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Mitch Hawker's Coaster Poll 2009!


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Excuse my teenage ignorance but how can they say T-Express isn't a wooden coaster? Hades has steel supports but because it has a wood track its still a wooden coaster. So how is that wood but T-Express isnt?

 

"I suppose you think that a Pringle is a potato chip." --Backseat Bill

 

It's that the track on an Intamin wooden coaster is built in a different method that allows them to shape it with such precision that it might as well be metal. Some people feel that that distracts from the charm of a wooden coaster, whose wheels don't normally track perfectly. (This is not to defend parks who think that if a track doesn't cause the train to shake itself apart, it's smooth enough. See SOB, Mean Streak, Rolling Thunder, and the Williams Grove Cyclone -- which inexplicably ranked way higher than any of the first three even though it hasn't run for years and pushes the limits of the word "standing". Oh yeah, the full results are out now:

http://www.ushsho.com/detailedwoodrollercoasterpollresults2009.htm )

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As was just mentioned Final results for the Wood portion of Mitch poll are in and can be found here:

 

Mitch's Poll - 2009 Wood Results

 

The Voyage is back at #1 for the third time in its four years. That ties the record set by Tonnerre de Zeus and later tied by Shivering Timbers for most years at #1 in the poll.

 

El Toro proved to be stiff competition again this year, finishing in second place. The 181 foot tall New Jersey woodie has finished in the top three in each of its four years. The vote between the top two came down to the fact that 77 riders who had ridden them both preferred The Voyage and 67 preferred El Toro.

 

After its debut #1 ranking in 2008, T Express fell to third this year while losing the mutual rider comparisons to The Voyage and El Toro 10 to 4 and 10 to 5 respectively.

 

Boulder Dash was evidently running as well as ever in its 10th year as reflected by again placing in a relative best ever

#4 finish.

 

Ravine Flyer II followed up its 2008 debut at #9 by climbing even higher this year to #5 in the world.

 

Worlds of Fun's new woodie 'Prowler' debuted very strongly at #6, just edging two time #1 Balder 6 to 4 among mutual riders.

 

Phoenix finished eighth despite being old enough to qualify for Social Security.

 

Happy Valley Song's 'Fireball', the first Chinese wooden coaster to ever be included in the poll impressed the ten

well travelled voters who had ridden it enough to debut at #9 (with an asterisk due to so few riders voting).

 

Aska won the mutual rider vote with Thunderhead 8 to 4 and rounds out the 2009 top 10.

 

The other two new for 2009 rides also did well in the poll. Freizeitpark Plohn's 'El Toro' debuted at #20 and Six Flags

Magic Mountain's 'Terminator Salvation' debuted at #22.

 

Special thanks to the 730 people who took the time to participate in the 2009 poll (all 730 ballots)

and more than two dozen great roller coaster sites that linked to the poll.

 

Holiday World is again the park with the top wooden coaster duo (#1 The Voyage, #18 Raven),

and trio (including #38 The Legend).

 

At the other end of the poll, California's Grizzly made it 15 straight years at # 'LAST'.

 

The Top 20 wood coasters are:

1 The Voyage Holiday World

2 El Toro SFGAd

3 T Express Everland

4 Boulder Dash Lake Compounce

5 Ravine Flyer IIWaldameer

6 Prowler Worlds of Fun

7 Balder Liseberg

8 Phoenix Knoebel's

* Fireball Happy Valley

10 Aska (S) Nara Dreamland

11 Thunderhead Dollywood

12 Colossos Heide Park

13 Troy Toverland

14 Hades Mount Olympus

15 Tremors Silverwood

16 Evel Knievel Six Flags St Louis

17 Thunderbird PowerPark

18 Raven Holiday World

19 Rampage Alabama Adventure

20 El Toro Freizeitpark Plohn

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At the other end of the poll, California's Grizzly made it 15 straight years at # 'LAST'.

 

Now that is impressive.

 

Again, really no big surprises. My top 4 were all in the top 8. ...El Toro #2, Phoenix #8, Ravine Flyer II #5, and Boulder Dash #4.

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I'm sorry, but WTF. How many times have you told people off for rating or judging coasters they haven't ridden? Yet here you are doing exactly that. You have not ridden Prowler. You clearly have been paying very selective attention and are extremely biased against it if you are still unwilling to consider that maybe it might be worth something. Listen, I'm sorry you think I'm such an idiot, I'm sorry that I'm happy because a completely deserving coaster did way better than I thought it would, and I'm sorry that I'm going to get screamed at for saying this, but your comment comes off as pretty snarky and a little mean. No offense meant in any of this, of course.

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A few of my top woodies made it:

-Voyage

-Raven

-Thunderhead

 

Kentucky Rumbler placed #27, I voted it above Thunderhead...I don't know why it keeps slipping in the polls!

 

Cornball was just below at #30, and it's my #2. Bummer! I think this woodie deserves better, but this is tough competition.

 

Boardwalk Bullet ranked #44, pretty solid. I was one of the few who rode the whole ERT!

 

Beast ranked #50, and I think that's a good spot for it. It's not great, it's not bad...it's a good fit in the poll.

 

Georgia Cyclone ranked #89 right above LoCoSuMo I must have caught this ride on a GREAT day because I thought it kicked ass! It was in the top 20 from 1994 to 2003!!

 

Hey Cedar Point, tear this piece of junk out!

 

175 - 2009

166 - 08

170 - 07

171 - 06

166 - 05

169 - 04

167 - 03

144 - 02

147 - 01

153 - 00

135 - 99

115 - 98

103 - 97

73 - 96

66 - 95

42 - 94

^Mean Streak Cedar Point OH

 

Doesn't that tell you something when it's ranking one of the worst woodie in the WORLD?!

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I'm sorry, but WTF. How many times have you told people off for rating or judging coasters they haven't ridden? Yet here you are doing exactly that. You have not ridden Prowler. You clearly have been paying very selective attention and are extremely biased against it if you are still unwilling to consider that maybe it might be worth something. Listen, I'm sorry you think I'm such an idiot, I'm sorry that I'm happy because a completely deserving coaster did way better than I thought it would, and I'm sorry that I'm going to get screamed at for saying this, but your comment comes off as pretty snarky and a little mean. No offense meant in any of this, of course.

Your reponse is really out of line. Elissa did not "rate, judge, or rank" the coaster in any way. Her comments are based on looking at the 15 year chart and seeing where other GCI's have started and slid. But it really seems like you're jumping down her throat and taking her comments very personally.

 

You are making accusations and putting words into her mouth.

 

It's really not cool and VERY rude.

 

I actually think you owe her an apology for that post, because if you look at past history...she's probably right.

 

--Robb "Have a little more respect for the hard working people who put this site together for you." Alvey

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Thanks almost exclusively to TPR tours I've ridden 11 out of the top 20 (my rank in brackets, excluding fave steel):

 

7 Balder Liseberg (My rank #1)

4 Boulder Dash Lake Compounce (#2)

8 Phoenix Knoebel's (#3)

2 El Toro SFGAd (#4)

5 Ravine Flyer II Waldameer (#5)

14 Hades Mount Olympus (#6)

11 Thunderhead Dollywood (#7)

18 Raven Holiday World (#8)

19 Rampage Alabama Adventure (#10)

1 The Voyage Holiday World (#11)

17 Thunderbird PowerPark (#15)

 

I guess the only big difference was where I rated the Voyage, and I didn't have very good rides on it the day I rode it. On the other hand, I had a sensational back seat night ride on Hades but if I had only ridden it the next morning I would have rated it much lower.

 

I was sceptical about Balder but once I rode it - wow.

 

I consider my top 4 to be far and above anything else I had ridden, if I was sentenced to having to ride a coaster for eternity then any of those 4 would do.

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I'm sorry, but WTF. How many times have you told people off for rating or judging coasters they haven't ridden? Yet here you are doing exactly that. You have not ridden Prowler. You clearly have been paying very selective attention and are extremely biased against it if you are still unwilling to consider that maybe it might be worth something. Listen, I'm sorry you think I'm such an idiot, I'm sorry that I'm happy because a completely deserving coaster did way better than I thought it would, and I'm sorry that I'm going to get screamed at for saying this, but your comment comes off as pretty snarky and a little mean. No offense meant in any of this, of course.

 

I'm not trying to backseat moderate, but you should chill out dude. I just don't see how you can be offended by that statement, or why you are attacking someone like that. Especially the person who co- runs this joint. Just saying.

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I'm surprised that Beast keeps getting such a low rank. With all the people obsessed with the ride at night (including me) I would think it'd be a lot higher.

 

I don't care how good a ride is at certain times during the day. My Top Ten coasters are all coasters that give incredible rides no matter what time of day I have ridden them. I have to rank coaster that is excellent all the time, ahead of a coaster that is good during the day and excellent only at night. Yes, Beast is very good at night.

 

As a side note, that is my annual dilemma when ranking Boulder Dash.

 

If enough people rank in the same manner that I do, that will hurt Beast's overall ranking.

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^ I agree that it's disappointing that Beast is only really good at night, and it gets knocked down in my ratings for that, but it still ranks very high on my woodie list. I understand that it won't rank well on a list of 300+ wooden coasters, but most of the people that take the poll haven't ridden that many woodies.

 

I just always seem to find it on wooden Top 10 lists...I guess not everyone is taking the poll?

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It saddens me greatly that I've ridden zero of the top 20 wooden coasters. At some point, I'm going to need to save up money and go on a trip throughout the U.S. to get to some of the parks I've been longing to visit. College is a real hobby killer sometimes

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Damn, only 2 of my woodies are in the top 20.

12 Colossos Heide Park DE 120 168 11 1 0.9361

13 Troy Toverland NL 99 163 11 4 0.9270

I really have to do a woodies tour around the globe to ride some of the top woodies.

 

My other woodies are:

33 Grand National Blackpool UK 139 143 34 2 0.8045

35 Dania Bch Hurricane Dania Beach FL 79 141 34 2 0.8023 31

49 Wild Mouse Blackpool UK 136 128 46 5 0.7291 22

61 Robin Hood Walibi World NL 128 114 65 1 0.6361

64 Big Dipper Blackpool UK 136 109 66 4 0.6201

81 Giant Dipper Belmont Park CA 112 100 78 1 0.5615

82 Mammut Tripsdrill DE 84 92 72 7 0.5585

116 Gwazi-Tiger Busch Gardens-Tampa FL 255 65 109 5 0.3771

137 Stampida Port Aventura ES 108 41 130 9 0.2528

143 Colossus S.F. Magic Mountain CA 255 38 137 4 0.2235

152 Tomahawk Port Aventura ES 99 29 145 6 0.1778

153 Zipper Dipper Blackpool UK 113 27 148 4 0.1620

169 Pegasus de Efteling NL 101 11 163 4 0.0730

177 The Bandit Movie Park DE 103 5 173 1 0.0307

181 The Grizzly Great America CA 126 0 177 0 0.0000

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Apparently, the best woodie I've been on (Terminator Salvation: The Ride) didn't make the top twenty. Everyone I know that has been on the ride (except my brother) says that it is one of the best roller coasters out there. I thought it would have been ranked slightly higher (top 20), but 22 still isn't bad at all.

 

The woodies I have been on are ranked as follows (listed in my voting order):

 

Terminator Salvation: The Ride (Six Flags Magic Mountain)-22

GhostRider (Knott's Berry Farm)-55

Roar (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)-67

Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain)-143

Blue Streak (Cedar Point)-74

Mean Streak (Cedar Point)-175

Grizzly (California's Great America)-181

Giant Dipper (Belmont Park)-81

Giant Dipper (Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk)-46

 

I can't wait for the IntimidaTour when I'll finally get to ride a top ten woodie (Thunderhead at Dollywood). If all goes well, I may get a chance to ride El Toro and possibly Ravine Flyer II in 2011 as well.

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Apparently, the best woodie I've been on (Terminator Salvation: The Ride) didn't make the top twenty. Everyone I know that has been on the ride (except my brother) says that it is one of the best roller coasters out there. I thought it would have been ranked slightly higher (top 20), but 22 still isn't bad at all.

 

The woodies I have been on are ranked as follows (listed in my voting order):

 

Terminator Salvation: The Ride (Six Flags Magic Mountain)-22

GhostRider (Knott's Berry Farm)-55

Roar (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)-67

Colossus (Six Flags Magic Mountain)-143

Blue Streak (Cedar Point)-74

Mean Streak (Cedar Point)-175

Grizzly (California's Great America)-181

Giant Dipper (Belmont Park)-81

Giant Dipper (Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk)-46

 

I can't wait for the IntimidaTour when I'll finally get to ride a top ten woodie (Thunderhead at Dollywood). If all goes well, I may get a chance to ride El Toro and possibly Ravine Flyer II in 2011 as well.

 

This gives a little bit of proof to my theory that we on the USA West Coast really have no idea what a "good" woodie is like.

 

If Terminator only made it to 22, I can't imagine how good those other coasters are. I'd love to ride them for myself someday.

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Hey guess what, I haven't ridden Prowler, and guess what it still won't be in the top 10 next year. These two things have very little in common and I'm laughing so hard right now that you're so offended by it. I'm not saying it's a bad ride, I'm not saying that all Prowler Fanboys are retarded (they're doing a good enough job of proving that themselves!) I'm just saying that you should all enjoy it while you can!

 

New GCI's always do well at first, but then fall as people realize that they're all very similar. And as the locals that pump them up so high in the poll slowly start to ride other stuff or forget to rank then as high as they initially did to try and prove a point. If anything I'm shocked that Terminator did so poorly as at least that ride offers something VERY different.

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Mmmmm. How can fireball be no9 when only a handful of people have ridden it out of 730 voters?! It does not make sense!! I demand a bloody re-count!

 

Remember, it works by mutual comparisons, and every coaster gets compared with every other.

 

Basically, each coaster has a win/loss ratio to determine rankings.

 

Its a long process, but in the case of Fireball, the program would go and say find the people who have ridden both Fireball and say El Toro. The program then discovers that the majority of people who have ridden both ranked El Toro higher, so that counts as a win for El Toro and a loss for Fireball.

 

But then say the program goes through and finds the people who have ridden both Fireball and Grizzly. The program then discovers that the majority of people who have ridden both ranked Grizzly lower, so that counts as a win for Fireball and a loss for Grizzly.

 

Now, the program has to go through and do this for each individual coaster. 184 on the ballot means up to 33 856 comparisons that need to be done.

 

The final ranking is calculated by the win loss ratio for each coaster, so the reason why Voyage got #1 is because the majority of people ranked it above all their other coasters, so it never had any overall losses when compared with other coasters.

 

So to answer the question originally posed, for a coaster to rank highly it doesn't need a lot of riders, it just needs the people who have ridden it to put it high on their ballots so it wins more than it loses. The placings are actually determined by the numerical ratio....Fireball 'won' 95.03% of the time, which put it ahead of Aska (Which only won 93.90%

of the time)

 

 

Clear as mud?

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I haven't ridden Prowler, either, but I'm looking forward to it next summer. There is such a thing as the "new coaster smell" effect, I think. Will Prowler have the "top-ten" staying power of rides like Balder, Voyage, or El Toro?

 

The proof will be in next year's poll.

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Mmmmm. How can fireball be no9 when only a handful of people have ridden it out of 730 voters?! It does not make sense!! I demand a bloody re-count!

Like ^ he said.

 

It came in number 9 because Mitch's poll actually WORKS!

 

--Robb

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