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A Pointless Statistical Look at Coasters

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Hey all


I do a fair amount of research for the RCDB and have often thought as the database how much information it actually holds. For us Enthusiasts is an invaluable tool but I thought I would take a look a bit deeper into the world of coasters and provide some mostly pointless graphs and stats.


Notes: All work done on this (with one exception) is done using ONLY operating coasters and using all coasters in the RCDB (powered and gravity) so depending what your definition of a coaster is the stats may not be quite accurate. Another point to make is that the DB is not infallible, the older data is clearly less reliable and there will be things missing.

I also understand my maths is not perfect so if you spot an error let me know and I will endeavor to correct it


However lets get on with it and lets see some pointless stats


For starters i decided to have a look at some of the major coaster companies in the world and see how they rate against each other in terms of coaster numbers.

This table shows coaster numbers and percentages for B&M, Intamin, Vekoma, GCI and the now defunct CCI.

I would have taken Gravity group over CCI but they just don't have the coaster numbers yet.


Most interesting for me here is that Vekoma have built almost 10% of the worlds currently operating coasters in the DB (over 10% of steel alone). That's a hell of a lot and will make some people shudder. CCI despite being defunct for a while still have a sizable chunk of the wood market with GCI playing catchup. Intamin don't fare to shabbily thanks to their almost complete domination of the Asian Market for wooden coasters.


Running with this i took a look at where Vekoma have their rides. (sorry for the awful colours) Not much unexpected here though. Asia, Europe and USA have the biggest chunks with the rest of the world following. I expect to see Asias Chunk increase rapidly in the next few years though.


Next up i took a look at the worlds non-sit-down coaster types. Unfortunately the DB groups Dive-Machines and Hypers into the sit-down category so they are not included. (something i may sort out 2mo if i get time) however even with this data the Inverted Coasters in the world would have a serious lead. The 4D's in this graph do include Intamin Ball Coasters,


Its nice to see stand-ups holding their own even after this long. With Chang Currently out of operation the number could go up again soon


Taking a closer look at B&M's statistics we can clearly see they have spent most of their time on Inverted coasters although Dive Machines and Flyers have really started to proliferate recently. There are very few product lines compared to Intamin below but then that's what B&M do, And they are good at what they do.


However when we compare this to Intamin we see some interesting trends. As most enthusiasts know B&M only have one launched ride where as Intamin for Intamin its their main product line. Hyper/Mega/Giga coasters come a distant 2nd with their sitdown loopers actually gaining bronze. (I included Jet-Ski Rescue as a Launch not an Aquatrax)


Next up i looked at the industry as a whole and how many new coasters we have seen in the last 25 or so years. Obviously older data is going to be a bit suspect but it made a pretty graph.


Included is the data for new coasters in USA, Japan, UK and Germany as well as an overall number. Clearly the US leads the way still with the rest of us fighting away down the bottom


2000 was a great year across the world but interestingly the USA saw its peak in 1999,


This made me wonder about who really about who is luckiest to live where in terms of coasters. So i got some area data and figured out coasters/km^2. This graph surprised me a bit with the UK and Japan coming out top. But then I realized America is mostly Cities tied together with road, (there's quite a lot of empty space out there)


As most parks are near urban centres this is not very accurate but it's something for us Brits to think about and stop moaning about our coasters


I followed this up and decided to ignore area. I thought population might be a better figure to work with and figured out many coasters there are per person.

Again the UK finished Top but the USA rocketed up to 2nd. The Australians did a bit better out of this too.


Finally something completely pointless to round this up for now. The number of coasters with a given element can be seen here. Cobra Rolls are undoubtedly given a boost thanks to Vekomas Boomerang but the Batwing could do with more representation in my opinion.


More pointless graphs to follow if i get time

Hope you enjoyed it



Edited by Gutterflower
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Good stuuf, I play around with the info on rcdb sometimes also, but need created graphs and charts. Seeing how well UK and Japan for number of coasters relative to population/size is not surprising. I've seen this before and I think Netherlands or Denmark actually outperform both UK and Japan

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Nice work, being an analyst by profession, I am a total stats whore so keep it coming.


I love RCDB, it is such a great reference, it's really helped with my travels and it's heaps of fun to check what coasters are out there in the world.

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Good stuuf, I play around with the info on rcdb sometimes also, but need created graphs and charts. Seeing how well UK and Japan for number of coasters relative to population/size is not surprising. I've seen this before and I think Netherlands or Denmark actually outperform both UK and Japan


Thought I would take a look at this.


Seems like the Danish do extremely well for themselves. But us Brits just edge out the Netherlands.

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  • 1 year later...

Hey guys


It's been a while but I found some spare time and decided to have a mess around with the RCDB's extensive database again.


First off I apologise if these images are a little large. It is hard to make them show all the data with smaller ones. But R&E if you want them smaller I can spend some time messing with excel.


All graphs and tables contained within this post are created by myself and any errors are entirely my fault. I'm very tired today so if you find an error let me know and I will work to fix it ASAP.


First Up lets take an updated look at the state of the worlds coaster industry over the last 15 years

This graph is slightly misleading as all 2011 coasters won't have been announced yet.


However if we break this down a bit more we get this result.

I shall let you guys draw your own conclusions from this. but there has been a dramatic drop in the USA over the last few years. However as above 2011 may still rise. I would have added China here but information on Chinese rides is understandably vague across the DB and many rides only have ranges as to when the ride may have opened


Ok so everyone knows that America leads the way in shear numbers of coasters already but let's take a look at an updated list of the worlds top 20 coaster owning countries.

This takes into account operating coasters only but it shows just how many coasters there are in China now. They may all be tiny children's rides and spinning coasters but there's a fair few.


However there is no point in living in the country with the most coasters if it takes days to get to the nearest one. So the next chart shows how many coasters each country has per kilometre squared.

Here the USA does much much worse and northern europe has a really strong showing. who ever said Belgium was boring? The caveat here is that this doesn't take into account the vast areas where people don't live. This is why Australia had such a poor showing in this chart last year.


So like last year here I produced a chart of the number of people per ride. This was done with the latest census or estimated population available for each country so there is some margin for error here.

Here we see the USA do much better and the UK come storming into 2nd. Denmark still leads the way though.

Now this next graph is completely pointless but it gave me a chuckle.

The previous chart got me thinking. What if EVERYONE in a country decided to have a day trip to a theme park one day. And somehow evenly spread themselves between every coaster in that country... If you were waiting at the back of a queue for a B&M coaster how long would you wait....


Yes I know just Humour me.... this chart was done on the theoretical capacity of Riddlers Revenge at SFMM.

Pointless... But if everyone goes to a theme park... don't be in India.


Right back on track. The next table shows which continents have the highest percentage of steel or wooden rides.

The columns show what percentage of a continents coaster collection is either steal or wood. Australia does well on the Woodie front but it's a little misleading since Australia has so few rides. but it does have 3 woodies.


Moving on I will focus mostly on B&M's for now. But the following graph shows where the worlds B&M's are


But what ride does B&M make the most of? well when you think about it, It's pretty obvious

Inverts account for a massive proportion of B&M's output. Although this has slowed in recent years it is still doing well. (Note: this includes all under construction rides too)


So If B&M pretty much invented the inverts and it's their most popular product, what market share do they have?

Turns out they don't do badly but Vekoma dominates the market here with several more models (Shuttles, Junior and SLC's), to put this in perspective, there are currently only 111 operating inverted rides out there.


Now to finish of today's post I shall have a bit more fun. As TPR have a reoccurring joke about rides on the moon and last year we crowned a new speed record holder I decided to take each of the worlds fastest 10 coasters and see how long would it take to get to the moon at top speed? This is based on the average distance of the moon so it changes a lot. but the ratio's would be the same


Hopefully you enjoyed this pointless trip through my mind.


Its getting late here so I better dash

I hope to do more soon though.




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Very interesting data! I can't believe Vekomas are so dominant throughout the world. Be right back, have to grab some Advil........

.......Riddler's Revenge! Gotta represent. Anyway, what did you use for the theoretical capacity on this ride?:

Yes I know just Humour me.... this chart was done on the theoretical capacity of Riddlers Revenge at SFMM. Pointless... But if everyone goes to a theme park... don't be in India.
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Fun! I love how Pinfari inverts made a showing, Queen Bee anyone?


Apparently I've ridden about 22% of the operating coasters in the U.S., which may be a lot less than many people but still seems like a decent proportion. Although I'm very interested in branching out to other places, it's nice to know that there are so many opportunities for credit whoring in my home country!

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I really enjoyed checking out this analysis.. One of the key points you made is that Vekoma has much higher market share of rides built. I'd love to see some graphs involving total cost. I'd suspect that in the past 15 years Vekoma has built many more coasters than Intamin or B&M but both companies surpass Vekoma in revenue/capital expenditure by parks to build the rides.

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Nice analysis.


In Vekoma's defence, they bring coasters to parks and area sthat may not otherwise be able to afford them. Any coaster is better than no coaster. The flagship rides at my two local parks are Vekomas, but that's in the UK and not a particular busy/rich area.

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Not pointless at all! Awesome actually. I do these data and trend analysis all the time, but never for roller coasters. I've done rough semi-feasibility studies for a dream, yet realistic, modern U.S. theme park project (i.e. market penetration, per cap, capacity, etc.). Data is king for success!


Looking forward to seeing more.

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Well i decided to play with Mitches Coaster Poll and join it up with RCDB stats to see if there are any interesting correlations.


Turns out not much


Heres the length of the top 50 coasters on the last poll

Not much of a trend there really (the ones with 0 were because there was no length on the RCDB)


But when we look at manufacturer dominance of the top 50, check this out.

Yikes... B&M and Intamin are crushing the field here. Not that surprising really but i didn't expect it to be that high.


However when we look at the types we get a pretty good spread

It was really hard to make categories here but i split them down to what i thought worked. Launched loopers were split from normal loopers but really rides like Blue Fire and Storm Runner could have gone in either Launched or Loopers or their own catagory. :s


I shall try add some of the lowest ranked rides soon and perhaps a more in-depth analysis


Sorry about the screens being thumbnailed here. But as I am using a massive screen here and had to print screen these in a hurry they are actually even larger that the last lot

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