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Mitch Hawker's Wood & Steel Coaster Poll 2008


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I just filled out my ballot - Thank you Rob for posting the links! This poll truly is the best of the best, and wish it was promoted more aggressively throughout the general media. It's hard to argue with the results, given the methodology.

 

With all due respect Rob (TPR), why do you support the "cut and paste" method? I've avoided this poll in the past because it is so time consuming to fill out. Yes, it's a labor of love, but when you've ridden over 400 coasters, it's a monumental task ranking all of them accurately.

 

The Coasterfanatic site, in my opinion, makes filling out the poll light years easier. My only suggestion would be making moving coasters up and down even easier. I believe that as Coasterfanatic makes improvements, the more submissions they will receive. Let's be honest, the more ballots they receive, the more valid the results.

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Thom25, I totally disagree with you.

 

The cut and paste method is more time consuming and you have to be smarter to do it. I would much rather that be the ONLY way to do it, as it weeds out a crapload of 13 year olds from Ohio that rate CP and KI as the best places on Earth! See my point?

 

More people is not always better. Smarter people are better!

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With all due respect Rob (TPR), why do you support the "cut and paste" method? I've avoided this poll in the past because it is so time consuming to fill out. Yes, it's a labor of love, but when you've ridden over 400 coasters, it's a monumental task ranking all of them accurately.

 

The Coasterfanatic site, in my opinion, makes filling out the poll light years easier. My only suggestion would be making moving coasters up and down even easier. I believe that as Coasterfanatic makes improvements, the more submissions they will receive. Let's be honest, the more ballots they receive, the more valid the results.

 

Thom25, I totally disagree with you.

 

The cut and paste method is more time consuming and you have to be smarter to do it. I would much rather that be the ONLY way to do it, as it weeds out a crapload of 13 year olds from Ohio that rate CP and KI as the best places on Earth! See my point?

 

More people is not always better. Smarter people are better!

 

I think Elissa said one of my points best but I will elaborate on other items.

 

First off, and again this is nothing against Ted or his helper. I do understand that with it there are way more ballots submitted than without it. I personally am not convinced that's a good thing. I believe there are some things in this world that shouldn't be made "idiot proof" and the most important poll in the amusement industry is one of those things.

 

That being aside, I love statistics and I love going through the process of making sure what I put in the ballot is an accurate representation of my thoughts. I have nearly 1,100 coasters on my list and I go through them one by one. And it doesn't take me much time to update my ballot.

 

With the cut and paste spreadsheet method you can sort, move things around, and it's all right there in front of you in one place. It won't ever time out, it won't ever dissapear once you click 'submit', you can export it into other formats, you can go back and make changes, and it's far more versitile than on line ballot.

 

I probably do at least 2 or 3 versions of my ballot before I finally submit it. Sometimes I'll make a change two or three days later after having thought about something. You can't do that with the helper.

 

The other issue I have with the helper, and again Ted please don't take offense to this, but it seems that every year it has "issues." I don't remember off the top of my head exactly what they were in previous years, but I think I recall rides missing where people had to go back and re-do ballots, this year there was the time out issue, etc.

 

I feel very strongly about the poll and making sure the data is very "clean" and I just can't fully support something where someone spends a good amount of time working on, and then it "errors out." Every time you click that "Go to Step X -->" button there is always a chance that you could encounter a server error. And it's not like you can copy/paste your data before hitting that button like you can, for example, in this post I'm writing now. If you spend 20 minutes clicking and sorting your coasters and you lose it...it's GONE!

 

IMO, this ballot is far more serious than to use an online system. Keep in mind that this is the *ONLY* yard stick in which parks and ride manufactuerers can guage what actual riders think of their coasters without being influenced by any other factor *AND* it represents all coasters across the planet.

 

All other polls IMO are worthless compared to Mitch Hawker's poll. Maybe I take the poll too seriously, I dunno.

 

But all that aside I do support Ted's helper. That's why there is a link to it in the very first post of this thread. I think it's a good option, but I don't feel it's the best way to fill out the ballot.

 

If you disagree, that's fine. Fill out your ballot the way you want to, and I'll fill my out the way I want to.

 

'Nuff said.

 

--Robb

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I for one used the helper, but may switch to the cut and paste way next year. The helper is hard too it seems, the more coasters you have.

 

 

~"Chris "Dragon" Bailey"

RANK THE FOLLOWING RIDING SENSATIONS <-LEAVE

Abrupt Airtime_____________________________,y,y,1

Floating Airtime___________________________,y,y,2

Sensation of Speed_________________________,y,y,3

Out of Control Feeling/Directional Changes_,y,y,4

Lateral Forces_____________________________,y,y,5

Positive G's/Loops_________________________,y,y,6

COASTER NAME PARK LOC <-LEAVE

Favorite Wood Coaster Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,1

Superman - Ride of St SF New England MA,y,y,2

Maverick Cedar Point OH,y,y,3

Phantom's Revenge Kennywood Park PA,y,y,4

Goliath Six Flags Over Geo GA,y,y,5

Griffon Busch Gardens Euro VA,y,y,6

Ride of Steel Darien Lake NY,y,y,7

Apollo's Chariot Busch Gardens Euro VA,y,y,8

Steel Force Dorney Park PA,y,n,9

Nitro Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,10

Behemoth Canadas Wonderland ON,y,y,11

Raptor Cedar Point OH,y,y,12

Magnum XL-200 Cedar Point OH,y,y,13

Superman - Ride of St Six Flags America MD,y,y,14

Volcano: The Blast Co Kings Dominion VA,y,n,15

Millennium Force Cedar Point OH,y,y,16

Great Bear Hersheypark PA,y,n,17

Gemini Cedar Point OH,y,y,18

Afterburn Carowinds NC,y,y,19

Batman The Ride/Clone SF & Other Parks **,y,y,20

Exterminator Kennywood Park PA,y,y,21

Storm Runner Hersheypark PA,y,n,22

Fav X SC2000/3000 Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,23

Joker's Jinx Six Flags America MD,y,n,24

Flight of Fear Kings Dominion VA,y,n,25

Alpengeist Busch Gardens Euro VA,y,y,26

Mindbender Six Flags Over Geo GA,y,y,27

Talon Dorney Park PA,y,n,28

Medusa Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,29

Kingda Ka Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,30

Fav Vek Susp Loop SLC Any Park Anywhere **,y,n,31

Hydra the Revenge Dorney Park PA,y,n,32

Fav Gerstlauer Spinn. Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,33

Chang Six Flags Kentucky KY,y,n,34

Vortex Canadas Wonderland ON,y,y,35

Fav Wild Mouse Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,36

Georgia Scorcher Six Flags Over Geo GA,y,y,37

Batman - Dark Knight SF New England MA,y,y,38

Dragon Mountain Marineland Theme P ON,y,y,39

Sooperdooperlooper Hersheypark PA,y,n,40

Big Bad Wolf Busch Gardens Euro VA,y,y,41

Backlot Stunt Coaster Kings Dominion VA,y,n,42

Dark Knight Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,43

Batwing Six Flags America MD,y,n,44

Skull Mountain Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,45

Greezed Lightnin' Six Flags Kentucky KY,y,n,46

Loch Ness Monster Busch Gardens Euro VA,y,y,47

Laser Dorney Park PA,y,n,48

HyperSonic XLC Kings Dominion VA,y,n,49

High Speed Thrill Coa Knoebels PA,y,n,50

Superman - Ultimate F Six Flags Over Geo GA,y,y,51

Roller Soaker Hersheypark PA,y,n,52

Orange County Chopper Darien Lake NY,y,y,53

Backlot Stunt Coaster Canadas Wonderland ON,y,y,54

Great American Scream Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,55

Anaconda Kings Dominion VA,y,n,56

Runaway Train Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,57

Bobsled Seabreeze NY,y,y,58

Fav Chance Toboggan Any Park Anywhere **,y,n,59

Avalanche Kings Dominion VA,y,n,60

Superman - Ultimate F Six Flags Great Ad NJ,y,y,61

SkyRider Canadas Wonderland ON,y,y,62

Fav Arrow Corkscrew Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,63

Viper Darien Lake NY,y,y,64

Fav Wildcat Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,65

Iron Dragon Cedar Point OH,y,y,66

Fav Powered `Coaster' Any Park Anywhere **,y,n,67

Dahlonega Mine Train Six Flags Over Geo GA,y,y,68

Mine Train Six Flags Over Tex TX,y,n,69

Carolina Goldrusher Carowinds NC,y,y,70

Shockwave Kings Dominion VA,y,n,71

Trailblazer Hersheypark PA,y,n,72

Fav Vekoma Boomerang Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,73

Fav Spinning Mouse Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,74

Fav Vek Susp Family Any Park Anywhere **,y,y,75

Ninja Six Flags Over Geo GA,y,y,76

Vortex Carowinds NC,y,y,77

Dragon Fire Canadas Wonderland ON,y,y,78

------------------------------------------------0 <-LEAVE THIS LINE

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I for one used the helper, but may switch to the cut and paste way next year. The helper is hard too it seems, the more coasters you have.

This is exactly why I say the helper is good if you have a small amount of coasters (50 or less) and you can't be bothered to do it by hand. (and again, I'm not convinced that if you can't copy/paste/sort 50 items you should be voting anyway...)

 

Personally, the helper seems to take just as long as the cut and paste method when you have 100 or more and it's not as versitile. I think if the ballot didn't look so "scary" at first glance, more people would do the copy/paste method.

 

If you follow our instructions: http://www.themeparkreview.com/mitch.htm it's REALLY REALY easy!

 

--Robb

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I used the helper in 06 when my count was around 30 and it was great for that, but after a few TPR trips i'm around 300 and it becomes more difficult to use the helper. This year i'm planning on doing the cut and paste even though it'll take a while, because in the future i can refer back to the document and it'll take less time to do the ballot.

 

Dave "but if you only have a few coasters, the helper is pretty cool" Wilson

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I do both, because I can't figure out how to format a .txt file!!

 

I keep the ballot in microsoft word and then update it as I ride coasters throughout the year. Then I have to use the Coasterfanatics helper because no matter what program I use, I can't format the ballot right and then Mitch emails me back saying it doesn't work. Stupid Mac's!

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The last couple of years I've just appended new to me coasters to my old ballot but I had so many new coasters this year I just decided to do it from scratch.

 

I've still got a fair bit of work to do on my steel poll, and I don't group, I rank every coaster individually so I really have to think about it.

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I don't know what methods other people use, but what I've done for the past few years, I find extremely easy.

 

Basically:

-Copy and paste list into Notepad.

-Delete all coasters I've not been on.

-Change first "n" column to all "y"s.

-Change second "n" column to "y" if ridden in past year.

-Start ranking!

 

My finished wood rankings looked like this:

 

[Random information here]

COASTER NAME PARK LOC <--Please leave this

My Favorite Steel Anypark Anywhere **,y,y,4

Boulder Dash Lake Compounce CT,y,y,1

Wildcat Lake Compounce CT,y,y,15

Gwazi-Tiger Busch Gardens-Tampa FL,y,n,13

Gwazi-Lion Busch Gardens-Tampa FL,y,n,14

Thunderbolt SF New England MA,y,y,24

Cyclone SF New England MA,y,y,17

Roar SF America MD,y,y,31

Wild One SF America MD,y,y,23

Hell Cat Clementon Lake NJ,y,y,10

El Toro SFGAd NJ,y,y,5

Rolling Thunder SFGAd NJ,y,y,22

Great White Wild Wheels Pier NJ,y,y,9

Cyclone Astroland NY,y,y,11

Dragon Coaster Playland NY,y,y,26

Comet Hersheypark PA,y,y,21

Lightning Racer - L Hersheypark PA,y,y,3

Lightning Racer - T Hersheypark PA,y,y,4

Wildcat Hersheypark PA,y,y,8

Phoenix Knoebel's PA,y,y,2

Twister Knoebel's PA,y,y,20

Hurler Kings Dominion VA,y,y,31

Rebel Yell Kings Dominion VA,y,y,29

The Grizzly Kings Dominion VA,y,y,28

Big Dipper Blackpool UK,y,y,18

Roller Coaster Blackpool UK,y,y,12

Grand National Blackpool UK,y,y,7

Wild Mouse Blackpool UK,y,y,25

Zipper Dipper Blackpool UK,y,y,27

Roller Coaster Great Yarmouth UK,y,n,19

Megafobia Oakwood UK,y,y,6

------------------------------------------------0 <--Please leave this

 

With Notepad, it keeps everything in neat columns itself.

 

If you find this method difficult, then what are you doing on a computer since you don't know know to use Notepad?

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I don't know what methods other people use, but what I've done for the past few years, I find extremely easy.

 

Basically:

-Copy and paste list into Notepad.

-Delete all coasters I've not been on.

-Change first "n" column to all "y"s.

-Change second "n" column to "y" if ridden in past year.

-Start ranking!

And is EXACTLY the method TPR reccomends and our "Idiot's Guide" teaches people to use. Personally I find it much easier than the helper.

 

--Robb

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I love the cut & paste method. It's even easier when all you have to do is add the new coasters that you've ridden then rearrange the list to rank everything.

 

Once you drop everything into word. It gets easier every year.

 

I avoid doing that since my opinion of a coaster might change during the year. I usually don't even look at my past ballots unless I cannot remember how much I liked a certain coaster.

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I ended up using the helper since this was my first time taking part in the poll, but I definitely am looking forward to the new results (and am hoping that Boulder Dash gets bumped up a few spots after its performance this Summer).

 

I definitely had some odd choices for my top spots (like Leap the Dips and Kingda Ka) but they definitely had an impact on my trip, so they made my list.

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Thom25, I totally disagree with you.

 

The cut and paste method is more time consuming and you have to be smarter to do it. I would much rather that be the ONLY way to do it, as it weeds out a crapload of 13 year olds from Ohio that rate CP and KI as the best places on Earth! See my point?

 

More people is not always better. Smarter people are better!

 

I agree completely with the premise that a harder polls should weed out the blind homers and insane CP fanboys, but theoretically shouldn't the ride comparison methodology keep their votes from affecting the results. Am I missing something?

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^

Re Elissas initial point, I would actually say that more people are better for the results because a larger sample size is more accurate, and it better reflects the thoughts of 'typical' enthusiasts who haven't necessarily ridden large numbers of coasters all over the world.

 

Just my little idea, but I think a good method is to use the CF helper to get everything in a rough order, but at the final step save the txt file when given the option instead of just emailing it off, and then in the txt go through and fine tune the numbers (for example if you want to have multiple coasters with even rankings)

That way you spend less time on the tedious steps like going through and typing y's an n's, and more time on the rankings themselves.

Then once everything is done, email it yourself.

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I agree completely with the premise that a harder polls should weed out the blind homers and insane CP fanboys, but theoretically shouldn't the ride comparison methodology keep their votes from affecting the results. Am I missing something?

No, you're absoultely right. But if you're going to just weed out those idiots anyway, why make it easier for them to vote?

 

For example, if you wind up getting the same results from 200 voters as you do from 600 what's the point of having to sort through 400 additional ballots?

 

--Robb

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Just submitted my polls. I used the coasterfanatics widget, though, as great as it is, I think my steel list is growing too long for it. Next year I will be using Robb's method. I am enough of an excel guru to get it to generate it automatically for me

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Just submitted my wood one. It was pretty easy since I only got a couple new ones this year.

 

Top 10:

El Toro             SFGAd                NJ,y,y,1
Ravine Flyer II     Waldameer            PA,y,y,2
The Voyage          Holiday World        IN,y,y,3
My Favorite Steel   Anypark Anywhere     **,y,n,4
Raven               Holiday World        IN,y,y,5
Thunderhead         Dollywood            TN,y,y,6
Cornball Express    Indiana Beach        IN,y,n,7
Viper               SFGAm                IL,y,n,8
The Legend          Holiday World        IN,y,y,9
Phoenix             Knoebel's            PA,y,y,10

 

Bottom 5:

Rolling Thunder     SFGAd                NJ,y,y,82
Colossus            S.F. Magic Mountain  CA,y,n,83
Mean Streak         Cedar Point          OH,y,n,84
Predator            Darien Lake          NY,y,n,85
Son of Beast        Kings Island         OH,y,n,86

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