazing.
Mr. Freeze – Six Flags St. Louis – This ride slingshots you from 0-70MPH in 3.8 seconds and sends you straight up at one point, then you run back through the ride backwards. This was the only ride I remember from Six Flags St. Louis as I was in serious trouble from one of the most infamous moments of my life to this point – that’s another story for another day.
Finally if you have not checked out the new photos of our bar Katrina – check them out here. I say our but clearly Jesus has taken possession of it and done great work, just wait till he starts getting my angry text messages and demand for a custody trial.