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Mitch Hawker 2011 Wood Coaster Poll!


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^^I certainly like the sound of unrelenting airtime and no stapling! Although the stapling and near-stapling didn't bother me on El Toro like it did on Bizarro and Magnum (didn't even know Magnum was a stapler before riding).

 

^I'm with you! For me Boulder Dash has a perfect combination of ejector airtime, intense speed, a disorienting layout (not even sure how it manages that since it's roughly an out-and-back, but I think the steadily increasing speed helps make it confusing), and the magical experience of flying through the woods.

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Colossos in Heide-Park is no small coaster at all - its the prototype Intamin/Cordes prefab-woodie who is even taller than El Toro.

 

The best woodie in germany if not in europe!

 

Congrats to El Toro. My favourite woodie too!

Biggest surprise to me is Colossos (Heide Park). I was looking so much forward to try it when we went in 2011 (2nd attempt... was closed 1st time I went in 2010).

It was so rough and seemed to be very badly maintained.

 

Having El Toro and Balder as my top 2, I do love an Intamin woodie, so if anyone should have loved Colossos it should have been me.

Nothing less than Terrible! Does not even belong in the top 30! I'm sure it did in its early years, but a ride (park) should be punished bad in these polls when they don't look after their rides, and I am thinking that a lot of people are judging it from past performance.

That's a shame to hear, I thought Colossos looks awesome.

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Can someone explain Phoenix for me? It's an awesome ride, and I love the constant airtime, but for me it was a one-trick pony, and significantly worse in any other part of the train besides the front. I mean I could see it being mid-20s, but #5?! I've been on Coaster at Playland in Vancouver, and that was better ride, no question. I know there's a lot of Knoebel's love here...I found the park fun, but I didn't quite get that "Knoebel's vibe" that's talked about so often. Twister was fairly miserable, too. I don't intend to bash the park or anything (and the Flyers were kind of epic); I'm just curious as to why Phoenix and its park get so much love.

 

Which one of the 12 moments of airtime made Phoenix a one-trick pony? For the record, I rated Coaster at Playland as my #3 wooden so I agree with you that's it's a great coaster, However, I have Phoenix #1 but I wouldn't say that Phoenix is a "better ride, no question". Yes, I think Phoenix is better but not without question.

 

For the record I have problems with Boulder Dash. I've been to the park a dozen times and think the coaster is sluggich during the day but not a Top 5 coaster until much later in the day

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Personally I don't really "get" Phoenix either. I mean I thought it was a fun ride, and I liked it, but I just don't think it's anywhere near the same league as Toro, Boulder Dash, Ravine Flyer, Etc. I think it was somewhere in the 15-20 range on my poll.

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Personally I don't really "get" Phoenix either. I mean I thought it was a fun ride, and I liked it, but I just don't think it's anywhere near the same league as Toro, Boulder Dash, Ravine Flyer, Etc. I think it was somewhere in the 15-20 range on my poll.

You should have been there for this....

 

While it's a rare occurrence, Phoenix does have it's "off" days. It also really is amazing at night. When I lived in Baltimore I'd go up to Knoebel's about 10 times per year, and I'd say there were probably 2 or 3 visits where the ride seemed to be running sluggish, for whatever reason...

 

There are people out there who seem to really prefer Twister. I don't quite get it...but to each their own!

Edited by robbalvey
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Nice results overall. I've been on 6 out of the top 12 and agree all of the listed rides were very good to excellent. I have to agree with Jake Tex, Boulderdash is the Holy Grail for me, and I'm also in love with Phoenix and US Toro. I'm a bit surprised that Troy ranked so well though, but maybe I rode it on a poor day. To answer Larry's comment on Bouldie, I probably rank it my number one due to the fact I just rode it at night on East Coast 2008 (ERT) and this has to be my most memorable coaster moment ever, closely followed by Phoenix ERT and Prowler ERT in 2010 too. My conclusion is that club atmosphere really contributes to a ride appreciation. As for Voyage, I might have expected too much of it, as I have to confess I prefered LEGEND ! (am I alone ?)

 

edit: I now understand why a coaster can climb or simply fall in the polls: a favourite of mine was Tonnerre de Zeus, (rode it opening year) and even if it is still a "good" woodie, it's just the shadow of what it was before. It's high time they maintain it properly, it's so sad to see a gem like this one neglected...

Edited by Dragon Khan
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As for Voyage, I might have expected too much of it, as I have to confess I prefered LEGEND ! (am I alone ?)

I have actually heard this from others as well, so you're not alone!

 

I'm in the "Raven" camp, which appears as #7 on my list, so I can kind of understand where you're coming from.

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As for Voyage, I might have expected too much of it, as I have to confess I prefered LEGEND ! (am I alone ?)

I have actually heard this from others as well, so you're not alone!

 

I'm in the "Raven" camp, which appears as #7 on my list, so I can kind of understand where you're coming from.

 

About Raven Robb. I remember you asking us on the bus if we also thought Raven was running errr... poorly that day. Do you know if it's back to its former glory ? Just curious to know if wonders can be made on a slightly neglected woodie (if that is the reason), since I don't want to lose hope for Tonnerre de Zeus, which was fabulous in 97, and let's say less fantastic last summer. It was not rough but also sluggish compared to what it used to be

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While it's a rare occurrence, Phoenix does have it's "off" days. It also really is amazing at night. When I lived in Baltimore I'd go up to Knoebel's about 10 times per year, and I'd say there were probably 2 or 3 visits where the ride seemed to be running sluggish, for whatever reason...

 

Couldn't agree more that Phoenix is amazing at night. I had some summer night rides in a light rain that were so incredible that I don't think any coaster will ever be able to top it.

Really it just comes down to your own personal preferences and experiences. If you catch a coaster on an "off" day, you might rank it lower. If you are having a fantastic ERT session, you might rate it higher. If you live in the US and you're visiting a park in Europe or Asia, you might rank the coaster higher just for novelty factor. I think the actual ordering of Mitch's poll probably isn't that important. What it shows is that the vast number of coaster enthusiasts love coasters such as El Toro, Phoenix, T-Express, and Boulderdash. What's #1 vs what's #2 or #3 doesn't really matter.

Edited by shivtim
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If you live in the US and you're visiting a park in Europe or Asia, you might rank the coaster higher just for novelty factor.

This honestly bothers me a bit, and I've known people who have done this. They'll basically rank something higher in an out of the way place not because the ride is better, but because they've been on it. It's like "bragging rights" or something.

 

Elissa and I would much rather bring large groups of people to these out of the way coasters to give them a fair chance in the polls. In some cases it works for the ride, in some cases it works against it.

 

For example, one of the years we brought people to Balder, and not everyone loved it as much as we did, and it dropped in the polls. Another year we brought people to Boulder Dash, and it was running like effing CRAZY, and it jumped in the poll!

 

I've always thought that people bragging about remote rides shows great insecurity in people. So you booked a flight, made a hotel reservation, and got a ride to a park. Big deal. Anyone can do that...if they WANTED to! All really, all it's going to do is make you look like a complete idiot when other people finally get out to ride it, and call you out on it not being that great.

 

--Robb "Rank coasters for how they actually perform, not because you want to show off that you managed to book a flight somewhere..." Alvey

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^I agree with all of that.

But, sometimes the complete experience affects how much you like a ride! ERT is a great example. If I wait for 2 hours on a hot day to ride a coaster, or if I have multiple ERT rides, even if it's *technically* the exact same ride, the experience is different, and I'll probably like the coaster better because of an ERT experience. As far as coasters in other countries, the same thing applies. I really do agree that nobody should purposely rank a coaster higher just because its "rare" or farther away. But they might subconsciously rate it higher just because they were having a really unique time in a foreign park.

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If you live in the US and you're visiting a park in Europe or Asia, you might rank the coaster higher just for novelty factor.

This honestly bothers me a bit, and I've known people who have done this. They'll basically rank something higher in an out of the way place not because the ride is better, but because they've been on it. It's like "bragging rights" or something.

I'm sure people do that, but could it also be because--since it's out of the way--those people's only chance to ride it may be during that trip, and then months or years down the road, they'll think back to the long-distance one and over-glorify it since it was such a unique and rare experience for them that would be hard to replicate?

 

For example... I sometimes think I over-glorify coasters I rode in '09 when I went on my first and only road trip to the east-coast. Since it's been a long time and I haven't been outside CA/NV since then, I think I rate the east-coast coasters higher because it was an awesome, different experience and I can't re-ride the coasters very easily to form a more solid opinion.

 

Tl;dr: In juxtaposition to sitting in my house all day, those parks/coasters seem a lot more awesome than they would if I were standing right next to them.

 

Although, this theory probably only works for people like me who never get out.

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^I totally get what you're saying, but I think it works both ways for me. I know some coasters thrilled me more because they were the first of their type or manufacturer that I rode. But I find I'm just as likely to think a bit less of rides over time simply because I've only ridden them once and/or haven't ridden them in years. It's confusing trying to tease out what I really think of them versus what's just a product of hazy memories.

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Congrats to El Toro for being #1, it really earns this spot.

 

I agree with everyone else with ranking the other El Toro high, it just seems like a regular GCI, it's like ranking American Thunder (SFStL) in the Top 10.

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You know, I went back and looked at my ballot and I had forgotten that I had El Toro ranked as the highest GCI on my list. (Came in at #17 overall).

 

Interesting to see that I have the following GCI's all ranked pretty much right next to each other:

 

El Toro

Joris and the Draak

Thundercoaster

Troy

Ozark Wildcat

Kentucky Rumbler

American Thunder

Apocalypse

 

IMO, I really feel like GCI delivers a REALLY SOLID "B+" ride. I kind of wish they would go a bit more aggressive with airtime, but that's also coming from someone who ranks "Abrupt Airtime" as my favorite feature of any coaster. I guess I can totally see why someone who is less into extreme airtime and more into changes of direction or the sense of speed would rank Plohn's El Toro or some other GCI's a bit higher.

 

--Robb "Who would rather ride most GCI's over the last decades worth of B&M's..." Alvey

Edited by robbalvey
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I think one reason German El Toro did so well is that unlike most GCI designs, it focuses more on airtime hills instead of twists and swooping turns. Its remoteness may have bumped its rank a little more than it should've, but I don't see why everyone is so doubtful of it, especially if they haven't ridden it. It's easily one of the top GCIs, IMO. I rode it and Troy on the same trip, and felt, despite its much smaller size, El Toro was a far better ride. Every little hill has a great pop of air, and there wasn't a dull spot on the ride. For a domestic comparison, it's probably closest in size to Apocalypse, except the entire ride delivers, instead of just the first 1/2 as on Apocalypse.

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