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Questionable Top 10 Coaster List

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My son purchased a book entitled "Thrill Rides" published by Meredith Books, written by Mark Shulman. (Copyright date of 2007) On the cover it says: Top 10 Roller Coasters in America


I recognize everyone has the right to their own opinion and I realize opinions can vary. With that said, I opened the book with an open mind.


As with many roller coaster books, this one provides some history on coasters along with a high level explanation of the mechanics of a roller coaster. There are pictures of El Toro, Raptor, Wild Thing, Twisted Sister, Talon, X and many others in conjunction with the explanations. However, the meat of the book is the top 10 list which is:


10 - The Cyclone (Coney Island)

9 - The Beast

8 - Dueling Dragons

7 - Son Of Beast

6 - Millennium Force

5 - Superman Ride Of Steel (New England)

4 - Boulder Dash

3 - X

2 - Top Thrill Dragster

1 - Kingda Ka


With any top 10 list enthusiasts could argue about the ranking order and raise an eye brow about some of the selections. However, this list caused more than an eyebrow raising. I could not get past the fact that this list, created in the last year or so, would include Son Of Beast and exclude El Toro.


I believe my anger/disappointment/sadness stems from the fact that this is a published book. There will be people who read this book and think their experience on the Son Of Beast represents that of a top rated coaster. Others who read this book will not realize El Toro should be given recognition for its greatness.


If there is anyone who believes the Son Of Beast is a better coaster than El Toro, please help me understand why.


Please note: An address was provided on page 2 of the book for comments and suggestions 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50309-3023 or meredithbooks.com. I would encourage those that care to send a comment or two.

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I saw this book recently and looked at it. I agree, the list they chose is horrible. It seems that they only picked large coasters or ones that are well known. I've heard the Cyclone is painful and nowhere close to the top 10. Beast isn't a bad choice. Dueling Dragons, not bad, but not a top 10 coaster(s). Son of Beast was most likely just chosen because it's the largest wooden coaster. M Force isn't a bad choice. Ride of Steel was rated number one in the Golden tickets, so a very good choice. B Dash is good, from what I've heard. X, not a very good choice. TTD and KK were most likely just chosen because of their height and speed.


Some decent choices in there, but as a whole, a very bad list. The only ones that are possibly even top 10 coasters are Ride of Steel, Beast, M Force, and B Dash.

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My opinion is that none of the books, or articles published are even remotely close to what rides are actually the best. I believe that they just choose rides that may look the most impressive IE, KK or TTD because of their height, or rides that have broken some sort of record at some point in time. Just my 2 cents.

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My opinion, there is only one way to find a good coaster, that is to ask the riders. Mitch's poll is probably going to be the best you will get. This year will be a good idea of hte best since the results were hidden until announced.

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Once again this is why I support Mitch Hawker's poll so seriously and urge everyone to take the time to fill it out.


The more popular his poll becomes the fewer retarded books like this one we will see out there.


His poll is the *only* one out there that uses metrics that rank each others rankings against each other even if you've only been on 10 coasters.


So please, support his poll, not these horrible books!



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Thee book seems to go with the mentality that bigger is better. Those that didn't set a record are pretty famous which also probably factored into the poll. I wouldn't say that it is a bad top 10, but it seems more like a member of the general public's top 10 which would be bad for what seems to be a book for enthusiasts. I could see why the coasters in the top 10 are there, and the only choice that makes no sense is Son of Beast.


Edit: Like Wes pointed out, it's a kid's book, so who really cares?

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That list is a abomination. SOB from what I have heard should be firewood. They are excluding 3 great woodies that should be on the list. These 3 are El Toro, ThunderHead and Voyage.....I don't get people sometimes.

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10. Northern East Coast

9. Ohio

8. Florida

7. Ohio

6. Ohio

5. Northern East Coast

4. Northern East Coast

3. SoCal

2. Ohio

1. Northern East Coast


Well, at least he represents coasters from around the whole nation, and not 1 or 2 specific regions.

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^I didn't know Dick Kinzel wrote books under an pseudonym.


Whatever, if you don't like it don't buy it.


But if this books leads some poor child to want to go to KI and ride Son Of Beast. Then as a consequence the child winds up in a wheelchair for life, then damn that book.

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You know, I bet these books are just there to make people think that bigger is better. I mean I know Maverick and some GCIs were very recent, but I mean. Why do they need to put the biggest or the best looking ride there? I've wrotten some books that will probably never even get attempted to be published because their so crappy. Plus, I bet these books do little research on the coasters they dump in the list, because I had one book were it said Top Thrill Dragster is the fastest rides at 125mph. The book was dated 06.. . . . . .

Heres a link to something that parodys these awful things if your interested.


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Well, its been said before... if you ask 100 enthusiats what the 10 best coasters are, you'll get 100 different lists, and yes, the Poll is probally your best source if you really want to know what others think.


I have a few different coaster books, and each one highlights something different, perhaps this guy wasent able to ride El Toro or Voyage.


I still like the fact that you can find new books written on these, even if they have opinions you don't much care for, that least things are up to date for the most part.


My top 10 features Phantoms Revenge, Screechin Eagle and Tennesee Tornado. Does that make me wrong? Not in my opinion, but I would most likely list them if I wrote a book.

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Yeah, I have this book. It's alright, it's not that bad.




Yeah, I agree that this is actually a pretty cool book. I agree with most of the list, with the exception of Kingda Ka being ranked higher than Dragster or M. Force. I also agree that Son of Beast should not be on the list. Not all lists are perfect, not even Mitches poll. With that being said I would recommend this book for all coaster fans.

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My son purchased a book entitled "Thrill Rides" published by Meredith Books, written by Mark Shulman. (Copyright date of 2007) On the cover it says: Top 10 Roller Coasters in America


What did your son say about the list? What is his top ten? I would bet "30 bucks" that his list would be better than the one in the book.

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